Isis Williams never liked funerals. At her mother’s funeral, she could not bring herself to pass her mother’s coffin. Funerals also brought back ugly memories for Isis. On the day of her mother’s funeral, her sister Deloris had attacked her, pummeling Isis with her fists before someone had stopped her angry sibling.
Isis shook the memory from her head. The spirit that flows through the body is an absolute gift from God. It should remain in the body unhindered--until it’s naturally called back to its maker. But her mother’s spirit and Taylor’s, too, were stolen from them, and that’s an abomination in the eyes of God and man. And those bitches gotta pay for that.
Isis wiped the tears from her eyes as Toni rubbed her knee. She looked around: Lt. Stone sat to her right, Toni was on her left, and Taylor’s family was seated in the row in front of her. Every cop in the city seemed to be there. Isis looked up at the sky, it was overcast.
At 3:37 pm Isis and Toni were walking back toward Isis’ truck, Lt. Stone followed.
“It’s a Goddamn shame that boy had to die like he did,” Lt. Stone said.
No one commented.
Isis shook Stone’s hand, then her cell phone went off. She didn’t recognize the number. “Who is this? What? Where? I’ll be there.” Isis looked at Toni and said, “They got one of them.”
“Where?” Lt. Stone said.
The traffic around Washington Square was horrible. Police vehicles clogged the streets. Isis had to park her truck a block away from the crime scene. She and Toni ran the rest of the way. At the dean’s office, Isis and Toni met Captain Doe. Isis did not bother to introduce Toni to the captain. “Whatcha got, Captain?”
“Last night we went over the surveillance tapes. We got an excellent shot of the suspect’s vehicle and license plate. We also got a good shot of the suspect and what she was wearing—”
Toni asked. “Only one girl?”
“Yes—and who are you?”
“I’m Detective Toni—”
“Yeah, yeah, okay,” Isis said, cutting in. “Where is the suspect?”
“We got her in the next room,” Captain Doe replied.
When Isis saw the suspect, she felt weak in the knees. She had to hold on to the nearest wall for balance.
The suspect looked at the detective and shot to her feet. “Aunt Isis!”
A female detective shoved Pam back down.
Isis charged toward the female detective, and pandemonium ensued. “Keep your hands off her!” Isis yelled as she pushed the female detective to the floor. In the blink of an eye, Isis was swarmed by three detectives from the one-hundred-thirteenth precinct in Queens.
Toni jumped on one of the detective’s back. Isis tussled with the detectives for a few seconds before she realized that her fight was futile. ” Okay, okay, let me go, dammit!”
Captain Doe’s booming voice put an end to the melee. “What the fuck is going on? Detective Williams, do you know the suspect? Let her go, God dammit!” he shouted at his men.
The detectives that were restraining Isis helped her to her feet. And with a total disrespect for his rank, Isis screamed at Captain Doe, “What the fuck did you do, you asshole? You got the fuckin’ wrong person!”
“I don’t think so—”
“Aunty, they said that I killed Derrick— “
“That’s exactly what she did,” the captain said to Isis.
Isis stared at her niece. Pam was handcuffed from behind. The look of a cornered animal was stamped on her face. It was the same look Isis remembered her mother having when she saw her at the Queens precinct on that Fourth of July evening fourteen years ago. Isis’ mouth became as dry as sandpaper. “This is bullshit!” she screamed.
“Bull shit, bull shit, well look at this,” Captain Doe said. He stepped over to the dean’s desk where he placed his laptop and began tapping the keys. “Take a look at this,” Captain Doe said again. Isis and Toni huddled around the captains’ laptop. What Isis and Toni saw was a smiling Derrick Simmons and Isis’ niece, Pam, entering the Due Motor Inn. Pam was wearing a pair of black Apple Bottom jeans and a bottom neck floral print tunic.
Captain Doe tapped a key and the image changed. This time the camera showed Pam running down the hallway, away from room 1H. She was carrying her sneakers. The outside camera showed Pam jumping into a Toyota Camry and peeling out of the parking area. Captain Doe froze the image.
“She entered the motel at 4:14 pm and ran out two hours later.” He then tapped another key, and the camera zoomed in on the license plate. Isis recognized the car instantly--it was her sister’s car. “We checked out the owner of that car, a Mrs. Deloris Thomas, and she was at the beauty parlor at the time of the murder,” he said.
Isis turned to the captain, “Let me see the face again.”
Captain Doe showed Isis the face of the suspect.
Oh God, this can’t be happening, she thought.
“We also got witnesses that will place your…” Captain Doe paused and stared at Pam, “...your niece at the scene of the crime.”
Toni also voiced her opinion. “Can you say for sure that the girl in this video is the same girl sitting over there?”
Everyone in the dean’s office turned and looked at Toni as if she was crazy.
“Are you serious, Detective?” he said as he glared at Toni. “With this video and the eyewitnesses accounts, I’m one hundred percent confident that we apprehended the right girl.” Captain Doe was pointing at Pam.
“Aunt Isis, I didn’t do it. I didn’t kill Derrick!”
Isis turned to her niece. “I know you didn’t, baby.” As Isis reached out to hug her niece, she saw her mother’s face, and when Pam spoke, Isis heard her mother’s voice.
The tremors started deep within Isis’ abdomen.
“I didn’t do it, Aunty, I swear, I didn’t do it,” Pam said in between sobs.
Isis again heard her mother’s voice when Pam spoke. The tremors started to snake their way through Isis’ body. She felt her niece’s pain...literally. And despite Isis’ best effort at keeping her emotions suppressed, she sobbed along with her niece.