R-3199

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Chapter 12

That night was the longest in my life. I couldn’t sleep. There was a lot on my mind. I couldn’t think straight. My mind kept going back to Angie. I sat down and tried writing a letter to Angie but all I could end up doing was to just waste some stationery. I kept thinking back to the time I had taken her to the doc. I didn’t remember the doc too well but I saw him now in a very different light. Then I had thought he had been real nice to treat her free of cost, now I cringed at the thought that the pervert had actually touched my Angie. Perverts like them deserved to die. They deserved to be castrated. A sort of rage overtook me when I thought about all that had happened. Why should people like Dr.Patterson be allowed to move around in society? Everyone was so adamant that we murderers get convicted and see that justice is done. What about those kids out there? What about those poor little children who needed our help. Where was the concern for them? Where was the justice for them? Did this kid deserve to be in jail for what he had done? What did he do? All that he did was defend himself and his friend because there was no one else to do it for him. He needed his parents to listen, but they wouldn’t. They refused to see the fact that there was actually something going wrong. They shut their eyes to it. His mother was a doctor. She ought to have known. She ought to have seen the signs. She didn’t. Here was the kid now, serving time on death row. He was going to be executed. Where was the justice in that?

The next day, Steve and I were working in the boiler room when Steve said, “Al, the kid couldn’t have gotten on death row for killing the doc. They don’t put minors in jail, besides he did that when he was 12 or something. He must be almost 20 now. Where was he all this time? What happened to him?” It was a good question. Where did the kid go from there and who had made the anonymous call tipping off the cops about the gun? Was there another hand in this? Was there a third person involved? My mind was suddenly racing with questions. I had to have them answered but didn’t know how to ask the kid. I didn’t want to push him. Telling us so much seemed to have taken a lot out of the kid. He had grown silent. The people around him tried to cheer him up but their attempts hardly worked. I told Steve I was planning to ask the kid how everything happened. He didn’t think it was such a good idea. Steve thought the kid would lose it.

That evening when I was sitting in my cell, I still had those thoughts and ideas running through my head. I had to clear them out. I went to the side of my cell and clanged my mug against the bars. Immediately he came to the side. He gave me a questioning look. I looked across at Steve and he gave me a warning look and shook his head. I had to know. I simply had to. I really felt for this kid and I wanted to know what had happened to him. I needed to know what had happened in his life. How did they find him? What happened after that? Where he had been for so long? Everything. I looked at him and then said, “Kid, please don’t feel bad when I ask you this. I just want to know. I need to know. What happened to you after that? What happened to you after the doc was killed. How did you get here? How did the lovely kid that you were end up in a hell hole like this? Who got you into this? What happened to your dad? What happened to your mum? Who was that anonymous caller?” He looked at me and with a troubled look in his eyes he said, “Alright. I’ll tell you…

The cops were suspecting Lisa still. The poor thing was too scared for words and she would never have taken my name. I couldn’t let anything happen to her. After all she was my best friend. The doctors friends didn’t let her go to school because the press vans were parked there through out, waiting to catch a glimpse of her. I knew I needed to tell someone but I didn’t know who. Every night I had been having nightmares in which he’d come for me, one eye gouged out, blood gushing from his wounds and he’d tell me he was going to hurt me. Hurt me real bad. And then I’d scream and then he would become me and I’d be the one with all the wounds and Lisa would just stand there and watch. I’d get up screaming and in cold sweat. Mama and dada worried about me a lot. Poor them, they thought I was suffering from the trauma of being told that my ‘uncle’ had died. They had absolutely no clue. Grandpa I didn’t talk to anymore. He would call and I found that I had nothing to talk to him about. Ramu too seemed so childish now. I had killed a man and none of them would have bee able to understand that. I had no one to talk to. The one person I could talk to was being held as a suspect for the murder that I committed. That was it. There really was only one thing that had to be done. I knew it. I didn’t want mama and dada to get hurt but I really didn’t see another choice. Where could I go from here? All my well laid plans of becoming one of those men in those big companies doing advertisements, all gone up in smoke. Thanks to one man, one twisted Bastard. I made the call. I told the cops about the gun and then I went into the station and confessed. I told them everything. How he molested us, how he raped us repeatedly. How I had tried telling people at home and how they had not listened. Finally I told them about how I had gone to his house that day and how I had killed him. I told them how I had stood over his body and cried thanking god for having given me the strength to do what I had to. Then I told them how I had asked Lisa to go wash herself and put on good clothes. In that time I went and replaced the gun and had washed off from myself all the blood that was on me. I then told Lisa what to tell the cops. After which I left the place and went back home. No one had seen me come and no one had seen me leave. The cops looked at me like I was some sort of psycho and after they were done taping my confession, they formally charged me with murder in the first degree. My parents were told and I was put in a juvenile home.

