The Seven Deadly Sins: Pride

March 22, 2012
A silent knock echoed through the vast mansion. The house stood tall, welcoming each thrashing thump with stillness and serenity. Josephine, the butler, had been savoring her day off; intentionally disregarding the knock as a mere noise that did not pertain to her.

As the rattling continued on Josephine became weary of the uproar and decided to answer the door. “Open up, this is the police. I repeat open this door up now!” growled the officer.

Josephine unlocked the door and poked her head out, “I’m sorry sir but Mr. and Mrs. Jennings are not home right now. “

“Ma’am this is a serious matter if you know where they are you are authorized to tell us” testified the irritated policeman.

“They left to go to the country club about half past eight,” Josephine’s voice began to shake with each word; “this is my day off so I wasn’t very attentive to their plans. I believe they’ll be home for dinner around, say, six? But I can’t be too sure.”

Unsatisfied with the butlers wavering information, the cop began to walk over to his car. Josephine had secured the doors shut and returned to her room. As the two continued on with their own lives, the violent killer of Mr. Benjamin Manino roamed the streets, untamed, unpunished.

Three hours later the same brutal knock pounded the doors of Mr. and Mrs. Jennings’ home.

Mrs. Vivian Jennings yelled down the hall for her husband, Alexander, “Honey, can you please get that? I don’t want to leave the kitchen while my biscuits are in the oven, they might burn!”

Alexander made his way to the door. He peered his head out from behind the curtains, alarmed to see three men in uniform standing sturdily on his porch.

“Hello, gentlemen, how may I help you?” questioned Alexander

“Mr. Jennings?” said the chief cop

“Yes, is there something I can help you with?” The three cops sat in silence for a moment, lingering in their thoughts.

“We have the right to believe that your son, Collin Jennings, has been involved in the murder of Benjamin Manino. The two are about the same age, both attended Charleston High. Is Collin home, sir? We need to take him in for questioning.” Alexander’s eyes drifted from side to side as the cops allowed him to inhale the information. The chief cop cleared his throat, in an attempt to regain Alexander’s attention. Vivian joined the four men at the door, abruptly breaking the silence.

“What’s this all about?” she inquired, “Alexander, did something happen?” The policemen recited the news to Vivian. Her Botox raised eyebrows remained still in an upright position as her hands compressed tightly behind her back. “Collin is in no way a murderer, I’m sorry but I’m afraid you have the wrong household,” demanded Vivian, “and please, do not speak of this to any of the locals.” The policemen pushed their way through the household, the aroma of burning bread filling the halls. The men had decided to split up due to the enormous layout of the house.

Thunder crackled through the sky as dark shadows filled the air. The windows shivered as the cold rain descended upon them. Mother natures’ sudden outbreak of torrential downpours had taken the town by surprise, knocking down power lines and casting a dark shadow over the wealthy community.

Collin gathered his popcorn and coke that he’d been enjoying in the family’s private movie theater and began looking for his parents. “Mom, dad? Where’s the flashlights?” called out Collin. His voice echoed out, catching the policeman’s attention. All three cops ran toward the sound as Vivian and Alexander sprinted to find their son. The race to reach Collin first became intense as the sky grew darker. Collin stood still, unable to see his surroundings, too naïve to care. The first to reach him was head officer Ryan. The officer tackled Collin from behind and immediately handcuffed him. The clicking of Vivian’s heals soon appeared in the doorway following the sounds of her panting.

Collin began trembling, “Wha-what’s going o-”

Officer Ryan immediately jumped in, “Collin Jennings you have the right to remain silent anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law."

The police car flew through the roads, ignoring the horrific weather. Vivian’s pleads to keep the siren off went unacknowledged. Vivian and Alexander followed the blaring cop car back to the station, making sure to keep a safe distance behind. God forbid the Jennings family was spotted at a Police Station.

Collin was thrown behind bars just seconds after reaching the station. Surrounded by tattooed muscles and smelly beards, Collins freshly cut hair and diamond earring did not seem to blend. The intimidation began to take a toll on Collin. The deadly stares left him still and mute.

Back at the front desk Vivian was making quite the scene. Making herself known to the station, screaming out bribes left and right. “My family will not be shunned by the town because a low-life teenager ticked off the wrong drug dealer. Not my problem! The Jennings family is known for class, and principle. If you think for even a second that this is going to be put in the newspapers, or God forbid the news, oh, just let me tell you! I will have your badges shredded into bits and your jobs snatched up in a split second if you do not get this under control.” By the time the last few words had rolled off her tongue everyone in the police stations jaws had dropped. “Alexander, please get our son out of the cell immediately and let’s go home. Before the butlers get suspicious. I refuse to let this rumor spread.” Alexander stood tall behind is crazed wife, ducking his head in shame. He whispered soothing words into her ear.

Head officer Ryan admitted himself into the conversation, “Ma’am, this is not a rumor. We have the right to believe your son was involved in this murder throughout various pieces of evidence and a key witness. I’m sorry but money cannot buy Collin out of murder charges.”

Alexander’s eyes dipped down into the floor. With each and every passing thought a vain above his eyebrow pulsed. Collin has always been so isolated, what reason would he have to kill another boy? Was he bullied? Did he need help? Did we miss the signs? Alexander’s broad shoulders hunched down with guilt. “Parents want nothing but the best for their children, please officer, let us help Collin. Isn’t there anything we can do?” asked Alexander.

Officer Ryan explained to Alexander that the only thing left to do is find a good attorney. Before leaving the room he made a quick last point, “Before you go searching for the best money can buy you, I suggest you talk to your son. Wealth and pride don’t mean freedom, they mean arrogance.”

For the first time all day Vivian was left speechless.

She gathered her belongings and headed towards the door. Before entering into daylight she fastened her hood and pulled her head down to her neck. Vivian protected her identity rather than her son, covering all traces of Collin under the Jennings name.

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