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Chapter 13

“A broken heart cries million days, But a broken trust dies million days.”

Trust is a very important gift for a breathing heart and keeps it alive even in the darkest moments. It is kept and cherished with love. But when it is broken, it breaks the person who carries it and poisons his very hope of living. The same is the case with Claire, who is now waiting in the city jail to meet someone who can fathom her pain.

“Officer Green, you can go now.” A voice comes from behind her and she turns to find a familiar face frowning at her. She sighs, not in the mood to argue with him again. Instead, she nods, letting the man guide her. Her face remains bowed, her mind a battlefield of various possibilities. Whom to trust now, she cannot understand. This case appears jumbled with every new clue and she feels lost in its maze-like a lost puppy.

“Ma’am, I guess you are wasting your time here. He has accepted the blame and the verdict is to be executed by the morning.” The man guiding her speaks out loud only to get glares from Claire.

He gulps the saliva secreted due to fear and hastily opens the door of the cell. Once the door is opened, Claire indicates him to leave. She thanks him, making sure to highlight that he is to guard the area till she is here.

Claire steps in the cell and finds Aron deep in thought. He is holding a pen and scribbling something on a paper. Claire tilts her head and bows, not being able to speak anything.

“Sherlin is not the killer.” She speaks but Aron doesn’t pay heed to it. He keeps on doing his work. She keeps a hand on his shoulder and crouches to face him. “Don’t lose hope.”

“I don’t care. I still want to die.” He speaks placidly like he’s stating the obvious.

“Hey boy, you can’t leave me like that,” Claire speaks and bites her lip when a trail of tears begins to flow down her cheeks.

Aron turns to look at her on hearing a hiccup beside him. “Why are you crying?” he asks concerned for someone in a long time. He feels his stone heart melting at the sight of Claire crying. He has broken himself and didn’t know what to do to comfort her. He was devoid of the hope himself so what he can offer her?

“I know who’s the killer,” Claire speaks amidst her sobs and Aron sharply falls from his inner turmoil. He stares her with anticipation of knowing the killer’s name. But it didn’t matter much. He only wants to know it out of curiosity and nothing else. He told himself.

“I think, I know, No, I don’t know.” She begins to stutter and breaks down in front of his eyes. Aron grits his teeth and places a hand on her shoulder. Claire, being the tough knight she is, shrugged his handoff. She curls on the floor, bringing her knees to support her face. “I think, it’s Jo.”

“What!” Aron gasps and stands with shock. He has expected some politician, businessman or even Chase but Jo? She can’t be, right?

“She is, no was, a mother to me. I can never imagine Jo killing a fly, leave alone a human.” She sobs.

Aron shakes his head and smiles. “It could be another paradox. Don’t cry.”

“No!” She yells and stands up. “I know it’s she. I have evidence.”

“Evidence can be false, made up.” Aron tries to convince her and she looks at him with false hope but for once, she follows the illusion.

“Yes, you are right. Why am I crying? Jo has not done anything. It’s just another false lead.”

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