Life of Simon

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: March 16, 2020

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Submitted: March 16, 2020

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 Simon was no ordinary teen...actually most would say that he was incredibly special. He enjoyed drawing, and spent most of time drawing everything in his path inside of his brown sketch pad. People around town would see him sitting somewhere secluded and mutter to themselves "that's Simon." It wasn’t until a very cold rainy Thursday in April that Simon, and the people of Garden Grove, lives changed forever.

 

 

 

It was as if it was yesterday...

 

One Sunday morning my mom had decided to wake us all up at the crack of dawn to eat some homemade pancakes before we all headed down to church. You see Garden Grove was that type of community that surrounded itself by church goers, and individuals who just knew everyone's business. My mother Mrs. James was one of those people.... She prided on how educated we all were and never once hesitated to show us off. It amazes me how my father, Gregory James Sr. Top Prosecutor of Garden Grove, could have married such a proud woman since he himself was very quiet yet had this sternness about him. Yet they somehow fell in love and produced 4 God loving children that they prided on. Especially myself the oldest of the bunch. Young Gregory James.

 

Yes, sir I was the one in the family that was to guide my other siblings, and had the most eyes from my parents to constantly remind myself to never do wrong. Well until I befriended Simon Miller.

 

You see the Miller family was a family that moved to our town a few years back, but just did not seem to fit the ways of Garden Grove. They never attended Church on Sunday Mornings, or gathered for the community parties for every single darn holiday. They didn’t like routine and tradition.... I guess that's why I was so fascinated by them.

 

Simon was the Millers oldest child as well as my age, and Sasha was their youngest about a year younger than myself and Simon.

 

I'd be lying if I said I did not become friends with Simon, before all the crazy stuff that is, to not get to know Sasha a bit better.

 

 

 

I remember seeing them at the one park we have here each showing off their...huh well any normal folk would say "artistic abilities" but around here it was devil work. Simon was a drawer, and Sasha would spend hours hanging upside down reading some book she had in her mysterious library. How her parents could allow their daughter to read let alone wear pants was a sure way to get the disapproval from the welcoming committee or my mother.

 

I approached Simon after Sunday Mass to see what he was drawing this time, and it turned out to be of a little sparrow who ironically was gazing at Sasha. Simon had the knack to capture the realness of any life being, and show their truest expressions. My gaze started to drift towards Simon and I noticed just how different we looked. Simon was about an inch taller, wore jeans ripped at the knee and a solid color tee every day. His hair was shoulder length pulled back into a messy pony tail with a hint of beard starting to show. As for me I looked like the average 19-year-old young man in Garden Grove, tall broad shoulders, clean cut hair cut wearing his finest suit and tie for mass.

 

I looked like my father at this age.

 

 

 

(Simon) "Greg....Greggy...Gregory Darling...are you staring at me because you have taken a new found interest in me?"

 

I shook out of thought to Simon smirking up at me.

 

(Greg) "No! I was just thinking about something the Father had said..."

 

(Simon) "Bah...do not bring that churchy stuff around me Greg...bad enough we had to move here in the first place. If my Father hadn't become the new Doctor of Garden Grove, I'd still be sitting by the Ocean sketching out every little thing I seen!"

 

 

 

It's true...little Susie Ann Smith had caught this unfamiliar disease and we needed a dry from the northern states to come down and help us. Our usual Doctor, Doc Johnson, was getting of old age and his next of kin to take his practice had ran off with the Anderson Family's Daughter Beth. It was the type of scandal that had my Mother telling and retelling to anyone who would hear.

 

Sorry about that...tend to ramble...

 

Well any who my Fathers best mate Mr. Nelson suggested he and my old man go searching for a prominent doctor from the North, and offer to pay him a lump sum to move down here to take over Doc Johnson's practice. Within a few weeks Doc Miller and his family moved in to the old William's House up the hill. Don’t you worry Doc Miller earned some respect by curing little Susie Ann... but the respect soon ended when his family started bringing their Northern ways into our little community

 

 

 

(Greg) "Don’t you say that Simon...I'm glad yall came here...if ya hadn't I'd never have met the both of you"

 

Whispering and smirking

 

(Simon) "Ha...you are only happy because you met my sister Sasha"

 

(Greg) "Shut up!"

