Holly yawned and rolled over in bed. “What is it?” she asked sleepily.
“Your phone’s ringing,” Amy mumbled from under her blankets.
Holly groaned and pulled herself out of bed. She walked sluggishly to the coffee table and rummaged around for her purse. She pulled it out from under a stack of papers and took out the phone. “Hello?” she yawned.
“Holly? This is Evelyn.”
“Evelyn…” Holly paused to yawn again. “Is something wrong?”
“I need you to come over right away.”
“What? Now? Do you know what time it is?” Holly wasn’t entirely sure herself what time it was but she knew it was much too early for this.
“I know. I’m sorry to wake you. But this really can’t wait. It’s extremely important.”
Holly rubbed her eyes blearily. “Fine. I’ll be right over.” She hung up.
Amy poked her head out from the covers.
“What was that all about?”
Holly shook her head. “I’m not sure. Evelyn wants me to come over for some reason.”
“Yes. She didn’t say why. But I suppose I’d better go.”
“Do you want me to come with you?” asked Amy, a little concerned.
“No. Go back to sleep. I’ll back be soon.”
Peter watched as Evelyn paced back and forth along the living room. It felt rather freeing to have handed the problem off to someone else. She was the one in charge of this situation and it felt good. There were other implications to the situation of course. The police would make their statement and Peter wasn’t entirely sure how it would affect…everything. He supposed it would depend on how easily people believed it. But still. Things could be different. Very different for him at least. He wasn’t sure he was ready for that. Which was perverse. What kind of person could feel reluctant for change, when that change meant people no longer thought of you as a murderer? He pushed the thought away.
“Yes?” he glanced up at Evelyn.
“You realize that this might not go the way you want it to.”
He frowned. “I don’t understand what you mean.”
“Holly loved this man. She was going to marry him. If she chose to never really trust anyone ever again would it be a surprise? And since you’re close to what’s happened, she may not want to see you, let alone…well anything else.”
Peter stood up angrily. “You think that’s the reason I’m here? You believe I want to manipulate this situation, essentially taking advantage of Holly, so I can take Alan’s place?”
Evelyn held up a soothing hand. “I didn’t mean it like that. I just think you should consider that perhaps that this could go very badly and be prepared for it. And I want you to realize that Holly may have a difficult time coming to terms with it.”
Peter nodded. “I know. Maybe I shouldn’t be here when you tell her. It might make it easier.”
“I do think it would be best if you weren’t in the room,” Evelyn agreed. “But I’d like you close by. Perhaps you could go into the den when she arrives.”
Evelyn continued to pace.
“You’re very worried,” observed Peter.
She glanced at him. “When you found out the truth about Layla, what she was really like, was it easy for you?”
Peter looked away. “It was a slow process.”
“I know.” said Evelyn. “But it’s not any easier when it’s fast. The problem is love doesn’t work logically. You can’t just tell yourself the person you loved never really existed, it was just some personality you imposed on the stranger standing in front of you. Your head can think it but your heart is another matter. You still love them. And that’s what hurts the worst. Loving someone that would do or say those things. It makes you question yourself.”
“Holly has to go through all that. I hate it.” There was a knock on the door and Evelyn sighed. “That will be her. The den is right through there.” She watched Peter leave the room before approaching the front door. She squared her shoulders, and opened it.