DECEMBER 24, 10:04 PM (Maharlika Subdivision Guardhouse)

After I ascended back on Negros Avenue, I stopped myself a bit beside a street lamp to take some rest and at the same time also contemplate on the string of events that I have witnessed this Christmas Eve. The pitiful murder of a woman and the desperate yet dramatic suicide of the man who killed her, who could also be her lover. Clues could guide me to shed light completely on this new case, but the pieces in the puzzle weren't still complete. When two minutes had passed, I decided to take the path once more at a slower pace and moved my legs to the guardhouse of Maharlika Subdivision. When I had grabbed my smartphone from my small bag, I noticed that the time had been around 9:59 in the evening, a few seconds before it would turn 10. I walked on the same path that led me to the murderer and to his tragic demise. There were no other words for it. It was just remorseful and unfortunate. If I had only been quicker and apprehended the murderer with less consideration on being detected, he would be needed to face justice for his crime but could also make his own case on the court after his incarceration. Everyone could have heard what he had to say, why he had needed to commit such hideous act, even at the cost of my own health. I certainly knew how to catch criminals, learning from both my experience as well as the experience of other people. But perhaps this would be one of the most challenging, if not the most challenging. I was still dazed with what has happened earlier. My mind still boggled on the case. It should have been closed with the suspect's death, but it seemed that his suicide only raised more questions rather than close it all together. What were the circumstances that caused him to kill the woman? Did the murderer and the victim had some sort of relationship that could have contributed to this grisly event? Did the murderer stabbed the woman due to intense passion or a desire to be free? I was more full of questions than answers. I suddenly forgot all the clues I had obtained from examining both the victim and the suspect. My mind instead became blazing with intense curiosity that wouldn't seem to be extinguished so easily. I wouldn't know if I could be able to even have a glimpse of the answers to all the questions I had in my mind, but I hope to unveil something out of this case, that the police or me if I could be given the chance, might be able to gain new insights about this case.

While I was walking back to the guardhouse, I stopped when I had seen the pair of rubber shoes again, untouched and untampered. My eyes stared at the shoes for a few seconds while my mind was flying around in circles. The street lamps had retained their lights on, the houses had remained sleeping, and the air still maintained its cold feeling despite the wind slowly dying down as the hours went on. Time, in my perception, looked as if it went to a halt, not ticking nor turning. I had finally come to a resolution, and when I regained my conscious thought I grabbed the rubber shoes before continuing on my way to return to the crime scene, carrying the possible evidence with me. As I strolled on the straight, wide road, I only noticed nothing but the peace that was dominant in the houses I passed through, with its residents either already sleeping or enjoying their holidays. If only did they know about what occurred earlier, they would surely be on a state of shock. But it wasn't on my place to inform them about what happened. I was sure that they would receive the grim news tomorrow when they have woken up. I was certain with this. It only took me around 15 minutes to walk from the grass fields and then reaching the guard house once again. I put my journey to a halt, and inhaled some air and exhaled some before continuing on traversing the road and then raising the railing thereafter to be able to pass through. I took my smartphone from my bag again and saw that the time was around 10:14 PM. I then opened the torch light, only to see the woman's corpse remaining on her position. I saw that there were no other people outside the subdivision. Perhaps no one had discovered the corpse yet, that it was still me and only me who had seen the dead body. Nonetheless, I looked away from the lifeless woman and into the roads outside. Surprisingly, the traffic flow on the opposite side of the road had lightened dramatically, as the jam I had seen earlier dissipated almost entirely. Fewer cars were also on the road both on my side and on the other at this hour compared to earlier. It was somewhat a relief, since it would enable the authorities to reach the crime scene at a quicker rate than expected. I decided to place the rubber shoes near the woman's corpse. I still had no intention to leave. I would rather choose to stay. I also took notice that for all the hours I spent trying to make sense of this crime, my parents still hasn't contacted me just yet, even at this time. It seemed that they were still busy and could not be able to call or message me. I didn't want to tell them about what I saw just yet. My parents never knew or discovered anything about my exploits as an amateur detective, as my neighbour didn't tell anything about how I helped her arrest the scam artist that took away her money, something that gave me peace of mind. However, once this crime has caught publicity, I would be certain that my mom and my dad would surely know about what I did to help put this case to a close and possibly, to help answer all the questions this murder could raise. It looked a common crime to me and even to others, but I still hope to get something from this, probably answers and more experience. I didn't put the phone back to my bag, and I decided to type the emergency number before dialling them once again. While waiting for 911 to respond, I realised that this time I felt less tension than earlier when I first made my call to the emergency number. I still breathed in some air and exhaled it after, but now in a more calm manner.

"Hello, this is 911. How can I help you?" The operator said. It was the same voice that received me earlier. I could tell by the tone of the voice.

"Hello." I said, now with more serenity in my mind. "I was the one who called earlier to report a murder I witnessed here outside Maharlika Subdivision."

"Oh, yes sir!" The operator replied in a moment of surprise, as if he had remembered me. "Has the authority already arrived at the area?"

"No. Not yet." I answered. "But I would need help quickly. I had discovered something about the incident."

"What is it, sir?" The operator asked.

"I found a pair of rubber shoes inside the subdivision which was tainted with blood especially on the soles under it." I began to explain. "I believe that these belonged to the suspect. I brought them here with me outside the subdivision near the crime scene. I thought these could help regarding the case."

"Alright, sir." The operator said. "I will give this information to the concerned authorities."

"Thank you." I said in a sincerely grateful tone. "I also have something to tell. Something that might help with the case further."

"Alright sir." The operator agreed. "What is it?"

"When I was in a wide grass field inside the subdivision, I noticed a man in a t-shirt and a pair of jeans holding a dagger on his right hand earlier." I began to narrate. "I could tell that the dagger he held was the murder weapon he used to kill the woman."

"Alright. Understood." The operator said. "Where is the murderer now? Have you tracked his location."

"Yes. I did track him." I replied, with my heart starting to beat loudly again. "But... but... unfortunately." I stammered, with the operator listening intently, noticing from the silence on the phone. "Unfortunately I saw him commit suicide on the same grass field. I was only a few metres away from him. I-I could have caught him and put him to arrest but unfortunately he already took his life. His body is now at the grass field. Dead." I finished narrating.

"I see." The operator simply uttered, with my body already calming down. "But have you seen, well, any other accomplices of this man that could have also killed the victim?"

"No. No." I said, now in a more mindful state. "I only saw the woman and the man. There were only two persons I saw and no one else."

"Alright sir." The operator said once again. "From my intel, the police could arrive at the scene in around three to five minutes. Since you are the only witness who saw both the victim and the suspect, please stay for a while for further interrogation and investigation."

"Yes." I replied simply. "I will stay here. I will help at the police's efforts to know more about this case."

"Alright, thank you for giving us an updated report regarding the case." The operator said for the last time.

"Thank you as well. Good bye." I said before I hung up the call.

I felt enormous relief after the report. At last, the authorities would be able to go to the crime scene soon enough. Almost a minute after I made the call, I went near the guardhouse and sat on the doorstep. Minutes later, the deafening and repetitive sounds of sirens were audible even from a distance, signifying that the police were now near the subdivision and now a few seconds away before finally reaching the crime scene. I raised myself up and walked away from the guardhouse and stood near the rubber shoes I placed also close to the corpse. I could feel the police coming not for me, but for the case, for the murderer, and for the victim. Once their presence has been felt, I would give them the help they needed, the answers they wanted, and the insights they would request to solve this murder on Christmas Eve. This is the Christmas I would never forget.