The Sequels to Syrrah's Game SGSequels

chapter 5

Monday, August 7th, 11:20 am

Sauk Centre, MN


Once inside the Best Western motel room, Evan dropped himself down to a sitting position on the front edge of the bed. He took off his hat, placing it to the side of the bed, and then unloaded his backpack onto the carpeted floor. He dropped back and sprawled himself out across the double-sized bed with his arms outstretched. “Ahh, at last. Rest.”

“We could have taken my sorry-ass Chevy pickup. Then I could have driven the whole way…not that it would have been better on gas.”

“No, man. This is my thing. Don’t want to make you drive it.” Evan took out his phone from his short’s pocket and glanced at the time. 11:20 AM. “We did decent time, considering we left around nine AM.”

“It’s about a two-hour trip according to Google maps.” Freddy sat down on the other bed. “So, do you know where to begin?”

Evan drew in a deep breath and let it out gradually. He stared up at his phone held over his face. “Already did some online searching days earlier. Rather sure they live in town.”

“Wait a minute. Rather sure? You don’t know if they live here, even after we got a motel room already?”

Evan laughed. “Now, don’t give up on me yet. I know things. I know they live nearby, out of town more…maybe. I know her father lives at their house, but I’m not sure about her sister.”

“She has a sister?”

“Yeah. I have a general idea of where they live, but that’s not even the hard part whatsoever.” Evan sat up and stared at Freddy. “The hard part, my friend, is approaching them, as total strangers, to talk about their dead family member.”

“What about the mom?”

“Not sure. Details are sketchy, but I think she’s ill or something, like maybe in a nursing home. And in fact, I think her sister works at the nursing home where the mom is staying.”

“That’s convenient. What’s her sister’s name?”

“Neraeh.” Evan wanted to see it in front of him. He searched on his phone for the notes he had saved. He opened the document. “Yeah. Have it right here. Neraeh Van Meir. And I’m pretty sure she’s twenty-one. She was around fifteen when Syrrah died.”

“They both sure have some different names.”

“Yeah, I know. Her dad’s name is Hanson, and her mom’s name is Beverly.”

“Hanson definitely sounds Scandinavian.”

“I know. But I could care less what nationality they are.”

“I wouldn’t throw it off so quickly. Culture can mean a lot as to how people react to family members dying.”

“Yeah, maybe.”

“So, brave adventurer, how do you plan on approaching Neraeh, or her dad?”

“Definitely Neraeh, at first. And I thought about asking around, like old friends, or people she knows, but that may strike as weird or suspicious, and just have those people sending warning text messages to her, or worse, contacting the police. So, I hope, I pray, we can find out for sure where she works, or where she lives, and then simply ask to speak to her.”

“And then what?”

“Well, believe me, I’ve thought about this a long time. I would just tell her the truth. I was there, when her sister drove by, and then saw the crash. And for some reason, she looked at me, when she drove by. And I can still see her, in my mind. It’s the truth.”

“And for many years your dad didn’t want you to think about it or do anything about it, and now since you’re eighteen, you decided to finally find out.”

“Yes. Exactly.”

“Did Syrrah have a Facebook account, or any other social media?”

“I tried searching but found nothing. If she had any, the family must have removed them all. But Neraeh does.”

Freddy took out his phone. He was searching and then stopped moving his fingers. “Found her. On Facebook. Doesn’t look like any Instagram or Twitter.”

Evan opened the Firefox bookmark he made. “Yeah. I know. See. She works at Sauk Centre Intermediate Care facility, if her Facebook status is up-to-date.”

Freddy squinted at his phone. “Hmm. Not…not bad, actually. Rather attractive. Sort of heavier than Syrrah was?”

“Yeah, maybe,” Evan said, shrugging. “To me, not as pretty as Syrrah. But, I don’t care.”

“I wouldn’t mention you thought Syrrah was pretty. Could cause some jealousy issues.”

“Doubt that. She probably misses her a ton. Believe me, I’ll be very careful what I say. But, if I do see her photo, like she shows me one, or something on her phone, or elsewhere, I’m not gonna lie about it. Syrrah is the most beautiful girl in the world to me.”

Freddy chuckled quietly. “More than Heidi?”

Evan smiled. “Not telling.”

“Better make sure you tell her you have a girlfriend if she comes on to you.”

“Like every girl wants me.”

Freddy laughed and lay back on the bed. “Umm, hello, dude. Girls are always checking you out. Wish I had that problem.”

Evan grabbed his hat and stood up. “No, they’re not. Be real.” He checked to make sure his wallet was still in his pocket, and it was. “Come on. I want to visit that nursing home.”  

“All right.” Freddy got up and walked ahead to the door. He turned back. “Hope you got this under wraps, dude. One wrong word, phrase, or look could get suspicions running high here, like you mentioned. I still think we should at least check out some local stores or businesses to get a feel for the people around here.”

“I agree. And get something to eat while we’re at it.”

“Right on that.”