Four minutes later, I’m opening the door for Enzo.
“Thank you,” I tell him as he steps inside my small apartment. “I… I didn’t know who else to call.”
“Broccoli is not here to help?” he sneers. I drop my eyes. “No. That’s over.”
His face falls. “I’m sorry. I know you liked the Broccoli.”
Did I? I liked him, but the truth was, every time he told me he loved me, it made my skin crawl. That’s not how you’re supposed to feel about your significant other. Brock was just about perfect, but I could never fall entirely in love with him—it always felt temporary. I’m sure he’ll make some other woman extremely happy, but it was never going to be me.
“I’m okay,” I finally say. “I’ve got bigger problems right now.”
Enzo follows me into the apartment and we sit together on my ratty futon. When he and I used to live together, our sofa was only slightly better than this one. But I had to give up that apartment when he wasn’t available anymore to pay his half of the rent, and I couldn’t figure out a way to transport the sofa so I left it behind. I try not to think about it right now though. No point in getting pissed off at Enzo when he’s trying to help me.
“The police are saying all kinds of crazy things about me,” I tell him. “Wendy told them I was having an affair with Douglas. It makes no sense, but they twisted all these things that happened to make it look like I was going there to sleep with him.”
Enzo nods slowly. “I told you they are dangerous.” “You said Douglas Garrick was dangerous.”
“Not the same thing,” I say. “In fact, when I was watching the news just now, I realized something. The man who hired me, who called himself Douglas Garrick, he’s not the same man on the news. He is somebody entirely different.”
Now Enzo is looking at me like I’ve lost my mind.
“I know that sounds nuts,” I admit. “I hear the words coming out of my mouth, and… Like I said, I know it’s weird. But it was a different guy in that apartment. I’m sure of it.”
The more I think about it, the more certain I feel. But if that wasn’t Douglas, who was it? And where was the real Douglas while this guy was in his house?
Who is the man I murdered?
“So I will tell you something interesting,” Enzo says slowly. “When you told me about the Garricks, I went to look them up. And you know what? That penthouse in Manhattan is not listed as their primary residence.”
“Yes, it is true. This apartment is just extra for them. Their primary residence is a house on Long Island. Well, they say it is a house. It is probably more like a mansion.”
This is starting to make a little bit more sense. If the real Douglas Garrick actually lived out on Long Island, that means it would be easy for two other people to make it look like they were living in the Manhattan apartment. The real Douglas Garrick would never have to know.
“So,” I say, “you believe me?”
Enzo looks affronted. “Of course I believe you!”
“But there’s something you need to know.” I wipe my sweaty hands on my jeans. “The night that Douglas was killed, I saw… Well, I thought I saw him trying to strangle Wendy. I saw someone trying to strangle her in the apartment. And he wouldn’t stop. So I got their gun and I… I shot him. To make him stop.”
I’ve never been much of a crier, but I feel the waterworks coming on for the second time today. Enzo reaches for me, and I sob into his shoulder. He holds me for a long time, letting me cry it out. When I finally pull away, there is a damp stain left behind on his T-shirt.
“Sorry I ruined your shirt,” I say.
He waves a hand. “It is just a little snot. No big deal.”
I drop my eyes. “I just don’t know what I’m going to do. The police think that I killed Douglas Garrick, and even though I know I didn’t, I shot somebody that night. Somebody is dead because of me.”
“That is not certain.” “Of course it is!”
“You think you killed someone,” he points out. “But after you shot him, you went home. Did you check and make sure he is dead? Not breathing? No pulse?”
“I… Wendy said he didn’t have a pulse.” “And we believe Wendy?”
I blink at him. “There was blood, Enzo.”
“Was it blood though? Is easy to fake blood.”
I frown, thinking back to last night. It all happened so fast. The gun fired, Douglas went down, and then there was all that blood spreading under his body. But it’s not like I went and checked him out. I’m not a paramedic. After I shot him, all I wanted to do was get out of there as fast as I could.
Is it possible none of that was real? And if it wasn’t… “She tricked me,” I gasp. “She completely tricked me.”
All that time, I was feeling sorry for her. I was trying to protect her. And meanwhile, she was telling anyone who would listen that I was having an affair with her husband—that was surely why Amber Degraw was grinning at me when she brought up Douglas Garrick that day I ran into her on the street. No wonder that doorman kept winking at me! And nobody knew that I was never alone with Douglas because he was coming in through the back entrance, where there is no doorman or camera.
No, not Douglas. I never even met Douglas Garrick. I have no idea who that other man was.
“Where is Wendy’s house?” I ask him. “I need to talk to her.”
“You think you can go over there?” He shakes his head. “There are one million reporters around her house. And she will not talk to you anyway. If you go there, it will just be more trouble.”
I know he’s right, but it’s still super frustrating. After what she did to me, I just want to look her in the eyes and ask why. But he’s right. Nothing good will come out of driving over there.
“This man who called himself Douglas Garrick…” Enzo rubs his chin. “Do you have any idea how we can find him? This man may be easier to
access than Wendy Garrick.”
“No.” I clench my fists in frustration. “All I know is that his name isn’t Douglas Garrick. I have no idea who he really is.”
“Do you have a photo of him?” “No, I don’t.”
“Think, Millie. There must be something. Maybe a detail about him that is distinctive?”
“No. He’s just a generic middle-aged white guy.” “There must be something…”
I close my eyes, trying to conjure up an image of the man who called himself Douglas Garrick. There was absolutely nothing distinctive about him, and maybe that’s why Wendy chose him. He looks just enough like the real Douglas Garrick.
But Enzo’s right. There must be something… “Wait,” I say. “There is something!”
Enzo raises his eyebrows. “Yes?”
“I saw him go into a building once,” I recall. “He was with another woman. A blond woman. I thought she was some woman he was having an affair with, and maybe he was. But… it was an apartment building. Either he lives there or the woman lives there or…”
“This is good.” Enzo cracks his knuckles. “We will go there and find either him or the woman. Then we will get the truth.”
For the first time since Detective Ramirez was interrogating me at the police station, I feel a spark of hope. Maybe there’s a chance I’ll come out of this with my freedom intact.