The Silent Truth
“It’s always the quiet ones.” That’s what I hear from everyone. The teachers, the students, and even the parents believe that. I sigh as I write this, just at the mention of that small stereotype given to people like Brandon, like Edgar….like me.
It’s just a small phrase. It didn’t have a great depth of meaning. It was just something people always said about us, because we were different, mysterious even. And frankly, I would agree with the last bit. But with what they think now, after what Edgar did to Alice and what Brandon supposedly did to Karen, they all look at me differently. They all think I’m like them. A killer, a murderer, a quiet one. They don’t say a word to me, no one does but the teachers, but only then it’s when they’re calling for attendance or asking me to answer a question in front of the class. But now even that last bit is no longer true, the teachers are scared of me, scared of what I am, what I might become. And I’m sick of it.
Yes, I like to be left alone. Yes, I enjoy being a quiet one. And yes, I was friends with both Brandon and Edgar. But am I a murderer? No, nor will I ever be. No matter how tempting it may be, I’m never going to fulfill their expectations for people like me. I’m going to show them something. I’m going to show them the cold, silent truth about us.
And I’ll start, with you.
I quietly sat in my usual seat as the teacher continued his lecture. I was in the back of the room, in the corner. Just far enough away from the teacher to avoid being called for something but not too far from the door, so I could leave class immediately once it was over. I didn’t want to get caught in the middle of a group of students when the time came to leave. I’d learned ever since the deaths of both Alice and Karen that I’d just make myself easy prey for the vengeful if I did. Because killer or not, I still reminded them of both Edgar and Brandon and that was enough of a reason for them to want to gang up on me whenever they had a chance.
I tapped my foot impatiently and glanced at the clock in the corner. I wanted class to be done for the day. “Can’t wait to go stick someone with a knife?” I heard a girl snicker at me. I stopped my tapping but didn’t say a word. Words never really mattered for me. “What’s the matter pal? Cat got your tongue?” I heard the girl taunt me again. “Oh wait, that’s right! I almost forgot, you’re a quiet one. You can’t talk!” I heard a few giggles come from the girl’s friends sitting next to her.
“No, I’m not going to go stick someone.” I quietly responded, “But I am considering cutting out and burning that person’s tongue for annoying me.” I slowly turned my head to stare at the girl, “Since that girl’s a liar and cheater to both her best friend and boyfriend.”
The snickering from the girl’s two friends stopped as they gave me a puzzled look. The girl who taunted me however, eyes widen. “What?” She whispered.
Before more could be said the class bell rang. I turned and got up, slinging my backpack over my shoulder.
“What did you say?” I heard her ask once more.
Without turning I answered, “Silent truth.” I walked out of class leaving the girl sitting in her desk in both awe in shock as her friends began to ask her what was wrong.
I knew exactly what was wrong, someone other than her knew her dirty little secrets. And I think you can guess who.
I smiled smugly as I walked to the cafeteria. Because you see, truth is the reason I’m quiet. Because it’s only when you’re quiet, you can hear the silent truths. When you’re quiet, people have a tendency to say more and reveal more about themselves than they should. They reveal sins, secrets they don’t want known. And it amazes me how stupid people can be when they say these things out loud, especially in front of me. But they think “What does it matter? He’s quiet, isn’t he? He can’t be listening? And if he is, who’s he gonna tell if he doesn’t talk? Those are the assumptions people make about me. And as with that girl I dealt with just realized, they’re not true.
My smile melted. But if there was one truth I wanted to know more than anything at the time, it was about Karen. Who really killed her? Though we were never really friends, I’d known Brandon practically all my life. He was like me, quiet and refrained although for different reasons. I knew he was a tad antisocial and had a thing for Karen. But not so much so that he’d kill her for turning him down. It wasn’t like him. He was too afraid to do anything like that. But that didn’t seem to make a difference to the rest of the school. They all pointed at him within a heartbeat.
I reached the doors of the cafeteria. I hesitated and decided to peek through the door’s window. I could see tons of students getting their lunches before sitting down to eat and chat with their chosen cliques. I shook my head in disgust. I never liked cliques.
I looked at the line and saw a few jocks waiting to get their lunches.
