Chapter 10

Click here for Chapter 9!

Joe was tall and handsome, even with a red nose and puffy eyes. He let us in the front door and my heart started pounding when I saw the entryway, where we’d found Stacy. I looked away.

“I’m Joe…” Joe shook James’ hand, looking back at me with questioning eyes, “A friend of Lindsay’s?”

“You can say that,” James laughed nervously.

Joe led us into the kitchen; it looked exactly how one would expect. A mess. Paperwork, files, dirty dishes, wine glasses. Joe was stressed.

We sat down around a messy table, Joe poured himself a glass of cabernet, “I’m sorry, would either of you like a drink?”

I glanced at the clock – 10am – and shook my head no.

He swirled it around and took a big whiff before he started to talk.

“Stacy was having an affair,” he sighed, “before her phone was taken in for evidence, it had missed calls and text messages. From an unsaved number. Plus her message threads were recently deleted. It didn’t make sense. She wasn’t expecting me.”

“My guess is that this guy found out she was married. Or she just pissed him off while she was drunk one night – I don’t know,” Joe was pacing back and forth, running his fingers through his hair, “But a boyfriend has more motive than her supplier… I think… I don’t know.”

I chewed on my lip and looked at James, who shrugged his shoulders.

“You had no idea?” Joe looked up from his glass of wine, he had tears in his eyes.

“No, I – I didn’t know she was seeing someone,” I stammered.

“It makes sense, you know. I was always gone for work. Leaving her alone in this big house with nothing but money to spend.”

“Joe, this isn’t your fault…” I whispered across the table, grabbing his hand, “she chose to do this.”

“Her phone – Did you have a chance to go through it at all?”

“No. The detectives took it right away, I would’ve written down the number had I realized that was going to happen,” Joe shook his head and sat back down, “I called the detective to mention the phone calls and they said they already had a lead.”

“A lead?” I looked up, my heart was racing.

“I just hope they put the right son of a bitch away.”

“Me too,” I whispered, with tears in my eyes.

James and I helped Joe pick a dress to bury Stacy in. We decided on a dark purple sleeveless dress – one that went all the way up to her neck – to cover the cuts.

“She would’ve hated this. I think she would’ve rather been buried in a tank top and shorts,” Joe laughed.

I heard his stomach growl.

“Do you want to go get something to eat? Or I could make something here?” I offered, hoping he’d say no.

“No thanks, I’ll get something later. You should know Stacy never kept this place stocked with anything but booze.”

“You ready?” James asked me, looking for an escape from this depressing house.

“Sure, let’s go.”

I hugged Joe, and he shook James’ hand.

“The service will be on Wednesday, I’ll send you all the details. Will you be with this guy? I can just text him…”

“Yeah, that’s fine.”

James and I walked to the car and sat in silence until we left the neighborhood. His phone rang.

“Hello? Oh, hi… Yes, she’s right here.”

I looked at James, “It’s that detective.”

“Hi Miss Waltham, so sorry to bother you again… Would you be able to come down to the station for a few more questions?”

James and I sped to the station, anxious about the detective’s “new findings.”

I walked into the station and looked around. There was Agnes, with her nerdy glasses and sweaty, matted hair. I followed her back into the same room I’d been in just a couple of days ago.

Agnes sat across from me, with her arms crossed.

“Miss Waltham, were you aware that Stacy was having an extramarital affair?”

“Actually, yes. I just found out. Joe told me.”

“Joe, her husband? Did he mention how he knew?”

“I think he just made an assumption based on the texts and calls in her phone – before it was taken into evidence, that is.”

“I see, and um, did Joe tell you who the affair was with?”

“No… He wasn’t sure. He didn’t even have an idea, actually. Do you guys know?”

“Because it’s an ongoing investigation, I can’t tell you who our suspect is or isn’t. We have a few people who would have motive. But I have a few questions for you, first.”

“Ok – shoot.”

“Were you aware of your husband’s affair?”

“Yes, I thought I mentioned that. I told you Stacy and I went to follow them once. Her name is Camille.”

“And this ‘Camille’ – what do you know about her?”

“They met at the dealership – I think he sold her a car. She’s young, they’ve been dating for a few months.”

“Mhm, mhm…” Agnes scribbled down a few more notes, “How did you find out about your husband’s affair?”

“Stacy told me one day when we were having a drink at her place,” I explained, “We found her on Facebook and decided that we were going to find out more. Get revenge, I guess.”

