Into nothing 3/5

Durata lettura: medio-corta

I enter the room.
The boy is sitted nervously in his chair. He has his arms on the table and he’s twisting his thumbs. As soon as he notices that I have entered he gives me a look between impatient and worried.
<<Hi.>> greets me.
<<Hi.>> is my answer as I move forward and I sit in my chair <<So … you’re Elia, right?>> I ask, and the boy nods as I take my pen and notebook <<You are here for a special interrogation. Our conversation will be recorded, they’ve already told you, right?>>
<<Yes.>> he says.
<<Good. Have you eaten, drank …?>>
<<I’ve done everything, thanks.>>
<<Let’s start immediately then, let’s not waste time.>>
I put the dossier I have about him on the table and carefully extract the first page.
<<So … Elia Gumiero.>>
<<How old are you?>>
<<Sixteen years old.>>
I observe him quickly; the face matches the description I was given. Black hair, dark eyes, tall and thin.
<<Let’s start from the beginning. Tell me a little about what you were doing in Greece.>>
The boy shrugs <<Nothing special, we were on vacation. There was this friend of mine, Marco, who had a holiday villa on a beach. It was small … but cool. Marco invited me there for a couple of weeks.>>
<<Marco Corsaro, right?>>
<<Do he had siblings?>>
<<A sister, Brigitte Corsaro.>>
<<Only her?>>
<<Only her.>>
<<Uhm …>> I look down on the page <<She have an foreign name.>>
<<Er… their dad was English. His name was Tommy. That’s why.>>
<<And tell me about this Tommy. It seems he was the one who started all this mess.>>
<<Yes … more or less.>> Elia scratches his head while trying to remember what happened <<It was, like … i think it all started in the morning. There was a smell of burning and Tommy was screaming. I suddenly opened my eyes and ran into the living room, where he and Marco were arguing, like always.>>
<<Like always?>>
<<Yeah, they argued quite often.>>
<<Do you know why?>>
<<No … but they weren’t really fighting. Dad told him often that he has to study more and that he has to set a good example… the usual parenting things. Nothing to worry about.>>
<<Got it. And what were they arguing about that morning?>>
<<For a box.>>
<<What box?>>
<<A cardboard box. It was on the table, and it was half burned. Inside there was some ash and a chick.>>
<<A chick, huh?>>
<<Yes. Fenny. We called it like that.>>
<<I understand. And why were they fighting over this box? What happened?>>
<<Tommy had bought the box the day before, or so he said. He had put it in the living room in the evening, but in the morning he found it half burned. >>
<<And he blamed his son, I guess.>>
<<Exactly. Because he smoked. And Tommy hated that he smoked. So he said to him things like: “it was you, you’re the only one with the lighter in here!” and things like that. Bullshit of course. In the end if someone wanted to set something on fire he could take the lighters that were in the kitchen. But Tommy attacked him whenever he could, any excuse was good, so …>>
<<So it wasn’t him the one guilty, right?>>
<<No. Marco and I fooled around all night, until late. He never went to the salon. So it wasn’t him.>>
<<Can you tell me anything else about the box?>>
<<And the chick? Why there was a chick inside a box?>>
Elia shrugged <<I have no idea. Tommy doesn’t know either. He said he bought the box from an Arab. And there must have been a worm inside. A worm on fresh soil. Instead we found a chick.>>
<<Uhm, so … did Tommy bought a worm?>>
<<Y … >> Elia scratches his head again <<well, I don’t really know. But he said so.>>
<<If he said it then it must have happened.>>
<<Uhm … I don’t know. I didn’t see him leave the house the day before. He hadn’t gone out. He couldn’t have bought that box.>>
<<You were with him the day before?>>
<<I was with Marco and Brigitte.>>
<<And what did you do with them?>>
<<We spent our time on the beach, as usual.>>
<<So you couldn’t see if he was leaving the house or not, did you?>>
<<So he might have come out when you weren’t looking. >> I say.
<<Maybe. But Sara, his wife, said he never went out. And she was with him all the time.>>
I nod <<I understand. Back to that morning… what exactly did you do? Tell me.>>
<<Nothing, really. Tommy said to get rid of the box and the ashes, and we did it. Brigitte cleaned Fenny in the bathroom because it was all dirty… and then nothing. We ate. We went out. The usual things.>>
<<Nothing strange?>>
<<No. Nothing strange. Uhm … well … maybe something happened. Brig took a lot of pictures of Fenny while we ate.>>
<<Photos? Can I see them?>>
<<Ehm … yeah … she put them on her social profile. He had loaded them. But … at that moment I wasn’t thinking about it, but the notification hadn’t arrived. It was strange. I have put her profile as a favorite one, so every time she posted a photo I would get a notification. But that time it hasn’t arrived.>>
<<And then …? What happened?>>
<<Nothing. I’ve never seen the pictures of Fenny. Never. They never appeared on her profile. Marco hasn’t seen them either. Now… it seems almost “normal” to me. But at the time I hadn’t even noticed it. >>
<<And Brigitte? What do she said about these photos?>>
Elijah scratches his head with growing nervousness <<She said she hasn’t taken them. But I have seen it. And Marco has seen it too. She has made twenty pics. She even ate late to take those stupid photos. Yet she said she never took them. She said it when things were getting weird though, so we didn’t think about it that much. But now that I think about it … she even received some “likes” for those photos, I saw it from her phone because when she placed it on the table it vibrated and warned her of the incoming “likes”. So someone must have seen them. Just not us.>>
<<I got it.>>
<<Yeah. Anyway the rest of that day was actually normal. The real mess started later.>>