“Ah…crap.” I murmured. Those guys more than anything wouldn’t waste a second to try and put me down. Alice and Karen had been known to associate with a lot of jocks so they all’d been very angry once they discovered that people like me had killed them. I took a step back from the door. I could skip lunch this time
I turned around to leave only to stop, yet again. Another student stood directly in front of me. She was about my height, 5’9’, had wavy auburn hair that just touched her shoulders. She was also my age, seventeen. But most of all, she was the complete opposite of me. One of the social kids who was a role model for most of students since she always seemed to “Do the right thing” in school. She never got in trouble and almost always seemed to fit in with everyone. And what’s worse, she was a close friend to Alice, so she hated Edgar and people like him. So in other words, she was no different than the jocks I was trying to avoid. She’d want to put me down too.
I’d been lucky to avoid her thus far, until now it seemed. I braced for a verbal onslaught of taunts for being like Edgar or Brandon, but to my surprise she stood quietly and just stared at me with her blue piercing eyes. “Hi, David.” Emma greeted me.
I blinked in surprise, I’d expected to hear an insult. Not knowing what to make of it, I simply nodded in response.
“You eating lunch?” She asked, again surprising me. No one talked to me like this unless it was about me being a psycho.
I shook my head, still not saying anything. I looked past her to see if there were any other students not waiting in ambush to get me. There were was no one but her. Strange… I could have sworn she always had at least one groupie with her at all times.
“Why?” she cocked her head at me. Like I’d want to tell her that? I shrugged and brushed past her in the direction of the library. I could hang out in there until the lunch period was over, that and I didn’t want be near Emma. Because for some reason I couldn’t explain…she’d always unnerved me and now her suddenly speaking to me in a causal, nice manner only increased my discomfort.
“What did you say to Rena?” She asked suddenly. I stopped in my tracks and look over my shoulder back at her. She was staring at me and I could see in her eyes that she was studying me…very intently.
I shrugged, “Why’s it matter?”
“Because according to her friends you frightened her and made her go reeaaal quiet.”
Huh, so that’s what this is all about. That’s why she’s being so nice, “I frighten a lot of people apparently. Even without needing to speak.”
“But you don’t often frighten someone so much that they don’t want to talk about it.” She said smoothly.
I shrugged, “Well if she doesn’t want to talk about it, that’s her business. Not mine.”
She narrowed her eyes, “Not unless of course you threatened her.”
Really? She’s gonna pull that on me? I rolled my eyes, “Fine…I told her if she didn’t leave me alone I’d tell the truth.”
“The truth?” She cocked head her curiously, “What truth?”
“And what is that?”
“Her own business.” I said blankly. “And if she doesn’t want to tell you…she doesn’t want to tell you.” I resumed walking to the library.
“Hmph, and I suppose you know that because you stalk her?” She let the accusation fly.
I stopped and sighed before turning back, “No. I don’t stalk her. In fact, I don’t stalk anybody at all. I just know a lot of things from listening. Especially when they gloat about things they shouldn’t’ve done. They don’t always realize the guy sitting next to them is hearing every single word.”
I expected that to send her into a rage and make me have to get ready to be mauled, but instead she like her friend Rena went very quiet. And for a brief moment, I actually saw who she was…it was in her eyes really. The usual bright, sunny eyes that seemed to attract so many groupies vanished and I saw what was truly beneath. A dark, pleasurable look. A look I’ve seen people have once they’ve done something very wrong and enjoyed it…like when Edgar killed Alice. And now they were studying me with a dangerous suspicion.
The sudden change shocked me enough to take a step back in surprise. Her outgoing, goodie-two shoe visage, I realized was just that… a visage…a mask.
“Do you watch and listen to me too?” She asked darkly.
I was rooted to the spot, too stunned to answer. People only wear masks like that when they know things they shouldn’t…so could she…could she know who killed Karen?
“Well?” she asked impatiently.
I chose my words carefully, “Yeah, I do….I even watched Edgar and Brandon before they ended up on death row.” I said then after a brief pause, decided to test something, “And if you want an example, I know for a fact that Brandon didn’t kill Karen. Someone else did.”
Emma’s head moved back an inch, it was a slight movement, a natural movement maybe, but it told me everything. Before Emma could respond I quickly spun around and fast walked my way to the library.
