Short Stories, Tale Africa

Consequences (Finale)

 

By Emmeline Bisiikwa, Uganda

Peter couldn’t believe what was happening. How was it possible that he appeared on the cameras yet he wasn’t even there? This must be what they meant by karma. Could it be that all this was happening because he had hurt Sue? He wished he hadn’t done all those things to her, she had always been such a sweet fragile girl.

The cops came back and took him to the interview room.

Where were you the day she got murdered?

Why did you murder her? Wasn’t it enough you cheated on her?

You’re a sick fuck, tell us what you did with her body.

Tell us where she is. We’ll go easy on you if you do.

Tell us why you did it. Did you have a fight?

The questions flew back and forth until he felt like his mind was being assaulted by their accusations and questions. Soon he was shaking and he broke down and cried.

What’s the matter? Can’t take it like a big boy?

He glared at the cops but it made no difference. They kept hounding him for a confession. He refused to answer any more questions, after all they would use anything he said against him. He had watched enough cop movies to know that.

Eventually, they returned him to his cell. He was shocked when a guard came for him shortly after.  “What? Haven’t you guys harassed me enough for today?” he asked.

“You have a visitor,” the guard responded.

He was led out in chains to the visiting room. He wondered who could be visiting him. He saw Diane and rushed to hug her. She stepped back quickly. “Don’t touch me,” she said in a quaky voice. He watched her warily. “What’s going on? How could you? Sue was our friend. Why would you do that?” her voice rose shrilly.

He said, “We were together that night Diane. I couldn’t have done anything.”

“Don’t lie. You probably did it before or after you left my house. I don’t know you anymore.” She hurriedly stormed off. He hung his head in disappointment and then trudged back to his cell.

The days leading to his court hearing flew by quickly. It was scheduled quickly because it had been a violent crime and no body had been found. The judge decided to have a closed court hearing. The prosecutor quickly presented his case, revealing more and more evidence that implicated Peter. His lawyer tried to term it circumstantial but it was overwhelming. He was caught on camera leaving the house, he had cheated on her and they had had a falling out and the worst; his fingerprints were all over the shards of glass. The jury all seemed horrified when they realized he had slit her veins with shards of glass and watched her bleed out.

The day of the final verdict arrived and he sat quietly waiting to hear his fate. He knew that all was lost. He silently mourned everything he hadn’t had a chance to do and the fated day he cheated on Sue. That was his turning point. The court was brimming with people all eager to hear the details of the alleged murder case. The jury unanimously pronounced him guilty. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison without parole.

As he was being led away, his eyes met someone’s in the crowd. He jolted in shock as he recognized Sue. She had changed her appearance but he would know her eyes anywhere. It suddenly sank in. Sue wasn’t dead. He was going to jail for nothing. He struggled and tried to get to her but the guards jerked him back roughly.

They dragged him away roughly but as he was led away, he watched Sue smile smugly. She mouthed, “We’re even.” As it dawned on him that he had been set up horribly by the sweet girl he had hurt she stood and pushed her way through the exiting crowd. She disappeared and he had a sinking feeling he would pay for hurting her for the rest of his life.

 

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