"They found the officer unconscious in the Men's bathroom" Mark said as he and Amanda sat around Jesse's bed. "Allday had followed him in there and had knocked him out."
It was the morning after the attack. Jack was still sleeping in another room, having suffered from concussion. Jesse was feeling much better now that he had regained his memory, and although he was still in pain his appetite had returned and he had wolfed down his breakfast, and was now tucking into a jelly pot.
Allday had been arrested on one count of attacking a police officer, and two counts of attempted murder. And with the evidence that Jesse had found they had a pretty good case against Allday.
"So how did you figure out Allday was the murderer?" Amanda asked.
"Well it was after Steve said that the only connection between Bernard and Thomas was that they went to the same high school – Lincoln High School- and I remembered that Bernard had said that Allday had gone to the same school, and he mentioned a prank that they pulled on the last day," Jesse said, scraping the last bit of jelly out of the pot. "So I searched their names and it came up with an old school newspaper and there was an article about the Graduation Class of 1971. It gave a list of all those graduating, including Bernard, Thomas and Allday. And it also mentioned a prank that Bernard, Thomas and three other friends made on Allday at the graduation after party. Where Allday had been dressed as the Queen of England and tied to the flag pole in the school grounds. There was even a photo taken. The article joked about the incident, saying how pleased they were that the Queen was able to take time out of her busy schedule to come and visit. I then looked up the names of the other three friends, Greg Jones, Lewis Dean and Harry Lane. A news article came up talking about how they men had been murdered at Portland Hospital over a 3 year period. All the victims were smothered but they were unable to find any evidence to make any arrests. Allday had been working at Portland over this time before he transferred here."
"Hmmm, it's still not very watertight evidence, could just be circumstantial," Mark said thoughtfully.
"Yeah, I know, but you should have seen Allday when he saw Bernard that day. He was livid." Jesse said.
"Well I guess we'll just have to see what happens, I think Steve is interrogating him now," Mark said.
"We've seen the article that Jesse pulled up off the internet showing your connection to the victims, and we know you worked at Portland Hospital before transferring here. The police in Portland even sent us a report showing their suspicions that you were the one that murdered the three victims there, but they had no evidence to arrest you," Steve said.
Allday remained silent, staring at the metal table in front of him. They had been in the interview room at the police station for 2 hours now and they had gotten nowhere. Allday hadn't spoken since he had been arrested, and Steve was starting to get frustrated. He was pacing the room to try and stay calm.
"Why did you do it, huh?" Steve questioned. "Couldn't you handle a little fancy dress? Is that it?"
For the first time since Allday had entered the interview room, he looked up, directly at Steve, hate burning in his eyes.
"No," he said quietly, "No, I could not handle that final act of humiliation that those….those sons of bitches did to me!" Allday spat, "For years they bullied me, called me names, threw food at me! WHY? Because I was different? Because I studied hard? What did I do that was so bad that I deserved that HELL they put me through?"
Steve was shocked by this sudden outburst and he noticed Allday was shaking with anger.
"But I kept going. I told the teachers but no one did anything about it. They just told me to ignore them and they would get bored. Yeah, like that ever works! But I got on with my studies. I was determined to make something of myself. To show everyone I wasn't a loser. They were the losers!"
"And I did. I got the grades, I won a scholarship to study medicine. Graduation day was meant to be my proudest moment. All my hard work had paid off, and now I could stand up in front of everyone at the ceremony and show them that I was going places, I was going to be successful."
"And then on my way to the Graduation after party they ambushed me, and dressed me up in that…that ridiculous outfit…..and everyone laughed," Allday said, his hands were gripping the table edge, Steve could hear the despair in his voice. "EVERYONE, even the teachers, and in that moment they stole my last bit of dignity. They took away all my hard work, my efforts. This is what I would be remembered for by all my classmates and teachers. They humiliated me and so I vowed then and there that I would get revenge, I would pay them back for what they did."
Allday paused, thinking back, remembering the heartache and suffering he had gone through.