My mind reeled with each step with the realization that the person who killed Karen wasn’t a quiet one at all but the exact opposite of one… Could it be Emma?
For the rest of the day, I tried my best to avoid Emma. But that proved to be very difficult since she was in my next two classes after lunch. So when I got to math class and went to sit in my isolated corner, Emma chose to sit right next to me. Crap… This wasn’t good.
“Oh, I hope you don’t mind me sitting here,” she said as she placed her books down, “I just wanted a change in seating.” She smiled mischievously at me just as the rest of the seats filled with students. I couldn’t help but fidget a bit as a lot of students began to cast strange looks in my direction. They were no doubt wondering why one of the most sociable and nicest people in the whole school would be sitting next to one of the “quiet ones”.
“Why’s Emma sitting next to him?” I heard one student whisper to another. “Is she trying to get herself killed?” Asked another. “Doesn’t she remember what happened to Karen after talking to one of them?” A third asked to her friend.
“Them,” the word bit at me. It’s always “them”, they think. I couldn’t help but think of the irony. The quiet one, the one most likely to kill someone but didn’t, sitting next to the sociable one, which no one would ever dream would kill anyone, but most likely did or at least knew who did. If only they knew…
As the math teacher droned on with his lecture and I tried my best to take notes, (Yes, despite everyone’s belief about me, I do care about my grades) Emma eyed me intently. I would write something down and glance over to always see her studying me darkly, and each time it took all my strength to repress a shiver.
“What did you mean earlier?” She said suddenly. I paused in my note taking before answering, “About…what?”
“You said you knew that Brandon didn’t kill Karen…What did you mean by that? The knife was found in his locker.”
I’d already come to the conclusion by now that either Emma had killed Karen or she knew who did and wasn’t telling anyone. So I needed to be careful how I answered. “I meant that I knew Brandon well enough to know he’d never do anything like that. He was too afraid. And these rumors about him asking her out and being turned down aren’t true.”
“How do you know that?”
Danger…Danger… My instincts screamed at me, “Because, One: No one ever saw him do that. Two: Everyday school ended he’d take his bike straight home while Karen would ride with you guys on the bus. So when did he ever have the time to ask her out? It’s simple, he didn’t.”
I hoped I’d given her a good enough explanation so that she wouldn’t think I knew exactly who did it, even though to be honest I didn’t. But I wanted it to make it seem like I might know, to see if she might reveal something.
“I see…” she murmured, “What about the knife then? How could it have gotten into his locker?”
“Um….” Okay that I truly didn’t know. I could only assume someone had watched him open it enough times to know the combination. “Someone put it in there to make it look like he did it. And I’m assuming it had to be the day they found it, because he was just as surprised as everyone else when they pulled it out.”
Emma nodded her head in thought before looking back at the Smartboard as the teacher pointed out more equations for us to solve.
“So who then?” She finally asked.
Ugh…that was the big question wasn’t it? Who did it? How I could I answer that?
I took a long pause before replying, “Someone who wanted get back at Karen for something. My guess, revenge.”
As soon as I said the word revenge, Emma straightened in her seat and her head slowly turned to look at me. “Revenge?” she said softly.
“Revenge for what?” Her eyes bore into me.
I didn’t dare answer. Instead, I pulled out my work and began taking notes for class. “I’m done talking.” I said finally.
Emma continued to stare at me intently, measuring me, trying to figure out if I knew anything. But if there’s one thing all of us quiet ones have on our side, it’s that we’re pretty damn hard to read. I didn’t reveal a thing.
When the bell rang, I grabbed my stuff and immediately got out of there as quickly as I could. Emma definitely knew something about what had happened to Karen that much I knew. However, I didn’t know if she was the killer or perhaps an accomplice or a witness to it. But either way, sticking around there for any longer than needed wasn’t a good idea, especially if she was the killer. She practically controlled most of the school, the jocks especially. So if she wanted to, she could just ask a small group of them to take care of me and they wouldn’t even bat an eye at the request. They were already itching to kick the living crap out of me.
