Murder in the Meetinghouse
Today I'm planning my best friend's memorial service - and my best friend's enemy is helping me with the planning. Glenda Denby, our Quaker meeting's resident Jesus freak, once quit the Meeting because she claimed that atheists like Barbara were taking over. I'll never forget the virulent argument she had with Barbara over Sunday School curriculum. "I'll run you out of this Meeting if it's the last thing I do," she said, and slammed out of the room. Now she's back and serving on the committee that's organizing her nemesis' memorial service. I can't help but wonder: Does Glenda, the Jesus lover, hate atheists enough to kill one?
The only way I can get my mind off of Barbara's murder is to go running. Today during my run I found myself on Barbara's street, jogging towards her house. As I got closer, I saw that someone was standing on the sidewalk across from her house. As I came closer still, I recognized the person as Gus, an erratic man of no fixed address who spent a couple of month's on Barbara's sofa. After she told him he needed to move on, he became furious with her. Now I wonder: Was he mad enough to kill her?
I met with Larry today, Barbara's son. Unlike Barbara, who presented as a calm yoga practitioner, Larry was nervous and twitchy. He kept avoiding eye contact, and seemed not to care about his own mother's funeral arrangements. Up until a few months ago, Larry had been overseas, drifting from one European cafe to another, burning through the family's money. Suddenly, he shows up back at home and reunites with his mother. Not long after he gets back, Barbara is dead. I can't help but wonder if that's a coincidence....
I still can't believe she's gone. Dead. Murdered in the meetinghouse in cold blood. What's worse is that I am the main suspect! Last night I went back to the library adjacent to the meetinghouse to retrieve the cellphone I had left behind. Little did I know then that I was in the building with my friend Barbara's dead body ... and the murderer.