The boy is standing poolside, rhythmically alternating his arms as he practices does arm curls. He's retelling the story of that afternoon's soccer game, in which he shot the winning goal. His sister is listening intently as she paints her toenails, smiling indulgently throughout.
Suddenly, the boy's right arm starts to shake, causing the weight to fly from his hand. The dumbbell quickly falls towards the ground, thudding against the girl's head before landing on the concrete.
The boy continues the repetitive jerking of his hand, while remaining conscious but unaware of what has just happened to his sister – her own state of unconsciousness, her gushing head wound, or her impending death … death … death …
I pull myself from the unbidden vision. There was no way that such a thing could be possible, right? I would never be able to kill Lilly, even if I was having an episode at the time.
I'd never even considered that improbable outcome until Veronica made it obvious to me that I was her prime suspect. And that means that odds are pretty damn good that the whole town of Neptune will know about my dirty little secret.
Could I really have killed Lilly? If Veronica – the girl who I dated for over a year, the girl who was almost as close to Lilly as I was, the girl who once loved me – thinks that I could kill my own sister, what chance do I have of escaping the doomed future I can see unfolding before me?
Could my parents really have paid off Abel Koontz? They only would have done that to protect me – I know that much. But everything Veronica was saying in the journalism room all seems so unnatural, so unreal.
Then again, so was the thought that my vibrant, beautiful sister could die.
I need to talk to Logan. He'll set me straight. He'll reassure me that Veronica's let her grief go to her head. He'll tell me that there's no way I could have killed my sister. In short, he'll tell me exactly what I need to hear.
Logan and Veronica may have moved past their unrivaled animosity to some weird sort of truce these past few weeks. Still, he's the only one that I've been able to count on for support through everything that followed Lilly's death.
He's my best friend, after all. And Veronica's the one who teamed up with her dad against my father.
I head for the quad, wondering if I can find Logan camped out at his usual after school location. I pass by the flagpole and see the usual crowd of 09'ers laughing and drinking, but no sign of Logan.
And then I saw him in his orange-striped brown jacket practically sprinting towards his yellow jeep, with his cell phone held tightly to his ear. Thankful for my daily jogging regimen, I take off after him, wanting to catch him before he leaves.
"Logan, wait!" I call, but he doesn't even flinch. Clearly he's distracted by the phone call, as he's trying to blindly find the right key and unlock the door to his jeep.
And then my hand is on his shoulder, which forces him to acknowledge me. In exchange, he gazes at me with a look of absolute frustration.
Not now, he mouths, his body language speaking volumes. He has no idea what's going on with me, but he has other things on his mind.
His brows furrow, as he concentrates on his phone call, having completely forgotten my presence by this time. I hear him whisper Camelot under his breath, and I know without a doubt that's where he's heading in such a hurry.
Before I know it, Logan is peeling out of the parking lot, with the screech of his tires turning onto the road echoing across the quad.
No matter what shit Logan might have going on in his life, I need to talk to him about this. Obviously, something big had happened, and I could easily wait on the side until he had time to reassure my overly-anxious mind.
Goddammit, Veronica! Why did you have to plant that seed of doubt?
I head towards my locker, needing to grab my bag and keys before I left. I'd be cutting soccer conditioning to track down Logan, but Coach would understand. And if not, finding my own peace of mind is more than worth whatever lecture I'd receive.
Moments later, I was climbing into my own car, trying to remember where Logan had said he was headed – assuming that his muttered words were a hint at a destination, anyhow.
Hadn't he said 'Camelot,' as in the Camelot Motel?
He couldn't have. After all, the Camelot is typically used for illicit trysts and other illegal goings-on. And Logan wouldn't be involved with anything like that, would he?
We may not be as close as we used to be before Lilly died, before everything changed forever. But he wouldn't keep even a vague mention of his woman-of-the-moment from me, would he?
No, of course he wouldn't. We're close enough that he still felt that it was his responsibility as my friend to tell me about Veronica's files. He wouldn't keep something like that from me, and he certainly wouldn't blow me off in favor of a woman.
He must have been referring to Camelot Boulevard, which – granted – includes the motel itself along its strip. Something big, something that demanded his immediate attention must have made him head in that direction in such a hurry. Why else would he have brushed me aside so carelessly earlier? Why else would he have been listening so earnestly and desperately to whatever was being said during his phone call?
After he deals with whatever occurred, he'll need a friend, specifically his best friend. And I'll be there to listen – and hopefully do a better job of consoling him than I did at his mom's memorial service.
The streets are relatively quiet for this time of day, forcing me to scour the parking lots and alleyways. Otherwise, I'm sure that my mind would be venturing towards unpleasant thoughts that I'd prefer not to dwell on.
I need to talk to Logan. He'll tell me the truth – that I couldn't have possibly killed my sister. With my best friend at my back, I know that I'll be able to handle whatever ridiculous theories or accusations that Veronica may want to throw my way.
Despite my intense gaze, I almost overlook a more than slightly familiar black Le Baron that is parked outside the Camelot.
