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A Stroll Down 12th Street
Almost effortlessly her beauty radiated in the dark, gloomy room. Her pale flawless skin, silky brunette hair, and forest green eyes must have made guys insane and girls jealous beyond belief. She wore a simple white dress that perfectly fit her sleek thin figure and a necklace, a sophisticated gold cross. But her beauty was not what intrigued Officer Wright, her angelic innocence and childish view of the world caught his attention. She sat gracefully at ease which lead Officer Wright to believe she must have had years of etiquette lessons. She sat with poise with poise in the beaten-up metal chair, which had given other aches and distress, easily hiding her discomfort. The dim, depressing room only had one light, a florescent light. It hung above her head dangling back and forth but it did not rack her nerves.
The room was silent as Officer Wright thought of all the possible reasons this all-American-girl, this perfect angel, this parents’ ideal wish could have ended up sitting in front of him in his interrogation room. He glanced down at her file:
Name: Mary Jane Eggers
Crime: Suspected to have vandalized local church.
No previous offenses
He knew in his gut, his heart of hearts, that she could not have been involved. The church was found in disarray. It was graffitied to the point a passerby would not be able to tell what color it was originally painted. The inside was no better. It looked like a tornado had hit. Bibles were left thrown across the floor. Some even had pages pasted together. The once glorious stained glass windows were spray painted black. Rotten eggs, shaving cream, and pages from the bible smothered the pews. The statue of Jesus was in shambles and in the shape of a rose.
She stood up and walked towards the barcovered window. Looking out, her eyes showed yearning to be back in the real world with life beyond just Officer Wright. She felt empty. She could see for miles, pretending to make up stories about the pedestrians passing by. A black man with shoulder length dreads walked by His pants dragged along hehind him hanging off the tip of his rear, even with his bright orange belt on to secure them. His shirt showed the Above The Influence logo but his eyes disagreed. He made his way across the street heading towards a playground. As he swivled around Mary Jane noticed the Elmo stuffed animal he was holding. She began to imagine… “Jimmy, Jimmy mother will be right back. You just stay right here, and don’t talk to strangers.” Little Jimmy’s head nodding and then plopping himself in the sand, attempting to build a sand-cast but burring himself instead. Damion, the sketchy black man, squat next to Jimmy. “Hey boy haven’t y anyone ever teach you how to build a sand castle.” Jimmy shook his head but was focused more on the Elmo toy in Damion’s right hand. “I would give this to you but I already promised my little boy could have it. He’s around your age. I have more in my truck. Com’on I’ll show you can even meet my son.” Poor little Jimmy hastily got up not bother to brush off the sand and in an instant was gone. The ‘sketchy’ man made his way past the jungle jim and the sand box to a bench where his beautiful wife and newly born daughter were sitting. Looks can deceive. She wondered how she could have ended up here. Opening her mouth as if to say something, she decided against it. Gradually she made her way back to the icy chair but did not sit down right away. She stood next to the chair for a while arbitrarily thinking before sitting.
The interrogation room echoed with suspense and crawled with tension. Finally their eyes met. Officer Wright was greeted with a warm and beautiful smile.
“How long have you been an officer?” Mary Jane innocently asked with a British accent.
Officer Wright couldn’t help but think of Mary Jane as his own five year old daughter. “Twenty-five years long I’ve been sending ‘em bad guys away.”
“Wow that’s long,” Mary Jane smiled looking around the gray covered room as if it was it had been decorated by someone on Top Design. As Mary Jane glanced around the room Officer Wright noticed Mary Jane’s tattoo. Located behind her right ear was a black rose an infamous sign of the all male gang, 12th Street. 12th Street did not just own the city, they were the most violent in the state. In fact, his partner Officer Young had been pressuring the FBI to add them to the most wanted list—any and all members. He refused to believe it. “She couldn’t be involved wit them delinquents. She’s nothing like ‘em,” He thought to himself.
“Where’d ya get the tattoo?” Officer Wright questioned.
“My boyfriend gave it to me,” Mary Jane smiled as she imaged tall, tan, tough boyfriend in her situation.
“He involved in a gang?”
“He certainly is now.”
“Why am I here again?” Mary Jane asked trying to divert the conversation.
“Ya suspected to have vandalized the church.”
“Ahh that is correct.”
Silence again filled the room as Officer Wright stared Mary Jane down. Was he wrong about his first impression? How could he have been so off? An officer of twenty-five years could not see through a teenage girls fake exterior? No! It must be a big misunderstanding. The poor thing was roped into this violent, juvenile lifestyle. She enjoyed roses and wanted a tattoo of one, one were her parents could not see it. However Officer Wright, like any other well trained officer, continued with the questioning.
Officer Wright once again started interrogating, “Wheres ya Tuesday night?”
“What subject ya studin,”
“Physics, I had a test the next day and my teacher is not exactly the easiest when it comes to grading.”
