CHAPTER FOUR: In the courtroom
The DA questions Paul Lear. According to Paul, the girls went for a walk. They were gone for around 10 minutes when they heard Ann yell 'don't'. When they got to the cliff edge they saw Sharon crouched down staring over the side of the cliff. Ann was no where to be seen. He says he doesn't remember whose idea it was to go for a walk. Ann was not suicidal and that Ann and Sharon had been friends.
Johns turn to question the witness. Paul tells the court when John questions him about his past that he dropped out of high school and joined the Navy. He only served 1.5 years before getting an honourable discharge because he had asthma. He didn't know why his asthma didn't show up on his physical when he joined. Afterwards he did odd jobs before moving to Utah to live with his father. That was when he met Ann. Chad introduced them. John asks how much money Ann left him in her will and he said he didn't know. John said it was a small fortune. He asks if he saw Sharon push Ann off the cliff. He said no.
Awesome foreshadowing at the end of this chapter. John says to Sharon,
“ You five made an interesting group. I wonder if you know who loved who. Or who loved what.” pg 71
I think reality is hitting Ann right now. She is sitting staring at the fire going over and over in her head what she is about to do. It is becoming very real to her now. Ann is a master manipulator indirectly getting Chad to choose a spot to camp exactly where Ann needed them to be. They were all sitting around the fire drinking beers and singing songs. Sharon was playing the guitar while Fred (who must have had enough to drink to let loose a bit) was singing. Getting antsy, Ann comments that the fire is so bright it was hard to see the milky way. As if on cue Sharon suggests that they go for a walk. It seems Ann is trying to fake her death around the same time her brother died.
The talk for a few minutes at the cliff edge and Ann comments it's cold and Sharon suggests going back. Ann agrees but asks Sharon to leave her the flashlight and she would follow along in a second. She wanted to be alone for a few minutes. Sharon agrees reluctantly.
Ann waits a full minute before moving to the bush to find the rope. While she is attaching it to the harness she has under her sweater she realizes that the wind might actually swing her into the wall after she jumps. She decides to take a running jump to compensate for it. She misjudged how far she needed to jump and realizes when she stops falling that she has fallen 100 feet away from the edge and is being whipped back towards it quickly. She hits it hard with her right elbow shattering it and also cracks her head pretty hard. It drips blood and she suffers a concussion but doesn't pass out. She is dazed hanging from the bottom of her rope for a few minutes when she realizes that someone is messing with her rope. PAUL! She freaks out and rushes to get down only her injuries are making that difficult. She manages to hook the second rope to her harness but can't unattached the first rope. She is still swinging out over the river. Paul is definitely trying to free her pin even though she knows he must feel the tension on the rope still.
Wow this is getting nail biting intense! I mean Ann just jumped off the cliff! What a nut! Sucks that she almost got reefed in two when she ran out of rope and that she slammed into the side of the cliff. I know what it feels like to hit your funny bone, I couldn't imagine the pain of shattering that bone! I don't think she thought her plan as through as she thought. She probably should have done a practice run or something. But then again I guess while she was going over her plan in her mind she forgot that it might be possible that she could injure herself.
“Ann only regretted she couldn't push him off the cliff before she jumped. She still didn't understand what Sharon saw in the guy.” pg 75
I'm surprised at this point that she cares what Sharon thinks about anything, let alone Fred. I mean she is after all trying to frame her for murder. I think Ann is swinging back and forth between super hatred for Sharon and super caring for her best friend. (haha see what I did there? Singing back and forth? Yeah nevermind lol)
“Sharon slipped the light into Ann's hand. The Sharon reached around with both hands and hugged her. “you are so important to me,” Sharon whispered in her ear.
“Do you need me?”
Sharon let go. “Yes.”
“That's good,” Ann Said. Pg 80
Oh Ann just when you make me sort of feel all warm and fuzzy about you, you do this. Well maybe warm and fuzzy is taking it to far. She did make me question again what her real motivation was and if it really was about Sharon. Then she turns around and does this. It's like Sharon telling her how much she needs Ann in her life made her want to take that jump even more. This part actually made me pretty sad but maybe it was because I knew that Sharons world was about to do a 180.
"That night, she had learned in a way that she would never forget what it was like to fall into darkness." Pg 82
I love this quote. It's so true in more ways then one.
Sharon hears Ann scream and tries to run back thinking a mountain lion was attacking her. But because she has no light she has to take her time. She finds it strange that Ann's scream didn't just stop but seemed to fade away. She screams Ann's name and realizes that she must have fell off the edge of the cliff. The three boys reach Sharon and they are all panicked. Paul asks Sharon what happened. She says that Ann wanted to be alone and that she heard Ann scream after she had already started back. Fred asked her if they fought and she said no that she wasn't even with her when she screamed out. Paul says he is going over the edge to look. Chad insists that he should go over to look since he has more experience Paul says no that Chad is to emotional right now. One last ditch effort Chad suggests they hike to the bottom. Paul says that will take to long and that she might have landed on the ledge part way down. Fred is sure that if she went over the edge then she is dead. Sharon feels that Fred is blaming her but then she scolds herself saying she is just being paranoid. How can anyone think that she could have pushed Ann?
Paul is eventually hauled back up and asks what Ann shouted before she screamed. Fred Says 'Don't'. Both Paul and Fred are looking at Sharon like the believe she did it. She is horrified. Chad tells them to stop wasting time that they need to hike to the bottom to look around. They get to the bottom and no body. Fred figures the body was swept down the river towards the lake. Paul uses the flashlight to inspect the rocks at the bottom and leans over by a rock. Chad asks what he sees and he quickly gets up and says nothing. He walks back to the others asking what they should do. Fred wanted them all to go back to the truck and get help. Paul wanted to stay to look for the body. Chad says he will hike to a campsite close by and try and call the police from there. Fred will hike back to the truck and go get help by himself. Sharon says she will stay and at first Paul doesn't want her to but eventually gives in. Fred starts for the truck when he bends over. Paul asks him what he sees and he straightens and says nothing and goes on his way. Paul leads Sharon to a small cave so she can build a fire and warm up. He leaves for 10 mins to gather some fire wood and comes back. Then heads out to go look for Ann's body.
Interesting things going on here. Paul tells Chad that he is emotional and that he shouldn't go over the edge yet Paul is like super calm? It was his fiance that just went over the cliff. I'm surprised none of them questioned that more. I know some people react to things differently and one could argue that maybe he is in shock (even though we as the reader know he was in on it so he knows she is safe...well thinks she is safe) but still, it was your fiance! At least fake some freaking out or something. We know though he has to be the one to go over because Chad will see the pin and rope if he doesn't.
Also what did Paul see on the rocks and what did Fred lean over to inspect? Gawd they are all acting suspicious at this point. Way to work together to find out what happened. Although I think that Fred really believed that Sharon did it. Whatever, he seemed rather boring and dull anyways.
CONTINUE ON WITH: Fall Into Darkness Part 1, Part 2, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6.
CONTINUE ON WITH: Fall Into Darkness Part 1, Part 2, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6.