 

(Sasha) "What are you boys whispering on about!!"

 

(Simon and Greg) "Nothing!"

 

 

 

Simon suggested we go check out some new mini mart they built on the other side of town. I replied back with a quick nod, but stated I needed to head back to change really quick.

 

I started walking towards my house to change out my Sundays Best, and as soon as I got to my block I could see my parents in their chairs drinking lemonade watching the town. Sometimes I felt like the Mayor had no control over this town...only Mr. Gregory James Sr. And Mrs. James.

 

 

 

(Mrs. James) "Where did you take off so quickly Son?

 

(Mr. Gregory James Sr.) "Yes son. Your Mother here was quite Worried"

 

(Greg) "Sorry I detoured it... I am going to go in and change a few friends of mine want to check out that new mini mart"

 

(Mrs. James) "I hope those Miller Children will not be hanging around yall..."

 

(Simon) "No mam... just Tommy Jones, Ashley Smith, Bobby Nelson, Barbara Lee, Adam Morris and David Jackson."

 

I made sure to save the mayor's son's name for last.

 

(Mrs. James) "Mmmhmmm..."

 

(Mr. Gregory James Sr.) "Oh goodness Marge let the young man go"

 

(Mrs. James) "Sigh...very well be back in time for supper ya hear!"

 

(Greg) "Yes Mam, thank you sir"

 

 

 

It only took me 20 mins to change and gather the rest of the group before meeting up with Simon and Sasha. I knew Simon would be a little sore at me since him and David didn’t get along to well. David, being the mayor's son, was a bit on the cockier side and tended to mouth off a little too much for one's liking.

 

Well the thing is David's Family and My family were so close nit that we had to be friends for the sake of our father's business relationship. We all walked toward the Mini Mart laughing about all the things most young adults would laugh at, and once we got inside we all went quiet and just started to wander.

 

I didn’t even realize we had all parted ways as we made through one would certainly not call a mini mart. It never even occurred to me that I was drifting towards Sasha who was gently touching a few books they had on the shelves.

 

 

 

(Greg) "Man you sure do like books..."

 

(Sasha) "Of course, books tell the stories of people’s lives and are the basis of our imagination."

 

(Greg) "Wouldn’t be easier just to tell a story rather than reading it"

 

(Sasha) "Ha. No. I think reading it helps you to visualize the words on the pages as your eyes slowly pass over them"

 

(Greg) "Well maybe if you suggested...."

 

 

 

I suddenly found myself stopping mid-sentence as Sasha and I both turned toward yelling from the other side of the mart.

 

If I would have known coming here would impact all of our lives the way it did.... I would have gone straight home...but I didn’t...and here I am running toward the yelling and screaming taking place on the other side of the mart.

 

Everything that took place next was like a blur... Tommy Jones little Sister Sarah Jones was laying down covered in blood, and Simon was being held up against the wall by Tommy both covered in blood...but more so on Simon. For Sasha's sake I ran over there to split them up, and Bobby grabbed Tommy to walk him out the store. I took Simon towards the back entrance...

 

 

 

(Greg) "Simon what in earth happened!!!"

 

(Greg) "Simon! HELLO!"

 

 

 

But it was as if Simon was frozen in time like he couldn't believe what had just taken place.

 

I couldn't believe it either as I watched them put little Sarah in a body bag...and as I watch Sherriff Lee and Officer Baker put Simon in the back of their car.

 

It was the worst nightmare our town has ever seen... watching every single person living in Garden Grove stand near by whispering...creating the rumors that would impact everyone's lives.

 

It wasn't until my father was standing in front of me demanding to know what happened and my mother demanding to know why the millers were with us in the first place that I snapped back into reality...

 

 

 

(Greg) "I don't know...I was not nearby..."

 

Was all I could muster up.

 

 

 

The trial took 3 days....

