Anthony Blake, an old friend of my mother, invited me to dinner last night. Over heaps of creamy mashed potatoes and tender chunks of juicy meat, he offered a warning to me regarding my safety. He explained that there is a group of people, friends of my father, who are looking for me. To hurt me.
“Shortly after your mother died,” he explained, “Some of her friends, myself included, began receiving letters with inquiries about your whereabouts.”
“Why are people looking for me?” I asked, feeling myself puff up like the potatoes I couldn’t resist eating more of. I had a strong feeling I knew why, but I figured I would ask. Anthony, never having been a flowery man, said bluntly, “They are looking for you because you helped your mother murder your father. And your traveling isn’t helping establish your innocence.”
I shushed Anthony, afraid someone in the restaurant would hear. I asked him what I should do. He suggested I stop traveling and lay low. “That doesn’t seem like an option. Mother’s inheritance is too great for me to sit around and do nothing,” I responded. “I could fairly easily hire someone to keep me safe.”
Skipping dessert, which was a delicious looking cherry tart with a brittle vanilla crumble, I told Anthony I had to go. As I was leaving, he handed me a box of letters, all with similar intents. People want me dead.
Stuffed, I went to bed as soon as I got home. Maybe I will have some clarity in the morning, I thought.
That night, I dreamt of being in department store as a child. When I was younger, Mother would often take me shopping, because for her, shopping was retail therapy and a place to complain about my father without him overhearing. I just liked looking in all the mirrors in the dressing rooms.
In my dream, I was a child trying on a raincoat, which happened to be the one my mom gave me. It was too big for me then. But every time I would look in the mirror, instead of seeing my own reflection, I saw my father. And behind him, I saw faceless figures, an army of angry, vengeance-seeking beings. I kept turning and turning, trying different mirrors, but every mirror yielded the same, terrifying result. Finally, I punched the mirror, and it broke, but my hand was fine. I woke up.
I knew then that mirrors were trying to tell me something. It’s me. I have to change me in order to save me. The clock read 6:45am. I read over all the letters and butterflies started dancing in my stomach. They know me as Charlie Lemon, the accomplice to the murder of Richard Lemon and the son of Susanne Lemon. If they can’t find Charlie Lemon, I will be safe. I headed to the library with the box of letters in tow. It was 7:56am.
Herman Library was just opening when I arrived. It was empty. Perfect. I sought out everything I could about changing my identity. Quickly, I realized I needed an assistant, someone to serve as protection and to help me change the man who I see in the mirror every morning.
When I left the library, it was about 3:30 in the afternoon. I had spent the better part of the day planning my escape from being Charlie Lemon. As I was leaving, a woman simultaneously bounded through the doorway of the library, just about knocking me over. The box of letters fell out of my hands and its contents littered the floor. The woman, who I realized quickly was an employee at the library, picked up one letter in a feeble attempt to help me clean up. Eyeing it briefly, she looked vaguely concerned, but too hurried to hesitate. She turned and continued into the library. I cleaned up the letters, put them in the box, and left.