He couldn't focus. He was disoriented, eyes glazed over barely registering the hand on his shoulder that belonged to the women from social services. It was unwanted, an attempt at comfort that more than one person has tried on him in the past few weeks. Echoes of people saying, “I'm sorry John”, “She's gone John”, “Can you tell me what you saw John” was playing on a never-ending replay all around him. The worst was the scream. The scream of his mother yelling “Run John! Run!” was present in his mind every time he was alone to his thoughts.
It had been a rainy Friday, they were quickly walking home from the old atmospheric movie theater on West St. The credits of The Little Prince still rolling in the dim light of the gold and velvet trimmed room. As it was the middle of November, we were wearing our button-up coats. Our chins tucked into the collar, trying to escape the chill. It had been a normal Friday, we woke up, had breakfast with the family of three, went to school, and watched a movie at the theater. One would never have thought about the day going violently wrong.
The Thwack! of the gavel on the soundboard brought Johns mind out of his memory and into the courtroom. The court judge was trying to call order, with her deep voice and words bringing up horrific flashes of his misfortunes.
Run John! Run!
“We are here to continue discussing the murder of Jane Williams.”
Blood pooling from a woman with lifeless eyes...
“Mrs. Williams was with her son on the way home from a movie on the night of November 15...”
The flash of a silver knife reflected by hauntingly blue eyes and a wicked smile…
“The Unsub attacked Mrs. Williams and stabbed her repeatedly with a knife in front of her son who then ran to get help...”
His screams were unheard…
“When medics arrived, Mrs. Williams was dead. She was killed in cold blood.”
She would not wake up when he begged her to. She was gone…
“Dr. Williams left his clinic at seven thirty pm and is unaccounted for until nine o’clock when he came to the hospital to pick up his son. He told authorities that he was meeting with an associate who we have not been able to contact. Authorities also found a knife with the same measurements that the murder weapon had in Dr. Williams car. ”
What was said next didn't matter, couldn’t matter. The only thing that mattered was his father sitting in his chair, cool as ever. His posture was straight and tall acting like he wasn’t being accused of murder, especially the murder of his wife. John stared at him in disbelief. How could he let these people say that he killed someone! What happened to the man that wouldn’t stand for this! “Tell the jury they're wrong dad. Please, tell them they're wrong” he was as if he were pleading with himself because no one heard. His father looked back at him, his face was a guarded mask only his blue eyes seemed to show a hint of sorrow and regret. “No...” John whispered. He would for the rest of his life remember the final sayings of the judge, “The jury has come to a conclusion. They have found Dr. Williams to be guilty and sentenced to life in prison.” The case that would seal his future dismissed with a Thwack!
Nineteen years later, when his fellow homicide detectives would ask John about why he thinks his father did it he wouldn’t have an answer, he couldn’t. People would say that maybe it was because his father was frustrated with his life or implied that perhaps he was having an affair but John could only hear his mothers laugh. The credits still rolling in the gold and red trimmed theater.