Rohan read the clues and got the answer. Well, that is, until he visited his aunt.
|“But Aunty, all the evidence is pointing to him,” Rohan, my twelve-year-old nephew, said.
The two of us were sitting at my circular five-piece pine dining table. We were in my kitchen, and we were eating pepperoni pizza and drinking chocolate milk. Rohan thought that his neighbours’ German Shepherd had been digging up his flower bed.
“But you know that things are not always as they seem,” I said, after slowly swallowing a mouthful of milk.
“I know,” he said, chewing a piece of pizza, “but I’m sure it’s that dog.”
“But have you ever caught the dog?” I asked him.
“No, but I saw him running from the direction of my garden, and his paws were dirty,” he replied before taking another bite of his pizza.
“But Rohan, wouldn’t it be easier and better for you to tell your Dad and for him to have a talk with the neighbours about it?” I asked, chewing slowly.
“I don’t know about that,” he said, “because they only moved in last month, and I heard that the man is kinda mean. He is mean to his wife.”
I looked at my nephew, whose curly hair needed cutting and at his round face that was made more prominent by a mouthful of milk. A smile played at the corner of my lips until it became a big smile.
“What’s so funny?” he asked, frowning at me.
“I’ll tell you a story that my grandmother, your great-grandmother, told me,” I replied.
“What is it about, and is it a long story?” he asked, still frowning at me.
“Well, let me tell it, and you’ll know if it’s long and what it’s all about,” I replied.
“Okay,” he said, shrugging his shoulders.
I smiled at him, and he smiled back.
“My Gran when she was a little girl, not much older than you, lived in a townhouse complex.”
I took a sip of my milk.
“A woman who was always peeping through her neighbours’ windows and gossiping about them and others also lived there.
Well, her neighbours were not too happy with her about that.”
“I wouldn’t be too happy either,” Rohan said.
“But, my Gran said that this lady, her name was Miss Pasty, was a generous person though. She was always sharing food and giving presents to the children and doing other nice things like that.”
I wiped the crumbs off of my hands with a plain white tissue.
“Then one day, during the Spring Break, my Gran’s Mom became sick with the flu and was laid up in bed for a few days.”
I sipped some more milk.
“My Gran didn’t know why, but for some reason, Miss Pasty became convinced that Gran’s Dad had done something bad to her Mom,” I continued.
“Really?” Rohan asked. “Something like what?”
“She, thought… brace yourself for this,” I said, putting my palms down on the table, “she thought that he had murdered her.”
“What?” Rohan exclaimed, his eyes growing big.
“Yes,” I said, nodding my head.
I had gotten his full attention now, and I continued.
“On Friday morning of that week, shortly after her Dad had gone to work, the doorbell rang, but my Gran was in the shower, and her Mom had gone back to bed.”
“So no one answered?” Rohan stated, more than asked.
“Yes, no one answered,” I said, “and my Gran later found out that it was her neighbour, Miss Pasty, who had knocked.”
I wiped my mouth with the tissue.
“So, she went and asked some of the neighbours if they had seen them recently,” I continued, “but except for seeing her Dad, no one had seen my Gran or her Mom recently.”
“But she was sick, didn’t that occurred to anyone?” Rohan said, exasperated.
“A few of the neighbours suggested it. However, Miss Pasty believed that a more sinister work was at hand,” I said, changing the tone of my voice.
I continued, “so, she called the cops and reported it. They told her to come down to the Police Station and make a report, and they will do a wellness check into the matter. So, she decided to do so the following day, but the next morning, when she was walking around the complex, she saw the cops talking to my Gran’s Dad in the parking lot.”
“They came out?” Rohan asked in amazement.
“Well, even though they told her to come down to the station and make a report, and she said she would the following day, when Miss Pasty saw the cops talking to Gran’s Dad, she assumed that they had still come out,” I continued.
Rohan had forgotten the pizza on his plate as he stared at me.
“So, she rushed over to her daughter’s home to tell her about the latest development in the case. You see, one of her daughters and her husband were also living in the complex.”
“Okay,” Rohan said, nodding.
“Well, her daughter’s husband was away due to work, but her daughter was at home, and Miss Pasty was not in the house for more than five minutes when a knock came on the door.”
“Who was it?” Rohan asked, folding his hands across his chest.
“It was a few cops, but not any of the ones that Miss Pasty had seen,” I replied
“What?” Rohan asked.
“Yes, and they were there to arrest Miss Pasty’s daughter for hiring someone to kill her husband.”
“What? Wow,” Rohan cried, throwing his arms into the air and jumping backwards in his chair all at the same time.
“She didn’t get to hurt him, though, because she had hired an undercover cop who was working on just such crimes.”
“This is mind-blowing,” Rohan said, his eyes growing huge again.
“Then just as the cops were taking Miss Pasty’s daughter to their vehicle and Miss Pasty was walking behind them to follow them to the Police Station to see about her daughter, she saw my Gran, her Mom and her Dad, walking towards their vehicle.”
“Wow, that is brutal,” Rohan said.
“Yes, it was,” I said.
“But wait,” Rohan said, frowning slightly, “but why were the two cops talking to Gran’s dad?”
“They were investigating a hit and run that had occurred in the parking lot two days before, so they were just asking him if he had seen anything,” I replied.
My nephew shook his head.
“That’s quite a story,” he said.
“Yes, it is, but did you get the point I am trying to make?” I asked him.
He nodded his head slowly.
“I think so, and you’re right, I’ll just tell Dad about it and have him go over and talk with our neighbours because that would be the best thing to do,”
“I’m glad to hear that,” I said, smiling, “now, finish up your pizza and let’s get these dishes into the sink before you show me this new website you were talking about.”