Will parked the car outside of Angela’s house. Jake swiftly got out of the car and started heading to the house. Will ran to join him.
“This is weird,” Will said in an undertone. “She hardly knows I exist.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Jake said passively. “You’re with me.”
Jake was enthusiastically knocking on the door.
“Do you really think she wants to talk to anybody right now?” Will asked.
“I’m sure that’s exactly what she wants to do,” Jake replied. “You know, talk. She had all yesterday to grieve.”
Jake heard rustling behind the door, which was opened by a soggy eyed Sarah.
“Is Angela in?” Jake asked, slightly irritated that she had friends over.
“Um, yeah,” Sarah said. “Hold on.”
She opened the door wider, and invited them in. Sarah led them through the house and into the kitchen. Jake was slow to keep pace. He was transfixed with all of the photos of his goddess on the walls and shelves. He stopped at a picture of her that looked like it should be a model shot of her in a pale green sun dress in front of a store front.
Will grunted which drew Jake’s attention back to the walk to the kitchen. Jake could see Angela at the kitchen table, eyes red, with old yearbooks and photo albums spread out across the table’s surface.
She immediately got up at the sight of Jake, and threw her arms around him. Her hug was tight and loving. She pressed her body to his. Jake never wanted the moment to end.
“I’m glad you came,” she whispered, which was a siren’s song to Jake’s years.
“How are you taking it?” Jake asked.
Sarah shot him a stern look.
“I mean, are you ok?” Jake asked.
Angela released Jake from the hug and much to his chagrin she gave an awkward looking Will a light hug too.
“Umm, no,” Angela said. “I am not ok.”
“What he’s trying to say,” Will assured Angela, “is that he’s concerned.”
Angela looked from Will to Jake. She offered a hint of a smile, and that kindness spread across her face that Jake adored so. She went back to hug Jake once more. He wrapped his arms around her.
“I just can’t believe he’s really gone,” she whimpered.
She pulls back from the hug and sits back down at the table, looking at a picture of her and Stan at the park. Jake felt momentary anger. He suppressed it and sat at the table with her, picking up the picture. It disturbed him to see so much life in Stan’s face. Jake reached for Angela’s hand, which rested on the table. She smiled at him, upon his touch.
* * *
Jake and Will bid Angela farewell and were heading back to the car. Their trip back home was mostly silent, but Jake felt anger mounting that he was having trouble suppressing.
Finally, they reached Jake’s house again. They got out of the car and made their way into the house. With each step, the anger rose higher in his gut.
“Can you believe that prick?” Jake said, no longer able to handle it. “He still has power over her after he’s dead! Did you see how he was all she could think about? That asshole deserved what he got!”
“What the hell’s the matter with you?” Will asked.
Jake looked at Will with fury.
“I have to go to the bathroom,” Jake announced.
Jake tore away from Will and headed to the bathroom once again. Once inside, he started pacing in a tight circle. He began thinking of how Will was acting increasingly troubled at Jake’s behavior. If Will was beginning to suspect him, then surely Ash and Dave would. They would make his life hell anyway. It might get as bad as it was before. Just because Stan was gone, doesn’t mean that his problems were over. He had to cleanse himself of all the problems. He’d need help though. But, who’d help besides Will?
“Maybe I can get him to help me,” Jake said suddenly aloud. “Stan was just the first.”
Stan appeared before Jake with a sad smile on his face.
“You were right,” Jake said. “Your friends will figure out I killed you. I need to take them out, too. The police won’t catch me. They didn’t figure out I killed you. I did it so swiftly. No evidence. No evi—”
Jake facial twitch interrupted his speech. His jaw clicked, the twitch was so intense.
“No evidence,” Jake finished.
“There is always evidence,” Stan said.
“You’re not helping,” Jake said. “I can’t get away with it alone anymore.”
Jake pointed to the door, where Will was somewhere within the house, probably on the couch watching TV.
“I need him,” Jake said in a hurried whisper to Stan. “He can help me with this.”
“Do you really think he’ll help you?” Stan asked doubtfully.
“He’s my best friend!” Jake yelled. “I can convince him. I can convince him. I can convince him. I can convince him. I can convince him. I can convince him. I can convince him. I can convince him. I can convince him. I can—”
Jake was interrupted once more with a particularly painful facial twitch. Again, he felt his jaw snap as he twitched.
“I can convince him,” Jake said seething to the spot where Stan had just vanished. Jake exited the bathroom.