Time : 1.20 pm
Location : Interrogation room, Amberville Police Station, Amberville.
“I swear I’m innocent, Sir. I don’t know what happened. I’m just an innocent li’l boy. ” The teenager pleaded to the man seated in front of him. Two heartless eyes stared back at him. That seemed to terrify him more. He needed the Officer sitting in front of him to believe him. He was his last hope.
“You’re the only one who seems to be listening to me, Sir. The others ‘ave all pronounced me guilty already and would have the guillotine blades sharpened if they’d allow it in this state.”
“Look. I told the other cop how it all went down but he wasn’t listening much to what I had to say. So let me tell it to you, Sir and you decide.”
“See, it all started last night at the prom. No.. I guess it started before that. Now, I’ve been a resident of this here town since when that Clinton guy was in office. I’ve never been upto no trouble.. well, I mean , c’mon. A little weed here and there with the gang last year and all that, but we were just trying it out. Besides, Major Sherwither’s son was there too. How come no one picked him up that night ? Truth is you guys are always after the poor folk like me... I’m sorry, Sir. I’m ranting. I know. I know. You’ve given me a chance to tell the truth and I’m laying accusations on your people.”
“Anyway, Lizzie and I... we been goin’ out for awhile now. You know ? Since 9th grade. I’ve never been one for commitment but Man, it seemed like we been together forever. Can’t believe it’s been three years. Three f***in’ years with one girl. Man !”
“Now, I and Lizzie.. we get into fights like any couple and we always kiss and make up in the past.. if you know what I mean. He he. She was a good kisser. Tasted like.. ya, ok. I’ll carry on. See, but this time around damn fight gets out of hand. She’s like, what’s the phrase.. making mountains out of anthills or whatever. She refused to calm down.”
“What was the fight about ? Well... she claims she saw me kissing Susan in Aisle 7 of the Quickie Mart. I mean, c’mon. What’s the point of being with a girl so long if there’s no trust, eh ? All these years together and she falls for some silly bitch’s words. It’s not like I couldn’t get anyone else... heck, jus’ last year, that farmer’s chick Millie was all over me to ditch Liz. She even promised to go all the way with me, you know what I mean ? And you know what ? I said no. ‘Cause that’s what people do when they’re exclusive. That’s true love, right there. Not this silly listenin’ to rumours.”
“What ? I was spotted with Susan ? Well, ya, we were at the Quickie Mart that day, but c’mon. It wasn’t my fault. She was all over me, tongue an’ all. I didn’t want to, but c’mon, man. Now, Lizzie, she’s a real prude in these things.. so ya, getting this girl in the market was like gravy, you know what I’,m saying ? So ya, maybe we did make out a bit, but I swear to ya, Sir, the whole time I was with Susan, I was thinkin’ of Lizzie.”
“Anyway, Lizzie got pissed and claimed we were over. Over ! Just like that. She wouldn’t answer my calls. Her bro roughed me up when I visited their house that evenin’ and the next thing I know, word in school is she’s takin’ Jimmy to the prom. Can you imagine ? 3 years I stick with her and she’s takin’ that skinny toad to the Prom.”
He looked up at the Officer’s eyes. It seemed more weary than earlier but atleast he had listened attentively till now to what the teen had to say. That was good. He needed someone to believe in him. He needed to find out who had framed him and he couldn’t do that without help from the cops. His mind wandered back to the night’s events.
“So there I was at the Prom, with no date. Susan had bailed on me. Bitch was spreadin’ rumors saying I was a bad kisser to the others. As if. Ask Lizzie. She has no complaints. Anyway, it was frustrating, man. Watching Lizzie and Jim walkin’ together. Jim with that bastard smile of his that said he couldn’t believe his luck. Lizzie holding onto him just a little bit tighter whenever she thought I was looking. And the dance. “
“It should have been me, Sir. I been goin’ out with her since forever. Prom night should have been with me. But no, instead there she was giggling at his jokes, lying on his shoulders through the dance, allowing his hands to slide down to her butt. Shit, man. You know how long it took me to get that kinda permission... ya, ok. I’ll stick to last night. Yes, Sir. I realise your time is getting wasted and the others will soon be back from their lunch break. I’m sorry, Sir. I’ll be quick. There really ain’t a whole lot more to tell.”
