My employer sat opposite Claudia and lit a cigarette. As I sat down beside her, we exchanged a glance which nearly sent us both into giggles, which shows how tired we were. We had both thought of how I would have looked, curled up on the seat with my head in her lap.
In fact, my guess was that before the end of the trip, I'd be at the window with her head in my lap, which turned out to be accurate.
Claudia missed all of this, though. She was still looking down at Erika.
Then there was the sound of a motorcycle engine revving as the train doors closed. Claudia glanced out the window as Christy roared out of the parking lot, at the exact moment the train started to move. She shook her head, then she turned to us.
"So, I assume you want more details about what happened."
Jan nodded. "It doesn't need to be exhaustive, but a bit more than I know now." I could tell that this was largely a formality. She had already lost most of her interest in this case.
"I told my mother what you had said, and she insisted that we had to have a 'family meeting.' She couldn't locate my father, or Bobby's mother, but she got James and Bobby. Then there was a procedural question, since she didn't want Erika to be there, but I insisted.
"Then I started repeating what I'd said before, apparently with the idea that Bobby should be able to defend himself. As if our pathetic little family meeting was a court of law or something.
Well, it didn't even get that far, because Bobby started protesting that we didn't understand how he felt. It quickly became incoherent, but he made it clear that he had killed Freddy, and that he was now thinking that he should have killed Erika as well, since she..." She looked down at Erika, who was still awake.
"He became abusive," she said. "But he still wanted to press his case. James realized Bobby was going to attack Erika before I did, but he tripped over a footstool when he tried to get between them. My mother sat in her chair and yelled orders, and you can imagine how effective that was at that moment. Then Bobby went for Erika, and I got in the middle and I protected her.
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