 

It wasn't very hard for my father to convince the community that we were dealing with the worst crime none to man and that Simon was the man behind it. Not only that but we had to call in a doctor from a neighboring town to do the report on little Sarah's body since Simon's Dad was the doctor of our town and that would have compromised the trial. The doctor's report had stated Little Sarah was not only stabbed multiple times, but...lets just say its not easy to go into the details. Sarah was only 10 years old.

 

The town was in an uproar once news broke out of the details behind her murder. The Millers were unable to leave their homes out of fear of the growing mob surrounding their house. Sasha stopped coming around....

 

 

 

It got even worse for the Miller family when the judge and jury of 7 convicted Simon Miller age 19 future artist...of Capital murder and Statutory Rape of a minor sentencing to life in prison at the Riverside State Prison in the neighboring state.

 

The crazy part of it all was that there wasn’t even evidence proving Simon even committed the murder, but you see in this town once you are guilty in the towns eyes facts don't matter much.

 

According to my mother Doc Miller stood up in front of the court and pleaded with the judge to allow Simon to be at home with his family for the next two days before transferring him up to Riverside State Prison.

 

Luckily for him the judge agreed but Simon was not to leave the house. No one was to contact Simon outside of family.

 

Let's just say I am not one to follow the rules.

 

I managed to sneak out of my house and walk past the police officer patrolling Simon's home.

 

I climbed in through Sasha’s window and I remember looking up at the now slightly older looking Simon....

 

 

 

(Simon) "Before you say anything you have to understand...I did not do this.... I could never..."

 

(Greg) "Relax Simon...I know you.... I know it wasn’t your fault. Why don’t you tell me what happened from the beginning…”?

 

Simon closed his eyes and slowly opened them again as he turned to face the window....

 

(Simon) "All I remember was talking to Bobby...he was going off about courting Barbara Lee...I cut him off mid-way and mentioned I needed to release myself outside...so I headed out back... once I was outside and was finished handling business. I noticed this car chilling out back and decided to draw it...I was only out there for 10-15 mins.... next thing I know I heard a scream and ran to see what was happening.... that's when I saw her...."

 

His voice became chocked and cracked....

 

(Sasha) "It’s okay brother... I'll finish it for you...you see my brother has told us this once already and can’t keep reliving it... he saw her lifeless little body and dropped down next to her and immediately started to search for a pulse or something to indicate she was alive but then he heard the screams from Tommy and Little Sarah's mother...and things just erupted from there."

 

(Greg) "So you mean you are innocent.... why not tell someone!!! Better yet let's figure out who really did it!"

 

(Simon) "It’s not that easy... especially with your father over here painting me as this monster...you know as well as I do that once this town had you painted that's it"

 

 

 

Everything Simon was saying was true...there was nothing we could to change the views of everyone in town.... but a big part of me knew we just had to try. After devising a plan to help Sasha prove her brother's innocence.

 

Sasha and I agreed to meet every evening to discuss our plans to help Simon prove his innocence; even if it meant not persuading the judge but at least for the piece of Simon and his family. We only 3 days to attempt the impossible; find Little Sarah’s Real killer.

 

We decided to retrace everyone’s steps and ask around those who were in the store that day, but I knew it was only a matter of time before my parents found out that I was looking into the case. It seemed like none of the information we found out would help out Simon. Everyone already had it in their mind that he was guilty, and that was it.

 

It got to the point where people saw us walking up to them and they walked in the other direction; all my other friends started to distance themselves from me as well. Tommy saw it as a stab in the back, and refused to even consider the possibility that Simon was the cause behind all of this. I remember him and the guys all cornered me one afternoon as I headed to meet up with Sasha.

 

 

 

(Bobby) “What are you doing Greg”

 

(Greg) “Guys look it just doesn’t make any Sense to me”

 

(Tommy) “HE KILLED MY SISTER!!

 

(Greg) “You don’t know that for sure!! None of us were around when it happened!

 

(Tommy) “No you just don’t want to accept the fact that trash of a friend of yours could do something so heinous!”