I walked out of the front of the school with my bag over my shoulder and headed for my car. Several students passed me as they too headed for their vehicles, eager to get home. It was the weekend after all and this was the only time students had any sense of freedom. Of course, that still didn’t stop the snickers, the glares, and names people called me as they passed.
I sighed when I heard one of the preps whisper under her breathe as she bumped me, “Oh, sorry…Rapist.”
I mean come on, really? Do they ever think about what they’re saying? That’s when I started to hear more talking and giggling come from behind me. I took a peek over my shoulder to see one of the “Popular” groups exit the building. Preps, jocks, and all the rest of them talked to one another. Cracking jokes, insults to others and showing off. This was the sort of group Karen had been part of. And it was also the group Emma was a part of.
I let out a small disgusted breath and picked up the pace. I didn’t want to be anywhere near them, or Emma.
My car was in the farthest corner of the student parking lot, sitting alone. Ironic, huh? Even when I’m out of class, people still keep far, far away from me.
Only this time it was different.
I reached my car and tossed my bag inside when a voice behind me said, “Alright, how long have you known?” I clenched my eyes shut for a moment as I realized who it was. I turned to see Emma staring at me, without her “mask”.
I kept my face blank, “How long have I known about what?” I asked her.
Her nostrils flared a bit in annoyance, “I think we both know what I’m talking about.”
“Maybe I do, maybe I don’t. Why don’t you go ahead and refresh my memory?”
“David,” She said in a low murderous tone, “Don’t play around.”
“I’m not playing around. Look around us, why don’t you?” I spread my arms apart, gesturing at all the students, “I think I’m the only who doesn’t play around, and doesn’t spout lies out of his mouth every five seconds.”
I lowered my arms and glared at her, “Unlike you. I never fell for your goodie-two shoes façade. Not even for a single day. Though I will give you credit, you’ve gotten the whole school to buy into that. But not me.”
To her credit, Emma didn’t flair up in reaction, instead she continued to quietly stare daggers at me and speak coolly, “If you never fell for it… Why didn’t you tell anyone? Huh, bud? Why didn’t you try to save Brandon from death row when you had the chance? Why didn’t you expose me?”
Crap… That confirmed it. There was no longer any doubt in my mind. Emma was indeed Karen’s killer. I cleared my face of all emotion and matched her quiet tone in turn, “Because, I’m a quiet one.”
Before she could react, I turned, got into my car and sped off. Leaving a stunned murderous behind, staring after me.
When I got home, I headed straight for my room and slammed the door shut, before dropping onto my bed in disbelief.
Emma, killed Karen!? I shook my head. Why? Why did she do it?
I couldn’t comprehend this discovery. In a day I’d found out more than that of the police and whole school had combined.
I could go and tell the police what I’d found out, but then they wouldn’t believe me. Not without any proof or motive. And I lacked both.
How can I prove to the police Emma did it? I silently wondered.
As if in answer, my cell phone began to ring. “Huh?” I mumbled as I pulled out my cell and answered, “Uh…Hello?”
“You, at the school’s football field, tonight at 8:00. Got it?”
“Emma?!” I sat up in surprise, “What, how did you get this number?”
“It doesn’t matter. Be there tonight.” She said darkly.
I couldn’t help but chuckle at that, “Heheh…Like I’d be stupid enough to do that. What makes you think I’d come to see you? After knowing what you’ve done?”
“Oh, well…you see,” She began saying in mock innocence, “If you’re not here by then. Then it might make you look very suspicious in the sudden disappearance of Rena. Since after all, her friends heard you say something to her that made her freak out. I could’ve been a death threat.”
My eyes grew wide, when I suddenly realized what she implying, “You….” I said dryly.
“Tonight, 8:00. Be there. Alone.” She said again.
The line went dead.
I lowered the phone in my hand and stared.
This was not good.
I turned off my headlights and took a long tedious look around the dark parking lot. The lot was empty. A few streetlamps were on casting an orange glow onto the lot. The football stadium was just ahead of me and all the lights inside were off, which I knew automatically wasn’t good. The lights are always supposed to be on in the stadium. “Crap…” I murmured. I took another glace around. So what the heck am I supposed to do? Wait here?
I leaned back in my seat and waited, which wasn’t for very long. After ten minutes, my cellphone vibrated with a text message. I flicked it open, “Come inside the stadium, and don’t try anything. I’m watching you.”
