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Zelia is leaning on her seat. Heinz has stopped pacing the room, his friend has become the point of their attention.
‘What is the lead, Anne?’ He blurts impatiently.
Roxanne Ariosto, a dignified officer, has a lump in her throat for the first time. She knew this had to be done one day, and the day has already gone. It’s time for everyone to read the evidence, Heinz has to be the first, though. In her official tone she says,
‘I found this evidence. It was in my mailbox. I’m going to disclose it & close the case once and for all. But I know you’ve the right to know.’ She produces the letter neatly folded in her handbag covered in the EVIDENCE bag and hands it over to Heinz.
‘Now I need to go on an assignment. See you soon, Diablo. I’ll be back to take the evidence.’ She gives Heinz a warm hug and bids farewell to Dr. Zhang.
‘I can’t wait to see what this is, could you please hurry.’ Zelia tells Heinz as he unfolds the letter and reads it aloud:
I hope I’ve given you this letter before the police turns on you, Diablo. It’s been a week since the police know that Devyn Alford, Ethan Perlo & Kane Rinaldi were murdered. On different dates, at different places without any particular patterns. There is left behind no clue about the murders, in fact the police believed they were suicides for the past one and a half year. The first victim’s brain was burst open by himself, the second crashed his car while driving it in a drunk condition and the third jumped off a building.
I’ve always wanted the good to win right from the time my grandpa told me fairy tales. I lived in a world that wasn’t real, it was created by him. The day he left us, I locked myself away from the real world, as always. But I wasn’t happy, anymore. For a long time I didn’t come out of it, never talked to my friends nor anything more than formalities with my family. It is part of a reason that I’ve been there for you. Helped you when you wanted nobody around you, it’s because I know what you feel. A listener is all we need in such times. Even I had one.
He came in my life like a saviour, a guy sent from my Grandpa, to turn me back into normal. He told me stories, too. He made me laugh, he gave me a shoulder to cry on, he dropped me home after school. I can’t think of one good thing he didn’t do for me. But as we grew up, my saviour took a turn for the worse. The attention he received from everyone made him a little selfish & more insecure towards everything. His old friends left him, still he didn’t care since the number of new friends kept increasing.
The newer the friends the shallower his emotions became. I had no problem with those friends but they took away his innocence. I tried to warn him, many a times, but he never made sense. He accused me of being jealous and not being grateful for the help he provided to me when we were tweenagers. But the truth is, I was grateful, without him I wouldn’t have had anything I have now. Which is why I stayed. Day by day, he started controlling me. Whatever I did, who I talked to, where I went and I knew it was enough. The day I talked to him about ending our contact with each other and living our own lives, he created a huge dramatic scene. For the first time his friends saw him cry and I became the bad person. An ungrateful, shameless whore! But I was nothing of such kind. I did my best to avoid a fight, cut out contact with every guy I knew. He picked me up and dropped me, but it was unlike the old times when he hugged me and I kissed his cheek before saying a goodbye.
A year after I got used to the new prison like routine of my life, he crossed the most extreme line. I saw him drag you from the canteen & drive out in his car. I tried to follow but I couldn’t run on my feet for so long. I called for a cab and thought of places where he’ll take you. His house was an obvious choice since his parents were on a vacation & getting rid of the maids and chefs wouldn’t be a tough job for him. By the time I reached his home, you were gone. Taken in an ambulance.
“How could you do this!?” I shrieked at him, entering his huge empty house.
“He got what he deserves. No one lays an eye on my girlfriend. You are my bitch. Only MINE!” He laughed and so did his two minions, descending from upstairs.
“No, I’m not. Not anymore. You’re an asshole! I won’t let you get away with it.” I was crying as I ran away, away from his filthy home. A filth, is all that had become of everything that belonged to him. How could I be with this rodent for so long! I cursed myself all the way to the police station. I checked my phone for directions and the nearest one was 350 meters away. Not quite far, but I had to travel through the suffocating fumes from the factories around. It’s not going to be me who will cry. I wiped my tears and prepared for what statement I would give. Out of nowhere, I heard the sound of a car’s engine and realized it was him. I searched for a cover but there was nothing to hide, he had already seen me. Jumping out the car as he closed in, there wasn’t a hint of smile on his face.
“I’m sorry. I really am, Rox.”
“Don’t you dare call me that! My name is Roxanne. You better learn that.” I clenched my teeth, I tried my best to not punch his scum face.
“I wasn’t me back there. You know how I am, you know exactly what I am. I’ve helped you, I love you the most! We can sit and talk can’t we?” I remember how deep it hurt when he said those words. It felt as if someone broke my glass palace and stabbed with it’s broken pieces.
