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  • Nathalie Ho

Jealousy Can Kill



Prologue



As students were rushing down the stairs, some excited to go home for the weekend and others tired, 15-year-old Ira walked down the stairs of school, fixing her hair and fluffing out her skirt as she pushed the door open.


“See you on Monday, Ira!” the receptionist calls out to her.


Waving goodbye as she slams the door behind her, Ira pulls out her phone and starts texting her best friend, Avery. “Phew, so much homework to do!” she types. She sighed. It had been a long day for her. She continued to type. “Heh, you wouldn’t have so much homework to do if you hadn’t been watching Sailor Moon all class--”


Meanwhile, a mysterious black figure was stalking Ira from around the corner of the alley.

Creeping out from behind a wall, he ventured closer to the girl. She doesn’t know what’s coming for her… And just at that moment, he raised the knife and plunged the blade straight into her.


A sharp pain spread all over Ira’s back, a sickly painful stabbing sensation sunk into her. A cold, intimidating voice whispered in her ear. “You can’t run, and you can’t hide now. You and your stupid boyfriend…” Ira fought against the figure’s grasp. “What do you want from me?!” The last thing she saw was a black figure watching as she struggled in pain. Her breathing became raspy and shallow, then slowly faded away like the last notes of a song.


The murderer stood up, pulling the knife out with a squelch.


”Say goodbye, Sage.”


Blood pooled around his victim as he looked around for anyone nearby.


“Wait. What was that?” Noticing footsteps approaching from behind the school, he dropped the knife and ran.

Just then, a teenage boy about 14 years old walked into the alleyway and saw the gory scene. He gasped. Oh my…


“Ira, are you okay? - Oh my god, please don’t be dead…”


The boy knelt down, immediately checking for heartbeat and breathing. No sign of consciousness… His hand shook as he then pulled out his phone and called the police.


“She’s definitely gone…” he whispered shakily to himself. He put one hand on Ira’s cold chest. Again, there was no pulse… or sign of breathing.


“Goodbye, Ira.”



Chapter 1:



Meanwhile, 14-year old Avery was at the park nearby the school. She was sitting on a bench watching her favorite anime, Sailor Moon, when her phone vibrated several times. She picked it up and gasped. It was a message from her best friend’s boyfriend, Sage.


“Ira got murdered.” Avery gasped. “She’s dead. Just outside the school.”


Her phone beeped again. “The police just came.”


“What?? No way. This has to be a joke, right?” she said out loud. I don’t know what to say… Is this just a joke? Her stomach sank as she tried to process what was going on. ‘Cause if it is, it’s not funny at all. “He’s playing another prank on me, isn’t he?” she said in disbelief.


“You’ve got to be kidding me.” she typed back.

“You want proof? I’m serious.” he replied.


“That’s it. I’m heading back to school,” Avery jumped up from the bench, grabbed her bag, swung it over her back, and headed out of the park and back to school.


When she got to the crime scene, Avery was overwhelmed by all the sights and sounds. Police cars surrounded the crime scene, bright flashing lights blinding her eyes as they teared up. She’s really dead…he wasn’t lying…


Sage came running up to her from the scene immediately, wrapping her in a hug. He wiped tears from his face. “The first thing I saw was her dead body… I don’t know what and how to think about all this…” he said, his whole body overcome with tremors.


Instead, she pulled free of his grasp and ran to the scene. Just as Avery decided to go a little closer, a police officer immediately blocked her path, standing in her way. “Young lady, I know it’s an overwhelming situation, but please do not come any closer to the crime scene.” she said strictly.


Avery immediately balled her hands up into fists. “You know nothing! This girl was my best friend!” she yelled, her fists shaking in anger as tears rolled down her cheeks. “I want to know what happened to her! How did she die? Who murdered her?” More angry tears welled up in her eyes, a searing ball of emotions rising up into her chest like a volcano about to erupt. But no matter how much she questioned the officers, they refused to answer.


“That’s it,” she said, staring daggers at the commotion. “I’m going to take matters into my own hands,” She stormed past Sage. “I’m heading home.” she growled. “Wait- but--” the teenage boy cried out. “Avery!” But she had already run away, sobbing.


When Avery got home, her eyes were red from the tears and her face was still red. Her parents were already at the dinner table.


“I know, it’s big news, Avery. Would you like some stew and some quality time with your parents to make you feel better?” her mother asked sympathetically.


Avery walked straight past like her parents weren’t there. I know they’re just trying to be helpful, but in this case they aren’t. I’m going to solve this case. I’m going to find out who murdered Ira. Her mind was only on the murder. Slamming the door behind her, she lay down on her bed. The scene of the murder was still fresh in her mind. She couldn’t think properly. Even if she was going to solve this murder, she had to grieve first.


I promise I’ll find out who murdered you, Ira…


Tears streamed down Avery’s face, and she cried herself to sleep.




