Chaem Choi looked at her body, it appeared she had been dipped in the sea. She squeezed her long hair, a small puddle formed on the tiled floor, like a puppy’s pee. Her bed was drenched, she dropped her quilt and pillows to slop quietly next to her drenched pyjamas.
“What the?” she said, brushing dampness from her arms, she tenderly fingered the cuts and bruises on her wrists.
“That was some dream,” she muttered, as she tipped the mattress angled against the wall, then pushed the windows fully open, hoping the breeze and sun would dry it before bedtime.
“Christ, I’m bloody starving.” She hunted for her watch, it was gone. “I put it here every night, where is it?”
She grabbed a towel, wrapped herself and went to the bathroom and hunted in her washing basket.
“Thank God!” she said as she found her phone in her short’s pocket. It was dry.
Tapping in a well-used number.
“What happened last night?” she asked Khao, her friend since school days.
“I was going to ask you the same. Why haven’t you answered my calls?”
“I just woke up.”
“What? It’s 3 pm.”
“What happened last night? I can’t remember anything,” Chaem Choi said.
“At 9 pm we went to the restaurant under your condo, we shared a large beer, or two, talked about the people we work with, then you went home. You were tired. And that was it. Did you not go to work today?”
“No, I just woke up. Are you at work?”
“It’s my day off. You forgot?”
“Come round, I’m starving. See you downstairs?”
Khao parked her new car and spotted her friend, menu in hand. There was a group of people near her, talking animatedly.
“What is going on?” Khao asked, sitting and ruffling her newly cut, short hair.
“No idea, I’m annoyed they haven’t taken my order.”
She clapped her hands, “Excuse me, we’d like to eat.”
“Sorry, sorry, the server’s brother died last night,” the restaurant owner stammered, fighting back tears.
“That’s sad, what happened?” asked Khao.
“We don’t know. The police have taken his sister to the station. We’ll know when she gets back.”
“Do we know the man?” asked Chaem Choi.
“I’m sure you do. He was here last night, pestering, no, sorry, I shouldn’t say that. He came to ask his sister for money. Good-looking lad, everyone around here knows him.”
“Red football shirt?”
“Yes, that’s him.”
“He kept staring at me,” said Chaem Choi.
“He always had a girl on his arm. I wonder why he didn’t last night?” said the owner.
“He was trying it on with me.”
“What do you mean?” asked Khao.
“Last night, he was standing behind you, winking at me,” said Chaem Choi. Realising she remembered a small part of last night.
“Hey, you remember. What else?”
“I paid the bill,” she said laughing, “I showered, got in my PJs and slept. That is it.”
“Then you slept for at least fifteen hours?”
Their food was delivered as a police car dropped off the crying server.
The owner put her arms around her and led her to a seat near the girls.
“What did they say?” asked the owner.
“He drowned. How, he was a good swimmer, but died in one of the condo’s pools? In his full clothing, I don’t understand?”
Chaem Choi turned and asked, “What about the other girl?”
Three open mouths faced her, “What other girl?”
Chaem Choi, was as shocked as them, “Did I ask that?”
“Yes, what do you mean?” asked Khao.
“I don’t know, it is all a blur. A girl, wearing a hat and dressed in dark clothing, appeared in my mind. I feel I know her?”
Khao scratched her head, “Which pool was it? Most of the condos around here have pools. I want to see the place, it may jog your memory.”
The server pointed behind and told them the way. Khao and Chaem Choi wandered off.
“To go into these condos, you need id. How did you get in?” asked Khao.
“I don’t know, I’ve never been in any of these places.”
“Ah, here it is. No security guard and a filthy, unused pool. You came in here?”
“I can’t remember. Look, a boy is watching us. Up there,” pointed Chaem Choi.
Khao waved at him, “It is possible he saw something?”
“Come on, I want to go home,” Chaem Choi pulled her friend’s arm.
The boy ducked out of sight.
“Wait, I think he’s coming.”
Chaem Choi edged away nervously.
“What is wrong with you, don’t you want to find out?” said Khao.
The boy’s curtains opened wide and an older woman started banging on the glass. Flapping her arms.
“She doesn’t seem happy?” said Khao.
“Let’s go, I don’t feel well.”
Two police cars screamed to a halt, front and back of the girls. Officers jumped out guns drawn.
“We are arresting you for the murder of Khun Silla.”
The girls looked at each other, then at the police. “Who and why?” they both said.
“Both of you. Hands-on the car’s bonnet.”
The girls were separated, as a woman came rushing up.
“I phoned you. They scared the life out of my son.”
The woman was shaking with fury.
“We will need you and your son to come to the station, please,” said the officer,
An hour later, the police had the boy’s statement. An eyewitness report of a murder and attempted murder. They had proof. Skin was taken from under the nails of the accused.
Silla was a self-styled playboy, he could not afford his lifestyle. His sister fed him when hungry, but could not give him any cash, she had her problems. But when a pretty girl with a car, took his fancy it was too good to be true, until he started on her friend.
Khao wanted him dead. She didn’t want to be jailed for murder, so she got her friend drunk enough to witness her being threatened. During the scuffle, nails scratched skin and broke a watch strap, the boy ran down later and retrieved it, he also called an ambulance. Chaem Choi saved her pal by shoving Silla into the pool. He hit his head and drowned. Chaem Choi tried to save him, jumping in. Khao was happy for her to drown next to him. She left them both there. Somehow, Chem Choi made it home. And dreamt.