See the beginning of the story here!
And see the previous chapter here!
June 6th. 11:30 A.M. Kreese High School.
Gary Kennedy walked into the small room. He was tall, skinny; some might even call his physical appearance to be unremarkable. He wore a button up shirt, tucked into a pair of dress pants. His shoes were spotless and freshly shined. His brown hair was long and pulled into a greasy ponytail.
He sat down slowly, staring at Cora and David with anxious eyes. David wrote something down in his notebook but kept his gaze on Gary.
“What’s that you’re writing in there?” Gary asked. His voice was soft.
“Some personal notes. I have to keep tabs on everyone we meet, get a feel for them. Find out what kind of person they are,” David said.
“Do you think I’m Holden?”
“I believe there’s certainly a chance you could be, but no more than anyone else in this school.”
“Our goal at this point is the elimination of potential suspects. Throw out anyone we don’t believe to be a part of big picture. Hopefully, we can eliminate you during this stage of the process, but there’s a chance we might not,” Cora interrupted, “and if it’s all the same to you, Mr. Kennedy, we have a busy schedule today so it would be ideal to get this started as soon as possible.”
“You’re just like her,” he said with a shake of his head and a smile.
“Who is it you’re talking about, Mr. Kennedy?”
“Amanda has always had it out for me. She’s a heathen. She reeks of an alpha complex like she bathes in it,” he crossed his bony arms and gave a weak smile. He was exuding great confidence now. The kind one has when they know something no one else does.
“And why does Ms. Williams not like you, Mr. Kennedy? Was there a previous conflict that took place between you two?” David asked as he prepared to write in his notebook once more.
“In middle school, Amanda was the head honcho of her little posse. They were mean, that’s the only way I could describe it. Bullying, harassment, general mischief and all it’s moving parts, and she was the ventriloquist to her puppets. I told on her. She and her friends all got suspended after they went through their phones and found some incriminating messages. Most everyone’s forgotten about it by now, but she hasn’t liked me since,” he said with a shrug.
His posture had progressively deteriorated as he grew more comfortable and confident. He slumped in his chair, taking inches off his long frame. He looked at David and Cora like he was untouchable and that they were only a minor nuisance. Neither of them appreciated that gaze.
“Who do you think Holden is, Mr. Kennedy?” David asked, unimpressed by their guest.
“I think Holden’s an idea, created by the conditions of the students let down by everyone. You’re chasing something that doesn’t physically exist. Your search is only gonna let you down,” he taunted. He shot another one of those slimy grins at them.
“What do you mean by that? Do you not think Holden is a person?”
“Holden is nothing. I don’t believe that they’re nothing other than a fed individual who used ideas developed by others to fuel them into a folktale-like entity. There’s nothing here to find,” Gary replied with a hint of his patience wearing thin.
David and Cora both sat in the silent, awkward room, neither removing their eyes from Gary. Sam’s chair squeaked as he shifted uncomfortably.
Gary averted his eyes. A crack had formed in his demeanor. A light film of sweat had developed on his forehead, and he began to move around in his chair.
“Alright, Gary, that’ll be fine for today. You’re welcome to leave, but we might have some follow up questions for you so if you could leave your information with our colleagues in the other room, that would be greatly appreciated,” Cora said as she stood up and gave a friendly smile.
She walked over and escorted him out of the room, shaking his hand as he exited. They waited until they heard Gary had left the adjacent room with the others for them to speak.
“He’s full of shit,” David spoke standing up from the chair and stretching.
“Do you think he knows something?” Cora asked leaning against the wall. Her left eye twitched lightly, and it only occurred when she was engaged in some deep thought.
“Without a doubt. It was like he was reading from a script. He faltered at the end; I know you saw it too.” David looked over his notes, reading silently to himself.
“His hand was soaked and trembling, and his eyes were almost bugging out of his head. He was anxious about more than us,” Cora said as he recollected in her head.
“So he underestimated us. We pushed him off his script, and he started tripping over himself,” David suddenly smiled, “we just might have had Holden himself in this room.”
“Don’t get too far ahead of yourself. He might have been hiding something, but we still don’t know what that is,” she replied.
“We’ll find out soon enough. I doubt we’ve seen the last of him, we’ll let him sweat it out a little bit,” David said as he paced slowly around the room.
“You’re both insane,” Sam replied from his chair, looking up from the computer for the first time since Gary had first entered the room.
“We prefer creative,” Cora said retaking a seat, “breaks over too, we have a few more names we’ll have to do over again before the day’s over and not much time left in the school day. Let’s get a move on.”
The three of them began to discuss the next interview as all three of their phones suddenly pinged simultaneously. Sam checked his first and was surprised to be met with a tweet from Holden himself.
Hello, again. Have I been missed?