It was the first time I had ever been in a police station. Not that I had intentionally been straight-laced, but my habits were strenuously dull. Breakfast, work, lunch, work, dinner, games, sleep.
Rinse, and repeat.
So what was I doing in this cold investigation room at 4 am in the morning?
“Yury Sii,” officer Razlan looked at me intently, “that’s your full name?”
I nodded. I was Chinese, but my parents never bothered to give me Chinese name. So I was just Yury.
“So, what’s the hurry? Why am I here?”
“After we spoke the other night, our task force went to do a little more investigation…”
“And – “
“… you found I was one of the last people to talk to Cherry?”
I felt like a character on the 8pm show on CSI. It felt surreal.
“And see her. There’s also CCTV footage of you leaving the bar with her on the night before she was found dead.”
“Uh… So… I’m a suspect now?”
I wondered if this was the point where someone went, ‘I need a lawyer!’?
“We have reason to believe it – nobody but you saw Cherry before she died.”
Feeling close to insanity, I almost laugh.
Me? Murder the girl I loved?
I wasn’t supposed to be there that night, but Cherry texted me a few minutes before the hen’s night was supposed to start.
“i got an extra seat! come!”
“I don’t want to go. Aren’t hen’s nights supposed to be for your girl friends? I’m a guy. Obviously. So no.”
“thr r hot girls here”
“for real tho, yury, come… bcos u’re my best friend”
“Pulling the best friend card? How can I say no… haha”
I reluctantly agreed and secretly hoped I wouldn’t regret the decision. The thought of being the only guy in a hen’s party intimidated me.
“Problem. I don’t have anything to wear”
“wear what u usually do”
I arrived to the party forty minutes late. I walk in on Cherry in a hot pink wig and a polka dotted… costume?
She was singing her heart out to a song. I couldn’t name it, but it sounded familiar. Seated next to her on both sides were the two hot girls she promised. They also had some kind of wig-costume on. Theirs were much quieter, of course.
Many fun things happened that night, but most were uneventful. A balloon popped, some confetti dropped out. We sang a few songs on the k-box and became totally wasted with alcohol.
Everything that was expected of a hen’s night.
The two girls got into one taxi, and Cherry and I got into another.
“And then what happened?” Officer Razlan probed.
What happened? The events following the taxi ride were suddenly a blur.
“I need a break, the alcohol is getting to me,” I tell Officer Razlan.
I don’t actually know if it was the alcohol that was blocking my memory.
“You need to think very hard, Yury.”
“Believe me, I’m trying to.”
I cross my hands and sink my head into them, and tried my best to think.
A contemplative pause followed. For a few minutes, neither Officer Razlan nor I spoke.
Then, Officer Razlan broke the silence.
“There’s something else I need to tell you, Yury.”
I look up at him. His face was stern.
“We found evidence of you being in Cherry’s home that night.”