The girl who lived in the shadow

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12. Detective Amari Raguel Watkins

14. 09. 2018.

Seconds passed. Minutes passed. Hours passed. The time has passed so quickly that I lost track during those seconds, minutes, and hours. And before I even knew it, the clock on the grey walls showed that it was already 7:30 in the morning, and yet, there was still no answer from the man in front of me. We were sitting here for the past thirteen hours, staring at each other. His cuffed hands were resting on the table as he shifted a little in his seat. His eyes still focused on me.

I shifted a little, trying to find a more comfortable position while we fight this battle of silence. If he doesn’t want to talk now, he will talk later. People like him always talk.

The door opened behind me and a tired Rayan walked in with his white shirt rolled up as he was carrying two cups of coffee.

“He is still not talking?” he asked, placing one of the cups in front of me. I picked up the cup and took a sip of coffee. The coffee was disgusting. It tasted like someone mixed coffee and soap together.

I glanced at Rayan who ignored my stare as he placed his cup in front of the potential suspect.

“You must be thirsty,” he told Michael.

Michael glanced at him and smiled a little before he picked up the cup, taking a sip of the disgusting coffee.

“Thank you,” Michael whispered.

“So you do have a tongue,” I said.

Michael entwined his fingers before he finally spoke, “I apologize for my behavior. I didn’t mean to act like that yesterday. It was the alcohol coming out from me.”

“What about those twelve hours of silence?” I asked. “Were they an act of alcohol?”

Rayan glanced at me and I rose my eyebrow at him. He doesn’t have the right to question the way I handle my questioning. He doesn’t understand that the sooner we crack the case, the sooner we will get out of this fucking town.

“When you saw father Dan yesterday at the office, what did you mean he ruined your life once before?” Rayan asked him.

Michael leaned on the chair, rubbing his forehead. “His nephew probably told you the story,” he answered, “How I raped three girls for a higher grade.”

“Did you do it?” I asked, narrowing my eyes at him.

He glanced at me, an annoying look placed on his face. “No,” he said annoyingly, “I didn’t even touch them.”

“But what does that have to do with father Dan?” Rayan asked. He is as confused as I am. What does a local priest have to do with these accusations? Unless...

“His sister was one of the girls that accused you of rape,” I answered Rayan’s question instead of Michael. My eyes were focused on Michael who smiled, showing off his yellow teeth. “You are a smart little thing, aren’t you?” he mocked me.

“What did you want from John and Margareth? Why did you stalk them?” I asked him. His smile disappeared and his face turned serious.

“I just wanted to make sure that they didn’t end up like Margareth’s mother Anne,” he answered back and started playing with his fingers.

“What happened to her?” Rayan asked.

“She went fucking insane, that’s what happened.” he leaned back on his chair before he pointed a finger at Rayan. “One time, at Sunday’s service, she came out with her blond hair shaven, she was laughing like a maniac and threatening that she was going to slice her throat. Dan tried to calm her down, but she said that she was going to kill him too,” he continued, “No one saw her since that day. Some say that she drowned herself at the Blackcreak lake, but they never found her body.”

“What do you think happened?” This question was not only intended to him, but also to myself. If there is a small possibility that she was murdered, this case will go far deeper than it already was.

“I don’t know.” he shrugged. “But whatever happened to her was the best thing that ever happened to her. She saved herself from a life filled with misery.”

“If she had a miserable life, perhaps her daughter had one too. After all, her mother has died from an alleged suicide,” I commented, trying to get him to talk about his relationship with the victim.

“Her life wasn’t the best, but I can’t tell for sure. She seemed like a nice girl, and her brother was okay too.”

“Where were you two nights ago mr. Pierson?” Rayan asked seriously. He narrowed his eyes at him and waited for Michael to answer his question.

“I was working, agent Birsen,” he answered, “I work at a small workshop two towns away. I can give you their number if you want.”

“Did someone see you there?” I asked.

“Yes, I had my partner, Sebastian with me. We were both working a night shift,” he laughed a little before continuing, “You know, you should ask Adrian Smith about Margareth.”

“Who is he?” Rayan asked.

“He is Margareth’s boyfriend, but also officer Gersom’s brother in law.”

~ - ~

“Where the fuck is the sheriff?” I asked Rayan the moment we stepped out of the interrogation room.

“He didn’t come since yesterday. I tried to call him but he never answered,” Rayan answered.

Rolling my eyes, I snapped my fingers at a white officer. “Release him,” I told him, “But send a guy to keep a closer watch at him.”

The white officer nodded his head before disappearing behind the closed interrogation door.

“You!” I pointed at another white officer. He was eating his breakfast and didn’t look pleased when I called for him. “Take two officers with you and go to Michael Pierson’s house. I want you to search the house from head to toe, and don’t return until you find a box with a golden lock on it.”

“What is in the box?” he asked.

“Something that doesn’t concern you,” I answered back sarcastically.

He narrowed his eyes at me. I stepped towards him. “What is that look? Do we have a problem, officer?”

He shook his head. “No, mam.”

“Good. Now go back to work before I make sure that you never find another job again.” I tapped him on the shoulder before I made my way down to the exit.

“Roman Schinder still hasn’t been found,” Rayan said as he opened the door for me. “I sent to officers to find him, but there is still no trace.”

