The beginning of my journey detective where I gather clues to crack the case.
|I would say that reading is a guilty pleasure of mine. That is not to say that reading is looked down upon in my household for it is quite the opposite. I say that it is a guilty pleasure for if you were to ask me what my least favorite subject in school is I would respond “reading” and if you asked my opinion on it I would say that it is bad. For this reason reading is a guilty pleasure since, to anyone who isn’t my immediate family, I dislike reading. I would probably pay a good sum of money to see the looks on people's faces if they were to see how avid I am a reader for it has already come in my life to see the utter shock on someone’s face as they have been discovered by me. This tale of mine goes back to primary school where I met a girl named Emily.
Back in primary school I was not sociable and had, but a few friends. I still continue this ritual of having a few friends for that it insures that each friendship will last long and that there will be a strong bond between you both. While I was in class the girl Emily was not unlike myself both not being very sociable and not having many friends. I knew her only a little since we were classmates that never got the chance to sit next to each other and only ever talked when we were forced to, such as when the teacher would pair people up to do work. However to me I knew her well enough to know that something was wrong when she and a group of friends missed the wednesday classes 2 weeks in a row.
From what I had seen she was a very studious person and didn’t step out of line other than talking to her friends during class time so the situation seemed odd. I got even more odd however when she kept on missing school days by herself every single wednesday and it was around that moment when she was the only person not to show up to class that piqued my interest. I was always fascinated with the world of mysteries, from sherlock holmes to true crime, the processes and the lengths to which people would take to both stay hidden and to figure out was always amusing to me. As far back as I can remember this is the first time that I had ever actually put my own understanding of the world of crime solving to the test and is the first time I ever took up the nom de gurre of Sherlock Enigma which would eventually become my nom de plume.
It just so happened that I had a friend whose cousin was also in the class by the name of Sofia. She was friends with Emily and went to me to try to get more information about her friend.
“Hey do you know anything about Emily missing?”
“Probably as much as you.” I replied and then she left. I was curious so, being the nosey person that I am, I went up and asked her about it.
“Actually I think that I can help.”said I.
“Tell me about your missing friend.”.
Now this was before I had read Sherlock Holmes and merely knew the name, so I was yet to adopt his mannerisms, but did use a form of his methods. Though to this day I am embarrassed at the execution of this case and how obvious the answer was before I noticed it.
“Well okay.” she paused for a moment
“I missed 2 wednesdays in a row because of my parents’ jobs and so they couldn’t take me to school. And when I came back she just started going missing every wednesday”.
The entire time I couldn’t help, but get the feeling that she was uneasy about something. “Maybe Emily isn’t mentally okay”
I thought to myself, which looking back at it now was a profoundly stupid mistake by me in basic deduction.
I walked over to Emily when I got the chance a little bit later; she seemed startled which at first I didn’t think much of, but my suspicion arose when she said that she had a club that day. I of course asked her what she did in the club disguising my question as a personal interest thing when she went
“you wouldn’t like it”
I of course insisted in knowing to which said:
“It’s umm dance”.
After that exchange I bid her farewell and went back to my desk as class was about to start, but without forgetting the things that had unfolded.
I gathered 2 things mainly from that conversation which was 1. She was definitely doing something that wasn’t dance and 2. That she was an awful liar. While her voice being shaky and her being nervous was normal for her when talking to someone that she didn’t know it was the things that she said that were an instant tip off. She had stated that she was going to a dance club and while there are those types of places here they don’t operate during school hours, but it was the fact that she had stated that she was going to the dance club since that would mean she and her friends all went for only 2 weeks apparently and then left her by herself. Of course that didn’t really happen and the fact that she was willing to lie about what she was doing piqued my interest even more than before because now I wanted to know what was really going on.
The next few days I kept on eavesdropping on their conversations at any point where I could hear them, but the topic never came up. I thought about asking her friends about it, but I would quickly realise how odd that question would be so I avoided it. Then I realised something small that in reality was huge. What I noticed told me that the school was already informed about her absences. What I had noticed was the peculiar thing that she wasn’t awaited for on wednesdays as the bus driver would say
“Thats all of them”
After picking kids up after giving a quick head count I noticed that on wednesdays he wouldn’t count Emily even though she would be counted every other day.
“Perhaps she really is going to dance class.”
I thought to myself, but something still just didn’t sit right with me. I could go and tell her “I know you’re not going to dance club”
But I dont have the most intimidating looks and with the new information I had become unsure.
I was certain however that there had to be some deceit in what she was telling me since there were inconsistencies in her story and even if part of a story checks out part is simply not enough. The more elusive the puzzle the more it intrances me, so I was thinking hard about what could possibly be the explanation after school, but could come up with no logical answer with a concrete basis.
“I must get more evidence”
I thought to myself, but I didn’t know how.
The next day I had a new question on my mind which was
“How do I get evidence”
I thought for a while during the morning while other students were coming in when I got a plan to get a bit more information out of her without actually asking her any directly.
