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"This one wasn’t by accident. Look at these bruises, the attacker was angry." I looked at Jerry, the man I had worked with for over ten years. His face had wrinkled and those once lively freckles on his face were now looking more like poppy seeds. I wanted to tell him the truth but I knew what a burden it was to bear.
"Jerry, this was my daughter’s best friend. I owe to her parents, to look deeply into this case." He didn’t notice an unusual interest. I mean, at least, I think he didn’t. "Did she have a boyfriend?" Jerry asked. He had gone straight where I wanted him to. "No, but Ruth tells me she’s constantly being asked out and always turns them down. That gives us lots of suspects. "
"We can get started first thing in the morning. The body is still being analyzed; we’ll have to wait for the results anyway. I’ll close up, you had a hard day. Go rest." I was thankful to be out of there and as I turned to the door with my hat in one hand and my coat in the other, I couldn’t help but smile to myself. I was going to get away with it.
I made myself walk out of the NYPD office. A strong wind blew and my veins froze like a river estuary in the winter. Everything was still. I wished I could live forever in that moment. I closed my eyes in the middle of the sidewalk looking like some sort of lunatic. I didn’t care though. After all that had happened, maybe I was some kind of lunatic.
In the midst of my thoughts, I stopped thinking. Once I had realized my hat had blown off i had to go running to catch it. It was far off with a mind of its own. As I was running I saw a light on in my office. Someone was in there. A figure was staring down at me. When I looked into the man’s eyes he bolted to the switch behind the door and turned off the lights. He knew my room. It could have only been Jerry but why the secrecy? At first, I thought of going back up there but I knew it would show my insecurity. I was probably being paranoid anyway, and if I wasn’t, why would I want to head straight towards obvious trouble?
I got home and my daughter wouldn’t look at me. She locked herself in her room and cried for hours. I could hear her through the walls like a ghost wailing at her murderer. As I lay in bed with my wife sleeping beside me, I thought of how my daughter must feel. I knew she knew. It was all for the best though. I had to keep telling myself.
Next morning, I followed my every day routine. I wanted it to seem as if everything was normal. Which in fact, it surprisingly was. I always wondered how murderers must feel knowing what they’d done. As a cop I had met hundreds and I could never understand how they could live themselves. Now I know the secret to it. Nobody is willing to admit, how easy it is to kill another human being. In books and movies, I would read about people’s conscience and how it would tear them apart. Maybe to some it did but there are angers and fears that can overcome our conscience.
When I walked into the office that morning I found Jerry there biting his nails. "I see you've been making yourself comfortable in my room lately." I said as I turned to close the door behind me he stood. The pupil in his eyes had conquered the iris, almost no color was showing. The brim of the dark hole was clear blue like water when it's about to be poured out of a glass. His eyes told me how he was feeling, scared and unstable.
Only one thing came into my mind-- "Oh God, he's caught me". As I walked toward him and sat opposite, he sat back down and took a deep breath. "I know who did it." He didn't so much as look at me. He could only have been disgusted.
"Listen Jerry, I know what you're thinking but you have to understand it's very hard for a father to accept." He nodded his head and closed his eyes as if he was inhaling my words. "Of course, it is. I have no doubt it must have been very painful for you. I don't know what to tell you though, the bureau knows-- and there will be consequences." I shuddered at the thought of what would happen to me. "It's okay though, she will be sent to a mental institution not a prison. You'll be able to visit her." I nodded my head in agreement until I actually realized what he was saying. "What are you talking about? Who's she? He looked at me in a strange way. "Mack, who do you think we've been talking about all this time? It's your wife! We found the bat in her dressed. It has her name on it and it matches the bruises. She had the motive; your daughter's diary had entries of her love affair with Lauren." My skin went cold; if you had pricked me with a million needles I wouldn't have felt it.
"This is ridiculous! Who was snooping around my house looking for a baseball bat?" He bit his lip and closed one eye. It looked as if he was scared I was going to hit him. "Nobody had to. Your daughter called and confessed about her affair. She also asked questions about how her friend died and when we told her, she said that her mother had a baseball bat and she brought it in." I nodded unbelievably. I had gotten away with it, but... at what price?