“Fuck off, Kane!” I pushed him and continued on my way. The street was deserted, there were factories on both sides. After a few steps a hand blinded my sight, I struggled to set myself free, wildly punching and kicking in air without any success.
“We don’t have to do this.” It was Ethan, shivering while tying a rope around my wrists.
“Just shut up and tie that whore, if we let her go we would be in big trouble.” Devyn forced me in the car. “It’s for everyone’s good will.” Ethan whispered and closed my eyes with a cloth.
When I opened my eyes I was on Kane’s bed, instantly I regretted it’s familiar touch on my skin. My ankles were tied together, my arms behind my back & my clothes were missing. I acquainted my eyes with the bright lights focused on me, I noticed a blinking red light and felt a tremor. He can’t be doing this! Tears of shame covered my face, I turned on my stomach with all the strength I could gather.
“Now, now are we too shy to smile for the camera?” Kane twisted my arm.
“Why are you doing this!” My screams are muffled by the sobs.
“Only a guarantee that you won’t open your mouth. Tell me, will you do that, Roxy?” He held me by my hair and I only shook my head. He let me go. He never released it, nor did I ever spill his secret. The weight of this leverage was very burdening to me, though. Thus I decided to confront him after 3 years of the incident. Time didn’t change that douchebag, he was still the same person who helped me live life again but also the same person who took it all away from me. He threatened me in exchange for “favours” and I did as he said. How could I be such a fool? But that was it, I decided there was something to be done. People like him are a bane to our world. Caring about nothing, about nobody else’s life but about their own. He ruined your life and I hold myself responsible for that. You know what the consequences of my decisions are. Three men are dead, but I don’t regret anything. I had to write this in letter since I can’t take it anymore.
Those deaths weren’t completely homicides. I shot Devyn from his uncle’s gun after hitting his uncle in the head with a fire extinguisher, I stayed hidden in a duct next to where he stood, so he never realized there was someone other than Devyn. I held him at gunpoint, he had no chance of escape.
Killing Ethan was the easiest. He was in a club in the main city, as drunk as one could be. I just had to call him from a satellite phone that Kane gifted me when we were in high school. Kane was the rightful owner of it, so I had no strings left to me. By calling him I led him to the unfinished bridge on the west coast, he wasn’t sober enough to pull the breaks before plummeting in the ocean.
Then came Kane’s turn. He didn’t suspect of his friends’ death being remotely related to me. In fact I was working on it. So, I told him that his two friends were killed and he was most likely to be his next target. I acted innocent, like the poor little girl he always considered me to be. He took off to his father’s hotel and stayed in there. He locked himself which made my plan a little tedious. Using my contacts, I located his room number and broadcasted a message on his television that I’m waiting on the terrace and I know who the culprit is. He was scared enough to not care why I would call him on the terrace and naive enough to believe I’m harmless. I wasn’t there, I was in the building next to it. When he reached the terrace I used a drone attached with a laser gun to personify the make-belief killer on his back, I lured him away from the only accessible exit and fired some silenced shots. He ran for his life, ironic how he stumbled in the wires of the generator and fell off the 40 storeys.
Thinking about this again, I know if my Grandpa was alive, he’d be upset with me. Which is why I had to confess of my wrong doing. He’s calling me home, he knows I’ve suffered a lot. He wants to save me and only he can. Good bye, Heinz. I hope you’re never ashamed to say your own name. I’ve avenged us both. Forgive me if you can, wish you all the happiness in life.
Heinz runs out of the door, screaming her name to stop her. But she’s long gone. When Zelia comes out to check, she finds him lying on the floor crying his heart out. Picking him up with great difficulty they travel to the couch. Zelia offers him the water bottle he brought, but he rejects it.
‘You can go, Dr. Zhang.’ He says betwixt his sobs.
‘I can’t leave you like this.’
‘Leave me alone. I will get better, I promise. For Roxanne, I have to. I’ll meet you soon.’ An hour ago, if he said those words Zelia might had not believed him. It’s not the same now, she knows he’s not a psychopath. She knows he’s hurt, again. I’m so sorry for thinking bad about you.
‘I hope you do.’
The next afternoon Dr. Zhang’s receptionist lets in the next patient.
‘I didn’t expect you to be back so soon.’ She walks towards him to greet.
‘I wasn’t going to. But last night Anne shot herself.’ He shakes his head in grief, ‘I’m happy she set herself free from the bonds.’
‘That’s kind of you. Come sit.’ She points towards the chair in her lavish office.
‘I can’t stay, Dr. Zhang.’ Surprised, she waits for him to elaborate. He takes out the EVIDENCE bag, ‘It was her last wish to be proved guilty as charged.’
©The Honest Fabler
©Cover Credits- Google Images