“Good for you,” Officer Wright said with a smile, perfectly convinced Mary Jane had nothing to do with the vandalism and it was all just a huge misunderstanding so he left the room.
Officer Young, who was watching the interrogation from the two-way mirror, entered the room and introduced herself.
“You see that mirror,” Officer Young asked?
Mary Jane nodded, “the two-way mirror.”
“I was watching you through the mirror and I do not believe a word you have said.”
“I have heard cops have trust issues.”
“Only with you,” Officer Young said pulling out a chair and taking a seat across from Mary Jane. “Listen and listen carefully. I am going to ask you a series of questions you are going to answer them with complete honesty or I will arrest you.”
“Ohh. I understand now good cop bad cop scenario. I have seen it played many times before on television. This will be fun.”
Officer Young ignoring the comment started interrogating, “where were you Tuesday night.”
“Studying physics, I thought you were watching. Am I not correct?”
“Listen, Mary Jane, I want some damn answers and I want them now! Where were you?!”
“Why do I have to be lying? Why can’t I be telling the truth Officer Young,” Mary Jane spat with extreme resentment.
“Didn’t your mother teach you any manners,” Officer Young smirked wiping off Mary Jane’s saliva.
Mary Jane was boiling inside but hid her emotions well. She grasped her gold cross lying across her neck, trying to picture her mother. Although she had only passed two years ago and Mary Jane was a spinning image –or so she heard--of her mother, it was difficult to picture her. The cross was the only thing that tied them together even in the afterlife. She remembered her mother in pain on her death bed. “Sweetie don’t cry for me I have no regrets. You know why, my little one, because I lived life to the fullest. Promise me you will do the same,” Mary Jane remembered her mother muttering her last words. Mary Jane had tried. She had tried her hardest but she never felt she was living up to her full potential.
Officer Young saw tension rising in Mary Jane’s face. Young knew she could crack Mary Jane. She knew her innocent smile wouldn’t last, they never do. Due to the fact she saw though the fake exterior of all criminals that crossed her path and knew just how to crack the best liars, she was a highly decorated officer. For a while she gazed into Mary Jane’s menacing eyes and mischievous smile. “We can help you. All you need to do is tell the truth,” Officer Young suggested. She waited but Mary Jane didn’t seem fazed by the offer. “Mary Jane I need your cooperation.” Again no sign of life. Young moved closer to see Mary Jane stone frozen clasping her necklace, barley breathing. “Stop screwing around with me. Are you in or out?”
Back, forth, back forth. Nauseous so nauseous, cannot breathe. Vision blurred. Mary Jane could not think straight. As if in a dire life or death situation her short but scintillating life passed before her eyes; however in her eyes it was not good enough. If she went bungee jumping off the local bridge she felt her mother would have wanted Mary Jane to plunge off the Golden Gate Bride. She always felt her mother watched from up above shaking her head in disapproval. In all honestly she enjoyed getting arrested, it was an adrenaline rush. By now it had long passed, reality had struck. She became lost in thought—deep breath in deep breath out, in out, in out, blink—unfortunately not very intellectual thinking. Mary Jane regressed into a state of disassociance.
“Please, darling, I have seen the best performances in this interrogation room, yours…amateur. Are you in or out,” and that is when Officer Young notices Mary Jane’s grip on her necklace tighten, her eyes falling back into her head as if executing a magic trick, and her mouth uttering random words. Cautiously Officer Young leaned in closer. Slowly blood crept from Mary Jane’s pail, fragile hand and onto her perfectly, prim white dress. Officer Young rushed to her side taking hold of her hand, yanking the cross from her neck. Officer Young quickly examined her hand the blood was coming from her palm where she had made a permanent indent of a cross, an inch maybe two inches deep. Captain Toby Stone rushed in to the room nearly pushing Officer Young to ground. Attempting to bandage Mary Jane’s hand, he eventually gave up and began to lift her up out of the cold, metal chair.
“What do you think you’re doing? I haven’t finished interrogating her,” Officer Young became livid however she saw it would get her nowhere. “Oh but Toby, sweetie,” Officer Young pleaded flirtatiously
“Do not start with me. I told you we are over. This child needs to get to a hospital now!”
“It doesn’t have to be over. My bed is lonely,” Officer Young leaned in stroking his favorite pattered, purple tie.
“The fact that you care more about our past relationship then the current situation is more than shameful, Officer Young. For your information I regret dating a bitch like you,” Captain Stone sneered carrying Mary Jane through the station and into his car.
Lights flashing by. Babbling muffling in the background. Vision blurry. Mary Jane was starting to regain consciousness.
Captain Stone paced back and forth through the hallway, lost in thought yet still in beat—right foot, left foot, turn. “Sir….sir,” Doctor Perry said stopping Captain Stone from his now natural pacing. “Captain Stone, you may see her now. I should warn you she is in a great deal of pain,” Doctor Perry informed Captain Stone. Gradually Captain Stone made his way to room 353. Quietly he entered the room, sat beside her bedside, and took hold of the bed railing. Beads of sweat dropped down from his forehead as he waited.