Agnes raised her eyebrow as she wrote a few more notes down.

“Did you ever feel like Stacy’s interest in Matt’s affair was odd? Or a bit unusual?”

“Well, yes. But Stacy doesn’t work. I’m probably her closest friend and she lives alone. This was her entertainment. She likes drama. I didn’t find it weird or anything…”

Agnes stayed quiet for a few minutes, scribbling into her yellow legal pad.

“I don’t understand the point of these questions… What exactly are you implying, detective?”

“Miss Waltham…” Agnes chewed on the end of her pencil, trying to decide what to say next, “We have reason to believe…”

She stopped.

“I can’t share this information with you; it could tip off a potential suspect…” Agnes hesitated, she looked worried.

“Miss Waltham, you’ve been staying with James in his home?”

“Well, no. We didn’t want Matt to be able to find us. We’ve been in and out of motel rooms.”

“He’s got that kinda money, huh?” Agnes jotted something down quickly.

“He does handy work; I honestly think he’s mostly paid under the table…” I murmured, careful not to let on about the cash we’d found in Camille’s house.

“I see… Do you plan on going home soon? To make amends with your husband?”

I looked up, confused.

“No?” I half said, half questioned, “Why would I do that? I told you everything, he’s dangerous, ok?” I could feel my face getting hotter and hotter. My skin was turning red.

Agnes grabbed my hands and leaned in. She shushed me and whispered quietly, “We just want to make sure you stay safe, ok?” Her words sounded convincing but her eyes looked terrified.

Click here for Chapter 11!

Is it OK to cheat?

I can make this blog about the time I got a text from my boyfriend’s phone in the middle of the night that wasn’t him. I can make it about the time I received screenshots from a guy I was seeing’s girlfriend with details about their sex life. Or the time I broke up with a guy via text message and his EX replied to my message.

Nothing is worse than thinking you’re IT and finding out you’re just a “side piece.” I’ve dated cheaters – habitual and non-habitual. It SUCKS either way.

I’m realizing that this whole cheating thing didn’t just happen to me. In fact, it happens so often (to men and women) it HURTS to talk about.


But I want to know WHY people do this and maybe, how to avoid it. So I talked to roughly 15 people (men and women) who have either cheated or been cheated on. Here’s how it went:

(BTW, every name in this blog has been changed because, well, who would want to be associated with this blog?)

“I was getting a lot of attention that I wasn’t used to.”- Sarah, 26

“I’ve cheated on almost all of my boy friends… Now that I’m older I realize I was totally out of line and disrespectful to hurt someone like that. Especially when my most recent ex-boyfriend started talking to other girls behind my back.” – Evelyn, 22

“I never saw it as cheating when I was doing it, but when it started happening to me with the same guy… I realized that it IS cheating.” – Alyssa, 24

“She left me and had a baby with him.” – Jordan, 24

“Our relationship did get better after things evened out.” – Russel, 21

 “It’s ironic because she told me if I ever gave her an STD, she would slit my tires. We were starting to get serious when I started getting this burning sensation…. When I told her about it, she told me that she needed to inform two other people.” – Raul, 25

“I found out he cheated and I thought, ‘Well you wanna play that game? So can I.’” – Jennifer, 24

“He had been dating her for about a month before we broke up, while he was living in my home, where I paid all the bills, and bought all the food.” – Emily, 23giphy2

Food for thought:

  • Of the people who agreed to talk to me, 60% were women, 40% were men.
  • All of them have been cheated on, 80% have cheated, and 20% have never cheated.
  • More men were caught cheating, while women usually get away with it.
  • 2 cheated – after learning their partners cheated.
  • 3 said after it happened to them, they wouldn’t do it again.
  • Of those who have cheated, they usually did it multiple times.


Why did you cheat?

“My boyfriend was timid and didn’t try anything with me. So I hung out with his friend who was very flirty and very touchy and it just happened.” – Sarah, 26

“I was never in love and I was dating too nice of guys. They couldn’t keep up with my partying ways at that time so I moved on mentally without wanting to leave the relationship.” – Evelyn, 21

“I was really insecure about myself and sought other people’s acceptance to boost my self-esteem. No single person could have given me what I needed to stay faithful.” – Alyssa, 24

“I honestly don’t remember why I cheated, I just remember I liked the other girl more and had more similar interests with her.” – Jordan, 24

“I think she cheated because we started our relationship too soon after her and her ex had broken up. Then I cheated out of spite.” – Russel, 21


Do you think it could’ve been avoided? Cheating and/or being cheated on?

