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Chess Not Checkers

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2. Jailed for Murder

Emma’s driving abilities were less than a year old, and she was a novice driver; however, she drove like a veteran today. One would think she was a cast in the fast and furious movie. She drove at 160 mph and would drift around corners until you could smell a whiff of burned tires.

Her phone vibrated inside her pocket, it was her aunt. She wasn’t surprised that it wasn’t Jason.

“Someone is going to prison today,” she thought to herself.

“Hello aunt” she spoke feeling an uncomfortable lightness on her head.

“Oh, Emma, my dear, I need your help.” She said and i rolled my eyes, i already knew it was one of her errands.

“I know you’re busy planning Jason’s birthday party, but could you please pick up Ivy for me?” she inquired from the other side.

I am busy planning his murder. It would have been a better response.

Instead this was her response, “I can’t auntie, I have a pressing matter to attend to”

"Emma, please, there is no one to pick her up." she spoke with a horse and imploring tone.

“I am still at work, can’t leave” She had to find other excuses to first deal with Jason, she felt if she didn't do so, she would run mad.

“Nonsense, are you forgetting you told me you took some days off to plan for Jason’s twenty fifth birthday. How did you describe it-" She still couldn't let her niece off the hook easily.

“Honestly aunt i wish i could pick her up but something urgent came up” Emma begged for the phone call to end as she cut her aunt mid sentence.

She just wanted to get off the phone and concentrate on her driving and most importantly what she would say and do to Jason.

“Okay honey, I’ll just find a stranger to pick the little Ivy” Emma could smell a manipulation coming.

“I am not doing it aunt-" She knew she had to stay adamant to her words and not heed to her persuasions.

“Did you watch the news yesterday?” she suddenly interrupted her, changing the topic.

“No, you know I don’t watch...” Emma trailed off wondering what her aunt was trying to say.

“It was unbearable Emma, that pedophile...I can’t remember his name, but I know you remember that sick man that was arrested last year, for his fetish crave of small girls especially in school uniforms and pigtails” And there it was.

Emma did not understand what her aunt was driving at, sure she remembered the man. The entire country had heard of him. Even a hash tag thread, #arrestandcastratethepedophileFrank had trended for entire week as the police hunted him down. All he left on his run was trail of defiled young girls and one murder. Until his arrest Emma was always camping at Ivy’s school, anywhere they went she could not let her out of sight and her hand. She was so paranoid and even occasionally had nightmares.

“He was released yesterday and there are rumors he is lurking around Greenfield mall” her aunt spoke again.

That was near Ivy’s school, the realization sent cold chill down her spine. For a moment she lost control of the vehicle, as a picture of that disgusting man prying on the angelic Ivy blurred her vision. She knew that no matter what; whether her aunt had manipulated her or not, she couldn’t be at tranquility until Ivy was safely in the house and if possible locked in, never to be let out to this unjustly world. She shuddered when she remembered that doomed day, she had no one to protect her; but Ivy and every girl child had someone to protect them.

Luckily, Greenfield was on the same direction as Jason’s house so she just accelerated her speed. She continuously chanted a prayer, Jason’s case all forgotten in that moment. Emma exhaled as she killed the engine. She stayed in the car for some minutes scanning for any resemblance of a small cute girl in pigtails until she spotted Ivy playing along the pavement with no single worry. She was content jumping up and down doing nothing but tiring her fragile body. Emma could only imagine how soundly ivy would sleep by seven thirty due to the fatigue that would have already worn her off.

She roughly ran her hand through her hair before deciding to step out. Ivy was yet to spot her; this was to her advantage giving her the opportunity to sneak behind her.

“Boom!” Emma shouted.

Unfortunately, ivy was not in any way startled. Maybe she was no longer three years old. Emma thought disappointed that her plan had failed. Ivy just turned and threw her hand around Emma’s legs in what was supposed to be a hug.

“Emma, you came.” she spoke excited.