Chapter 2:



It didn’t even take a day for everyone to learn about the murder. All weekend, student group chats were filled with news article links and rumors about the murder. So on Monday at school, nothing had died down. All over school, eyes were on Sage. Heads would turn as he passed people.


“Look, it’s the murderer,” Avery had heard as the boy walked down the hall. “I think he murdered his girlfriend because she was cheating on him?” She watched in pity as he tried to keep a low profile. “He’s so yandere*.” Avery felt extremely sorry for him inside, watching him trying to block out the whispering, when a group of boys stopped him. “Well well well. Look who we have here. The murderer, hm? I’m so surprised you haven’t gotten caught yet.” He walked through them, but still heads turned and whispers were heard. “He might be the murderer…” “I saw him at the crime scene the other day… There was blood on his hands!”


Avery looked down and sighed. That’s really mean… I hope he’s okay, having to go through all this when he just lost a person he loved.


After school, Avery decided to head to the scene of the murder. “There should be no one there…” she thought. “Or at least I hope there aren’t any…”


When she got to the crime scene, she carefully stepped over the police cordon, looking around and searching in every single nook and cranny for any clues she might possibly find. Just then, something caught her eye that was peeking out of a corner. It looked like a piece of fabric, possibly an article of clothing. Going closer, she took a better look and realized it was Ira’s pink lunch bag and blue school jacket. She picked up the jacket and lunchbag then stepped back out of the cordon. What if this is a clue…?

When Avery got home, she went straight to her room. Pulling the jacket and lunch bag out of her bag, she set it down on her table, pouring the lunch bag’s contents out. Just an apple and a bagel, nothing out of the ordinary. She reached over for the jacket, unzipping it. The label of the jacket had Ira’s name written on it. A note fell out of the jacket’s pocket. “What’s this…?” It had a phone number on it. Ira must've made a new friend and asked for their contact… “I should try calling it… That’s worth the risk…” And without further thought, she picked up the phone and called the number.


“Hello…?” Avery asked, her voice shaky and nervous. What if it’s the killer?


“Hi there! I recognize your voice. Avery, right?” It was her classmate Allie, the shy girl who usually sat at the back of the class.


Avery’s hands shook around the phone. “Uh-huh.” Watch your step, Avery. You don’t know what she might be doing or involved in. Her mind was racing. “I’d like to ask you a small question. After school, I found Ira’s jacket…and I found a note inside… There was a phone number on it… It was yours. What was it doing there?”


Allie laughed from the other side. “Oh yeah. Ira asked me for my phone number that day ‘cause we had Art courses together. Oh I gotta go, I’m over my parents’ call time limit! Bye~!” A pang of grief hit Avery as soon as she ended the call. Ira had such good friendship skills, she could even make friends with the shy girl…


A while later, Avery had just finished taking a shower when her phone vibrated. “Hmmm? What is it this time..?” she asked herself, unlocking her phone to read the message:


From recently called number: “Hey watch ur step ok?”


“That must have been from Allie… She was the only number I called recently…I should save her number.” Pressing the “save contact button”, she turned off her phone and continued to dry herself.


Meanwhile, Sage was at home studying when his phone vibrated. “It’s an unknown number…” he said under his breath. “Hello?” he asked, picking up the phone.


“Oh, it’s you? The murderer?” The reply was sweet and airy. But the tone changed. The reply continued, intimidation in its voice. “You better watch your back… Everyone is looking at you in school… Even the principal…” Then the number hung up.


“Great.” sighed Sage. “Just what I need. Another one of those crap phone calls. All these rumors are driving me crazy…”



*Yandere: a person who is ​​is “often sweet, caring, and innocent before switching into someone who displays an extreme, often violent or psychotic, level of devotion to a love interest.”




Chapter 3:



Avery’s phone never seemed to shut up at all that night. Every hour or so, Allie would send murder-related texts or talk about Ira. She found it strange how Allie wouldn’t stop talking. It’s not really like her to do that, she thought. Is she being curious, or is she the murderer…?


On Tuesday, Avery came into school with a determined look on her face. She had come up with a plan. She would ask students about what they did after school last Friday.


The first person she ran into was Sage. “Oh, um- Hi! I was going to interview others about what they did last Friday.”


The teenage boy nodded. “Oh, uh,” he lowered his voice. “I know you’re trying to be helpful, but can we please not talk about it too much?” Avery gave a subtle, quick nod. “I’ll try,” she said.


Sage nodded. “I got a phone call from an unknown number actually. They told me the usual crap- all that “oh, you’re the murderer” and “watch your back” kind of stuff- I’ve gotten used to it by now.” Avery nodded.


“Okay, well, is that it?” he asked.

“Yup, thanks!” she said.


Avery walked over to a table directly across from Sage’s. The girls over there seemed to be looking at him, whispering and pointing.