Nope, nothing. I was a great girlfriend to him and gave him everything I had. I thought we were doing great. He had me fooled. And no for my ex’s also, I was mentally not in it.” – Evelyn, 22

“There is nothing you can do to stop someone who is struggling with their own issues.” – Alyssa, 24

“I could’ve been a better lover. I was too nice.” – Raul, 25

“I honestly think he cheated because he didn’t really get a lot of attention from girls and when girls were willing to show him attention he flew with it.” – Jennifer, 24

How did it affect the relationship?

“It was essentially the final straw. He broke up with me over Facebook messenger.” – Alyssa, 24

“We stayed in an open relationship for a few more weeks. And it just confused me and made me paranoid so we went separate ways.” – Raul, 25

“She did it first, I did out of spite.  It helped me give us another chance.” – Russel, 21

“It caused me to stay in relationship that wasn’t right for me. It didn’t make me fight with my boyfriend more or anything, but by finding someone else to satisfy the parts of my boyfriend that were “missing,” I was able to sort of…power through.” – Alyssa, 24

“I wondered if I wasn’t pretty enough or lacking something he was trying to find in someone else.” – Carissa, 21

“Other issues led up to that point [breakup] obviously from my insecurities and such things but ultimately it was the cheating.” – Emily, 23

“We broke up and I continued to date the girl I left her for.” – Jordan, 24


When your girl catches you cheating.

Does social media have an impact on cheating?

“FUCK YES” – Jennifer, 24

“It definitely helps… but it doesn’t matter. All the girls he talked to (that I know of) he met at work.” – Evelyn, 22

I think social media opens the door of ambiguity when it comes to cheating. You post all these pictures of yourself and what you’re up to and you get someone saying that you’re beautiful or you look great or you’re funny or whatever…and you begin to think that it’s okay because that’s just what people do. So when someone flirts with you in person, you are more accepting of it. It’s like being desensitized to cheating. Because if I wasn’t on social media and not used to being flirted with by people all the time online, I would be more likely to be like ‘WAIT NO’ if someone did it to me in person.” – Alyssa, 24

“Now social media plays a major role in cheating. Snapchat, twitter, etc. I had a guy tell me he would rather me destroy his phone than release it to his wife because he had been messaging other girls.” – Russel, 21

“I think social media makes it easier because it’s easier to connect with others. But at the same time a lot of people get busted through social media.” – Raul, 25


A few recurring themes I noticed…

  • Alcohol makes you tell the truth. (And forget to lock your phone.)
  • Women cheat on “nice guys.”
  • Men and women cheat out of spite to get back at someone
  • Social media is an enabler
  • Just about everyone believes that monogamy is realistic!
  • A majority of couples try to make things work afterwards.
  • Most of them weren’t able to, though.

Some say having one partner isn’t natural and that, like animals, humans have natural instincts to have more than one mate. What is your opinion?


“Penguins mate for life so I don’t want to hear that shit! I think that we are always searching for our other half and maybe I am just a hopeless romantic but once I find my other half, I don’t want to let them go or keep looking for someone else.” – Sarah, 26

“I think if two people are in love, they will make it work naturally.” – Evelyn, 22

“Cheating happens a lot, but I think that ultimately we’re all searching for that one person who satisfies all of our needs but sometimes our feelings get in the way and we are too stubborn to quit a bad relationship, so we cheat and do ridiculous things to try to make it work because we pride ourselves in our loyalty, etc. We ARE animals, sure. But we’re much more complex psychologically than other animals and we have the ability to desire one mate.” – Alyssa, 24

“If you connect with the right person I don’t think you’ll ever need another mate.” – Jordan, 24

“It’s in our nature to find others attractive. It just takes mental strength to say no.” – Raul, 25

“Disagree. Yeah we may have to do some searching before we find “the one” but once we find it we aren’t worried about anyone else.” – Russel, 21


And a few other quotes I want to include, just because:

“I just think she enjoyed the attention of other guys. She had a habit of cheating.” – Jordan, 24

“Take a break from all social media during the beginning of the relationship to build each other’s trust.” – Russel, 21

