"Recognize this picture?"
The man in gray suit puts a piece of photograph on the desk in front of me. I just need to glance at it for a second to identify the mid-40 white man in the picture. I snort as I glare at the man in who is now pulling a chair and sitting on the other side of the table. I bet he knows what my answer will be, so why bother asking?
The man leans on the table between us to stare at me in the eyes. "We found this picture in the victim's pocket, and a similar one in his computer. It was sent from a username ‘Tom1101’ to ‘CaseyXOX’ via an online messenger. Care to explain, Cassandra? Or should I call you ‘Casey’?"
“Sandra,” I correct him. I glance back at the smiling man in the picture, with white hand-writing written across his face.
I'll tell her if you don't.
I look up to stare straight ahead through the detective at the glass wall behind him.
"You don't want to tell the story? Let me tell it for you, then," the man says in a firm tone. "So, you met this man online and had an affair with him. You didn't know who he was until he sent his picture. Once you found out, you stopped everything right away and sent this photograph to threaten him," he adds a pause. "But since he ignored it, you decided to–"
"If you already knew the whole story," I interrupt him. "Why am I still here? I don't want to waste my time to listen to you boasting about how great you are for solving the case. Just show me where my cell is." I stand up, but the detective stops me from moving any further.
“Sit down, I haven’t finished,” he commands.
I follow his order since I have no other choices. There are two other policemen guarding by the door, ready to stop me whenever.
"Do you know what’s strange about this case?" he asks, and I ignore him, so he continues. "We got everything. Evidences – we got your prints all over the baseball bat, then the MO."
I cross my arms in front of my chest. "So, why am I here? For the statement? Confession?"
The detective flips the paper he's holding. "He wasn't just shot." He puts another picture on the desk, and I look away. "We found bruises all over his body, and they're all post-mortem." I can hear his fingers tapping on the picture – a picture of a beaten dead body with a shotgun wound on his chest. "I understand that you're mad at him, but why beat him up, after shooting him?"
I snort. "To make sure he's dead? You're the detective. It's your job to figure it out."
"You were angry because he was cheating on your mom, but it wasn't strong enough for you to kill him." It was a statement, not a question, so I remain silent. "There's another reason, isn't it?"
The detective searches for my eyes, but I avoid it. "I was just trying to protect my mom. She doesn't deserve being treated like this."
"By killing your own father?"
I glare at him. "He's not my dad. My dad died four years ago," I argue. I make a knuckle and slam it quietly to my chair. "I knew it from the beginning – letting my mom marry that guy was a mistake. Huge mistake. I had tried everything to make her realize it, but she just didn't want to listen."
I glance at the dark glass window. I can’t see anything or anyone, but I know someone is standing there. I just know. So I keep talking with both eyes darted at the glass. "She ignored all my warnings. She said I was making that up because I wasn't ready to replace my dad. This junk-head had criminal records, for crying out loud! But my mom just didn't want to listen. And now, look at her!" I stand up as I point angrily to the glass window. "And what’s more ironic is, even after being beaten up for the whole year, she still didn't do anything about it.”
"So, you decided to take action."
I smile as I sit back on my chair. "He took the bait easily. I bet he was cheating with a lot of women before me."
"You thought if you caught him cheating on your mom, she would ask for divorce." The detective stares at me right in the eyes. "But he caught you first, didn't he?"
My eyes wide-open when I see a man walks into the room angrily with a piece of paper in his hand. He walks towards the girl who’s sitting in front of the computer and forces her to stand up.
“What do you think you’re doing, huh?” The man grasps the girl’s arm tightly and holds up the paper right in front of her eyes. “You’re framing me? You think I’m that stupid?”
The girl doesn’t answer. Out of the sudden, she knocks the man’s head with hers, and pulls a gun out of her drawer as fast as the lightning. “I know you’ve been cheating on her this whole time. You never loved her.” She shakily aims the gun towards the man.
The man smirks as he raises both of his hands. “I love her. Her money.” He laughs sarcastically. “I wonder why she isn’t as smart as her daughter. I guess she’s blinded by love.”
The man falls on his knees with blood streaming out from his chest.
My smile appears thinly. "It wasn't a mistake. I don't regret killing him. It's for my mom’s sake after all." I blink my eyes a few time to get back to reality. My memories flashed before my eyes just like it happened right in front of me.
The detective raises his eyebrows. “So, you're telling me that you're trying to protect your mom, by taking her husband away? And now we have to take her daughter too, leaving her all alone. Is that what you called protecting?"
I remain silent, so the detective nods to one of the cops who’s been standing next to the door the whole time, and he asks me to stand up and put my hands behind my back.
I follow all the instructions quietly as the cop handcuffs my hands.
“Isn’t it better?”
The detective, who’s approaching the door, stops his steps and turns to me.
“Now, she’s safe from a lunatic criminal husband and a psycho daughter,” I continue.
The detective shakes his head and leaves. The cop is instructing me to do the same, but before leaving the room, I turn to the glass wall and smile. “Take care, Mom. You’re free now.”