“Hey,” Avery began. The girls stopped whispering and looked at each other and then at Avery.

One girl at the table with dyed blonde hair and over-the-top makeup stood up. “Who are you…?” Hoping to sit at our table? Nope, definitely not.”


The other girls looked at her and nodded automatically as if to agree with what seemed to be their leader. “Yeah. Uh-uh. Totally not.”


Ignoring every single thing she heard, Avery decided to continue. “What did you guys do on Friday afternoon? Just asking as it’s for an article by the News Committee,”


She received nothing but stares until the blonde haired girl stepped up and looked her right in the eye. “Oh,” she fake-laughed, putting her heavily manicured hands onto Avery’s shoulders. “Thank you sweetie, but I don’t need any more publicity. After all, the whole school is talking about me since I’m Ira’s best friend.” She looked at her posse of girls. “Right girls?”


Just then, Avery felt something snap in her. Is this girl trying to impersonate me for attention? “Hey.” she said. The blonde-haired girl tilted her head to one side. “What is it sweetie?”


Avery put her hands on her hips. “Don’t tell me you’ve been going around since yesterday trying to use Ira’s murder case as a way to feed on more attention by impersonating me,” she said, a tone of fierceness in her voice. The blonde-haired girl’s eyes widened and she took a step back. “Oh no sweetie, totally not,” she said, her voice stuttering. That’s enough, Avery thought.


You think you can get away with this whole thing? Don’t play smart with me. She raised her voice. “I said, what do you mean she’s your best friend?!” The whole cafeteria went silent as eyes everywhere were on her.


Then someone appeared behind Avery. “Don’t you dare even try to…”


She turned around to see who it was. “Sage…?” Sage continued. “You don’t even know what it’s like to be watched wherever you go. What it’s like for people to be talking about you and you only,” he continued. “There’s a difference between negative and positive attention, you know?” Then he turned to face Avery. “Let’s go. ”


In class later on, Avery was tapping her fingers on the bottom of the desk when she got a papercut. “Shoot! Which stupid person decides to leave a sticky note on the bottom of a table?” She ripped it off the table and had a look. Most of it was faded, but part of it she could make out said


“I was the one who did it…”


Taking the note with her, she kept it as evidence. “In case the killer wrote it.” she said.




Chapter 4:



After school, Sage and Avery decided to check Ira’s locker. “Wait, you know the password?” Sage asked in disbelief. “Yup, after all, she’s my BFF,” said Avery. The locker door opened, and two things tumbled out- a diary and a wallet. A laptop sat inside the back of the locker. Carefully taking the laptop out, she tucked it into her bag along with the other items.


“Wait,” said Sage. “Can we read the diary?”


Taking the diary back out of her bag, Avery flipped to the last entry and stopped. “Hold on- what’s this?” Leaning in closer, Sage began to read the diary entry aloud.




Dear Diary,

Today we had a soccer match. I don’t know why, but most of the time, Arin was staring daggers at me, even when I didn’t make any mistakes. I wonder what’s wrong with him? At the end of our match, he came over to me and started to pick an argument. He kept staring at me for some reason, and what’s more, he started mentioning Sage.


“That’s the end?” Avery asked. Sage rubbed the page to see if it was stuck to another. “Yup, that seems to be it,” he said. “Why would he talk to Ira about me? Maybe we should go talk to Arin,” he suggested.


Avery’s eyes lit up. “I think I still have his number after the group project we did together last spring. Let me text him, I think he might still be at school.” She picked her bag up and followed Sage down the hallway, her mind still wondering about the diary.


She glanced at her phone, halfway through typing the message when she bumped into someone’s chest. She stared up at the tall skinny figure towering over her with a confused expression.


“Oh- uh- hi,” the short- haired youth stuttered. “What are you doing here? School’s already over,” he continued.


“Oh, Arin! I’m just collecting Ira’s stuff from her locker so I can take it home.” Avery asked.


Arin’s face looked half surprised, and half disturbed. “Why would you do that? Why would you even collect a dead person’s personal belongings? To snoop around in them?”


Avery took a step backwards, intimidated, as the tall boy continued. “It’s none of your business, for God’s sake!”


A bubble of anger and irritation arose in Arin. Why are they doing this?


Sage stepped forward. “We were Ira’s closest friends. Who else would you expect to pick stuff up from her locker?” Arin’s hands balled up into fists. “But-” he started. Then his tone changed. “Fine,” he said and turned and ran down the hallway.


As the two walked down the stairs to the front gate, Avery suddenly thought of something.

“Wasn’t Arin that one kid who you fell apart with a while ago?” she asked. “What was your relationship with him like before you guys lost your friendship with one another? Why did you guys fall apart? ”


Sage thought for a moment. “Yeah… Our relationship wasn’t the best… He was very manipulative and controlling whenever he was with me, and a while into our friendship it put so much pressure and stress on me that I decided to pull away.”


