been through an awful lot in such a short period of time. I could kill my son and daughter-in-law for that. I don’t know what happened to that boy; he was such a good boy until he met her.”
    The last few words she said, she spoke in a whisper. Lisa had appeared at the top of the stairwell and her grandmother didn’t want her to hear what she was saying.
    “Yes, Me–Ma?” Lisa appeared at the top of the landing. Even from this distance, I could see her eyes were red and puffy.
    “Lisa, can you come down here? The police are here, and they want to ask you a few questions.” I saw a visual exchange between the young girl and grandmother. I recognized the look as something that had often been passed between my daughter and myself. It was the look of “I know you’re scared, honey, but it’s going to be all right. I am here. I will protect you.”
    When Lisa came down, I noticed that the streak of hot pink that had previously adorned her hair was now gone. Her black nail polish was also gone, and her nails were now short. The diamond stud in her nose was also gone. It was as if she had made a conscious effort to wash away what had happened by simply changing her appearance.
    She didn’t say anything, but I could tell she was obviously shaken up. She sat down on the chair that her grandmother had previously occupied. She started to scratch a design in the suede like material on the arm of the chair.
    “How are you feeling, Lisa?” I asked.
    She shrugged her shoulders.
    “Lisa, answer the lady properly,” her grandmother, who was now standing behind her, interjected. I could tell that even though the woman was stern, her words had certain warmth to them.
    “I guess I’m okay.” She sat back in the chair and started to rock gently.
    “Lisa, are you ready to tell us what happened the night Jamie died? Can you tell me how you got up to the woods? Can you describe the car and driver?”
    She turned to look at her grandmother, who nodded, her hand now resting on Lisa’s shoulder.
    “I didn’t tell you the truth,” she said, looking straight at Marty. “We didn’t hitchhike up there.” Her eyes fell to her lap. Without looking back up, she continued.
    “Dylan drove us up there.”
    “Dylan? Dylan who? What’s his last name?” I recognized the first name immediately, but I wanted to make sure we were talking about the same person.
    “Silver… Dylan Silver,” she replied.
    “Is this Dylan Katie’s boyfriend?” I questioned her.
    “Well, sometimes. They’re really close, they date sometimes. They’re more like brother and sister, but they go out with other people. Dylan and Jamie were together that night, but they got into a fight. That’s why she took off.”
    Marty leaned closer.
    “Lisa, why wasn’t Dylan there when Officer Beck arrived?” he asked. “It was just the three of you. Where did Dylan go?” He had taken a small notebook from his side pocket and opened it. He fumbled around for a pen so he could write down the boy’s name. Mrs. Padilla noticed and handed him one that was on the coffee table.
    The girl took a deep breath and continued her story.
    “Katie told him to leave, she was afraid that he would get into trouble. So she made up this story about us hitchhiking up there. Dylan was scared that the police would think he hurt Jamie, ’cause they were fighting. After we found her, Katie told him to go home so no one would even know he was there.”
    “What were you doing up there, Lisa? Why there?” Marty asked her.
    “Katie’s stepbrother told us to come up. He was going to let us go into the hot tub at the mansion he was taking care of. He…” she looked back up at her grandmother. Again, the woman nodded. “He got us some wine coolers and pot. We thought it would be fun.”
    I noticed the poor woman’s eyes rise to the sky. I could tell she was silently pleading with God for

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