I lowered the phone and looked back up at the stadium with dread. I slipped the cell phone back into my pocket and pulled on my camo jacket. I took a deep breath and got out of my car. I patted my right pocket to make sure the item I grabbed before coming here was still there and thankfully it was.
“Alright,” I said in an attempt to reassure myself, “Here we go.” And with that I headed into the stadium.
I gazed at each seat surrounding the field. Empty…Where the heck is she? I had no idea where she wanted me to go. I stood there for about another ten minutes or so until I finally gave up on waiting and headed back for the entrance. If she doesn’t wanna show up, that’s fine by me. I wasn’t looking forward to seeing her anyway.
I pushed through the gate leading back to the parking lot, heading back to my car. I started digging in my pockets for the keys. I suddenly stopped when I heard a strange, low whistling hiss coming from my car’s front end. I crouched down to take a closer look, “Oh no…You’ve got to be kidding me.” I muttered as I examined my two front tires. Long jagged cuts ran across each tire’s side, gushing out air with each passing second. My jaw slowly dropped open and I began to shake my head before standing back up. How could I be so stupid?!
I glanced back at the stadium and glared. It was no fricken wonder why I didn’t see her inside! She was out here making sure I couldn’t bail from meeting her! Damn it! I banged my head against the car in annoyance. I should have seen this coming. My cell phone began to vibrate again.
I glanced down at my pocket and after a moment’s hesitation dug it out and answered, “Hello?” I said while trying to keep the annoyance out of my voice. “Didn’t I tell you to come inside?” I heard Emma’s voice say from the other end of the line.
“Yeah, and I did. You weren’t there.”
“Then you should have waited.”
I rolled my eyes, “Why no crap? I did wait Emma.”
“You should have waited longer.” She said indifferently.
Really? I groaned, “Yeah, fine…whatever. Where the hell are you then? And why did you have to slash my tires?” I couldn’t keep my disgust out of the last bit.
“Oh! Well I didn’t want you leaving until we talked or in case you chickened out and tried to ditch meeting me.”
I looked back at the stadium and shook my head. “Well then, I’m here and can’t leave now. So where are you?”
“Where I said I was earlier, in the stadium. And this time, don’t just stand around waiting for me. Look around!”
The call ended. I looked down at my phone not knowing what to make of this. Why on earth would she want me to come back inside? What was the point? Couldn’t she have just waited out here next to my car?
I slid the phone back into my pocket. Well, it doesn’t seem like I have much of choice… I took one last glance at my bleeding tires. Letting out a sigh, I headed back inside the stadium.
For a second time.
Once I was inside, I took Emma’s advice and began walking around, looking for her. I didn’t know why she’d want me to come here but I figured there had to be more to this than just a little “Chat”. My guess: She was probably going to kill me. Though, I’m not sure how she would be able to do that and expect to get off clean with the cops.
I passed by the door leading into the locker room where the football players met before a game. I stopped when I notice light streaming from beneath the door. Could this be where she’s at? I took a quick glance around to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. But of course, there was nothing amiss as far as I could tell besides the light coming from beneath the door in front of me.
I guess it is, I reached down into my jacket pocket and got ready what might be the key to my salvation if things didn’t go my way. Taking a deep breath, I grabbed the door handle and pushed.
When I entered, I didn’t see anything unusual. There was no one inside besides me. The room was empty, however the lights were on so someone had been in here not too long ago, no doubt Emma. I cautiously made my way into the room and peeked around each row of lockers and benches I came across to make sure Emma wasn’t lying in ambush, but again nothing. Where the heck is she?
Just then, I heard the sound of a door slam come from the other end of the room.
…I just had to ask, didn’t I? I peeked around a locker to see the door that led outside to the field. Oh, so that’s where she went. I walked over to it and slowly open it.
When nothing happened, I stepped onto the field expecting to be greeted by Emma, holding a gun or a knife, waiting to kill me. But no. Instead I was greeted by a dark, empty, field.
I stood still for a moment and blinked a few times before shaking my head. How long are we going to play “Hide ‘N’ Seek”? Please, someone just tell me…
I waited a few more seconds before finally letting out a long sigh, “Oooohhh Emma? Where the hell are you?” I waited for a response. Nothing but the barren field answered back.