“I came for you, my cupcake, now let’s go.” Emma said.

Emma took her small hand and led her to the car. Once they were all settled in, Emma started her car; Jason’s thoughts re-entering her thoughts and settling there. She had to confront him today.

“Emma, I want ice cream,” Ivy whinnied as they drove past the mall.

“Not today sweetie” Emma answered hoping Ivy would drop the subject; she was aware how nagging Ivy could get if her wants were not put into consideration.

“I want ice cream...” the child pouted, folding her hands across her chest and attempting to stomp her feet which barely reached the car’s floor.

Emma opted to ignore her; she had a bigger problem like a freaking cheating boyfriend. She gripped the steering wheel and gritted her teeth. It took her some minutes when she heard muffled noises, to realize Ivy was crying.

‘Great’ she muttered and rolled her eyes.

“c’mon, sweetie I’ll make you some ice cream once we get home, then we can watch epic together.” She sweetly spoke, trying to tickle the child.

However the child cried harder saying ‘house ice cream sucked’.
Emma breathed out exasperated, folding her lips knowingly. She stared at the little girl that she loved more than life, but she had to admit the child was a spoilt brat. Her aunt always said it was Emma’s fault for letting the child get away with anything.

“Guess who is going to take us to the mall for ice cream?” Emma teased nudging her.

Ivy’s eyes lit up; all over sudden she ceased her crying. She turned to Emma with a bright smile enough to bring the dead flowers back to life.

“Uncle Jason... yay!” she flew next to Emma.

“That’s right cupcake, now let me drive. So that we can surprise Uncle Jason”
It was the third time Emma was knocking on Jason’s door.
“Why isn’t he opening?” Ivy innocently asked.

Emma wished Ivy was old enough to understand if she replied crudely ‘probably because he is busy f*cking another woman.’ But such crude words only were spoken in her head; she was never the type to loudly swear.

“Let’s surprise him, maybe he is asleep” Emma whispered to create the thrill in Ivy.

Once they unlocked the door, they tip toed inside. Ivy was holding her giggle, she loved to play hide and seek and most importantly sneaking on people not vice versa. There was no sign of Jason, perhaps he wasn’t at home. She decided to call him, this time it rang but only ended up being directed to voicemail.

Her phone rang, almost dropping it she retrieved it hoping it was Jason, it was her aunt.

“What is taking you long, by now you should have already brought Ivy home. It’s getting late and cold you know....” Her aunt spoke worried.

She wasn’t leaving, until she confronted Jason. First she had to make sure he was okay, if he was fine, she would slap him across his face and demand answers. She loved him too much to walk away without answers.

“Are you listening” her aunt’s shout demarcated her from her trance of thoughts.

“I think Jason is cheating on me, we are at his apartment waiting for him. I need answers from him” Emma finally spoke her fears out to someone.

“What are you talking about? Haven’t you been seeing the news? How crime of passion incidents are on the rise. If what you are saying is true, you better get out of there and both of you to find a neutral ground for your answers and my daughter will not be a witness so in the next forty five minutes I want you here.”

Emma took in her aunt’s advice; later will be a safe time to confront Jason. Now was a dangerous time when all she felt was murderous. Seems like luck wasn’t on her side and fate was already sealed that today would be the day she will be jailed for murder, because as soon as she stepped out Jason was also stepping out of his car.

“Uncle...uncle...” Ivy was already running to his arms.

“Bab_____” he spoke as he was walked toward Emma with Ivy on his arms.

‘Shameless’ Emma mentally insulted him; on how easy and calm he was as if nothing had happened. He was now close, grinning like the idiot he was; and Emma knew what would come next. The next thing Jason felt was not the softness of Emma’s lips but rather pain spreading on his cheek. She had slapped him.

“We are done, I never what to see you again” she spit, dragging Ivy with her to her car and drove away.

Jason was still in shock as she drove away, he could not anything as he stayed rooted. The confusion had disabled him.

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