“There were qualities in this guy that I couldn’t live with. He was funny and smart and charismatic, but he wasn’t driven to do anything with his life. So I found myself reaching out to guys who WERE driven.” – Alyssa, 24

“Growing up girls are told ‘That guy’s going to break your heart, that guy’s going to break your heart,’ so it’s like y’all are a little more prepared for heartbreak.” – Raul, 25

“Most women cheat with married men because they both have something to lose.” – Rachel, 21

The facts remain that:

  • Women find out EVERYTHING, while men only find out some things.
  • My mom had a point when she’d ask, “Why do young girls like to eat shit?”
  • Nice guys finish last.
  • Pretty much everyone (men and women) believes cheating can be physical and emotional.
  • Chronic cheaters are a real thing – steer clear.

The verdict is that… If someone cheats on you, it’s usually not your fault (unless you cheated first… then it probably could’ve been avoided.) If he or she cheats on you and you decide to take him or her back, your chances of being cheated on again increase by 98% (I’m making this up but it seems reasonable, right?) Anyway, idk if this helped you or just made you hate the opposite sex even more… I hope it did both, tbh.


Chapter 9

Click here for Chapter 8!

We checked into a new hotel room, with our newly found riches. Thanks Matt and Camille, for allowing us to leave no paper trail. No way for Matt to find us, unless he trailed us for the entire drive and waited to watch us go inside. Regardless, I was beginning to feel safe. As safe as you can feel without any of your personal belongings. The trip to Camille’s made one thing clear: My things weren’t there. We’d need to look harder. Dig a little deeper.

I didn’t really have a chance to thoroughly search my house when the officer escorted me there, I was entirely too stressed. All I did was peek into bathrooms and closets, hoping to see a T shirt or curling iron that once belonged to me. I hadn’t checked the backyard, the garage, the attic or basement. For all I know, my things could’ve just been thrown into my car in the garage.

I’d already tried calling my phone from James’ phone. I’d even signed into Find My iPhone and tried to locate it. Location not available. We had to get back into the house. My house. To reclaim what was mine.

“Lindsay, we don’t know what he’s capable of,” James muttered, as he tore off a piece of the grilled cheese sandwich I’d made for him. He flicked a piece of crust into the trashcan. I rolled my eyes.

“You don’t get it though; I hardly even looked in all of the rooms. I was freaking out. I really think if I had a chance to search the place like we did at Camilles…” He cut me off.

“So, what if we do go back? And what if he shows up with the same group of guys that almost killed me at the bar that night? Then what? I couldn’t fight them off by myself, Linds.”

“So we get a gun. One of us keeps lookout. I don’t know James, what’s your plan?” I crossed my arms, slightly irritated.

“I just wanted to start over with you,” he moved in closer and kissed my face, “I just want this to be done. We can move far away… somewhere he won’t try to follow you.”

Suddenly, my face was hot and my heart was racing. I turned to look at him. His straight face gave nothing away.

“This is what you want? I come with all of this baggage and you want to move away with me?” I laughed, nervously.

“Lindsay,” James grabbed my chin and turned my face towards his, “I’ve always wanted you. Maybe not like this. Not with a psychopathic husband or a murderer.”

My heart hurt listening to this. A few weeks ago, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Besides maybe a divorce. But now, I have almost nothing. I started to cry.

“How did it get like this?” I buried my face into James’ t shirt, he rubbed my back. “I have nothing left.”

“Hey…” he whispered into my ear, “You have me. I’ll do whatever it takes to make you happy again. I love you.”

We were both silent for a few minutes. He’d never told me he loved me. I wasn’t sure if I should say it back. To be honest, I don’t know if I love him back. He let me go.

“We’ll go back to your house in the morning.”

We showered and crawled into bed. For some reason all of this makes me feel permanently exhausted. I think I’ll have bags under my eyes until Stacy’s murder is solved. I’ll have bloodshot eyes until I have something to my name. I’ll be able to sleep once Matt is out of the picture. For now, I’m stuck like this.

I woke up to James’ phone ringing.

Incoming call: Det. Beckett. That’s Agnes. I looked at James, sound asleep, and picked up the phone.

“Agnes? This is Lindsay Waltham.”

“Hi Lindsay, I hoped I’d reach you. We’ve been trying to call you.”

“I don’t have a phone; I figured the officer would tell you. I couldn’t find any of my belongings at my house. I think Matt did something with them. I’m sure you don’t care…” I bit my lip, wondering what was coming next, “why were you looking for me?”

