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All Of Their Fault
The room was cold and quiet. Josh could feel the stares of the other officers from behind the one-way window. They were watching him, judging him. Waiting for the truth that would close this case once and for all. Josh took quick breaths, cold sweat running from his neck all the way down his back. Josh did not speak for a long time, as if deliberating and trying to recall the memory. But in truth, Josh remembered that night all too clearly.
He had opened the door and saw Taylor madly cutting away at the bloody body on the bed, the craze to kill gleaming bright in her eyes. Then he saw Ivy rushing out of the bathroom. A shrill “STOP!” pierced the air, but by sound alone no one could have placed the voice to either girl. Josh was the only one who saw Ivy’s mouth open as she uttered the scream. She yanked Taylor away from the bed and grabbed the knife out of Taylor’s hand. As the door fell open it revealed the remains of the scene to the rest of the crowd behind Josh. A body chopped to pieces on the bed, Taylor crying to the side and Ivy holding that red stained knife. The scene looked so wrong to all the other onlookers. Ivy was always the kind and quiet one. Taylor was supposed to be the ill-tempered and violent girl. As a result many of the other witnesses that night could not give a reliable account of what had happened, as their memories were only that of utter shock.
Now Josh sat in that uncomfortable metal seat, facing the head police officer. He was the only one left, the only witness of that night who had seen the whole thing. Josh looked up into the eyes of the officer, who sat staring back impatiently as he waited for an answer. From his memory, Josh heard that last exchange of words he’d had with her. “Ivy,” he’d said hesitantly, still in shock. But Ivy was smart. She knew what was going to happen. She screamed. “It’s all over now! You’re going to side with HER! You’re going to let HER live in freedom! HER! Your GIRLFRIEND! YOU’D RATHER PUT AN INNOCENT IN JAIL THAN HER! I HATE YOU!” The officer cleared his throat. Josh opened his mouth and spoke.
“Ivy did it. She killed that man,” Josh said. His voice broke on that last word. He knew he’d just told the biggest lie of his life. And he regretted it. He closed his eyes to stop the tears.
“I’LL SEND YOU A POST CARD FROM JAIL.” The words rang loud, painfully clear in his ears.
After that confession, Josh took to mindlessly wandering around the town. He never even bothered to get in touch with his girlfriend Taylor. Guilt rapidly ate him from the inside out. His conscience kept him awake at night. Dreams of Ivy terrified him when he did sleep. The daytime was worse. Josh hallucinated constantly. Two days passed, then Josh got two papers in the mail.
Here’s the post card I promised you. Enjoying life right now, you lying vulture? You want to know the worst thing about being in prison? I can see the highway from here, from the view in my cell. Every day I see people passing by. And Josh, do you know what kind of people are out there on that highway? FREE PEOPLE. HUMANS NOT CAGED UP LIKE ANIMALS WAITING TO DIE HERE LIKE ME.
AND THIS IS ALL. YOUR. FAULT!!!
A huge splatter of ink darkened the page near the bottom. She must’ve broken the pen she was using when she wrote this, Josh thought. He looked at the other page in the mail. It was a copy of a death certificate. Ivy had hung herself in her jail cell. Josh could bear it no longer.
That evening a car screeched to a stop on the highway. The driver got out to see the obstruction on the road. It was Josh’s body. Josh had jumped off the highway overpass above and ended his life.
Taylor was mentally ill. From the moment she had grabbed that knife and plunged it into that man, she was crazy. But after Ivy’s death, then the death of her beloved boyfriend Josh, Taylor crashed to a state beyond crazy.
Where did things go wrong? She asked herself that question constantly. That man was dead. Her childhood friend was dead. Her boyfriend was dead. And when it all came down to it, Taylor told herself that it was her own fault. My fault, my fault, MY FAULT. That was the thought that pushed her over the edge. That was the thought that ran through her head day in and day out. That was the thought that possessed her mind. My. FAULT. That was the though running through her head when she stood up in the middle of Josh’s funeral and shot herself straight through the skull.
As her body crumpled to the ground, a note fell out of her purse. Amidst the swell of the crowd rushing to Taylor’s body, someone picked up the note.
It’s my fault that they all died. That man died because he tried to rape me and I panicked. Ivy died because I was too ashamed to come out with the truth. My Josh died because I wasn’t there for him. No one should have died, but I ran from the truth that could have saved them all. It’s all my fault.
Taylor’s mother cried as she bent over her child’s body, limp and lifeless. With her, everyone else cried too. Not only for Taylor, but for everyone and everything else as well.