If there’s one thing I want you to know it’s that I did everything by the book.
Right from the beginning, I was the boy that did everything right.
I never cheated on tests, or stole extra milk in the lunch line when the fat lunch lady turned her back. When our fifth grade teacher would pass around the bucket of candy I made sure not to take more than one because we were give specific directions not to.
So why am I sitting here in a police station, with a cop not much younger than my son doing the good cop bad cop act minus a partner.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. After work I came home Jenny was making dinner and we watched the news until 11 and then we went to bed. I don’t know what more you want me to tell you.”
“I want you to tell me the truth Aaron I want you to tell me how you snuck out of bed down the street and killed that woman; she had your dna all over her.”
He was so young and so confident that he didn’t even notice when he let slip that the woman in a “coma” was dead.
I sat there dumbfounded she died?
How could that have happened I mean the last time I saw her she was very much alive yelling at some kids for being on her lawn while she was watering her weeds.
(She) Abigail Harmon had been on the street the longest her great grandfather built the church that the town sprouted up around.
She was barely pushing 50 but her bitterness and complete hate for anything that seemed remotely joyous aged her in a way that she would soon be plagued by arthritis that would set in the moment the overcast hit the sleepy town we had called home.
I thought about her face when we met so many years earlier she was 22 and in her prime. Her hair was as black as the night and smoother than any of the other women in the neighborhood. She had bright green eyes that were so animated when she spoke it’s like she put you under a spell but that was when her father was still alive and when she was promised to William.
Clearly over the next 15 years things didn’t go she was she planned and every year she smiled less and less and pretty soon she stopped having visitors and it all went downhill from there.
But it’s too not smart to be waist deep in the past when the present is accusing you of murder.
“Unless you’re going to charge me with something please let me go my sons in town from college and I really should be getting home.”
“We will be in touch.” he said with an obvious frown on his face, I guess he was hoping I’d get so rattled I’d confess to anything just like he used to watch on Law And Order.
“Ok” I told him leaving the building surrounded by a few dozen cops that were sure I was guilty. It seemed that overnight I had become some infamous celebrity. There hasn’t been a murder in our town since we got on the power grid over 60 years ago.
“Did he say anything?” We’re the first words my son asked me the moment I came through the door? A vague question but I knew what he was asking? Had I fixed it and was anyone looking for him.
“All eyes are on me; apparently having touched her so much covered you up your dna.”
He didn’t look relieved or even grateful that I had just put my neck right out there on the line to save his.
As far as he was concerned it was as much or even more my fault than his and with what I passed on to him, I didn’t dare argue because somewhere deep inside I understood and I couldn’t blame him for hating me.
“Oh Aaron you’re home, I didn’t hear you come in. Did they find out who killed Abby?” Jenny still used a pet name from when they were younger even though they hadn’t spoken in years she still felt as close to her as when they were 6 and 12 playing with their dolls and dreaming and growing up, it funny how once you grow up you wish you could go back.
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