“Stacy’s husband, Joe. He wants to speak with you. The coroner has determined Stacy’s cause of death. He’ll be making funeral arrangements soon. I can give you his information if you want to phone him yourself?”

“Sure, just one second…” I pulled open the nightstand for a pen and paper, “ok, go.”

It was 8am, I debated waiting to call Joe. Is it too early? His wife just died, I’m sure he can’t sleep either. I dialed his number from James’ phone. I was too paranoid to try and use the hotel room phone.


“Hi Joe, it’s Lindsay.”

“Lindsay, hi!” He sounded surprisingly upbeat, “I’ve been trying to get ahold of you since I got back in town.”

“Yeah…” I hesitated, “I haven’t had my phone lately. I think I misplaced it.” I wasn’t sure what Joe had heard about Matt and I yet. And I wasn’t in the mood to explain our situation.

“Listen, Lindsay. You were one of Stacy’s only friends…” Joe cleared his throat, “I have to ask… I’m not accusing you…” he sounded nervous.

“Joe, what is it?”

“They found traces of heroin in Stacy’s bloodstream…” he stayed quiet, “I know you’re not the type of person – but I mean, I didn’t think Stacy was either.”

I didn’t respond. What exactly was he asking me?

“Did you know about this? Do you know who might’ve been her dealer? That’s who the detectives want to blame. The supplier, I guess…” his voice was shaking, “I mean, did the two of you do it… together?”

“You’re asking me if I do heroin.” My voice got a little louder, “Do I know who killed my friend?” I turned my head to see James, now wide awake, staring at me.

“That’s not what I was saying, Linds. I’m just wondering if you knew… I thought I knew her so well…” his voice filled with sadness and I immediately felt guilty for getting angry with him.

“I’m sorry Joe, I can’t imagine what you’re going through and I’m just – I’m sorry, ok?”


“Look, I didn’t know Stacy was into that. I’d never even heard her mention it before. The hardest thing we ever did was drink martinis… A few days before she was killed, actually.”

“I figured…” Joe muttered, sounding disappointed, “She was on antidepressants. Not supposed to be drinking.” He took a deep breath.

“That… I was not aware of…” My mind was spinning. I felt like I didn’t even know Stacy at all. Perhaps Matt wasn’t her killer. For some reason, I felt a wave of relief wash over me.

“Yeah, I was away a lot. She miscarried while I was gone. It’s my fault, I’m sure.”

“Stop Joe. This isn’t your fault, ok?”

“Right, well. I need help planning the service. These things take a lot of time and I don’t have very long…”

“Sure thing, should I come over?”

“Uh, ok. The place is a mess though, crime scene investigators don’t exactly clean up when they’re done. I did what I could.”

“Don’t worry about it, we’ll stop by today.”

It didn’t occur to me, until I got off the phone with Joe that he probably took ‘we’ to mean Matt and I, rather than James and I.

Oh well, I’ll explain later.

James picked up on the end of my conversation, and started to get dressed.

“Stacy’s husband, right? How did he sound? Holding up?”

“He seems ok, given the circumstances. I offered to go by to help out with her funeral service. They didn’t have much family here. His job relocated him years ago.”

We decided to stop at an IHOP next to the hotel for breakfast. I was starving. I scarfed down my pancakes, followed by a glass of milk.

“Maybe we should stop by my house on the way there. I can just check the mail or something. We don’t have to look inside yet.”

James looked at me, thoughtfully.


We pulled up along the sidewalk, James reached out his window and grabbed a huge pile of envelopes from the mailbox. He tossed them into my lap, and looked back at the house. No cars in the driveway. I wonder if he’s at work or at Camille’s. Probably the bar. We passed the house and headed towards Stacy’s house. I started sifting through the mail.

Bank statements, past due bills and payments, final notices, collection notices, debt collectors, we even had something from the IRS. My heart was racing. I opened them one at a time.

The past due credit card statements, the debt collectors’ final warnings. Cash advances and payday loans. He probably hasn’t worked in weeks. This is why my house is about to be foreclosed on. Because of Matt. I looked at James with tears in my eyes.

Click here for Chapter 10.

Chapter 8

Click here for Chapter 7!

The police officer escorted me to James’ car, “Just breathe, Miss Waltham.”

“How can you expect me to be calm? I’m supposed to be at work tomorrow morning and my husband has destroyed everything that belongs to me!”