I muttered a few silent curses then walked further along the field, looking at each bleacher in turn for Emma. The seats were empty aside from the occasional candy wrappers and empty popcorn bins left behind from a previous game.
When I reached the center of the field I stopped and placed my hands in my pockets out of boredom. She calls and threatens me to come here… I come and she hides… I go to look for her. She slashes my tires... She calls me and tells me to look for her again. She hides again... What is the purpose of this!!!?
As if on cue, my cell phone vibrated. I rolled my eyes, let me guess: She wants me to go look for her somewhere else.
I flipped open the phone to find a text message waiting, “This way.” was all it said.
“Huh?” I raised an eyebrow. “What way?”
Light suddenly blazed to life from the entrance directly across from me.
“Oh...” I slid the phone back in my pocket. “That’s what she meant.” I couldn’t really understand what the whole “leading me in circles” thing was about but I didn’t have much of a choice.
I took one last glance around and headed straight to the door. She better be there this time, I thought to myself as I pushed through the door.
Only to see Rena…
“Holy…!” I froze in surprise. Rena, was sprawled facedown onto the floor. Her white sweater was stained crimson near her neckline and I could see a small pool of blood steadily growing larger from beneath her head. I slowly walked over, not believing what I was seeing, and knelt down. I extended a hand to her shoulder and after a moment of brief hesitation turned her over.
“Oh, frick!” I shook my head disgust. Rena’s neck had been slit and there were several cuts decorating her face. A long gash ran up her right cheek all the way to her eye. Another gash ran horizontally across her left all the way to her ear.
“W-why….why would she do this?” I could help but whisper in horror.
Rena suddenly groaned, causing blood to spray from her neck. I jerked back in surprised.
She was alive!
“Oh crap, hang on!” I placed both hands on her neck and tried to keep her from drowning in her own blood, as sick as that sounds. Her eyes weakly opened the moment I touched her. She groaned even more. I couldn’t help but grimace, “You’ll be fine, you’ll be fine...” I kept telling her, even though in truth she was nowhere near being fine. You can only keep someone whose throat’s been cut alive for so long by applying pressure. You need medical help.
With one hand pressed on her throat, I reached into pocket for my cell phone.
“Oh, no need to call the cops.” Said a giddy voice. I froze for a second before looking over my shoulder in surprise. Emma stood leaning against door. She wore a tan sweater with blue jeans and was smiling. She seemed to be enjoying Rena’s suffering. She continued speaking, “I already called them.”
I couldn’t keep the surprise out of my voice, “What?!” Why the hell would she call the cops? That’s the last thing you’d want to do after slicing someone’s neck!
Emma just seemed to smile even more before shaking her head, “Oh…David, David, David…What a bad…bad…thing you did.” She shook her head, clicking her tongue in mock disapproval.
I continued to stare at her slacked jaw at what was going on. I had no idea what she was going on about. I shook my head in confusion before saying, “What in the hell are you talking about?”
She faked a surprised, teasing look at me, “Why? You killed Rena!” She starting walking towards us.
“What are you talking about!? YOU DID!”
“Oh, no, no, no….I came here to see Rena, since she felt scared after you threatened her this morning. She didn’t want go home alone after she was done with cheerleading practice.” She grinned and stopped in front of me. “But I came, only to find you killing poor, poor Rena.”
My eyes widen, she couldn’t possibly be suggesting… “You’re planning to make it look like I DID THIS?! You’re crazy! No one’s going to buy that story! I can explain the whole thing to them, along with Rena!”
“Oh…well,” She knelt down in front of me with a painful and remorseful look, “You see, she’ll be dead when they get here. And my hands will be clean in all of this, unlike yours.” She smiled and glanced at my bloodied hands. I glared at her, “How you gonna explain my slashed tires huh?”
She chuckled, “Oh, what can I say about people like you, the quiet ones? You all do the strangest things.”
“They’re not going to buy-” I cut myself off. They would buy that… I realized. The authorities wouldn’t even hesitate to believe that I’d do something like that. As a quiet one and with the past two murders supposedly done by quiet ones, the cops would just about believe anything concerning someone like me. We weren’t normal to them. We weren’t human to them. We were killers.
