“Okay, Susan, what can I help you with?” I spoke softer than normal, hoping to put her at east.
“My friend, Mia, she killed herself about two months ago.” She stared into her lap.
“I’m very sorry to hear that.”
“Thanks. But I don’t think she killed herself.” She finally looked at me, daring me to argue.
“If you think she was murdered, you should go to the police.” I took a sip of my coffee.
“I did, but they won’t listen to me. There was a suicide note in her handwriting, and they said everything lines up with suicide. There’s no evidence of murder. They won’t do anything. But they don’t know Mia. She was so happy—she would never kill herself.” Her words ran together.
“Sometimes people are really good at hiding their emotions,” I said, thinking of myself.
“Please, Ms. Ronen, you have to help me.” The emotional outpouring was over and Susan stared at her lap again.
“What do you want me to do?”
“Find out who killed Mia, and why someone would do such an awful thing to such a good person.” She looked into my eyes, pleading.
A pang of regret for Susan’s naivety clenched my gut, just for a moment. “I need to ask you a few questions to help me determine if I can help you. First I want to get some general information. Where do you and Mia live?”
I raised my eyebrows. “That’s not exactly down the street.”
“It’s only two hours.”
“Why me? Why not go to a PI closer to home?”
“Because you have power,” Susan whispered.
Oh boy. I felt like printing up a flier to hand people who wanted me to use my power to track down lost pets and errant husbands. “Susan, my power doesn’t work like that.”
“No, you don’t understand. Mia had power too. I know how it works. She told me.” A tear escaped Susan’s eye. “Is that why they killed her? Because she told me about her power?”
“So you think you know who did it?” Maybe that’s why she was so nervous. If she thought she knew who killed her friend, she might fear for her own life as well.
“No, well, maybe. I mean, no one was supposed to know, right? So what if the people in her coven found out she told me and killed her because of it?”
“That’s not how we do things, Susan. We’re peaceful, on the whole. Sure, there are bad witches, just like there are bad people everywhere, but we don’t kill people for telling secrets, especially now that it’s no longer a secret.”
“But will you help me?” Her eyes shone with tears and desperation.
I tried to remember if I was ever that innocent. Maybe long ago, before my mother was killed in a car accident and I found out my father was having an affair. Maybe.