Suddenly, Mary Jane turned to look at the twenty-six year old, sandy blonde hair Captain and winked. Captain Stone smirk, “Nice performance, darling,” and kissed Mary Jane on the forehead. “Why don’t we head out of here, baby doll. After all I need to have you arrested,” Captain Stone menacingly grinned. Mary Jane had a content smile on as the Captain un-cuffed her from the bedside. He brought Mary Jane up to her feet and re-cuffed her from behind the back clutching her hands and bit her ear, showing her whose boss; however Mary Jane, being the strong-headed and independent teenager she was, leaned her head back and seductively kissed his neck and moved on up. Brushing his curly locks away with her nose she lightly kissed his weak spot. The spot right behind his ear where the tattoo of a black rose was printed. She kissed him once more, slower this time.
“Toby, sweetheart, you of all people should know I cannot be controlled,” Mary Jane whispered into his ear. The Captain paused a moment to collect himself. Chills ran down his spine. His only thought was of the sexy Mary Jane and how she had been teasing him for weeks. Finally he had her. He knew she could not resist a man in power, especially the man with the power to set her free. The ball was in his court. He made a decision and began guiding her out of the hospital by her elbow. When they arrived at the cop car he opened the door to the front seat of his car. “Mhhh front seat since when have I been promoted,” Mary Jane laughed naively knowing her power over Captain Stone. He did not reply instead rested his hand on her knee. “If only we had more time,” he muttered gazing into her forest green eyes and lingered for a moment. Whether it be lust or true love he could not bare the idea of his beautiful goddess being put away. He tried to reason with her, “keep your answers short and sweet. Do not say anything suspicious. You will be home before you know it, maybe not off the radar but…”
“Toby let’s just get this over with,” Mary Jane interrupted nonchalantly.
Slowly Captain Stone made his way to the police station. It was the worst ten minuets he could have ever endured. Will she get caught? Does she want to get caught? Will she rat me out? When will she kiss me again?
Once again Mary Jane found herself in the dull, dismal interrogation room and yet once again she admired it as if it were the queen’s palace. “This time I want answers, honest answers! Got it? No more deals just answers,” Officer Young said trying to intimidate Mary Jane. However like once before it was of no use.
“Where were you Tuesday night?”
Mary Jane found no use in beating around the bush instead she would rather mess with Officer Young’s mind, “You are absolutely correct Officer. I was not studying I was out.”
“Around 12th street,” Mary Jane smiled looking past Officer Young and in the two way mirror.
“Can I not have the privacy of my own life?”
Officer Young stood up in a hasty motion, causing her chair to fly back. Simultaneously, she flung the table up in the air and across the room. Mary Jane suddenly, for the first time during the interrogation, looked nervous.
“There no one around to help you now. Either you give me my answers or…,” she chuckled under her breath, “you don’t want to know the consequences.”
Mary Jane briefly closed her eyes and took a deep breath trying to hold in the fake tears. She had done crazy things in her life, events that gave her an adrenaline rush, but would land normal people in the hospital with a panic attack, or let their good consciences eat them from the inside out. It was no wonder why she was not becoming nervous, but it could not hurt to make Officer Young think she was. She played it to the point she could barley breathe. She needed a rush…she had to confess even if it was just for the hell of it.
Taking a deep sigh she started, “The tattoo of the black rose signifies the 12th street gang…”
“Yes we have already connected that puzzle piece. Why are you wearing it if it’s an all male gang,” Officer Young interrupted.
“We are not all-male they are just the only ones who get caught,” she smile thinking of all the times she swiftly out ran the cops while the tough, strong guys could not.
“How did you get trapped in this?”
“Trapped? Who said anything about being trapped,” she half smiled.
“Officer Wright gave me the impression this was not your idea,” Officer Young explained puzzled.
“No one forced me to do anything. To join, to vandalize, to kill. It is all my decision.”
“Kill? Mary Jane exactly how deep are you involved?”
“How deep? Young, dear, I am in charge, I am the boss, I am in control,” Mary Jane said no longer with an angelic look in her eye but rather devious spite.
Officer Young caught off guard from her forward confession, but nevertheless stood up and cuffed her. While doing so she thought of all Mary Jane could have done, who she could have become, what success she could have created if it were not for her involvement with this ridiculous gang. Officer Young was disappointed with Mary Jane, with society, with herself.
With a bowed head, Mary Jane was lead out towards the jail cell. Mary Jane might have appeared like she was troubled and ashamed, but in reality she was planning her escape route. At the perfect moment….and she was off like the wind. Not even the swiftest of cops could catch her. “Until next time Officer Young,” She winked as she disappeared into the night.