The papers had a field day. Some enterprising officer in the police department had sneaked the papers a copy of my tape and the entire manuscript was published verbatim in the papers. The paper sold out a record number of copies on that day. It was big news. Two kids being molested by a very prominent figure and then the kid killing him, it couldn’t have gotten better for them. There was so much mail in reply to the newspapers that the paper printed an entire copy that had just the letters that the readers had sent in. Every one had something to say. There were those who thought I ought to be let free for I had not done anything wrong. I was wronged and therefore I struck back. What was wrong with that they asked? There were others who said I ought to idolized and every child should learn from my mistakes. What mistake had I made? Trusting an adult was a mistake? Trusting my mother and going to the doctor the society and mama thought were the best? Were they my mistakes? Others said that I ought not to have done what I did. Yes they felt bad that I had been wronged but I shouldn’t have taken the law into my hands. Maybe when they get pushed down and beaten up and then told to hold it and touch it, maybe then they’ll know what it feels like. Maybe when someone puts it into them, only then they’ll know why I took the law into my hands. So easy for them to prophesize with their pens. How can they even begin to fathom how it feels to be raped repeatedly?

The television media tried to interview me. They offered me an insane amount of money for my ‘exclusive story’, they called it. I couldn’t see what the big deal was. they already knew all that had happened, what more did they want? Why did they want to talk to me again? What more could I tell them? I didn’t understand it.

The press came to see me in the juvenile home that I was in. you couldn’t exactly call it a home.. There were 117 boys in my block and we were all here for some crime or the other. I was by far the newest and the most infamous. It wasn’t like I asked to be known but then again, it wasn’t that often that a boy who committed such vicious crimes came into their midst. The home was like any other criminal facility. There were the big boys, the bully’s and then there were the others, the ones that got bullied. You were either with them or against them. The guards didn’t care. A kid could die in here and they really wouldn’t care. I was hot property just then. I had just done something none of them inside had done. I had killed a man. I had done it coz he had molested me. Everyone inside seemed to know me. Everyone wanted to hear my version. Thankfully the bully’s steered clear from me for they didn’t know what to make of me. I was not their usual prey. I was different. Besides the guards had to keep a close eye on me for if something were to happen to me just then, their job would be on the line. It seemed like the media wanted to know everything about me, from what kind of toothpaste I used to the size of my shoes.

Mama came to see me in the home too. She saw me in those clothes and separated from her by a window and she broke down. Dada was with her. He couldn’t speak. He was all choked up. I had never seen my father cry and here he was his eyes filled with tears and pain. His face so helpless for he knew there was nothing he could do to help me. He picked up the phone through which we could talk and when I said hi, he just couldn’t hold back any longer. He broke down. He said he was sorry, He just kept saying that he was sorry for all that had happened and that he should have been a better father. I dint know what to say to him. My father was crying in front of me asking for forgiveness. I didn’t know what to do. What use was it now? I was in here, they couldn’t change anything now. When they ought to have been there they weren’t. I looked at mama and she couldn’t even pick up the phone. She just looked at me and kept mouthing the word sorry. I broke down too. I didn’t know what was happening. My defenses that I had built up to shield myself from the onslaught from the press and the rest had been broken, shattered. I wanted a hug, I wanted to go back home. I didn’t want to stay in this strange land. I wanted to go back to Ramu and Sam and Raj uncle. I didn’t want to stay here in this horrible place. I told mama and dada. I wanted to get out of here. They did their best to get me out and released on bail but the District Attorney argued in court that I could not be released since I was a person who could not be allowed into the open. They feared that I would attack other people. It was a stupid thing to say but the judge bought it and there I was, back in the home.


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