 

(Greg) “Look you don’t…”

 

(Bobby) “Greg… David overheard his ol man and your father discussing the case… it appears they found the weapon, and it was knife that belonged to Doc Miller…”

 

I stood shocked… and looked up to see David smirking…the way he just stood there smiling like that made me realize that he has looked more amused during this whole ordeal than anything else…

 

(David) “Greg you got a problem man?”

 

(Greg) “What?”

 

(David Amused) “Well you look like someone punched you in the gut or something”

 

 

 

I couldn’t even respond I just took off running towards Sasha; it was like everything hit me all at once. I had a feeling who was the real person behind all of this, but a part of me was really hoping I was going to be wrong.

 

I met with Sasha at our Spot and started to explain everything that just happened; it all made sense no one hated Simon as much David. Plus, David’s father was the mayor so it wouldn’t be hard for everyone to cover up his crime.

 

 

 

(Sasha) Greg… I appreciate everything you have been doing these past few days, but I really don’t think it was David.

 

(Greg) What do you mean everything really makes sense…

 

(Sasha) well you see… I seen David in the Mini Mart kissing up on Ashley Smith; so it just couldn’t be him. I guess you can say he has an alibi.

 

 

So if it wasn’t David then who the hell was it; I started to get this feeling that maybe it was Simon… but still a big part of me really wished I was wrong.

 

 

 

Tomorrow is the day they are supposed to transport Simon to the State facility, and Sasha had completely given up looking for the real killer.  I on the other hand knew deep down despite the doubts that Simon could not have committed this murder. He may have been different, but his heart was always in the right place. Something just wasn’t adding up.

 

 

 

I came home from dinner to discover my siblings all sent to bed early, and my parents both sitting in at the table waiting for me to walk in. Both had this grave expression on their faces; as if everything they have worked so for had all been ripped away from them.

 

 

 

(Mrs. James) Greg how could you!!!

 

(Greg) Mam?

 

(Mrs. James) Do you have any idea what you have done to this family! The shame you have brought on all of us!!

 

(Mr. Gregory James Sr.) MARGE ENOUGH!

 

(Greg and Mrs. James) …

 

(Mr. Gregory James. Sr.) Greg sit now. Boy what were you thinking sneaking around with the Miller Family, and getting yourself involved in the case?

 

(Greg) You both don’t understand! It wasn’t Simon!

 

(Mrs. James) what on earth could possibly be talking about sweetie? Of course he did it. He confessed and everything. Plus, all the evidence… I mean who else could have done it? Nobody local could have ever do something so unspeakable. Besides…

 

(Mr. Gregory James Sr.) Marge! I swear on God’s Name that if you do not stay silent!... Now Son do you have any possible proof that it was not Simon?

 

(Greg) No sir. Just a feeling.

 

(Mr. Gregory James Sr.) Son I understand you want to help your friend, but you have to think about how this affects you as well. You are about to head off to the best college none to man. To get involved in something like this will only damage any potential future you might have. Now promise me son that you are going to keep away from all of that.

 

 

 

I had no other option but to agree with him.

 

I laid in my bed thinking about the past few days, and kept wondering what I was missing. It didn’t even occur to me that there were a lot of sirens flying by. Until my father came running in telling me there was a crowd up at the Millers House.

 

I jumped up and got dressed before running as fast as I could up the street. All I could see was a crowd forming, and everything just started to move so slowly.

 

The ambulance was putting a body in the back of their van, and Sasha was screaming alongside of her mother. Doc Miller was being held up by local police officers. I ran up to Sasha trying to find out what happened before someone pulled me aside.

 

 

 

(Greg) David.

 

(David) Greg. Simon was killed by Tommy.

 

(Greg) What.

 

(David) yeah.. None of us thought he would actually do it, but he did.

 

 

 

I turned to see the police leading out Tommy from the house covered in what I can only assume as Simon’s blood.

 

 

 

It turned out that Tommy felt like justice wasn’t be served. So he wanted to take Justice into his own hands. He chose the time when nobody would be home to break into the Miller’s home, and do everything that had been done to his little sister.

 

 

 

5 years later...

 

Sitting in the same spot as Simon did five years ago at the park the last peaceful time we had was like a reminder of all the changes that followed his death. I hoped to see Sasha since it was the anniversary of his death, but she stopped coming around two years ago.