“They won’t find him,” I said back, “Roman might be a drug dealer, but he isn’t stupid. He knows that John sold him out.”

“What do you want us to do now?” he asked.

I turned to him. “Nothing. We will wait that he shows up.”

“What about Adrian Smith? Why didn’t you ask for back up?”

I stopped in my tracks and turned around towards him. “Adrian Smith is Gersom’s brother in law. Gersom might be a fucking pig, but these idiots in there are loyal dogs. They stick together. If I told any of them that we are arresting Adrian, they will tell Gersom, and knowing him, he will tell his sister who will most likely attack her husband before he will run away.”

Rayan stood there and stared at me. “Don’t just fucking stand there,” I told him, “We have a possible murderer to catch.”

~ - ~

“Name?” I asked as I positioned the old camera in front of the suspect. He was sitting with his hands cuffed to the table. When he looked at the camera, his whole body froze, and I could see the sweat dripping down his fat forehead.

“Your name,” I said harshly. The suspect glanced at me before looking back at the camera.

“Adrian Smith.” His voice was shaky, and he looked back at me, asking for approval.

“Age?” I asked.

“Fifty-four.”

I stared at the man who was old enough to be someone’s father. His chin wobbled under my cold stare. There are so many things I wanted to do to him. Things so painful that will eventually kill his pedophilic ass.

“You know why you are here, right?” I asked.

He shook his head. “I have no idea. I didn’t do anything wrong.”

“Let’s start again. Do you know why are you here?” I asked again, but this time I couldn’t keep the anger coming out from my mouth.

“Wattkins...” Rayan started but I lifted my hand in the air. I gave him a cold look, telling him to shut up.

“Do you know why are you here?” My voice slightly rose, making the suspect jump a little in his seat.

“I didn’t do anything,” he whispered.

“But you did,” I said.

“Do you have any proof?” he asked. “Because I think you don’t.”

I leaned towards him, placing both of my hands in the table. “Then you are more stupid than I actually thought you were.”

Looking over at Rayan, I gave him a small nod to place one of the folders that were found in Michael Pierson’s house. Rayan opened the folder and started placing all of the fifteen photos in front of the suspect.

Adrian turned pale as he stared at the photos in front of him. Photos of him and Margareth Larson having sex in the car, in the motel, in the school parking lot, and near the old orphanage where her body was found.

“Not enough?” I asked.

“It’s not what you think,” he started, but I slammed my hand on the table.

“I swear to God if I hear that bullshit one more time today, I will show these pictures up your ass,” I said through clenched teeth.

Josh took a deep breath. A tear was sliding down as his face as he said, “She was perfect. Everything I always wanted. I always saw her at the church on Sunday, and somehow during those Sundays, I fell in love with her.”

“She was 17 years old for fuck sake.” Standing up, I grabbed his head and made him look at the pictures in front of him.

“I would never hurt her,” he said, “She knows that.”

“Did you tell her that bullshit when she was sucking your cock or when you were putting your cock in her pussy?” I released his head and placed a couple of new pictures in front of him. These pictures show seven teenage girls having sex with him.

“Klara Bloom. Gorgina Clarkson. Natalie Summers. Leona Bright. Veronica Good. Sarah Rachels. Caroline Lapse.” I pointed at each girl. “Each one of them was a minor,” I said, “Natalie Summers.” I took her picture out from the file. “She filled for a sexual assault, but her rapist was never caught because she was unconscious while she was raped.”

Adrian stayed silent as I continued, “Do you know what happens to pedophiles like you in prison?”

He shook his head, his eyes focused on the pictures.

“You don’t know?” I laughed a little. “They rape you with a spoon, but if you are lucky, you may get some cock’s in your asshole. It’s better than a spoon you know,” I continued, “I’ve seen it, and trust me, you wouldn’t like to experience that.”

He finally looked up at me. “I didn’t kill her. I dropped her off at the forest before the party had started and then I went home.”

“Can someone prove that?” I asked.

“My wife, she can...” he started, but I cut him off, “No, she can’t. Not after the stunt, she pulled. Just so you know, she is going to jail too. I will make sure that they put her with an Afro-American woman, and I hope for her sake, that she doesn’t make any racist comments next to her. Women can be worse than men sometimes.”

There was a knock on the door, and the sheriff walked in with a small shoebox in his hands.

“What’s that?” Rayan asked.

“We found that in his house. I thought you might want to see it.” He placed the box on the table. I glanced at the sheriff who couldn’t even look at the man who he considered to be his friend.

Opening the box, I came across a pair of nine female underwear, photographs of naked young girls, and a bunch of tapes.

“So you like to take little home videos?” I asked.

“It’s...” I didn’t let him finish his sentence as I reached for his head, pulling it back.

“Don’t you fucking say it.”

Rayan came to me, placing his hand on my shoulder. “Calm down. You are going to kill him.”

Taking a deep breath, I released the man and straightened my suit. “Did you know that Margareth was pregnant?”

Adrian looked at me confused. “Pregnant?”

“Yes, you dumb fuck. Pregnant.”

He shook his head. “If she was, that baby isn’t mine.”

“How can you be so sure of that?”

“I can’t have kids. I’m infertile.”

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