The Meaning of Friendship

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
A man frames his childhood friend.

Submitted: February 21, 2014

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Submitted: February 21, 2014

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The Meaning of Friendship

By Joseph Logsdon

Rain poured down as she slowly made her way inside the dark and gloomy diner. It was midnight and almost everyone had gone home after a long day of work. However, one man refused to leave. He sat quietly at the first table on the right as the beautiful woman made her way across the threshold. His eyes were filled with guilt and regret. As she approached, blood could be seen on his jacket. The beautiful woman stared at him, but only briefly. She swiftly placed her hand on his shoulder and kissed him lightly on the cheek. Tears fell from his eyes as the world became dark, grim, and unbearable.

“What happened, Jim?” she asked.

“I don’t want to talk about it, Mary.”

“Why did you call me in the middle of the night?”

“I honestly can’t say why. I was scared and wanted a friend to talk to. Mary, you are the only friend that I can trust. In time, perhaps you will forgive me for what I’ve done.”

“What have you done?”

“I killed Ron Taylor.”

Mary did not know what to do or say as she heard her childhood friend confess to a crime, a crime that would punish him for life. Mary’s face grew pale as the rain continued. She did not know how to respond to her friend’s confession, nor could she hope to grasp his motivation behind such an act.

“Wasn’t Ron Taylor your daughter’s school teacher?”

“He was until I fired three bullets into his chest.”

“Why?”

“Does that really matter?”

“I’m afraid it does.”

“He violated my daughter.”

Mary was shocked by her friend’s statement and could barely understand the depths of the situation she found herself in. She sat down and remained silent for a brief moment. She reflected on her thoughts. However, her thoughts were soon interrupted by Jim’s desperate words.

“She let him, but she didn’t understand. Mary, I didn’t control myself when she told me. I should have gone to the police, but my emotions drove me and my car all the way to Ron Taylor’s house. I broke down his door and beat him for what seemed like hours. I mercilessly got out my gun and fired those bullets into him. I didn’t think, nor did I know what would become of me afterwards. I just fired until my gun couldn’t bear me anymore. Am I a monster, Mary?”

Mary could not believe the words her friend had uttered. As a child, she and Jim were simple playmates. They were innocent and free do to do as they wished. There was no Ron Taylor and there was no gun. Jim was a happy and free boy, a boy that loved life and the world around him. Jim knew that everything would change as he grew older, that the world would become a living nightmare. As a boy, he saw the hatred in his father’s eyes when he came home from work. Jim’s father was a victim of the corporate workplace. He struggled to support his family, and that made him bitter and alone in the end.

“You’re not a monster, Jim. You tried to protect the honor of your daughter and no one can blame you for that. I just wish you had called the police.”

“Ron Taylor was the son of the sheriff. I bet you didn’t know that, did you?”

“I only know that I want to help you. Jim, please tell me how to help you?”

“You will, Mary.”

“What do you mean?”

“The police will be here any moment.”

“Why?”

“I called them.”

“Did you confess?”

“I’m afraid not.”

“What did you tell them?”

Jim paused for a moment. He looked at Mary and gave her a smile that would shatter the hearts of millions. Mary did not know how to respond, nor did she know the truth behind her friend’s devilish intentions.

“I told them you were the killer.”

Mary’s heart skipped a beat as she struggled to find her breath. The world seemed to spin and everything fell out of place. She didn’t feel rage, nor did she feel grief. Mary was simply and utterly traumatized.

“Why?”

“Do you remember the gun you gave to me to hunt with when I was sixteen years old?”

“Yes.”

“I used that gun on Taylor and now it’s back in your possession.”

“What do you mean?”

“Look down beside you.”

Mary peered down and found the gun sitting next to her. Her eyes bulged and her heart raced as she was being framed by her childhood friend. Tears fell from her eyes. Mary couldn’t breathe, for the shock of the moment had killed her soul.

“Why have you done this?”

“I must look after my daughter, Mary. I won’t have her growing up believing that her father was a killer. I hate to do this to you, but it’s the only way. I love you, Mary. My childhood would have been a wreck without your support. However, my daughter comes first and you were the only person I could frame.”

“I didn’t have any motivation to kill Ron.”

“You loved my daughter, didn’t you?”

“Yes.”

“That’s motivation enough. You killed Ron because you wanted to protect my daughter and would stop it nothing to see her content.”

“What makes you think I won’t tell the police all of this?”

“You have the murder weapon, Mary. Also, it is natural that you would blame the father in such a delicate case of murder. Mary, even now you’re helping me. I know you can’t see it, but this is what’s best for my daughter. I hope she will forgive you in time.”

Jim rose from his seat as the sounds of the police cars came closer. Surprisingly, Mary did nothing as he left the building. She was heartbroken and could not hope to come to her senses. Ron Taylor had betrayed his student’s trust, but did Jim not betray Mary’s trust? She knew him to be a good man, but friendship has a way of transforming itself into something harsh and ugly.


© Copyright 2019 JL reaper. All rights reserved.

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