Just as I pushed open the back door, sirens bellow from every direction outside the farm. Out of the dining room window I see officers jumping out of their cars and running with their guns drawn. I rush to hide in the corner.
Within seconds they kicked in the entrance door even though it wasn’t locked.
“What’s going on? What are you doing to me? I just got here!” Tears escape as I shouted at the officer scurrying behind me, twisting my arms behind my back. “You don’t have to be so rough,” I yelled as he locked the handcuffs. I know not to resist, it’d only make matters worse.
Across the room, Dad slumped in his favorite chair, blood oozing from his head and chest. He’s not waking up from all the sirens blaring. My heart races furiously as I scan the room, though nothing’s amiss.
“You’re under arrest. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney, and to have an attorney present during any questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you at government expense,” the officer uttered cynically. I’ve heard those words before on T.V. though never in person.
“What are you charging me with?” I asked, fearing the answer.
“First degree murder, for starters. There may be additional charges added after the investigation is completed,” he advised.
“We found your pistol; you’ll have to convince a judge and jury now,” the second officer growled with disgust, as if he knew, without a doubt, I pulled the trigger. With gloved hands, he shoved my gun in a plastic bag. It’s the pistol I lovingly nicknamed Baby Pearl due to its tiny size and beautiful pearl handles. The first time I saw that alluring gun I knew we’d be perfect partners, however, it wasn’t supposed to go down like this.
Before arriving at the farm this bright, otherwise cheery morning, I had contemplated the ultimate cost of wiping out this man who came back into my life, whispering false promises he never intended. Astounded, I gaze all around the arid landscape, there’s not one hint of evidence anyone else has been here, nothing is stirring, no strange vehicles are around, no noise other than the sirens, and not even the dogs seem disturbed. There’s only police officers darting through every room in the house and searching the surrounding area outside.
The policeman behind me double checked the lock on my handcuffs; next he reached for the back door of his patrol car, waiting for his partner before shoving me in. After his partner appeared from around the corner, the officer pushed me in, bumping my head into the edge of the door. Blood trickles down my cheek, mingling with my tears, though I can’t wipe either away.
Dad is dead, the officer confirmed; at least he won’t hurt me anymore. For days, even months, I weighed heavily the dues I’d pay, realizing the freedom I fought for all my life was gone as long as this man breathed. Since my freedom was gone, I rationalized I’d be just as free behind bars. Freedom isn’t free and how dare he attempt to rob me again. Stealing my childhood was bad enough but I felt I deserved the freedom I’ve conquered, yet he so desperately wanted to take away. I intended to obliterate him with every ounce of my being. I wanted to witness his torture after all the agony he’s forced upon me.
Perplexed, I’ve no doubt I’ll pay for this, my mind raced as I’m forced to ride in the backseat of the police car. I pray I escape this nightmare. I wondered if anyone would help. No one understands the secrets holding me hostage here. Would anyone care?
I’ll need an excellent lawyer, though they cost a fortune and I was poor as a dog. I was entirely alone here in this paltry backwoods Texas town while my family in Florida didn’t have a clue where I was at. I can’t fathom how to tell them or if I will. I was expected back home in a day or two. Whether I like it or not, they’ll find out, that’ll be my true punishment, I realized as new tears emerge. Would the truth matter to them?
The ride to jail was lengthy and silent through the winding country roads. I watched the barren trees go by as I attempted to block the sun’s glare from my swollen eyes. I haven’t been arrested before, so I had no idea what to expect. It’s obvious these backwoods Rangers could care less about facts. Why would they? They’re not paid for finding out the facts.
Arriving at the police station, I was hustled inside the jail. The bright light was blinding as they took mug shots and fingerprints. They lead me to what they call a holding cell. After a lengthy wait, they took me to my permanent cell, where I must wait until my day in court, though, I had no idea how long. I stay tucked in a corner where I feel safe. The walls are dark and dingy with built up dirt. There’s a woman already in the cell, sitting with her face buried toward her knees as she sits in a fetal position on the edge of her cot.
She cries a lot. She’s petite with beautiful brown locks framing her porcelain face. She told me her name was Lynda. Her brown eyes were swollen from countless tears. Ironically, through her sobs, she explained she was here as a result of shooting her husband who was abusing her little girl. After days in the hospital he died, so she charged with murder. She’s a hero in my book for rescuing her little girl. No child should have to deal with that. I pray for both of us.
During my long wait for trial, I have a long time to recap exactly what brought me here. Those visits with the man who called himself “Dad” haunt me continuously. He filled me full of hope, conned me with false promises that meant absolutely nothing. Sweet little lies he whispered constantly to me and they continue to echo. It’s the pain that won’t disappear that brought me here to endure more hell. Unfortunately, nothing happened as I had planned. Apparently I was going to pay for it anyway. Where was the justice in this?