Chapter no 69

The Housemaid's Secret (The Housemaid, Book 2)

It must be Detective Rodriguez. He called me hours ago, back when I was in the city, to let me know they were going to arrest Millie. I’m hoping this is a follow-up call to let me know that she is safely behind bars.

Hopefully, this will not be as upsetting as the last call.

“Hello?” I say into the phone, trying to sound like a heartbroken widow. Those acting classes I took in college are paying off. I deserve an Academy award for my performance in front of Millie.

“Mrs. Garrick?” It’s Rodriguez’s voice. “This is Detective Rodriguez.” “Hello, Detective. I’m hoping you have that woman who killed my

husband safely behind bars!”

“Actually…” Oh Lord, now what? “We have not been able to locate Wilhelmina Calloway. We came to her apartment with an arrest warrant, and she wasn’t there.”

“Well, where is she?”

“If we knew, we would have arrested her, wouldn’t we?”

Again, I feel that skip in my chest. “What are you doing to find that woman? She’s very dangerous, you know.”

“Don’t worry. We’re going to track her down eventually. I promise.” “Good. I’m glad you have a handle on things.”

“But there’s one other thing I need to talk to you about, Mrs. Garrick.” What now? I glance in the direction of the bathroom. I don’t know why

Russell is still in there when he knows I’ve gotten out. He’s going to get all pruny. “Of course, Detective.”

“So here’s the thing.” Rodriguez clears his throat. “The building manager for the penthouse has been out of town the last two days. Over in

Europe, and we couldn’t get a hold of him. Anyway, I finally talked to him this afternoon, and he told me something really interesting.”


“He said that there’s a security camera at the back door of the building.” I think my heart stops for a good five seconds. “Excuse me?”

“Somehow we missed it,” he says. “He says he puts it out of sight because the residents don’t like to feel like they’re getting spied on. And here’s the funny part—your husband was the one who provided the security equipment from his company about a year ago, because he was worried about that back entrance.”

“He… he did?” I choke out. There is a crash that seems to be coming from the bathroom, followed by a splash of water, but I ignore it. If Russell tried to get out of the bathroom and fell, he’s just going to have to get up on his own.

“Yeah, and we just got done reviewing all the tapes. And it’s crazy— according to those tapes, your husband hasn’t been in that apartment in months. Like, the entire time Miss Calloway was working there. So I don’t know how she was having an affair with him in the apartment if he was never even there. You know?”

My mouth feels almost too dry to get out any words, but I manage to say, “Maybe they were meeting somewhere else?”

“Maybe. Except I don’t see any credit card bills for hotel rooms or anything like that.”

“Of course he wouldn’t pay with his credit card. Then I would see it. He probably paid cash.”

“You might be right,” Rodriguez concedes. “But here’s the really crazy part. The night that your husband was murdered, he didn’t show up at the back entrance until after the time when the doorman saw Millie leaving the building.”

“That… that’s strange…”

If he saw that footage, he must also know I was in the building at the same time Douglas was murdered. And if he knows that, I’m in very deep trouble.

“Listen,” he says, “I was wondering if you could come to the station to clear up some confusion on our parts. We’re sending a squad car over to your house.”

“I… I’m not at my house right now…”

“Oh yeah? Where are you then?”

I pull the phone away from my ear. Detective Ramirez’s voice sounds suddenly distant: “Hello? Mrs. Garrick?”

I press the red button to end the call and drop the phone on the counter, like it might scald me. I lean over the kitchen sink, pushing away a wave of nausea and dizziness.

I can’t believe there was a camera at the back door. I asked specifically about it, and I was told there wasn’t one. But that was before Douglas so kindly provided one, because of course he would do something like that— that’s the kind of concerned, generous, technology-loving geek my husband was. Or maybe it was yet another attempt to document me screwing around behind his back.

If there was a camera, it will be enough to exonerate Millie. And place a very big nail in my coffin.

I rub my temples, which have started to throb. I have to figure out a way to spin this, because I am not spending the rest of my life in prison. But I have some ideas. I already played the role of the abused wife so well for Millie. I’ll just have to tell the story of my terrible, abusive husband. Maybe on that fateful night, he was coming at me, ready to beat me senseless, and I did what I had to do. Self-defense is legal—it was him or me.

This could work.

“Russell!” I call out. “We need to talk.”

Russell is a huge complication. If the police went through the video feed of the back door, they would have seen him entering that night as well. But perhaps there’s nothing to tie him to me directly. He and I have to get our stories straight. I hope he isn’t a baby about this whole thing. I can imagine him breaking down and telling the police the entire sordid story.

I sprint over to the bathroom. Russell is not going to be happy to hear this—it was too much to expect entirely smooth sailing. We will get through this, one way or another. I’ve been in bad jams before and got out of them.

“Russell,” I say again, “what—”

As I walk into the doorway of the bathroom, the first thing I see is all the red. So much red, swimming before my eyes. The water in the tub that used to be clear, bordering on foggy, is now a deep crimson color. I lift my eyes and locate the source of the blood, coming from a gaping wound on Russell’s throat.

And then I look at his face. At his slack jaw. At his eyes, staring straight ahead, unblinking.

You'll Also Like