Part 3: Love You Less
An hour later after the encounter. Olivia went into her bedroom to try and calm down but she couldn't hide her hurt. She started to sob and didn’t stop for what seemed like hours.
Bella, in her own room, suddenly felt the walls pulse and vibrate. Olivia was playing her music so loud Bella could feel it in her chest. Bella barged into Olivia's room to try and find out what was going on.
“Hey!” yelled Bella, “Turn down the-” Bella couldn't finish her sentence. She noticed Olivia had tears streaming down her cheeks and had a small notebook open in front of her. Olivia was writing in her journal.
“What's wrong?” asked Bella.
Olivia slammed her journal shut and hid it under her bed. “I can't tell you!” cried Olivia.
Bella knew not to ask about her journal. It was a personal thing and Bella wanted to respect her roommates privacy. So, she decided to ask a more important question.
“But we are still friends, aren't we?” asked Bella.
“Yes, but-” Olivia started.
“You know I'll always be here for you.” interrupted Bella, “as your friend.” She added. “Please, lean on me as your friend.” Bella wanted to comfort her friend without giving her the wrong impression.
Olivia was sensitive towards Bellas words and allowed herself to sob harder. Olivia knew she would always have Bella as a friend. But, Olivia wanted more than that and she was struggling with accepting that she couldn't have Bella.
“I hope everything works out between you and Logan.” Olivia managed through her tears sounding hurt but sincere.
“Thank you, that means a lot. I hope someday someone finds you as remarkable as I do.” smiled Bella as she wiped away Olivia's tears.
Bella acted as if nothing had happened between her and Olivia the next day. Her feeling towards Olivia were complicated but she knew she had strong feelings for Logan and wanted to continue her relationship with him.
She picked up her phone and called Logan to see if he would be available for another date. She suppressed an excited breath when Logan answered the phone.
“Hello?” Logan answered
“Hi, its Bella.” She could barely contain herself. “Would you like to go out on a date with me next week?”
“Where to?” Logan asked without hesitation.
“Kayaking in the lake.” () replied Bella
“I would love to.” Logan’s voice was warm and genuine
Two Days Later...
Bella considered the best way to approach the problem at hand. She decided to sit down on the dock beside the kayak seat, and put her feet in the boat. She turned her body facing forward and gripped onto the dock so she wouldn't fall. Next, she slowly slid her body to sit on the seat of the kayak.
Logan smiled and gave a slow approving clap. “Nice job.” He said only half teasing. Then it was his turn. He was bigger than Bella, so it was a little harder for him to balance. But he was also more confident and made it look a lot smoother. Smoother to Bella, at least. They grabbed their paddles and began on their way to the middle of the lake. Bella grabbed onto Logan’s waste and squeezed him tight for a moment as Logan rubbed her arm until Bella released him. Then, Logan pulled his camera out of his camera bag. He supported the lens of the camera with his right hand, adjusting it while his left hand held onto the cameras body. When the camera was steady and his vision clear Logan looked through the lens.
“What a sight.” Bella said, her voice filled with awe.
“Yeah, it’s beautiful” Logan commented without looking away from the viewer, “like you.”
Logan thought a shot of Bella against the crystal lake in their red kayak would make for beautiful picture. Bella watched him slowly turn the camera, looking through the lens to properly frame her. She saw his face bunched in concern through the viewfinder
“We have to go and we have to go now.” Logan’s voice was edged with panic.
“What? what is it? What’s wrong?” Bella’s voice was filled with worry as the serenity of their moment was broken. Bella turned but couldn’t see what had caused Logan so much distress. “Please tell me whats wrong.”
“I’ll explain when we get back to the dock. I need you to try not to panic. I need you to be strong.” He said, regaining some of his composure. “Will you show me that you are strong?” asked Logan.
“Yes! Yes, I will do that. But why?” asked Bella
“You will see.” replied Logan, deflecting Bella’s questions.
When Logan and Bella got back to the dock they saw a shape floating in the water nearby, surrounded in deep red. A body. A dead woman's body. The woman was naked. with long wavy brunette hair, and her body was missing everything from the waist down. The expression on the dead woman’s face was one of shock. The woman’s mouth and eyes were wide open and Bella felt like she was staring right at her.
“No! No!” Panicked Bella.
She knew she has broken Logan's promise but she felt terrified. Her knees became weak and gave out from under her. Logan caught her as she cried out, holding her to both steady her and comfort her.
Logan’s voice was dry and barely hid his own fear from Bella. “Whoever did this has a lot of hate inside them.” He held Bella close as she buried her face against him to hide herself from the awful site of only half a body. “We have to go.” He said gently after a moment. “I have to call the authorities.”
Logan made sure that Bella was safe before he took the time to call the authorities. He didn’t know where the man in blue had gone, but he didn’t want to take any chances. He drove to a nearby diner and parked the car in front of the front window. He went in to get Bella some coffee, making sure the whole restaurant could see her from where she sat.
“I’m going to stand out here and phone the police.” He told her in a soft soothing voice. “I’ll be right here. You can see me from the car. I won’t leave your sight. The people inside can see you, too. You are safe. Nothing will happen to you.”
Bella nodded, sipping slowly at the coffee for its comforting warmth and watched Logan as he took out his cell phone. She couldn’t hear him from inside the car. Frankly, she was glad. She didn’t want to be a part of the conversation.
Logan’s hands shook as he looked up the number for the police station. He had found his own comfort in comforting Bella, being strong for her, but now his own lifeline was far and the fear was creeping back. Logan was broken from his drifting thoughts when someone on the other end of the line picked up.
“This is Blue mound police department, is this an emergency?” the curt voice asked.
Logan mulled for a moment. “No. I am calling to report a crime. A murder.”
“Please hold” There is a series of soft clicks on the phone.
“This is detective Scott . Homicide. You wish to report a murder?”
“Yes. My… my friend and I were kayaking in Patriots lake and on our return to the dock we found a body.” Logan paused to recover, “Its pretty mangled.”He managed.
“A body. Mhm.” Detective Kevin's voice was almost upsettingly calm to Logan. “Are you and your friend still at the scene?”
“No, but we are close by. We moved up the road a ways. At the Lakeside Diner.” Logan explained.
“I know the place. Me and some officers will meet you there, if you wouldn’t mind. So you could show us where the body is. And some questions.” There was no question in the detectives voice. He expected them there.
“Of course.” Logan then added quickly before the detective could hang up. “I saw someone, a man in blue, fleeing the scene.”
“Could you describe him?”
“I could try.” Logan said without confidence. “I saw him through the viewfinder on my camera.”
“We will bring a sketch artist along then. Stay put. We will be there shortly.” The detective hung up without waiting for a reply
Author: Jessica Bensen
Editor: Mark Smith