“Ma’am, can you tell me where you were on Saturday between 10 and 3?” the male police officer said.
We sat in the sunroom. I was on the loveseat facing the French doors to the backyard where the light was coming in. That is why we call it the sunroom. The two police officers were on the chairs on the other side of the glass table. It seemed like the big, burly one with the hair pulled back slick in a ponytail had trouble fitting into the seat, but I had already told him he could put the three throw pillows on the floor if he wanted. The lady officer was petite with short blond hair. She looked adorable in her uniform outfit but couldn’t talk. None of them had wanted anything though I had offered them both coffee and tea and water with melon and white wine. I guess police officers are not allowed to drink and drive.
“Yes, of course,” I said, “Anything I can do to help. Horrible, horrible thing, this. Well, Miriam had a soccer game, and I am the team mom, so we were there around 9, even though the game wasn’t until 10, but it always takes the kids some time to settle in and get ready and get warmed up and whatnot. Of course, I brought Benji along because he is so little, and also Henry because that’s what you do when you’re a family. You support each other. And we won the game 7-4 even though those Redondo players looked like teenagers; I swear one of them had a five o’clock shadow, but the teams are still small, and the goalie is al--”
“Ma’am, what about after the game?”
“Well, after the game, I took the kids home. I fed them snacks and cool water with melon from the fridge. I put Benji down for a nap and told Miriam to keep an eye on him while she watched some kind of sitcom on her iPad with her earbuds in. Henry was already lost in his Gameboy, and then he can’t be reached until the batteries run out.
I am a good mother. I wouldn’t say I am the best, that is for others to decide, but I’m coming pretty damn cl--”
“And what about your husband?” the police officer said. “Where was he?”
“Oh, on Saturdays, Matt is golfing with some buddies, and he didn’t come home until late and fell right into bed because he was sloshed. I shouldn’t tell you that he drove himself home, so let’s just say he didn’t. It breaks my heart when parents don’t treat their kids right. When they hit them. When they yell at them. When they belittle them in front of others. Once Nanny, my sister-in-law, her name is Nanette, but we call her Nanny because who is called Nanette? I mean, it doesn’t roll right off--”
“And where were you in the afternoon, Ma’am?”
“You really don’t have to Ma’am me,” I said, “you can just call me Lizzie. Everybody does. Now, my actual name is Elizabeth, but that is just too long to say. Elizabeth, Elizabeth, Eli--”
“Afternoon, yes. So, after the kids, I went to change my clothes out of the team t-shirt and shorts I had on at the soccer field and into some cropped yoga pants and a peach sports top. Peach is my favorite color, not salmon, but peach. I have so many things in peach, t-shirts, dresses, flip-flops, a hat even, underwear--”
“Sorry, got a little off-track there, Officer; what is that? Ko-ne-o-be, wow, is that Native American?”
“Big Island, Ma’am,” the officer said, “Saturday afternoon?”
“Ah, yes,” I said, “then I put on some running shoes and a cap and packed a fanny pack with what I needed, and then I walked over to Sam’s house, it’s only two streets over, so no need to fire up the minivan, and I also knew no one would notice if I just walked because I’m always walking the neighbor--”
“Sam’s house?” the officer said. “As in Samantha Blakely, the victim?”
“Yes, yes,” I said, “I was getting to that. Sam and I’ve been sorta friends, but after how she screamed and yelled at poor Jacob. He’s only nine, for God’s--”
“And what time would you say you got to the Blakely house, Mrs. Brown?”
“Oh, it was probably around one-fifteen, one-twenty,” I said, “I didn’t wear my Apple watch because I didn’t want to leave a trail. All those devices give you away, don’t they? And then people worry about microchips in vaccines when they are glued to their pho--”
“And,” said the officer, “was Mrs. Blakely alive when you got there?”
“Yes,” I said, “she was alive, alright, but then I took care of that, too, didn’t I?”
That was when time stopped. The two police officers were staring at each other, and I don’t know if the police have some secret winking, but they must have because how can they otherwise communicate without a suspect hearing them? It’s not as if they can just switch into pig Latin as we do with the kids, and even Miriam is picking up on that now. She gets so grown, that girl. Pretty soon we’re gonna have to go shopping for training bras, if they have those anymore, or she can just use sports bras instead because really they’re the same, and you can get so many cute colors these days, like soft mint and yellow and peach and--
“What do you mean,” Officer Cutiepie then said because she could, in fact, speak, “that you took care of it?”