Episode Five here
SIX – I WANTED HER DEAD!
Fr. Chrys was not having a good day at all. Not only had he been treated to another bone-chilling confession from Veronica and Justina, he’d also gotten a call from Charles that the autopsy investigations were still inconclusive.
They hadn’t found any incriminating evidence that might make the cause of death anything but natural. But as he’d pointed out, the results for the presence of poison tests weren’t yet out – so until they were, nothing could be certain.
Nothing could be certain except that a teenage girl was dead and her body was being subjected to scientific pokes and prods instead of being committed back to Mother Earth.
He sprang up from his chair and paced the small office.
This was what frustrated him most about the Nigerian Police and their ill-equipped investigation system and laboratories. Everything was done at such a snail pace as if they had all the time in the world and worse still, the results were most often doubtful.
It’s been forty-eight hours for God’s sakes and all he was getting was platitudes instead of answers or at least a body to bury.
He let out an explicit curse, then sighed as he stopped by the door and leaned his back against it. Willing himself to relax, he made the sign of the cross and silently implored God’s forgiveness for the swear word and his uncharacteristic temper.
It was all these scary confessions he’d been getting lately. The fact that the children – for that was what they were – mere children. Children, who have obviously not only entangled themselves with the sins of the flesh but were also overcome by hatred and malice.
They were plotting vengeance against one another for Christ’s sakes. Or more clearly against Dana – their common enemy.
What happened to the lessons of love and forgiveness he’d strove so hard to instil in them? Had none not sank in at all? This was supposed to be a house of God but now it appeared no better than a den of sluts and heathens.
He felt the guilty prick just beneath his breast bone at his uncharitable thought towards his own children. Shuddering, he involuntarily made another sign of the cross. Of course they weren’t perfect – no human was. But they weren’t…
He jerked visibly at the knock on the door, springing away from it.
“Yes, who is it?” He asked when the brusque knock came again.
“It’s me, Dominic, Father.”
His eyes rounded with horror at the announcement from the other side of the door. What, another confession?
“Dom, what is it?” He asked reluctant to open the door.
“Please I’d like to speak with you, Fr. Chrys.”
Oh God, here it comes again, the torture of listening to them confess their hideous crimes and sins.
He drew in breath, striving to calm his already jumpy nerves as he unlocked the door. “Come in, Dom.” He said a trifle morosely turning to return to his chair.
“Just give me a moment for a brief recollection, then we can begin.” He said reaching for his Stole.
Dominic stared at him as he slipped the purple linen scarf round his neck. “I haven’t come for a confession, Fr. Chrys.” He said.
“You haven’t?” Fr. Chrys swung his head around to look at him.
“No, Father.” Dominic shook his head.
“Oh. Then why are you here?” Fr. Chrys frowned.
The question surprised Dominic but he only lifted his shoulders nonchalantly. “To talk to you.”
Fr. Chrys inclined his head and returned the Stole to the wooden stand. “Sit down, then.” He invited, not quite sure he was comfortable with a talk either. “So what do you want to talk about?” He asked once the tall, lanky boy sat down.
Dominic was a little puzzled by Fr. Chrys’ attitude. He sounded like he didn’t really want him there in his office… which was really odd since Father always invited them around and talked with them.
He supposed it must be the whole Dana’s death drama that has got him on edge. In any case that was what he’d come to talk to him about.
“It’s about Dana, Father.” He responded to Fr. Chrys’ question.
Of course it is, Fr. Chrys groaned inwardly. “What about Dana?” He queried aloud, voice matter-of-fact. “Did you do something to her too?”
“Huh?” Dominic was taken aback. “What? Do something to Dana? How?”
Fr. Chrys leaned back against his chair, arms folded across his chest. “That is what I’m waiting for you to tell me – what did you do to her?”
Dominic gaped at him. “Absolutely nothing.” He stammered out.
Had Father found out about the nasty girl’s escapades with Anthony and Cyprian? And was now suspecting him of the same?
“I never did anything to her… with her.” He stated defensively. “I never even liked her.”
The last bit had left his mouth in his defensive mode before he could think it through and he instantly coloured at the thought of Fr. Chrys knowing he hadn’t loved Dana as he loved himself… as a good Christian would.
Fr, Chrys only pursed his lips and nodded. “Of course you didn’t.” Big surprise! “So, if you didn’t do anything to her or with her, then what are you here to confess?”
“I’m not here to confess anything, Father.” Dominic was more than a little bewildered by his fixation on confession. “I just wanted to ask you if the Police had finished with their investigations and when Dana would be buried.”
Fr. Chrys stared at the boy, saw the utter bewilderment in his eyes and felt a flush of embarrassment, followed closely by a distinct feeling of relief.
Gosh! The boy hadn’t come to confess any hideous crime and here he was trying to play a hard-nosed cop instead of the priest and counsellor he was. Lord have mercy! This was exactly why he wanted this matter laid to rest – it was beginning to make him act weird and spooky.
“Oh God, I’m sorry, Dominic.” He gave an apologetic smile. “I thought you’d come to…” He shook his head and sighed. “Sorry.” He apologised once again. “This whole sudden death and autopsy investigation just has me all wigged out. I just don’t understand it at all.” He sighed again, feeling weary all of a sudden.
Dominic nodded, understanding. “I am wigged out too, Father.” He confessed. “It’s all so confusing and worrisome.”
He was more than a little wigged out and not at all because he was going to miss Dana or anything. It was really the black cloud of mourning and sorrow the whole incident had brought over the home that had him worried. He so hated depressive moods.
“So, when are the investigations going to be over?” He asked the question that was foremost in his mind.
Fr. Chrys expelled a weary breath. “Frankly I don’t know, Dom. Charles – the CSP in charge of the case – spoke with me earlier and from what he said they weren’t certain at the moment when they’ll be done. Possibly within the next few days.”
“And what have they found out so far?” Dominic wanted to know.
“Nothing.” Fr. Chrys answered with a raise of his shoulders. “So far, nothing indicates any form of foul play. But they are still investigating so we can’t conclude yet.”
Dominic nodded. “So we can’t bury Dana until they are through?”
“Unfortunately not, Dom. We can’t lay the poor girl to rest and allow her soul…” He broke off at the tentative knock on the door. “Who is it?” He asked frowning slightly at the door.
“Sister Clara.” Came the low-voiced response.
“I should go, Father.” Dominic was already on his feet and heading to the door. “Thank you, Father.”
“You are welcome.” Fr. Chrys smiled watching as he opened the door, greeted Sister Clara and shut the door after himself.
“Come right in, Sister Clara.” Fr. Chrys gestured to the tall, slim, dark complexioned woman in navy-blue pleated dress. “Have a seat, dear. You don’t know how relieved I am that it was you at the door.”
He gave a small laugh but Sr. Clara only managed a weak smile as she slid into the chair right in front of his desk.
“You won’t believe the things this unfortunate death has brought to light, Sr. Clara.” Fr. Chrys continued not really taking in the troubled expression of the woman seated in front of him. “You’d be utterly astounded to know the things that have been going on right under our noses and yet we knew them not.”
“I know, Father. That is why I’m here.” Sr. Clara said quietly her hands linked on her laps and quivering slightly.
“You knew about the goings-on?” Fr, Chrys gaped at her.
Sr. Clara nodded solemnly. “I knew, Father. That is why I wanted her dead.”
His hands which were supporting his head dropped bonelessly to the desk as his mouth dropped open.
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