Rena began violently coughing up more blood bringing my attention back to her. Emma didn’t seem to notice, “And the best part is, the cops will find you dead too. Right after you viciously attacked me with the knife that I, by the grace of God, was able to wrestle from you.”
My head snapped up from Rena in dreaded realization, “WHAT!?” I let go of her neck and spun around just in time to see Emma bury the knife into my shoulder. I screamed in pain as she quickly pulled it back out and went to stab me again.
Adrenaline kicked in and before she could bring the knife down I lunged forward, knocking the hand with the knife aside and tackled her. She landed on her back with yelp and before she could do anything, I began slamming my fist into her.
“YOU SICK!” Punch. “SADISTIC!” Punch. “MURDER!!!!” I screamed at her. I’d expected her to try and push me off or at least try to stab me with the knife but to my surprise, she didn’t struggle at all. Instead she began to laugh as I went to swing another punch, causing me to hesitate, “What’s so funny!? Huh!?”
One of her eyes was blue and swollen shut but she grinned saying, “You’re filling out all expectations needed for the cops…heheheh.”
What? I suddenly heard sirens coming from the outside of the stadium and the sounds of running feet. The cops were on their way.
I got off her and stood still too stunned to move.
“Oh and David?” Emma raised her hand, showing me my cellphone that she must’ve taken it while I was punching her, “Here goes your salvation.” She clicked a button on it and the screen suddenly read “All messages deleted”.
Emma suddenly started crying “Oh God! Someone help us! Please! IN HERE!!!!” She screamed.
I looked at her horrified. I’d come to the realization too late. This was what her plan had really been all along. I turned and looked back at the entrance door as the sounds of the cops grew near.
I would look like Rena’s killer and Emma’s attacker…Wait Rena!
I ran back to Rena and dropped to my knees, praying that she was still alive. Her eyes were closed and I could hear her breathing coming in slow rugged, bloody gasps. I placed both my hands back on the slit hoping to keep her alive long enough for help. Because if anyone could tell the cops what really had happened here and not Emma’s lies, it would be her.
I didn’t have to wait long, after another thirty seconds or so the door to the room burst open and three cops ran in, guns ready.
“Please!!! He’s there! He’s hurting her!” Emma screamed as she painfully sat up and pointed at me.
Oh crap! My eyes widen as they aimed their weapons at me.
I could only do one thing, “Please wait! Don’t shoot!” I let go Rena and put both hands in the air, “I’m not armed!”
“Oh, Christ almighty!” Exclaimed one of the officers as he saw both my bloodied hands glisten in the light. “Stand up! Slowly!” He commanded training the gun on me with more vigor.
I did as I was told and slowly stood up, “But wait, she needs help! Her necks been slit and-”
“Because of you! You monster! You killed her!” Emma screamed at me. One of the cops ran over to where Emma sat and tended to her while the others continued to keep their guns trained on me. “Turn around and put both hands on your head.” I did as they said, and within moments of doing, one of them rushed over placed me in cuffs. He began to read me my rights while the remaining officer began to attend to Rena and call for an ambulance.
Shortly after that, I was led outside of the stadium to the back of a police car, but not before seeing Emma flashing me a quick smile as she was looked over by one of the medics and vaguely overhearing one of the docs say that Rena had suffered a concussion along with several lacerations. Apparently not only had Emma sliced her and diced her, she’d slammed her head against the floor a few times for good measure. It must have been when I was being aimlessly led about the stadium, I finally realized.
Emma had planned this out perfectly.
I was kept overnight in lock-up until the next morning where I was taken to the interrogation room. And I’ll say now, those movies about cops interrogating suspects aren’t too far from the truth. The only difference is that it’s a lot scarier in person than it is in the movies. They don’t mess around.
But me personally, I wasn’t scared.
As they sat me down, I saw one of the other cops already sitting down with a file in front of him open, waiting for me.
He was in his thirties, bald and looked just as intimidating as any hard cop should be.
“Hello son,” He said, “I’m detective Amsel.”
I flashed him a smile before replying, “David, nice to meet you.”