Please let her be there checking up on a case for her father. Those things that everyone's been saying can't possibly be true. The Veronica I knew, that I dated, that I loved couldn't be the girl who has been the favorite subject of the Neptune gossip-mongers these past few months. She couldn't possibly be getting herself involved in the Idon'twanttothinkaboutit WRONGNESS that is the Camelot, right?
It can't be true. It can't, it can't, it can't, it can't.
Not really wanting an answer to that, or really wanting to talk to her after our thrilling confrontation earlier that afternoon, I drive on.
Surprisingly enough, the sight of Logan's jeep by the adjacent apartment building calls to me like a beacon in the dark, and I quickly pull to a stop beside him, more confused than ever. After all, the surrounding area seems tranquil, almost as if I'm entering the calm before a storm.
I see no sign of Logan or anyone, really, other than the scattered residents going about their everyday life. Where the fuck could he be? The only other logical location was the Camelot, and he wasn't – he couldn't – and with Veronica of all people?
No, no, there had to be a logical explanation here somewhere. Logan would never do anything like that. Especially not with her, the girl who he has professed to hate with the fire of a thousand suns.
But the question is, what could have possibly gotten Logan so worked up that he didn't have two minutes to talk to me, his best friend?
Then it hits me like a bolt of lightening – his mother.
Veronica must have found her, which would certainly explain his impatience earlier. Veronica could have been drawing out the information to keep him from getting too worked-up. Clearly, her plan hadn't worked all that well, but how was she to know?
The street seems to be devoid of the cop cars and ambulances that I would expect which means one of two things.
Lynn Echolls could be dead inside the Camelot. Then there's no rush to report anything to the authorities until Logan has had time to deal with everything. I'd like to think that Veronica would respect his need to make peace with the volatile emotions that this would bring to the surface. Then again, given the lack of tact that she'd shown me this afternoon, the authorities could be on their way shortly for all I knew.
Or his mom could be safe and sound inside the Camelot, hiding out from the world – until the irrepressible Veronica Mars got on her tail, that is. I don't know why she felt she should check out his mom's suicide. But, if only for Logan's sake, I'm glad that she felt it was something that she should do.
Not that that gives her any right to be accusing me of murdering my own sister.
I'm sure that Veronica could use my help in calming Logan, no matter what the situation. I mean, I can't imagine how anyone her size could deal with an overemotional Logan. He gives her enough hell – and rightfully so, I've now determined – when he's not at the end of his emotional rope.
As I make the turn the corner of the office building, I see two familiar figures facing each other in silence on the balcony. Do I approach them? Wait for them to take note of my presence themselves?
Did Veronica just kiss him? Oh, please tell me that my eyes are simply deceiving me.
I blink to refocus my eyes, and – thank goodness – they're not kissing. Figures that my vision is about the only thing I don't have medication for.
And then the next thing that I know, Logan pulls her passionately into his arms and presses his lips to hers.
This is not what's supposed to happen. I'm supposed to come here and take charge. Apologize for being such a prick at his mom's memorial a few weeks ago and bond together over our joined hatred for one Veronica Mars.
Until today, I hadn't understood Logan's unbridled fury towards her, and now that I do understand, he's most certainly moved on. With my fucking ex-girlfriend of all people.
They're moving closer and closer, oblivious to the world around them as they deepen the kiss, making me red with fury.
God, he didn't come here to fuck my ex-girlfriend, did he?
Thoughts of the harsh words Veronica and I exchanged earlier faded, while images of that thought spontaneously flashed through my mind.
She was mine, dammit. And, as far as I'm concerned, she should still be mine.
Yes, I may have broken up with her, but that doesn't mean that things are over between us. No matter how many girls there may have been since Veronica, there is only one Veronica Mars. And she should be mine.
I ended things with her in a moment of weakness. I was afraid of my newly diagnosed epilepsy and what that could mean for my future – for our future if I hadn't ended things between us.
I knew I couldn't tell the girl I loved above all else that it was over, so I didn't. I just avoided her and lied to Lilly to further discourage Veronica to try to fix things between us.
When it came to Veronica, I was weak, and I knew that she would have been able to wear me down eventually.
It appears that I worked too hard to convince her of my disinterest. It worked so well that she's now in the arms of my once-best friend, kissing him as if the world could be ending at any minute.
There's no point in sticking around any longer, as it's clear now where Logan's true loyalties really lie. I was clearly deluding myself when I thought he could and would reassure me that I didn't kill Lilly.
Like he cares. He has what he wants now – my Veronica.
Hell, he probably told me about her files, in hope that I would confess to the murder of my sister and put an end to Veronica's investigating. That way, all her attention would be on him.
What a jackass.
I now know how King Arthur felt when he was betrayed by Sir Lancelot. However, unlike noble Arthur, I won't reach my death fighting for my Guinevere and my kingdom.
The life of Duncan Kane is over. Without Logan, Veronica, and Lilly in my life, I have no reason to stay in Neptune any longer.
Instead, I'll fight my way across the land, in search of a utopia to call my own. My SUV will be my trusty steed, and my bank account will be my Excalibur.
Duncan Kane is no more.
Call me King Arthur.