James looked up, “What?”

“All of my stuff…” my voice broke, “It’s gone – all of it.”

“What do you mean ‘gone?’” James was in disbelief.

“I mean it’s GONE. The house is empty. My car is nowhere to be found.”

“Can’t we report it stolen?” James asked, looking back at the police officer.

“I’ll call it in,” the officer responded, walking back towards his patrol car. He shook his head, irritated with my never ending story, I’m sure.

I needed sleep. I had a migraine, one that even caffeine couldn’t fix. My eyes were bloodshot and swollen. I’d done a lot of crying lately.

I used James’ phone to call my boss, and broke down as soon as she picked up.

“Linds, honey? Is everything alright? It’s 3 in the morning.”

“Marcy, I – I can’t make it in to work…” My voice cracked. Marcy, my boss was the closest thing I had to a mother. She scolded me when I was late, she’d take me to lunch every now and again. She was the kind of woman who would tuck your tag in for you when it was sticking out of the back of your blazer. So naturally, I started weeping when I heard her voice.

“Lindsay, what’s going on?” Marcy’s voice was alert now.

“It’s Stacy – she’s been…” I paused to catch my breath, “She’s dead.”

“Your friend Stacy? Oh my… What happened?”

“She was murdered. I found her body.”
“Oh my God, Lindsay, well obviously don’t worry about coming in to work. You can take as much time as you need sweetie. Do you need anything? Should I come over? Are you at home?”

“No, I’m…” my voice trailed, “I’m staying at a friend’s house. Matt and I had a disagreement,” more tears.
“Oooh, sweetie. Get some rest, will you? I don’t want you to worry and fret about getting to work at a time like this,” Marcy’s voice was maternal and soothing.

We drove back to our room in silence. In shock. In disbelief. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’ve lost everything. My clothes, my car, my home, my marriage, my best friend. I crawled into bed, too exhausted to bathe or change clothes, and I thought to myself, “Now would be a great time to have family members who cared.”

That night, I dreamt about my parents. They looked exactly the same as they did twenty years ago. Young and happy. Mom was running around looking for a pair of heels she’d misplaced, dad was patiently waiting on her, sipping a glass of cabernet. He looked at me and smiled, “You sure you don’t want to go?”

“No thanks, dad. I’ll let this be your date night.”

“Come on, then! We’ll be late!” Mom suddenly appeared, in a long, black flowing dress.

He swallowed the last of his cab, and they waved goodbye for the last time.

I waited for them to leave the driveway, and phoned two of my best friends. They pulled up minutes later, and I got in to the car. We arrived fashionably late, to a party that would later be busted by police officers – who were looking for me.

“Lindsay Harris! We’re looking for Lindsay Harris. Are you Lindsay Harris?”

I was sure my parents had come home early. They’d heard about the party and knew there’d be underage drinking. No way they’d call the police though… That was the night my life fell apart. My parents had been in an accident on their way home. A semi-truck hit them head on. They both died instantly.

I kept trying to change what happened in my dream. Trying to make them stay home that night. Or take me with them. I woke up crying.

James rubbed my back, half asleep.

“I need some new clothes,” I muttered, “A new phone…”

“No, you don’t,” he replied, sounding annoyed.

“What do you mean? I can pay you back, James.”

“It’s not about the money, Linds,” he rolled over and pulled me closer, “We’re gonna try to find your stuff first.”

I tossed and turned all night. Worrying about how I was going to get the house back. The house my parents left to me. How could I afford a car or a phone? New clothes. My job wasn’t exactly high paying. James mentioned going to look for my things, but where would we even start?

We slept in Monday morning. James brought back breakfast again, we showered and got dressed.

“Where did you have in mind?” I asked.

“Well, if you truly think he moved your stuff…”

“Think? He DID. Why would you insinuate anything else?” My voice filled with anger.

“Calm down, sweetie,” James rubbed my back as we walked towards the car, “I’m just saying… It could’ve been someone else.”

“Yeah? Like who? Who has access to my house? Who has a grudge against me?”

“What about Camille? She’s his girlfriend. I’m sure she’s been over. We could start there.” He had a point.

He started the car and I gave him directions to Camille’s house. We pulled up, slowly, searching for a car in the driveway. It was empty. We should’ve driven by my house first. Matt works Mondays but maybe she’s at my house. Sleeping on a mattress in my bedroom, using my bathroom, cooking in my kitchen. Part of me is glad the house is being foreclosed on. I hope he has no clue. I hope it happens while she’s there. I hope he’s humiliated and she leaves him because she thought he had more money.