 

Not a single person from the group stayed in Garden Grove after the murders of Little Sarah, and Simon. Everyone sort of disbanded and went on their separate ways. Especially Sasha, who I heard had moved to New York to pursue a career as a crime journalist hoping to set the stories straight for those whose stories needed to be told.

 

David and Ashley married. As well as moved more North to start fresh. I hear he is running for state senate.

 

Barbara Lee became an actress in California, and lost all contact with everyone.

 

Adam just completely disappeared without a trace, but we all have our suspicions about what happened to him.

 

As for Bobby well he is in town visiting as well, and I thought about maybe grabbing a bite with him before he leaves.

 

When I looked up I noticed someone walking over towards me, and it turned out to be Bobby.

 

 

 

(Bobby) Hey Man. Hows it going?

 

(Greg) Good. Just thinking about Simon.

 

(Bobby) That was some crazy stuff that happened huh.

 

(Greg) yeah.

 

(Bobby) I was heading back to my hotel when I noticed you sitting here.

 

(Greg) Surprised you even recognized me.

 

(Bobby) what do you mean?

 

(Greg) well either someone recognizes me and pretends not to, or they just don’t recognize me at all.

 

(Bobby) Ha. Man. No matter how old we look I can never forget that face. Why don’t we go up to the hotel and grab a bite to eat in the new lobby? It’s pretty crazy to see how things have really changed.

 

 

 

Garden Grove has changed so much in such a short time frame. We were becoming more modern, and it seemed like anyone who was around 5 years ago either died or moved away or adapted.

 

As we headed up the street we started catching up on our lives, and how much everything had changed. Then switched over to Bobby new project he was working on. Some big invention that could potentially save people millions as well as make him millions. I guess being an Engineer has some perks. I was in such a daze I didn’t even realize he had started to ask about my practice.

 

 

 

(Bobby) Greg.?

 

(Greg) Huh?

 

(Bobby) I asked you how is the practice coming along?

 

(Greg) Oh sorry I got lost in thought... It’s coming along great. I’m officially partner to one of the biggest Law Firms in the State of Connecticut

 

(Bobby) That is pretty crazy man! I am so proud of us. Damn.

 

(Greg) What?

 

(Bobby) I forgot my wallet upstairs. If you want, you can go on ahead...

 

(Greg) No its fine I’ll go help you look. 

 

 

 

 

 

Bobby was staying in one of the lofts at the hotel, and boy was it big. It might as well have been an apartment.

 

As we searched through Bobby’s room he continued to ramble on about his invention before making a comment about what had happened 5 years ago.

 

 

(Bobby) You know it’s crazy. I never thought that Simon was the type of person to commit such a crime.

 

(Greg) Yeah I still can’t believe it either.

 

(Bobby) You know you have to have a solid stomach to stab a person 23 times; especially a child.

 

(Greg) yeah. Wait. What did you say?

 

(Bobby) Hmm? Oh well I am just saying it’s a bit overkill don’t you think.

 

(Greg) Yeah. Overkill.

 

(Bobby) I wonder if I dropped it in the restroom.

 

(Greg) I’ll keep looking over here. Hey Bobby?

 

(Bobby) Yeah?

 

(Greg) how many times did you say Little Sarah was stabbed?

 

(Bobby) I think 23

 

 

 

Think. The thing is nobody knew precise details of the case. Let alone the amount of times Little Sarah had been stabbed.

 

Not even Simon knew when they asked him in court according to my father. Who wouldn’t even tell me, because he thought it would complicate things since I knew Simon. The court just dismissed it, and said in a fit of rage he couldn’t have kept count.

 

The only way a person who could know is if...

 

 

 

I heard footsteps and turned around to look Bobby in the face. All these years and I never thought that Bobby could be the killer. I mean this is Bobby. He couldn’t hurt a fly. He always kept the peace in our group, and to think he was the one who did it all along. Sasha and I searched like crazy, and the missing piece was standing right in front of us the entire time.


© Copyright 2020 Shadow Rodriguez. All rights reserved.

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