Carrie pulled into her driveway and turned off her lights. There wasn’t anything special about her two-bedroom bungalow, but with the snow on the rooftop it did look charming. She got out and braced herself for the inevitable attack of Waffle as soon as she walked in the door.
Sure enough, as she turned the key to the front door, there was Waffle to greet her. Waffle was a shaggy haired, ninety-pound mutt that she had rescued from a shelter two years earlier. He barreled down the hall to her as she opened the door, white-grey hair flying as he ran. Carrie scratched his head as she walked into the kitchen and poured his dinner, and then she went and sat on the couch.
She pulled out the mug handle and ran her fingers over it, wondering if the mug had been the murder weapon, and if it was, how the murderer had not noticed this piece missing when he cleaned up. Carrie put it in the small wooden box on her coffee table.
She opened her laptop and googled Mary-Anne’s name. Her Facebook popped up, and Carrie clicked on her page. She saw a lot of posts expressing sympathy for Mary-Anne’s family, but Carrie ignored those and clicked on the relationship status section. She saw that Mary-Anne had been in a relationship with a boy named Connor Dalton. She clicked on his page, and was surprised that she didn’t see any mention of Mary-Anne’s death. All she saw were selfies of Connor, and that he had about fifty friends. She thought it was strange, but he was only seventeen. There wasn’t a reason for him to have a lot of friends on Facebook being from such a small town, and just because he wasn’t mourning on Facebook didn’t mean he didn’t care about Mary-Anne’s death.
Carrie shut her laptop and got ready to go to bed.
She laid awake that night for what seemed like hours, and when she finally did get some sleep, it was fitful and full of dreams about the previous day’s occurrences.
The next day was uneventful. Carrie cleaned up the backroom after she was given the go-ahead by the police department.
Mary-Anne’s funeral was to be the next day, and she had resolved to go for several reasons. The first reason being that she had been Mary-Anne’s employer and she was a sweet girl and Carrie wanted to pay her respects; the second reason being, that she wanted to see if Connor would be there. She wanted to see him for herself.
At 3:00 p.m. the following day, Carrie stood at Mary-Anne’s graveside. Mary-Anne’s mom, two brothers, and grandmother were on the front row, along with who Carrie assumed to be Mary-Anne’s best friend, a young girl looking to be sixteen or seventeen. While Carrie saw a lot of teenagers around, there were no teenage boys with white blonde hair that looked like the Connor she saw on Facebook.
After the service, Carrie gave her condolences to the family, and when the girl friend of Mary-Anne’s was alone for a brief moment, Carrie approached her.
“Hi, I’m Carrie. Mary-Anne worked for me at my shop,” Carrie introduced herself.
“Hi, I’m Noel. Mary-Anne talked about you a lot. She thought you were nice” said Noel.
“That’s so sweet, she was a good girl, and I feel awful about what happened,” expressed Carrie. “Do the police have any idea who could have done such an awful thing?”
“I don’t think so,” said Noel. “She was my best friend; I just want this monster in jail.”
“I do too,” said Carrie. “I know she had a boyfriend; is he here today?”
“No, he’s not,” Noel said kind of surprised, “He lives in California. I’ve never met him.”
Carrie once again expressed her sympathies, and she excused herself. Walking back to her car, she wondered if anyone else in Mary-Anne’s life had ever met Connor either.