Third Person


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   “Dear Diary,    

Tonight I feel like I’m living a dream and thinking about it just makes me feel all giddy. If I were to die tonight, I’d die a happy girl.    Yes I am writing like a love struck sixteen year old, but the cheap wine is to blame! My inner editor just disappears in shame into a corner whenever my inner teenager is let loose.    

I couldn’t manage to get Jake off my back, but in time I will- or so I keep hoping. He’s just so needy. I had a hard enough time convincing him I had a headache to skip the date or rather reschedule to breakfast tomorrow- sigh- ending the relationship is a nearly impossible task. On top of it all, he keeps going on and on and on about being more committed to each other. sometimes I feel like the only way to get him to stop is to give in to what he wants.

Suddenly there came a tapping, as of my other suitor rapping at my chamber door...    

More on that later.    ........    



I really like this bottle of wine, secret lover always brings me the best. tho it is making me too drowsy. I guess I did drink almost the whole bottle by myself but still. It is so nice sitting here together, knowing we could get through anything.    







  When two police officers came to the newspaper’s office to talk to the editor and everyone else, Johanna was sure she’d be no part of that; she didn’t know the dead girl. The police questioned her shocked and grieving friends and then left without even approaching Johanna. But as soon as they had left, a weasel-y looking tiny man appeared behind Johanna’s cubicle and demanded of her- in an animated tone- to see him in his office.    “Mr. Johnson?” she knocked on the already open door of his office. “What can I do for you?”  

  “Close the door and sit down.” He motioned to her to hurry, his eyes shining with something resembling excitement. “So, Ms. Green, you have probably noticed that the police were here earlier for a visit.” He looked at her until she nodded in acknowledgment as if it was hard to notice their appearance and that it left a lot of her coworkers in distress. “They were here to ask about the death of Trina Patterson.”  

  “Who was that?” she remembered too late to sound a bit more bothered, “I never got the chance to meet her.”   

 “She was a copy editor here. She had missed work today. The police were here asking if she seemed like the kind of person to commit suicide. I told them that she wasn’t. But they’re bent on their own belief. But I believe that she was murdered.” 

 He stopped his monologue and interlocked his slim fingers together placed them under his chin and proceeded to stare at her. He hadn’t asked a question and he didn’t expect her to ask one; he simply stayed like that for quite a few seconds, and started talking again only when he deemed the pause dramatic enough.   

 “We are going to investigate her death. I want the complete works; background checks, profiles, interviews, photos- if possible. I want you to write the story.”    

“Why me? I didn’t know her until two seconds ago.”   

 “That’s one of the reasons I want you to do it, the other more obvious reason is that you’re the best journalist here.” He stopped her with another over-dramatic hand gesture, as she was about to protest. “Now, now. No need to be humble. It is an undeniable fact that you have the best mind to pursue her story. And I’m sure that you’d do your best.”   



 From what little Mr. Johnson was told by the police, Trina’s lifeless body had been found lying limp on her bed with empty prescription bottles next to her. Confronted with this scene, the police had been quick to declare her death a suicide, but Johanna -upon Mr. Johnson’s persistence-was to treat it as anything but. She had argues with her boss that it was the police’s responsibility. But he assured her that it was their job and responsibility as journalists to unveil the truth- reminding her of Fox Mulder.             



“Detective Blithe, just the man I wanted to see.” She gave him a smile and offered him one of the coffee cups she was holding.    

“Ms. Green.” he said lacking her excitement. “What can I help you with that requires a bribe of coffee?”    

“Not a bribe, just a gesture of good intentions and nice manners.”    “No matter what it’s called I will accept it.” He took a sip of the coffee and settled down at his desk.    

“I want some information-”    

“Uh-oh, it’s always information with you journalists, isn’t it? What is it this time? I cannot give you any more addresses off the record or on the record.” He said the last part louder more for the benefit of himself than hers.    

“I just want some details about the death of Trina Patterson.”    

“Ah, the suicide. I hear she worked at your paper.” His lips tightened in a sad smile. “She was found by her boyfriend after she failed to show up for their breakfast date before work. Cause of death was determined to be a drug overdose enduced by ingesting a concoction of sleeping pills, antidepressants, and barbiturates.”    

