A summer death

Drew sat at the edge of his hospital bed, his favourite pink and blue papers scattered all across his food tray. He had pushed aside his paediatric meal and stayed focused on the insistent colouring or what most people would term as scribbling. “Looks like someone’s busy. Busy enough, to not eat their meal, I suppose”, nurse Sasha said as she walked in. Drew kept his head down, he wasn’t the one to meet gaze or lock eyes while conversing, he preferred to look away instead, it made him feel less anxious. Sasha was now standing right behind Drew assessing his artwork. “That’s a pretty piece you’re doing there” she said “you ought to be famished after that, here you have to eat some food” she said pushing the meal tray towards him. Drew was hungry, he had been hungry all along, but it didn’t seem to be his priority at the moment. He slowly grabbed a spoonful of the pudding and eyed it suspiciously before gobbling it up. “Seems like he is doing better” detective Liz Melendez said walking in, a small grin on her lips. “Yes indeed detective Melendez, he is looking very good, Dr Brown will be here shortly” Sasha said as she finished scanning his vitals. “I’ll be coming around to see, you Drew” she said as she walked out of the room. Drew slumped his shoulders, he wasn’t very good with people and his mother had made him know that plenty well. “Hi Drew” detective Liz said, “how are you doing today?” unable to bring out words, Drew just gave her a small nod in affirmation. “Hello there detective, I see you’re early” Dr Brown smiled. “Yes, I was just in the area, thought of stopping by earlier” she replied “so how is Drew doing?” she inquired. “Drew is recovering better than we hoped for, he will be out of here in no time, just a few counselling sessions are left,” Dr Brown said. Drew made a small attempt to look up at them. He did feel better, but that was only confined to physical aspects. To his surprise, the counselling sessions were helping him a lot. He saw them leave the room, leaving him all alone with his thoughts, but he was used to that, always had been.
“How is Mr. Chase now?” Liz asked dr Brown as they walked out of Drew’s ward, she knew it was wise to not speak in his presence. “Mr. Chase is responding well, as you know his surgery was a success, and it will take some time for him to recover, but as far as his mobility is concerned I’m glad to tell you he will be able to walk, he is one lucky man to be that close and come out alive” he said. Liz nodded, he was lucky indeed, but she didn’t see it that way, the man had just lost his wife, had an injured kid, and was critically hurt himself, apart from his house being completely burnt down to the ground. “So can I speak to him now?” she asked. Liz wasn’t a patient person, everyone in the Vegas p.d knew that too, but she had maintained a lot of restraint and remained patient, as this was a rather bad case, with too many moving parts. She knew it wasn’t wise to rush the investigation, she already had too many obstacles. “Yes detective you may, but you will have to be easy on him, he is just been out of surgery” Dr Brown said as they stepped into the elevator. Liz had been waiting half a month to just get this opportunity. She was happy to finally have a talk. “Mr. Chase, how are you feeling today, detective Melendez is here to have a chat with you” Dr Brown said bringing Liz back from her thoughts. “I’m feeling fine doctor, maybe a bit drowsy” Christian Chase said opening his eyes. “I’ll leave you two to it now” Dr Brown said excusing himself leaving Liz alone. “Hello Mr Chase I’m detective Liz Melendez, LVMPD, I’m here to talk to you about the incidents that occurred at your house on the 20th of June,” she said pulling a courteous smile. Christians face seemed to pale a little, it wasn’t surprising, she was after all reminding him about everything that he had lost. “Please call me Christian, detective” he said “I don’t know how I can help you, there was a gas leak at my house and it blew up, Summer left me” he said,” Summer is…or was my wife, but I take it you would know that already, and my son is hurt, and I can’t be there for him.” He said smiling ruefully. “I am extremely sorry for your loss, Mr Chase…uh Christian, but the gas leak isn’t the most pressing issue, it is however, that your wife was stabbed 22 times before the blast, that is a matter to be investigated”.

Christian stared at Liz wide-eyed. He was shocked and Liz could see that. “What…what did you just say?” he faltered completely flushed. “Yes your wife was stabbed with a knife 22 times before the blast and the murder weapon is missing, that makes this a case of 1st degree murder” she said. He was shaking his head vigorously in disbelief. “Who would do that? How did I not know? I was in the garage just before the blast, I didn’t hear anything, how is it possible?” he said frantically. If somebody else was in Liz’s shoes they would have felt pity for this man, but it wasn’t her job to see emotions, she saw evidence, and till she pinned the wrong doing on someone, he was a suspect too. “Christian, could you think of anybody who could have done this? Do you suspect someone?” Liz questioned. “No detective, Summer was a very cheerful person, she was courteous, sweet, and a peoples’ pleaser. Nobody would have done that” he said still in a state of shock. “Ok Christian, can you tell me about Summer’s relations with you and Drew? And probably her relationship with her parents?” Liz asked. Liz had spoken to Summer’s father already, William Quince. He was a socialite in Vegas and was popular, but not many people knew of his daughter, including Liz. She was surprised to know he had a daughter at all. William didn’t want to speak about Summer, he claimed he had disowned her 18 years prior when she had found a boy and asked to marry him. Mrs Quince was of no help either, she had out rightly refused to cooperate, saying speaking about Summer was a disgrace in itself. Liz had figured that their pride mattered more than their daughter. “Summer and I met back in college, we fell in love, one that we shouldn’t have. It didn’t go down well, well for Summer at least, her father denied marrying her to me, her mother too. They practically disowned her when she married me. We had Drew a year later, I suppose you have met him, he was born special, he was born autistic.”

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