The car couldn’t go fast enough. Christopher had received a call from his stepmother between classes. It had only been three days since they last spoke to each other. Christopher had a good relationship with his parents. He wondered what the call was about.
There was no way Christopher would have guessed the news. Now, he was speeding toward the medical examiner’s office.
What could have happened? I thought the doctor had treated Erika properly.
Christopher remembered the last time he had stopped by Erika’s apartment. It was on Monday of the previous week. She had looked pale, but on the mend. How had his sister died?
Luckily, the city was small. Christopher rushed into the office’s parking lot. He barely got into a space before making his way toward the entrance. Inside, there was a receptionist behind a counter. To the right was a woman in a white coat. She was talking to an officer.
“May I help you?” the receptionist asked.
“I’m Christopher Holt. They called me here to see…to check on…my sister.”
The receptionist checked records on her computer. Then he nodded.
“You may pass. Ms. Lange, Christopher Holt is here.”
The woman and the cop walked toward him.
“Good afternoon. I’m Detective Sutton.”
Christopher shook hands with the man.
“And I’m Josey Lange, in charge of this office.”
“It’s not true, right? You found someone else, and you think it’s my sister?”
Lange and Sutton exchanged glances.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Holt. You have to be strong.”
Christopher braced himself for the blow. Lange and Sutton led him inside. They arrived to a dimly lit room. Lange flicked a switch, which turned on more lights.
“I warn you, Mr. Holt. This might be a shock.”
Christopher followed the medical examiner to one of two gurneys in the room. There was a body on top of the second one, covered with a sheet. Lange looked up, asking for permission. Christopher nodded, and she pulled on the sheet. He immediately recognized the face.
“Rebecca!” he said, gasping. He moved toward her. She looked nothing like Christopher remembered. Her skin was pale, almost ethereal. Erika’s hair fanned out around her head, messy like it had never been in her life. And her lips, once rosy, were darker.
“Where did you find her?” Christopher asked.
“At her apartment,” Sutton replied. He was standing in front of the gurney. “We found her last Saturday, but had difficulty tracking down her family. Since you’re adopted, we didn’t know about you until today.”
“Rebecca was fine the last time I saw her. She’d been shot, but a doctor tended to her.”
“This woman didn’t die from the gunshot,” Lange said. Christopher’s eyes widened. She lowered the sheet further down to reveal the stab wounds.
“Rebecca Jenkins was murdered.”
Christopher shook his head, unable to believe it. He placed his hands on either side of his head, walking away. He was in tears when he reached the wall.
“We know who shot your stepsister,” Sutton said. He stopped a few feet behind Christopher. “You’ll have to accompany me to the station to tell us everything you know about this situation.”
Christopher took a deep breath.
“I know nothing about how she got shot.”
“You mean to say, she didn’t tell you?”
There was silence.
“You must tell us the whole story, Mr. Holt.”
“I don’t think I’ll be much help, sir.”
“I’ll be the judge of that.”



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