The plan was simple, but it would take some time to come to fruition since timing is everything. In the time I had before my next move I thought about what ways I could execute this plan until I came to the perfect way. All that was needed from there was to wait.
It was Tuesday and I was waiting for dismissal as I did every day, but for another reason. As the day came to a close and we got our stuff from the lockers inside the classroom I approached her with a small line that could lead to a whirlwind of information.
“Have fun at dance today.”.
“Oh uh yeah thanks”.
She seemed confused which was good news for me since she didn’t suspect me. I waited then to see her interact with her mother as she was picked up. She seemed uneasy as if something was just brought to mind. As if it was a beautiful Sunday and then you were reminded that you needed to go to school to-morrow. That had given me enough information to know that she was up to no good.
I felt as if the conclusion was just out of reach and that I was just missing that one piece of the puzzle that would make it all come together. Whoever before I could go back into thinking about gathering evidence I instead spent the day pondering the new facts that had arisen.
The next day I got on the bus not thinking too much about anything until we stopped on Emily’s block. I Got to see the usual faces that got on, but couldn’t help to have my eye drawn to Emily’s house. As I looked I noticed that her mom’s car just began to drive off, which I knew from seeing her get picked up, and I saw the door of the fence in her backyard open up.
I was fortunate enough to snatch the backseat on the bus and so I was able to get a more lasting view which was when I saw what was the door from her fence open. In that moment I saw the entire story begin to unravel, but couldn’t fully unravel it until after class. The day seemed to drag on from there and was filled with boring lectures about boring things that I didn’t care so much to lend a decimal of my attention to for my attention was on the case at hand. I feel that if it weren't for my friends that I wouldn’t have been able to survive the school day. After some thought I realized that something just didn’t add up and that someone was lying, which I knew was Emily, but there was something else that was wrong about Sofia's story.
I went up to Sofia and asked
“Tell me what really happened.”
“Huh!? What do you mean?”
“I know that there is something wrong with your story so tell me.”
“I promise I wont tell I just need to know the real story to figure things out”
“Okay, but I'll never talk to you again if you do tell.”
“Well I really convinced her to ditch school with me for the two wednesdays when we were both gone, but I swear that’s everything else that I know.”
“That is enough.”
Afet getting out of school I pretty much instantly got to thinking about the new developments that had happened. After arriving at my house and lying in my bed I went downstairs from my room to lunch so that I could eat and it was after lunch when I started to connect dots in my head to form the bigger picture. Laying in my bed and closing my eyes and falling deep into my imagination trying to figure out what had happened. I had gotten sure enough to figure out a story of what could possibly have happened and I knew just the way to test it.
I was going to leave a note in her locker. I had made the note to leave in her locker where she would see Emily on it and she would then open it to see.
I have found that you have been skipping school. Do not worry I will not tell anyone. I have been assigned your case from a worried person that you know. They were worried because they didn’t know what was happening to you every wednesday. They told me what they knew and I did the rest.
I think that you should stop covering your tracks now and just say that you quit dance class because they are covered up enough now.
If you ever need a mystery solved then come find me.
A note that I both smile and cringe at reading today, for it marked the very beginning of my career, but it is also very cringe worthy and cant help, but to want to slam my head into a wall reading it to try to forget about it. You might also have realised that at the time I had not added the L into my name that is because this was before I knew of what would become one of my favorite detectives ever, but that is for another time.
After leaving the note I went and Sofia and told her the answer to her quandary
“I figured out the mystery.”
“Oh really! What happened.” her eyes seeming to light up as she said that.
“She has been skipping school these past few days.”
“But she’s not counted in the school bus.” I was surprised when she said that; if anything goes to show how I really wasn’t smarter than anyone else back then, but simply put more effort into doing work.
“I’m pretty sure that she somehow got the school to think that she goes to dance on those days since I saw her skipping school with my very own eyes.”
“Oh okay.” as she said that I turned around before.
“Why would she do that?”
“I believe that she was trying to cover up her tracks so that she didn’t look guilty after skipping class with you in order to not look bad.”. After that she simply gave out an “oh” and I went back to waiting for the next day to come.
The next day I woke up excited to finally see all my work come to its conclusion. Emily came in right on time and began shaking as she opened her locker. I calmed down and merely was giving her a glance, but inside I was about to explode. I saw her confusion as she opened the note and the priceless look on her face as she got to the end of the note.
She turned around and examined the class room to try to see who Sherlock Enigma was. She quickly turned back and continued with putting her stuff back into her locker. I couldn’t think of a better thing to do at that moment, but to crumple up a piece of paper in a ball and throw it at her feet. When she opened it it only said
“Elementary my dear Emily.”
And then I continued on with my day.
To this day I love retelling this story and thinking about how my career started. I think about the irony of how Emily’s need to be the perfect student that never steps out of line led her to step out of line even more than she already had just to keep the reputation. I also think about how she was too embarrassed at not being able to do something bad once made her less “cool” as her friends and how it led her to do the smart thing, even if poorly executed. Overall it is one of my favorite things to reminisce on and now that I have put it down on paper I hope that this story may have the same effect on you.