I still feel like using The Mad Ventriloquist on this entry. Sometimes I find myself slipping back into He and She and name titles. A little of it's habit. A little of it's being afraid. I'm not this person anymore. At least, I hope I'm not. So I don't want to say this is me. I don't want to remember it like that.
But I have to.
It had been weeks since I had seen Minori. Since the fight. I had thought about just leaving things be. It all seemed stupid, after all. But I had a job to do, and I took my job very seriously. So I found someone Minori might be interested in, and sent her the information and the time I would be there. She showed up.
Jane checked herself into the asylum after witnessing a violent crime and suspecting she was responsible for another. She seemed normal at first, if scared. And perhaps a little distant.
"I can't help you with anythin." she said, "I don't remember any of it. John had been a bit crazy lately, looking out of windows and drawing symbols and stuff. He came by my house that day. Told me he was in trouble. All I remember after that is all the blood. There was blood everywhere. It was like that the second time, too. I was just talking. Then they were dead. I can't tell you anything else."
I believed her. So did Minori. We were about to leave when I thought of something. "Does Alexis remember?" I asked her, and if it was possible she looked even more scared. "I don't know." she answered, "Even if she does, you don't want to talk to her."
I sat back down.
"Jane, please listen to me. My friend Minori and I are trying to find a killer, and it's possible that you saw something that could help us. I know you're afraid. I read about Alexis. I understand why you don't want us to talk to her. But a lot of people could be saved if you let us. And there are guards here. Minori herself is a police officer. She can protect herself. It's safe. So can you please let us talk to Alexis?"
She nodded, but looked uncertain. "I don't know if I can. I don't control her." she began, but she cut off and stared off into space for a moment. Then she stopped shaking and smiled. She wasn't afraid anymore. "What do you want to know?" she said.
Minori took over the questioning.
We were there a long time. Alexis talked in circles sometimes. She seemed to find it funny to confuse us. With me it wasn't that hard. But eventually, we came to what we needed. The tall man had been there.
"Do you know who he is?" Minori asked, and Alexis just laughed.
"You don't know anything, do you? Who is he? That's a silly question. Do you still think he's human? That he can be found by logical means? You have fallen into a deep dark pit, little girl. Your laws won't help you here. He is a monster. He is a god. He is the things that you can't explain and never will. You can't fight this. It's funny you think you can. If you were smart, you'd turn away from this. But you don't strike me as smart." She said, then leaned over and whispered something in Minori's ear. After that, she stared for a moment and she was back to being terrified.
"Thank you Jane." I said, and we left.
Minori stopped me outside of the asylum, before I left. "Thank you for finding her." she said. I nodded a bit. "So what did she tell you?" I asked. Minori looked at me for a moment, took a deep breath, then looked away. "An address." she answered. "So When are we going?" I replied.
For a moment I thought she was going to go for her gun. She just glared at me though. "Just because you found a good lead doesn't mean I can trust you. I'm going alone." she said. I glared right back at her. "My job is to help you. I'm helping you. You don't know what's going to be there." I told her.
Then she yelled at me.
She yelled at me for manipulating the girl inside to give us information. She yelled at me for manipulating her. For trying to jerk her every which way when all she wanted to do was find out what had happened to her sister. As soon as she mentioned Sakura, she stopped yelling. Like just thinking about the girl had made her stop being angry, and just feel sad.
"I looked up Declan." She said, "He was murdered. Knife wound. But it says they never found out who did it."
"The cops never found out who did it. I did."
"Did you kill him?"
"No. Things got complicated."
She went up to me then, and put a hand on my cheek. It was nothing sexual, just brief human contact. Some sort of understanding. Even as it was, I almost hit her. I was not very good with people touching me. "Sometimes I feel like you really are some sort of monster. That you're the scum I always thought you were. But sometimes I think there's more to you. All that empathy you use to manipulate people. It comes from somewhere. I'm beginning to wonder if you care."
I probably should have hit her at that point. But I didn't. And she walked away.
She called me two days later with the address.