The Usual Suspect
My name is Emma, and I’m here to tell you about a boy who was in my
grade twelve class named Brandon Kent. Brandon was such a dull and
ordinary boy. Actually, no, he was worse than ordinary. He was downright
boring, not to mention more than a dash antisocial. He was so sullen
and withdrawn that people just logically assumed he held some
deep-rooted, horrible secret.
As for me, I’m from the opposite end of the spectrum. In fact, I’m very much a people person. I just naturally click with others, whether I try to or not. And poor Brandon, he just couldn’t make friends.
Things didn’t improve for him at all when Karen went missing.
Karen was one of the chattiest and by far most well-liked persons in our class, so when she went AWOL, shit quite naturally hit the fan. Immediately gossip began to swirl that Brandon had been rejected by her and had murdered her in a blind rage. Brandon said nothing either way at first, which didn’t help his case. Eventually he did address the matter when others probed him for details but his claims fell on deaf ears.
And then they found it. The knife with Karen’s blood still caked on the blade and hilt, buried in his locker like a remote shrine to the fetid deed. I still remember Brandon screaming with rage as he was dragged to the cop car from his morning classes, howling his protests of innocence to a deaf world.
Oh, and the kicker? He was telling the truth, Brandon didn’t murder Karen. Yeah, I did. I did it to avenge the murder of my cousin Alice who was offed by a member of Karen’s family named Edger. Alice was dear to me. I knew I had to kill to make it right, fight fire with fire and all that. This might not make sense to you, but then you’ve never lost a family member in the blink of an eye to murder. Don’t worry, I don’t expect you to understand.
But oh, who better to pin the blame for the crime on than weird, withdrawn Brandon! I do hope you see the logic in my choice at least. As for me? Don’t think if you tell people what I’ve told you, that they’ll believe you or anything. It took the better part of two years to manufacture this likeable good-two-shoes façade, and it’s quite convincing. Some days I very nearly fool myself!
Then I think back to Karen’s blood on my hands and remember, yeah, it’s all an act. Brandon’s on death row, Karen and Alice are both in the boneyard, and the real criminal suffered no consequences whatsoever. Isn’t it funny how life works?