Detective Amsel didn’t smile back. “I’m glad to see you’re enjoying what you’ve done.” He leaned forward, “But trust me, you won’t be enjoying where you’re going after this.”
“Yeah,” I said still smiling, “Home.”
His eyes narrowed, “No, prison.”
I rolled my eyes, “Look man, I’m not going to prison. Why? Because the only thing I did was try to save Rena’s life. Speaking of which, how is she?”
“She conscious now, but not really in a good state. No thanks to you.”
“She’s alive then?” I let out a quick sigh of relief, “Okay then. Has she told you what happened yet?”
“She doesn’t remember anything.”
My smile melted, “…What?”
Detective Amsel continued to look sat me sternly, “You heard me son. She doesn’t remember a thing. You can thank the beating you gave her for that.”
The concussion, I remembered….crap. Things were not looking good for me.
“But she does remember enough to recall you saying things to her at school yesterday as well as calling Emma.”
“And you might as well confess to it now. Since we’ve got two witnesses and three officers who saw you hurting the poor girl at the scene.”
“I wasn’t hurting her! I was trying to help her!!!”
The detective dismissed it with a wave of his hand, “Please…we’re not stupid, son. This would be the third time I’ve had to deal with your type.”
It was my turn to narrow my eyes now, “Third time? My type? …You’re talking about Edger and Brandon…aren’t you?”
The detective nodded his head, “It’s always you quiet ones.”
That was it. That’s what this all boils down to. Me being a quiet one. The usual suspect.
Well, I think it’s time to fricking change that, “Well Detective Amsel. I’ve got three things I need to tell you. And I think you’re going to want to hear them. Oh, and after I tell them to you, I want to be there for Emma’s arrest, if you don’t mind?”
The cop raised an eyebrow at me and simply shook his head. I had no doubt what was going through his mind, “What could he possible tell me that I don’t already know?”
But he let me anyway.
“Well then first off: It’s not always the quiet ones. Emma is proof of that. Second off: Brandon didn’t kill Karen, Emma did. And finally: If you want to know what really happened, check my right jacket pocket.”
Detective Amsel looked at me strangely.
“You know…my jacket I had last night? The cops took it since it had blood all over it. I’m pretty sure they searched it, but if they haven’t... check the pocket.”
The Detective stood up, walked out of the room for a few minutes before returning. He was holding the very thing that would right so many wrongs about “My type”.
He sat down and looked it over before looking at me, “You had a camera with you?”
I smiled. “Press play.”
Detective Amsel open the LED screen of my handycam and hit play. Nothing could be seen on the screen but the camera had still captured the audio of my encounter with Emma the night before.
Once the recording was finished, he put the camera down and looked at me, speechless.
His mouth open and closed a few times as he looked for the words to say, but I gave it to him instead.
“Yeah, I know, I know….It’s always the quiet ones.”
It wasn’t too long after that Emma was taken into custody for the attempted murder of Rena and me and the murder of Karen. Brandon was released from death row had his record expunged. He graciously thanked me for getting him out, but after what had happened he and his family moved from town. It’s been about, three weeks since then and so far, everything’s gone back to normal, or at least as close to normal as possible. A lot of things have changed still. People have started treating me like a decent human being and not as a killer. Now that they all know the truth of what happened to Karen, the truth that was kept silent for so long. They’ve rethought a lot of things about people like me. Granted, some of them still cast suspicious looks at me since to them, I will always be different.
But I don’t really care.
Rena, has recovered and while she doesn’t recall everything that happened that night, she’s recalled enough to know it wasn’t me who’d attacked her. And she now has three permanent reminders of what happened to her that night. The scars on her face and neck are hard for people not to gape at, but she’s beginning to get over it. She too like everyone else has also rethought her views on people like Brandon and me… me a little more since well… She keeps wanting to hang out with me and sit by every class we’re in (A little too much).
And me? I’m still the same. I’m still quiet, I still watch and I still listen. Oh, and I do occasionally snoop around since I found something Emma wrote not too long ago explaining what she did to Karen and Brandon. Her own little confession that she thought no one would ever see or believe. Heh, it’s what helped me land her on death row.
And not to quote her or anything but,
“Isn’t it funny how life works?”