At this point, all things considered, I should probably care a lot more about the situation at hand than I actually do. Aisha is hyperventilating by the wall and Jeni won’t stop crying. The copper pipe is still in my hand and most of the blood has cooled by now. Like, maybe it’s just me, but the situation could be way worse than it is. You know, still taking into account the dead body on the floor.
“We are so fucked,” Aisha whimpers.
“Since when do you swear?” I ask her in a jokey voice. I don’t think I could be more inappropriate.
“Since we killed a guy!”
‘We’. I like that. As friends we’ve all done something together. We’ve all just brained a guy with a copper pipe which, by the way, is now bent like a spatula.
“Oh God, we’re going to get arrested. Oh God,what are we going to do?” Jeni keeps saying, over and over to herself. I start to wonder if she’ll ever say anything else.
“Jeni, quit it, you’re freaking out Aisha.”
“Why aren’t you freaking out?” Jeni shrieks at me.
“Honestly? Probably because my parents are divorced,” It’s a tasteless joke, and I know it.
“Now is not the time for your stupid psychologist jokes!” Jeni shrieks again. The girl really can project her voice.
“Look, all we need to do is hide the body,” they look at me like I’ve suggested skydiving, “Come on, don’t you watch any crime shows?”
“Are you out of your mind?” Jeni hisses. It’s a sudden, unexpected change of volume, “We need to turn ourselves in! Someone’s dead all because we wanted to sneak around some crappy house that’s not even that decrepit!” She’s shouting now.
“Would you rather be arrested? Made to be criminals for the rest of our lives? We’re murderers, Jeni,” my hand clenches around the copper pipe pretty hard. I havent put it down once since I lay grip on it. Aisha’s eyeing it up nervously.
“Fine,” she sighs, “but it’s on your head.”
Somehow we hadn’t really expected the body to be as heavy as it was. How do people stand upright when they weigh this much? The guy wasn’t big, either, he’d always been light on his feet- especially when he sneaked up on us. It took all three of us to heave him outside to the back garden.
Aisha manages to wrench the shed door open and finds us probably the oldest shovel on the planet and a few trowels.
“Jeni, go find some dead mice or something.”
“What?” She gives me the look of someone dealing with a rabid dog.
“If we bury him underneath a dead animal, the police will just think the dogs made a mistake when they sniff him up.”
“How the hell do you know these things?”
“Internet,” it would seem like a cop-out response if it wasn’t totally true. Being on the internet for five minutes could fill you with information you thought you’d never need until the weirdest things happen. A bit like school really except with more cats and porn.
It takes a good part of the day to dig a hole deep enough to squash him into- good thing he was a scrawny guy and could be folded up neatly. We cover him in a layer of dirt and scatter the dead mice on top, then cover it over again. Hiding the mound is difficult, but we manage to cover it up with the overgrown grass. We sit on the dirt in silence, letting the mud squash down- except for Aisha, who is currently heaving into a metal dustbin.
“We gotta run away,” says Jeni, her head in her hands, “Find somewhere to hide.”
“Look who’s got the far-fetched ideas now,” I shift a little closer and lean against her shoulder, “What do we do then, oh escapist mastermind?”
“First, you don’t call me that,” she starts, and gives me a light nudge, “Second, we’ll tell our parents we’re having a sleepover, pack our bags with what we need and skip towns. Maye take camping stuff, we can stay in forests and look after ourselves.”
“Jesus, you are a whimsical loser,” I stand up and stretch, “Alright, let’s do it.”
“Seriously? You’re just going to go with it like that?”
“We broke into an empty house, brained the asshole who’s been terrorising Aisha, buried him in the garden… Like, yeah I’m all for running away right now.”
“You worry me,” Jeni says, and stands up as well, “Lets grab Aisha and get out of here. We’ll take the next bus out of town.”
The next bus out of town is not a pleasant one. Barely anyone is on it and there’s nowhere to put our bags besides on the seats. Jeni’s leant against one bag, her legs across the aisle and feet on the chair opposite where another bag has been sat, she keeps dozing off then jumping awake with every bump on the road. Aisha and me are squeezed between another two bags, her head on my shoulder. She hasn’t stopped crying, but now the tears are rolling down her face silently.
“I’m sorry” she mumbles, and I barely catch it.
“For what?” I asked her, while trying not to fall off my chair with every bump.
“Everything. This is all my fault,” she turned and pressed her face against my shoulder, making a wet patch against my sleeve.
“Hey, we’re all on this wild ride together. He jumped on you, it was a totally reasonable reaction,” I pause a moment, “even if it did kill him.”
“But if the police find the pipe, it’ll have your fingerprints on it! You shouldn’t have taken it from me!” Her fingers are really digging into my arm.
“Nah. Nicked it. It’s in my bag. A little souvenir from our first kill.”
“You say ‘first’ like we’ll do more,” she says, giving me a disapproving look.
“Who knows what adventure will bring?” I grin at her.