I led the crew towards the galley, the coziest place on the ship. I tried to walk with my usual rapid, confidence, but my hands were shaking. I shoved them into my pockets and tried to clear my mind.
Over the muffled whispers I declared, "Let's wait to discuss this together. Silence please." The pounding in my head was causing my vision to blur which scared me. I usually felt totally in control. I kind of enjoyed the anxiety, despite the pain and fear. Finally something had happened.
I stood by the sink and gestured to the benches surrounding the steel table. Everyone sat, except for Jimmy, who stood beside me gazing up like a puppy waiting for a ball to be thrown. I felt the rush of their expectation and respect. They needed me now. I would collect myself. In my pocket I caressed a tiny gold object.
"Where were each of you when you last saw Maria?"
"With you, sir." Jimmy was quick to reply. "In the observation room. Remember, she argued with you about wanting to change rooms."
My hand clenched into a ball in my pocket, creating an indention in my palm. I ignored him, hoping others would too.
"Umm...I don't think I've seen her since last night at the dance," Suzanne said.
"You don't think!?" I growled. If they were all these forgetful, everything might work out perfectly.