We casually walked up to Camille’s house. I stood on a pile of wood near the garage and peeked inside. No car. This is good. I jumped back down and we walked around the side. James pushed and pulled on every door and window, hoping to gain access without breaking anything. Finally, we made it all the way around, and the very last window was cracked open. James peeked in.

“It’s her bathroom. I can’t fit though. Can you?”

I rolled my eyes and used his foot to hoist myself up. We’re becoming a great couple of criminals, aren’t we? I crawled through the window and fell onto a tile floor.

“I’ll let you in through the back!” I said, running to find the back door.

Camille’s house was small. I found the backdoor quickly. I unlocked it and let James in. We tiptoed through Camille’s house, looking for my things.

Her house was small, cluttered. The sink was piled high with dirty dishes. So I guess that means she hasn’t been staying at my place. I made my way down a short hallway, and found myself in her bedroom. Her bed was tiny compared to our California King. Her full size mattress was covered with cheap sheets and throw pillows. I made my way over to her dresser and yanked open drawers, expecting to find my belongings. All I found were lacey thongs and bras and several pairs of shorts that looked like they’d fit a teenager. I was jealous.

I walked to her closet, lined with wedge sandals and stiletto heels. Who does this girl think she is? That’s when I spotted it. On the edge of her nightstand was a pearl necklace. My pearl necklace. Matt had given it to me as a birthday gift years ago. And here it was, sitting on her nightstand.

“Psst! James!” I whispered, hoping to get his attention from the living room.

I put the necklace in my back pocket and kept rummaging.

“James?” he must be too far away. I tiptoe back through the house and find him in her bathroom, raiding her cabinets.

“This chick’s a serious pill popper,” he muttered, moving around pill bottles.

“Who cares? That’s not why we came,” I said, clearly irritated. He looked up.

I told him I found my pearl necklace on her nightstand.

“So either she took it, or he gave it to her…” James leaned against the bathroom wall and something fell down. He turned around, to face a wall.

“What fell?”

“It sounded like it came from the other room…”

“No…” James balled up a fist and banged it against the wall. It sounded hollow. He looked at me and ran his hands along the wall, feeling for a crack or an opening. The wall separated into two wood panels, and James gently tapped one, it popped open, like a hidden cabinet.

He pulled it open and peered in.

“Woah… Linds…” Hi voice was muffled because his head was stuck so far into the cabinet.

“What is it? Did you find my stuff?”

“Even better!” His voice got loud, “Look!”

I looked inside and my heart stopped.

Mounds and mounds of cash. Not ones and tens and fives. I’m talking stacks of 100-dollar bills, bundled up and stuffed into this tiny hidden cabinet. It looked like drug money. Hidden in her home. James looked at me. I knew what he was thinking.

I ran to the kitchen to find a plastic bag.

We stuffed as much as we could into the bag. We had to use another bag because it was so heavy. We basically forgot about my clothes for the day. Now that we were set for a while. I had James run to get the car while I pushed myself back out the bathroom window. I waited until I heard the car get closer and ran to the car, tossing the bag in the back seat.

“So, dinner’s on you tonight?” James laughed, speeding off.

I didn’t have much of a sense of humor just yet. I wanted my clothes, my shoes, my car. I pulled the necklace out of my back pocket. James squinted at it.

“Where’d you find that?”


“Huh. So she does have your things. Or he gave it to her.”

“He could’ve given it to her a long time ago. I probably wouldn’t have even noticed.”

“We’ll find your stuff, Linds. Don’t worry.” He put his hand on my knee and turned the corner.

And there they were. In his car, pulling into her neighborhood. I tried to put my head down, I tried to duck. But I didn’t have time. He saw me. He saw us. And he waved.

Click here for Chapter 9.

Chapter 7

Click here for Chapter 6!

“Lindsay we have to go,” James’ voice came from behind me.

I was huddled over the toilet, eyes full of tears; I could barely make out his face. We had to go? No. We had to call the police. Why would he say that?

“No,” I said, in-between sobs, “We gotta call the police!” My hair was sticking to the back of my neck. I stood up, hoping to be able to pull myself together.

“We can’t call the police, Linds. We’re breaking and entering. For all anyone knows, we killed her.” Continue reading