Avery was sitting on the train, scrolling through her social media when thoughts about Arin arose in her head. “I never even liked her in the first place.” The words echoed through her head. What if Arin was jealous of Sage and Ira’s relationship? No, that can’t be. Allie can’t be the murderer either, I suspect she might’ve just been asking me to be careful with my investigations…But if Arin did… then is that the cause of Ira’s murder…? A person’s emotions couldn’t possibly be that strong… But what they said. “I never even liked her in the first place…” I think my speculations are correct…


Avery couldn’t eat at all that night, her head was swimming in thoughts about Arin and the murder. Everything that happened today gave way to a million new clues Avery couldn’t have thought of before.


Before bed, Avery took some time to study the note she had found underneath the table. The handwriting on it was messy and wobbly, almost as if a kid had written it. She was almost sure of it-- the handwriting was definitely a telltale sign. Sighing, Avery tucked the note underneath her paperweight, got off her chair, and tucked herself into bed. I guess I should forget about it then… I should probably go to bed.




Chapter 5:


Lost in a sea of people, Avery weaved her way through the cafeteria during lunchtime the next day. Glancing around looking for Sage, her eyes sweeped the room, stopping when she saw the easily identified pastel-green hair the boy sported. “Ah! There he is,” she said, rushing up to him immediately. “I forgot to tell you something yesterday,” she said. “I thought….What if… Arin murdered Ira out of jealousy…because you were no longer his friend?” Sage looked up and thought for a while. “Hmmmm…” Then he paused, hesitated, and then nodded. “That could happen…”


Avery tilted her head to one side, and asked, “How was he being controlling or manipulative to you?”


Sage sighed, and dropped his shoulders. “He was telling me who I could hang out with, and who I couldn’t. Most of my free time was spent only with him. Whenever he saw me with Ira, he would be more manipulative.”


Avery replied “What do you mean by manipulative?”


“There were a few times where Arin would tell me he was on a very tight schedule or have trouble with his homework at the very last moment, and I would have to come over and help him, even when it was really late, and it would turn out to be that there was absolutely no homework to be helped with at all,” Sage explained. “Especially when he knew I was going to be with Ira on that day.”


“Maybe Arin was trying to limit or minimize the amount of time you spent with Ira because he was jealous of your relationship with her,” Avery implied.


Sage pondered for a while. “That seems likely. Particularly since most of the days he’d ask me for his ‘help’, I’d be with Ira,”


“It looks like Arin is our number one suspect, isn’t he?” said Avery.


Sage’s tone turned serious. “I think we should share our suspicions with the principal.”


Avery’s heart raced as she walked up to the principal’s office with Ira’s diary in hand. Avery’s hand shook as she knocked on the door. A second later, a voice came from within the room. “Come in please,” it said.


Walking into the room, Avery took a deep shaky breath and said “Hi, I’m Avery from Grade 8. I’d like to talk to you about the murder of my best friend Ira,” The principal looked at her.“Why did you decide to come to me instead of the counselor? She might help you better with your loss,”


Avery shook her head. “No. I think I may have potentially figured out who killed Ira,” Sitting down on the seat in front of the principal’s desk, she began to explain to her the detective work she had done and the suspicions she had.


‘I think Arin Skye from Class 8-D might be the most likely suspect. He seemed to have strong feelings about Ira, almost as if he were jealous of Sage’s relationship with her,”


There was a long bout of silence, then the principal nodded. “You have enough to prove your suspicions. I will consider discussing this with the other teachers. I’ll also have a look at the evidence you brought.” Avery heaved a sigh of relief. “Okay, thanks for talking to me.”


Avery didn’t hear from anybody about the news of the murder the next day. Every minute was suspenseful for her. What if I have the wrong person…? She thought to herself. Don’t worry, I’m sure they’ll ask the police about their opinions. If she had gotten the wrong person, she would definitely have gotten in trouble.


On Thursday, Avery was called to the principal’s office during lunch. “Have a seat please,” the principal said, closing the door behind her.


“It has been found that your suspicions are correct, Avery. We have been in touch with the police department since yesterday, and they have confirmed that Arin was the one who murdered your friend,” The principal took a deep breath. “We also found a bloodied knife in the campus parameters yesterday.”


“Will he be going to jail?” Avery asked.

“He will most likely go to juvenile detention, as he’s not an adult yet,” the principal answered.


The next day, the school was buzzing with news about the investigations and news about how Arin had been expelled. Whispers could be heard all around.

“He really did go to jail,” and “Is it really true?” could be heard everywhere.


Sage smiled at Avery. ”Thanks for believing in me.”

Avery replied. “You know what? Thanks for solving this crime with me. All this wouldn’t have happened without you!”


The both of them laughed.


The End


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