The Murphy home stood on a cul-de-sac in a upper middle class neighborhood. The stone pillars that stood on either side of the gate announced to everyone that it was Bentwood Hills. It was a fancy sounding name for a small town but as he well knew, elitism was everywhere, just on different levels. The house was modern and said Frank Lloyd Wright. It and the two other houses were surrounded by trees on three sides, but upon further investigation Jacob noticed that it wasn’t a forest but in fact a golf course was cut through the forest, opening up thousands of acres.
The house was multilayered and had several glass walls. He thought that they better screen the golfers as not to get a hacker onto the course, otherwise Jerry would end up with a hole in his wall.
They pulled up in front of a garage straight out of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Jacob nodded to the garage that sat detached from the rest of the house. “You got a Ferrari in there?”
“I said I did pretty well, I didn’t say I did really well.”
“No I got it, Matthew Broderick and his friend try to run the miles back on his old mans car. It was a pretty funny scene.”
Jacob peered into Haley’s room from the hallway. It was a typical teen girls room. Pink walls, pink curtains, pink comforter on a twin bed with a white head board. An entertainment center with a flat screen hi-def television and a Bose stereo sat along the south wall and a desk with a closed pink dell laptop attached to a printer sat along the west wall. The east wall held a two Gibson amps, a pink Fender Stratocaster and 1967 Les Paul. Also on the east wall her closet door was slightly ajar. Jacob pulled a pen from his pocket and opened the door to the closet. Inside he saw several stylish clothes. She had several pairs of Diesel jeans and several bags in the floor of the closet from Neiman Marcus. The shirts inside still held the tags and Jacob noticed that several were in the ninety dollar range. I think you do pretty well Mr. Murphy.
He began to scan the pictures that hung on the walls. Several of her and a boy, Jacob assumed it to be Seth, he was a handsome kid who appeared to spend his every waking minute in the gym. His dark hair cut short and had long bangs in the front. He wore one of those ninety dollar t-shirts from Neiman Marcus and the same kind of stone washed, hand distressed Diesel jeans. His work boots were probably two hundred and fifty dollars and would never see mud, much less work. He stood in front of a carousel and had his arm draped over Haley’s shoulder. He towered over her, making her look even smaller than she was. He had to be six three and built.
“He plays basketball. Some big schools are looking at him. Already talk of NBA.” Jacob heard the voice from the doorway.
“He seems a little short.”
“Six six. He makes Haley look tiny in that picture. She is about five six. Still has some growing left.”
“Is everything as she left it?”
He looked around the room. “Yeah, except I turned off her computer and her T.V. She has a habit of leaving them on.”
After Jacob asked Jerry to leave him alone for a few minutes he went back to the pictures. One stood on the nightstand of her with a girl who appeared to be her age. It had to be Jordyn. She bore a striking resemblance to the girl in the Harry Potter movies, a bit frumpy but nothing ugly about her, just not attractive. She would be the perfect person to commit a crime. She would blend in so well that she would disappear into the crowd. Haley on the other hand was even more beautiful in this picture than the tire swing. Her hair touched by the sun. They sat on a beach blankets covering the sand and crystal blue water glistened in the background. They both stared at the camera and had big toothy smiles.
Jacob moved to the computer and opened it, the screen popped to life. After a few minutes all the icons where on the screen and it was completely booted up. The screen saver was a picture of the Les Paul and music notes filled the screen. With names next to them such as ‘Nothing’, ‘More of the Same’, ‘Lies’, ‘Because’. One caught Jacobs attention and he double clicked on it. It was titled ‘Asshole’. It looked like a word document but it was sheet music. Haley like to write music, and from what he read she was pretty good at it.
Jacob closed the document and clicked on her browser link. It came up to yahoo homepage. He did a quick search of her viewed pages. She spent a lot of time in a songwriting chat room, Lyricwriters, and it appeared as though her screen name was Lespaul1967girl. She seemed to have an online relationship with a few people but prominently with someone named Musicman28. As he scrolled through the history he found conversations on several occasions. Jacob located the conversation from the night before she disappeared, he read:
Musicman28: Hey girl, how’s it going?
Lespaul1967girl: Good I guess a little
Musicman28: Why so sad?
Lespaul1967girl: You know
Musicman28: Him again?
Musicman28: run away
call me, don’t wanna talk here
Jacob hit the print button and looked around the room.
He rummaged through her dresser a little and found nothing out of the ordinary. This girl seemed squeaky clean. He didn’t find weed, a bottle of booze, condoms, nothing that said ‘I’m rebelling’ but something was making her unhappy. What was it?
Jacob looked over his shoulder to see if Jerry was spying on him again and saw that he was indeed alone in the room. He clicked back to the home page and searched ‘St. Louis Fire December 16’ the results came up with one that caught his interest. It was from the AP:
FRIDAY NIGHT FIRE AT LEAST ONE DEAD
The ST. Louis Fire Department fought a fire until four in the morning at a three story office building near University City on Delmar. The fire is believed to be sent by an arsonist and the fire department, in association with the Metro P.D., are investigating, however they are not releasing the names of any victims or suspects at this time.
The article was dated Saturday December 17. Jacob turned the computer off. He decided not to tell Jerry what he had found in Haley’s room until he knew more about Musicman28 and what it was that had her upset.