Chapter 7

Diane knew she had to tell her parents about the new evidence before Detective Murphy publicly released his findings but she had no idea how to broach the subject. Her father had spent his life living with the burden of a murdered family member - even if it was somebody he never met. And her grandfather grew up missing a father he never knew.

It helped that Great Nana changed her name to Donovan when she remarried to take away some of the Nelson stigma but people who knew the story also knew the players. Diane used to joke that one of the reasons why she married reasonably young was so she could change her name too.

Diane kept waiting for the news to hit the media and, worst, social media as she built up the guts to come clean with her parents but a few days went by without any press release or press conference.

And then the days turned into weeks and weeks into months and Diane wondered if the cop somehow implemented a new version of his Murphy's Law by not going public about the discovery of the murder weapon in the Donovan family's former back yard that all but convicted Tim Donovan of the crime.

Diane expected to hear from Murphy at some point but in the meantime maybe it was better to let sleeping dogs lay. Still, she couldn't live with the uncertainty and fear so she finally called the Police Station. McCarthy told her that Detective Murphy was at a conference in Boston and wouldn't be back until Thursday night.

Diane went to Murphy's apartment building and told the super that she was the cop's girlfriend and she wanted to surprise him upon his return. She cleaned every inch of his apartment, painted the rooms, and brought in spare furniture stashed in her cellar to make the place more attractive and useful.

Late on Thursday afternoon, she prepared a meal for Murphy at his revitalized apartment and Murphy was in complete and total shock when he stepped into his apartment to find all the changes - as well as her presence.

"Are you going to tell people about the gun?" Diane asked from where she stood at the stove as Murphy stepped up to the half wall separating the kitchen from the dining room.

"I closed the file," Murphy told her. "I updated the paperwork, wrote my final report, informed the Chief, and now the case is done."

"But what about telling people?" Diane asked as she stirred the tomato sauce.

"I can live with solving the case even if nobody knows about it," Murphy said.

"So, you'll keep the family secret?"

"I don't know how long it will stay buried," Murphy warned. "The Chief knows. Chris Harper knows. The first time some snoopy reporter or investigator comes around they'll see my report."

"And the rumors will fly anew," Diane sighed. "But maybe my grandparents will be dead by then."

"What are you doing in my apartment?" Murphy asked with curiosity.

"Making it livable."

"You didn't have to do that."

"I wanted to."

They stared at each other for a long moment.

"I'm sorry I blew you off as a geek," Diane finally said.

"I'm sorry you and your family had to endure all of this for so long."

"Are you hungry?" She asked. "I made Chicken Parmigiana."

Murphy walked around the opened wall and into the doorway. Diane turned to face him and he pulled her into his arms, giving her a kiss which she happily returned.

"No more secrets," he told her.

"I can live with that," she grinned.

"My New Murphy's Law is keeping you happy," he remarked as they stood smooching in the middle of the kitchen.