by Ben Jacobs, from Murder Takes the Cake by Gayle Trent
Hey, there! Nice to meet you. I'm Ben Jacobs, editor-in-chief of the Brea Ridge Chronicle. Just before Thanksgiving, I got a phone call from Daphne Martin. Man, that was a surprise...but it was a nice surprise.
You see, Daphne and I grew up together. She, her sister Violet, Joe Fenally, and I would play together just about every day. We played Scooby Doo a lot. Daphne would, naturally, be Daphne. Violet would have to be Velma (which she hated because she wanted to be Daphne), Joe would be Fred because he was blond and athletic, and I would be Shaggy. I had a crush on Daphne, so I secretly wished I could be Fred. But I settled for Shaggy just like Violet settled for Velma. She and I might not be the coolest of the foursome, but we were an important part of the game. Without us, the others couldn't play.
My patience and perserverance paid off. Daphne and I dated all through high school. Man, I was crazy about that girl! But then she went off to college, and she met Todd Martin. Todd was on the UT football team, and I guess he was the big man on campus. To be fair, keeping up a long-distance romance had been much harder than either Daphne or I realized it would be. She wound up dumping me and marrying Todd. That hurt. A lot. It might not have been so bad if Daphne had been happy, but Todd was an abusive creep. He wound up firing a shot at Daphne and is now doing time in a Tennessee prison for attempted murder.
So now Daphne's back home. And she wanted to see me. She looks good. I've missed her. I have to tell you, though, I'm leery of putting my heart on the line with that woman again. But when I look at her...when I see her smile...when I hear her laugh...my heart's already out there.
Well, that's embarrassing. We just met, and I've poured my heart out to you. Let's change the subject. What did you do for fun when you were a kid?