"Really? Let me see!" I demanded rudely. I didn't believe him. It couldn't be true. I held my hand out for the sketch book and closed my fingers around it when Patrick pressed it into my hand. I set it on the desk in front of me. My fingers hesitated over the page, did I really want to see this? Chiding myself for being a chicken I forced my hesitant fingers down to the paper.
At first there was nothing, just the rough textured sketch paper, then suddenly I could see. The man in the picture did look disturbingly like Nate, with a few differences. This man did not wear glasses, and he had a scar on the bridge of his nose. But the hair, the eyes, the mouth, were all the same. It cannot be, I thought, There has to be some explanation.
"Oh," I said aloud. "This is creepy."
"What's creepy?" Nate asked, walking back into his office. I hadn't heard him coming, and I jumped despite myself. Nate noticed and apologized. "Sorry Jade, I didn't mean to startle you."
"No worries Nate, I just didn't hear you coming, I was concentrating pretty hard I guess." I said, mentally forcing myself to calm down.
"You know, I don't think I have ever been able to sneak up on you before, you must have been concentrating really hard." He was teasing me, at this point, I wasn't sure if I liked it. "So, what's so creepy?" He asked, sensing my hesitance.
"See for yourself." I pushed the sketch book towards him. He stepped slightly behind my chair, and out of nervous habit I rolled away. I heard his sharp intake of breath as he gazed down at the sketch.
"Is this some kind of a joke? Cuz it's not very funny." He was mad. I could feel the anger rolling off of him in waves.
"No Nate, that is the man I saw kill that couple. I-I'm sorry." I reached out to touch him, reassuringly. He snatched his hand back before I could find it.
"Don't touch me!" He hissed. "You don't want to see what I'm thinking right now Jade." I could hear his voice hardening, and I knew he was right. I did not want to see what was going on in his mind right now.
"Maybe I should go," I said quietly.
"No, Jade, I'm sorry. You didn't deserve that," he sighed. He didn't explain his sudden anger, but I could feel it deflating, draining out of him with every word he said. "You did good Jade, you did good." Nate sighed and I heard the desk creek, I knew he was sitting on it. "Patrick, I want you to get this to every police station in the province."
"But," Patrick began to protest, but Nate cut him off.
"But nothing, just do it!"
"Alright, it's done." Patrick picked up the sketch pad and left the office. The silence that followed was awkward filled with unasked questions.
Nate was the first to break the uncomfortable silence. "Jade," he began, "I think there is something you need to know."
"What is it Nate?" I whispered. The air seemed thicker, pressing down on me. The desk creeked again and I heard the door click shut. The general office noise was muffeled.
"I-I'll have to show you," he said.