"And then one day Greg Jones was admitted to Portland with kidney stones. He didn't remember me at first, but he would, they all did in the end." Allday smiled, remembering the satisfaction of watching his old bullies, writhing in their beds terrified of him, "To know that it was me for once instilling the fear, me that had the power!"
"I think we've heard enough," Steve said appalled. "David Allday, I am charging you with five counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of assaulting a police office. Pete, take him back to his cell please" Steve said as he walked towards the door to leave. Looking back he saw that Allday still had that strange satisfied smile on his face and it sent a shiver up his spine. He would never get used to his job he thought as he went to his desk to fill out the paperwork.
Two weeks later, Mark and Steve were relaxing on the sun loungers on the veranda. The BBQ was in full swing, with chicken, sausages and burgers sizzling away.
"Hi guys," Amanda said as she came up the steps that led up to the veranda, "I've brought the potato salad as promised," she added holding up a large bowl which she placed on the table. "Where are Jack and Jesse?"
"Oh, they're on the beach, in fact I think they're on their way back now," Mark said watching as two figures in the distance trudged through the sand, the taller one, Jack, carrying a surf board.
Jack and Jesse had been inseparable since the attack. Jack had spent a lot of time with Jesse as Jesse continued to recover in hospital and he found that they actually had a lot in common. They shared a very similar sense of humour and would spend hours laughing and joking, mostly at the expense of Steve.
Since leaving hospital, Jack had kept Jesse company at home, watching films and playing on the games console. And for the last few days Jesse had been trying to teach Jack how to surf.
"How did it go?" Steve asked when Jesse and Jack had finally joined them.
"Well he actually managed to stand on the board for about 30 seconds today, so that's an improvement I suppose," Jesse said with a smirk.
"Yeah well at least I can do a slam dunk on the basketball court titch," Jack retorted.
"Oi! You said you would quit with the short jokes!" Jesse exclaimed.
"Now, now children," Mark said laughing, "No need for arguments at the table."
"Yeah, sorry Jess," Jack said and ruffled Jesse's hair. Jesse quickly slapped Jack's hand away but still smiled.
After they had eaten the gang sat back and enjoyed the view. The distant calls of seagulls could be heard over the rolling waves and there was a cool breeze blowing, carrying the scent of the salty seawater. Jack looked around at his friends, all looking happy and content, and he thought there was no other place he would rather be right then.
"Oh Jack I really am going to miss you," Amanda said two hours later. They were sitting in the living room, as Jack waited for his taxi to take him to the airport. His suitcase stood alone by the front door.
"I know, me too, but I'm going to come down again as soon as I can," Jack said squeezing Amanda's hand.
"It's been great having you here," Mark said, "Just like the old days."
"You mean with the unsolved crime cases, murders and life-threatening situations?" Jack said with a laugh.
"Yeah," Jesse said, "Who wouldn't want a nice, relaxing holiday like that?"
Everyone laughed but were interrupted by a car horn.
"That must be my cab," Jack said sadly. The group walked with him outside to the taxi.
"Have a safe journey Jack," Steve said clapping his friend on the back, "It's been really good seeing you again."
"Yeah take care hun," Amanda said hugging Jack.
"And remember, don't ever be a stranger, you can come and stay anytime," Mark added, also giving Jack a hug.
"It's been great meeting you Jack," Jesse said, "And thanks again for saving my life and all that jazz," he added with a laugh.
"No problem," Jack said giving Jesse a one arm hug, "And don't forget to practise the basketball tricks I showed you. We will definitely be playing next time I'm down and I don't want to whoop your ass too quickly!"
"Ha! You wish!" Jesse said.
Jack climbed into the taxi and rolled down the window. "Bye," he said as the taxi started down the driveway. He watched as Mark, Amanda, Steve and Jesse waved as the car pulled onto the road and headed towards the airport.
"Good visit?" the taxi driver asked.
"Yeah," Jack replied, "You could say that." He smiled. They were so not going to believe what had happened to him when he went back to work.