Jordan stayed at home for less than an hour before he realised there was a good chance he’d just murdered someone. And what were you supposed to do when you killed someone? Destroy the evidence.
He started with his knuckles, because it was the first thing the cops would look for. They weren’t cut, but they were ever so slightly swollen from hitting Dale’s face. Thankfully, his fists were tough – he was used to hitting people. He filled a bowl full of ice water and left both hands submerged until they were completely numb. When he took them out, they looked almost normal.
His mum wouldn’t wake up for another hour and his father wouldn’t be home in two, so Jordan snatched a steak knife from the kitchen drawer, slipped it into his pocket, and set off at a fast walk to Ray’s house. There was only one other piece of evidence he needed to destroy. Jimmy was cool, he was certain of that. Ray, not so much.
Ray’s mother, a small weedy looking woman with a nervous face, opened the door, and Jordan smiled.
‘Hey, Mrs. Deakin. I was just wondering if Ray’s home. We were at the seven eleven near the school and he left his phone there.’ He lifted his own phone from his pocket and waved it, smiling.
‘Oh, okay Jordan, I’ll just get him.’
Ray appeared at the door a minute later, white as a sheet. Jordan stepped up and closed the front door behind him. He glanced up and down the street, then grabbed Ray by the collar and pulled him off the front steps, through the wooden side gate and into the narrow path beside the house. Nice and cosy. They were invisible unless someone came through the gate after them or his mother decided to come outside and water the plants. He pressed Ray up against the brickwork and brought the knife up to rest on his neck.
‘Jesus, Jordan, just chill, okay?’
‘Listen, okay? No, no…’ Ray was struggling, so he slammed him harder against the brick. ‘Listen.’
‘Me and you and Jimmy all went to the seven eleven after school, yeah?’
He slammed him again. ‘Are you stupid?’
‘Nah, I get you.’
‘Okay. You left your phone with me and I came to return it. Jimmy already went home. That’s it, yeah? The seven eleven guy won’t remember us, cos everyone from school gets slurpees at three thirty, right?’
‘Yeah, man. I can’t breathe.’
Jordan loosened his grip, but kept the knife where it was. ‘You say anything other than what I just told you, I’ll find you before they find us, and it will be us, Ray. Right?’
‘Okay.’ Jordan pulled the knife back and dropped it in his pocket. He raised his hands as if in surrender, and gave his friend a goofy smile. ‘I’m sorry, man, I just had to do that, that’s all. I’m covering all our asses.’
‘Are we good? We all good?’
Ray coughed and rubbed his throat. ‘Yeah, man. You could have just asked me.’
‘Yeah, bro. Only the cops are gonna ask you later, and I wanted to make sure I made a bigger impact then they do, you know?’
‘Yeah, I know, man. Just relax, okay? We’re cool.’
‘You remember the story?’
‘Seven eleven. Phone. Yeah.’
‘I’m gonna tell Jimmy the story, too. Plus this: The place was crowded, the guy in the seven eleven was Asian, and we all got strawberry flavour. You know that, don’t you? In case they ask?’
Jordan slapped him on the shoulder, opened the wooden gate, and he was gone. When he got home, his mother had just woken up, but his father wasn’t home yet. He grabbed a couple of ice blocks for his knuckles, and by the time they were melted, the swelling had completely gone down.