“I already knew that. I wanted to know if there was anything unusual about the circumstances of her death, any details that might suggest it wasn’t a suicide.”    

“That’s all I can tell you.”    


“Ms. Green, if you don’t mind, I have a smoke break coming up that I intend to make the most of.”    

Rejected, she left the precinct and instead of taking a cab, she walked into a nearby alley. She hadn’t walked halfway through the alley when the detective emerged from the other side, a file folder stacked under his arm. When he was close enough he handed them to her and proceeded to light a cigarette.    

“You want one?”    

“Thanks, trying to quit.”    

“That must be tough.” He exhaled a puff of cigarette smoke and looked at her peering at the files. “It’s sad, really. We get a lot of that.”    

A picture showed Trina sprawled on her bed, a bottle of wine next to her, one of many prescription bottles in her hand.    

“Must be hard looking at these. Were you close?”    

“No. I didn’t know her at all.”   


“Was the bottle empty?”    

“Yeah, she took every last one of them.”    

“No, I mean the wine.”    

“Oh, almost.” He put the almost finished cigarette to his lips and inhaled again.    

“Did you test the remaining wine?”    

“What for? She took the pills. We don’t even need to test her to know she died of that.”    

“But if the wine was spiked it might mean that she didn’t take the drugs willingly.”    

“Guess so, but some people are too scared to swallow pill after pill and they just solve it in their drink. And putting it in a whole bottle would be hard.”    “Maybe in a glass?”    “There were no glasses in her bedroom.”    “How about the kitchen? If she was murdered, the killer might move the glass to avert your suspicion.”    “That’s one way to look at it.” He took out another cigarette and looked at her pensively. “Why do you think she was murdered?”    “I don’t. My boss is convinced she isn’t the sort of person who would kill herself. He did know her better than I did.”    “Hmm,” he lit his cigarette. “Does he or you have any suspects?”    “Her boyfriend could be a good start.”    “We interviewed him, he didn’t seem suspicious.”    “Does he have a solid alibi?”    “You don’t need an alibi for a suicide.”    “Just check the damn wine. Did you check their correspondence too? Maybe they’d had a fight or maybe there was another person?”    “We have people going through her phone as we speak.”    “Any chance I might have a peak too?”    “It’s not very likely.” He exhaled some smoke, his eyes studying her through the haze of the smoke. The corner of his mouth turned up. “But possibly...”             Mr. Johnson seemed satisfied with the progress Johanna had made obtaining the printed texts and emails through her confidential source.    “I hope getting these didn’t cost you much financially or legally.” He regarded her through his red rimmed glasses.    “It is a journalist’s job to unveil the truth no matter the cost.”    “That’s good.” He smiled.    “I have a good teacher.” His smile widened.             Thanks to Detective Blithe’s ever good intentions and expensive taste, Johanna was skimming Trina’s roller coaster of a relationship with one Jacob Simmons. She had had to cancel a date to work instead, but sipping wine on your own and reading other people’s coy flirtations turn into sexts seemed to her more fulfilling than flirting with a woman she barely knew or cared to know.    The relationship between Trina and Jake played itself out through texts and phone calls , emails and photos. Things started to jump out; interesting pieces of conversation caught her attention among the texts usual of relationships and a pattern started to shape itself. There was distrust and hints of infidelity. Then there was confrontation.    "Who is it?" A text said. "Is it s1 from the paper? Just tell me i can’t take this anymore"    Johanna’s heart beat fast in anticipation as she turned the page, but there was no guilt admitted or secret lovers revealed as she had expected. Trina had not replied, not for another day. And the next text went on as if there was no discussion of infidelity; whatever had been exchanged was said either in person or over a phone call. Johanna needed to unveil the truth or at least the version of the truth Jake would decide to present to her.          The next morning she visited Jake’s work place. He worked at a financing firm in one of the higher floors of the newspaper’s building. He had met Trina at work, possibly on the numerous elevator rides one usually shared with strangers.    Johanna wasn’t surprised to find a receptionist expecting an appointment from her; she had come prepared. She held up a brown paper bag, and smiling shyly said, “Lunch date with my boyfriend.”    Once inside the offices she had no difficulty locating Jake’s cubicle; she had Trina’s emails and photos and he was easily recognizable by his gelled hair and his outfit straight out of a men’s magazine.    

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