Aisha’s stepsister came to Littleview later that evening. As a realtor, Laquetta needed to do a thorough check of Dominic’s house to make sure everything was fine before she listed it for rent. Although the ranch-styled dwelling would remain in the family, it was simply too nice to go uninhabited just because none of their relatives wanted to relocate to Littleview from their respective cities.
Fortunately, Aisha had calmed down considerably by the time Laquetta arrived. She now saw how foolish it was to try to pursue her brother’s supplier. After all, no one made Dominic do drugs. He did that of his own accord. If Dominic took too much, then sadly that, too, was on him and no one else.
Aisha immediately had another change of heart when Laquetta revealed the results of Dominic’s autopsy as they concluded their detailed walk-through of the house.
“Rat poison?!” Aisha blurted out as they reentered the den.
Laquetta nodded. “That’s what the coroner’s report said.” She plopped down on the blue sectional couch as if saying those words had taken a lot out of her. They had.
“Dominic might have willingly put cocaine up his nose, but he would have never mixed it with rat poison! That’s suicidal,” Aisha said, talking through her shock as she paced the floor.
Laquetta looked up. “Do you think Dominic was suicidal?”
“No, but even if he was, he would have chosen a less painful way to go. You know that boy hated pain of any kind, couldn’t even stand the tiniest of needles. If Dominic wanted to die, pills would have definitely been his course of action.” Aisha continued to pace back and forth in front of the couch her stepsister sat on.
“I don’t think he was suicidal either,” Laquetta said, holding her stomach, as if she was trying to settle it down.
Aisha suddenly paused. “Do they have any idea who might have poisoned Dominic or why?” Her voice was calm, but her face was stormier than two category-5 hurricanes. She looked ready to go on a killing spree of her own.
“N…no, they don’t.” Laquetta looked startled and deeply disturbed by the malice on Aisha’s face.
Seeing the shock in her stepsister’s eyes, Aisha quickly got herself back in check. She knew how sensitive Laquetta was to emotional situations. She didn’t want her to have another fainting spell.
“Well, let me know when they do have a suspect, okay?” Aisha said, keeping her face neutral this time.
“To be honest, Aisha, they’re not really looking for a suspect,” Laquetta replied.
“What?!” Aisha said through clenched teeth, trying her best not to alarm Laquetta again. “Why aren’t they looking for Dominic’s killer?” Unable to stand still, she started to pace the floor again.
“According to Detective Macartan, that would be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Because Dominic could have gotten those drugs from any thug in Littleview or even nearby
I do, Aisha mused, thinking about the information she’d gotten from
“Plus, the fact that Dominic had no known enemies and was dearly loved by almost everyone he knew, Detective Macartan concluded that our brother probably just went to an incompetent dealer this last time.”
“Which means they closed the case before it was barely open, right?” Aisha asked, though she already knew the answer to her question.
“Right,” Laquetta confirmed.
Pausing again, Aisha’s mouth went into a straight line. “What Detective Macartan didn’t tell you is that because they see Dominic as just another dead black man, they don’t even have the incentive to search for any suspects. The fact that no other addicts have dropped dead from rat poison laced cocaine over the last few weeks makes Dominic even more of an isolated case. Even less important to the police.”
“Aisha, don’t say things like that!” Laquetta said, shocked again. This time by her stepsister’s racially-based words.
“I’m sorry, Laquetta, but that was me putting the truth lightly around these parts.” Aisha could have mentioned that the gay factor might have also made the police less cooperative in Dominic’s case, but she didn’t in order to spare Laquetta any further embarrassment. The naïve woman’s face was beet red as it was and she kept alternating between wringing her hands and rubbing her belly through the black dress she wore.
Daddy Burgess really kept you ‘too’ sheltered, Aisha mused, concerning her stepsister.
Suddenly proving that she wasn’t as naïve as Aisha thought, Laquetta asked a most pivotal question. “Do you think we should hire a private investigator?”
Aisha looked shocked this time. She didn’t think straight-and-narrow Laquetta would have even considered going around the police. “You want to hire a P.I.?”
“If you think we should,” Laquetta replied, as if she needed that extra push to put her thoughts into action. “When I mentioned it to Felix, he said that we should just give it a rest and try to move on with our lives. He says finding out who laced those drugs won’t bring Dominic back. Plus, with me being with child and all, he’s concerned…”
“What?!” Aisha did a double take. “Come again?”
Laquetta nodded. “You heard right. I’m with child.” Her eyes glistened with happy tears. “I was going to tell you the good news over dinner tonight.”
A slow smile spread across Aisha’s face, pushing her bitterness to the side for the moment. She was extremely happy for her stepsister. She was also extremely amused by the fact that Laquetta was too prim and proper to just say, ‘I’m pregnant’. That’s what Aisha would have done if she was ‘with child’. That served to prove just how different these two sisters really were.
“I’m so happy for you, Laquetta,” Aisha said, sitting down beside her. “You’re going to make a great mother.” She gave Laquetta a warm hug. “The best mother ever,” Aisha added, giving her an extra squeeze before releasing her.
“I hope so.” Despite her obvious joy, Laquetta looked a little anxious about pending motherhood.
“I know so,” Aisha said reassuringly. “And as for that private eye thing we talked about, I think Felix is right. You should give it a rest considering your condition and all,” she continued, careful not to include herself in that decision. Aisha could never rest until the one responsible for Dominic’s death was found and brought to justice.
‘My’ kind of justice, Aisha added silently, craving revenge in the worst way.
“Are you sure?” Laquetta asked indecisively.
Aisha forced a sincere smile on her face. “I’m very sure. Now what do you want to eat for dinner tonight? Chinese or Mexican? Maybe both since you’re eating for two now.”
“Both it is.” Laquetta smiled wide, causing her face to glow with the full radiance of motherhood.
© 2005 by Suprina Frazier