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The death of Andy Lee

By William Sengdara
Andy Lee was my next-door neighbour as we lived in the same apartment block. He was as normal as any
guy I have ever met. He loved wearing black shirts and red sneakers and was always on the run to get to
one conference or another. Like businessmen and white-collar crooks do. He would boast that he was a
big shot sales consultant at a big advertising agency. But I had a feeling he was just a junior running
errands for the bigger fish. When the news about his death came, not only was I stunned, I was shocked
into silence. We were not best friends or anything, but death so close to home is a shocker. I had just
started on making fried-rice and fish for lunch when the detective came around. Detective Ronald
Windwaai introduced himself and gave a look around my apartment. Lao radio had been playing Ting
Phailavanh all day long: "koy khao kub ma" was on repeat again.
"I hear from the other tenants that you and Mr. Lee...," He trailed off, looked through his notebook,
before continuing. "The deceased, were acquainted..."
I nodded and motioned him to a chair. He shook his head and put his hands into his coat instead. The
way detectives and flashers do.
"We were acquainted." I replied.
The noise of shuffling and policemen moving things and taping off his room was defeaning.

It turned out that Andy had been dead for over two weeks: dead in his room - right next to mine. All
along I had been under the impression that he was down in Hong Kong for an important conference, or
in some warm hotel room with a hot call-girl. The way married men and rich f**s do.
After what seemed like an eternity of silence and counter-counter stares between me and the detective, the
silence was broken. The detective got up and gave my kitchen a last look over. He was particulary
impressed with my knife collection.
"Ah, stainless steel." He commented. "Of course we do not suspect foul play... "
He walked out and closed the door behind him, saying. "It is quite clear it was a suicide. It is normal for
us to ask questions."

Andy Lee had been fired from his job several weeks before. He had discovered his girlfriend cheating on
him with the senior sales consultant and had gone mad as a result: He had gone out and bought an
aluminium baseball bat and had tracked the guy down and smashed his skull in: before proceeding to slit
her wrist with a blunt bread knife. The doctors said that he had done such a terrible number on her that
they had been left with no other alternative but to amputate. She was so traumatised that she had gone
straight into a coma and thus police had had no leads. Till now that is. Andy Lee then wrote his mother a
short e-mail to say that he had been promoted to a much better and higher post in Tokyo, Japan and
would be too busy to call, Skype or e-mail. He would not even be on Facebook. The way killers do. He
then bought a giant starved python and kept it in his bedroom where it watched and hissed at him,
hungry and growing restless in its flimsy cage. It was Consweilo, the apartment cleaning lady, who called
the police. She had nearly had a heart attack when she found the snake coiled in a dark corner, slowly
digesting Andy Lee. The autopsy revealed that although he had ingested a cocktail of sleeping pills in
anticipation of the snake's attack; he had actually been fully conscious during the episode. When they
finally managed to kill the snake and cut him out: the bastard had a beautiful smile on his face. The way
only Andy Lee would do.