“So, anyway, I figured I’d talk to her after the party. But after it was all done, I couldn’t find her. I asked the guys but no one had seen her leave. Her friends wouldn’t come near me. Then I heard Jimmy’s kid brother say he’d seen his bro leave with Liz through the side entrance, you know, the one that leads to the locker rooms. Course I didn’t know that so I took Jimmy’s bro along and asked him to show me.”
“We go down the hall towards the locker rooms. I figure Liz needs to get something from her locker. Jimmy’s bro is right beside me the whole time. We talk about the Lakers game and all, and suddenly we hear these sounds from the biology lab. They seem abnormal.. hurried. I can make out Liz’s voice amongst the sounds. She seems to be in trouble. I tell the kid to stay back and not look inside and I open the door.”
“JESUS CHRIST. MATT !! OH GOD !! NO !! QUICK. SOMEBODY GET IN THERE !!!”
“Now, I don’t know why the kid’s lying to you all, but I swear on my Momma’s grave that when I entered, there was a man in the room. He’d already killed Jimmy and was gonna hurt Liz with that scalpel knife. I did my best to stop him but he was too strong...”
“OPEN THE DAMN DOOR, YOU LITTLE FREAK !!!” The thuds against the door got louder. The teen turned back to the Officer.
“That’s my story, Sir. I thank you for listening to me and hopefully the others will believe me too. I just hope they ain’t not gonna be biased against me just because my poppa too was involved in that cop killing all those years back. I think they’re here. Looks like lunch hour’s over.”
With a heavy crash, the door gave way, smashing the chair that had been placed against it’s handle. Four officers barged in and slammed the kid off his chair and onto the floor.
“PUT YOUR F***ING HANDS BEHIND YOUR BACK, YOU SICK F*** !!”
“WASTE THE KID. KILL THE BLOODY PUNK, I SAY.”
A third voice, out of breath, entered the chaos. “Noone does anything till I say so. Charlie, stop it. Stop hitting him. I swear, I’ll plug ya myself.”
“ARE YOU CRAZY, CAPTAIN ? YOU’RE THREATENING US FOR THIS PUNK ??”
“Let’s all just calm down here. What’s with you lot... why’re you picking on this young...” His voice trailed away as Officer John stepped aside and the final piece of the tableau came into his vision.
“THIS LITTLE SHIT DID IT, SIR. HE BEHEADED JIMMY GREEN AND SARAH’S GIRL LAST NIGHT AT THE PROM. IN FRONT OF LITTLE SAMMY GREEN, TOO. WE’D LEFT MATT IN CHARGE OF HIM IN THE ROOM TODAY WHILE WE WENT FOR LUNCH. WE WERE ONLY GONE 15 MINUTES, CAPTAIN, I SWEAR TO YA. WE CAME BACK A MINUTE AGO AND SAW THIS THROUGH THE ONE WAY MIRROR. ”
The Captain stared in disbelief at the table. There, as if in a bizarre mime, sat his son, rookie officer Matt. 2nd day on the force. It was only natural that he’d be given the grunt work. Typing files, making coffee... standing guard over a kid during lunch break. He was sitting on the chair with his two arms rested on the table. His palms held his head in a pose of apparent rapt inquisitiveness. A shiver passed through the Captain’s mind as he realized the trouble it must have taken to place the body in such a pose on the chair so that it wouldn’t fall off. And the force that must have been needed for the pen. The pen which protruded from his skull, almost lost in the mix of ink and blood that ran down between his eyes.
His knees turned weak and he felt dizzy as nausea overtook him. He tried to control himself but he felt the ground slide between his feet. Even as his fellow officers rushed to stop him from falling, in the background amidst the revolving walls, he thought he heard a young boy’s voice say :
“I swear I’m innocent, Sir. I don’t know what happened. I’m just an innocent li’l boy. Hey! Hey ! That cop took my pen. I want my pen back !”