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   Chapter 14 No.14

My Sister's Keeper By Bill Benners Characters: 7196

Updated: 2018-05-28 11:01


AT POLICE HEADQUARTERS, they moved the cuffs around to the front and escorted me into a room with four metal chairs, a metal table, and what I was sure was a two-way mirror. Forty-five minutes later Sam Jones joined me tossing a thick manila envelope on the table. He had a strange look on his face as he set up a tape recorder on the table and started it recording. He then sat, identified the two of us for the tape, propped his elbows on the table rubbing his face with both hands.

"I'm going to help you, Richard, " he said, his voice calm, quiet. "I'm going to do everything I can for you."

"I appreciate that, Sam. So why am I here?"

He smiled the smile of a man who had the answers to the test before he took it. "I know you did it. Ain't no sense denying it."

"What the hell are you talking about, Sam?"

He rubbed his eyes with his hands. "I'm going to do everything I can for you, Richard. Your sister would never forgive me if I didn't. But you've got to do something for me."

"Sam, if you're trying to get my attention, you've got it. Now tell me what's going on."

"It's over, Richard."

"What's over?"

"Admit it. You made a mistake. You had one too many drinks. Things got out of hand."

"Oh, stop it! I had nothing to do with what happened to Ashleigh. If this is some kind of game you guys play to freak people out when you get them in here, guess what? It's working. You're freaking me out."

"Ain't no game, Richard. Everything you do from here out can work for you or against you."

"I didn't do anything, Sam. Whatever happened in that house happened after I left."

"You did it, Richard."

"I did not!"

"I told you that I'm going to do everything I can for you, but you've got to do something for me."

"What? What do you want, Sam? A confession? You want to go home the hero tonight? Is that it? You want things to be easy? Detective work getting a little too hard for you, Sam?" He dropped his hands and looked at me with tired, red eyes and I saw pity in them. He was looking at me in the same way Mom looked at Winston—like he really cared for me and wished it wasn't true. And that freaked the

care of it, " she said.

"Thanks."

They took me to a holding cell on the third floor. The eyes of the other prisoners watched as they walked me in. Blacks, whites, Latinos, old, and young. They watched with sad, hopeless eyes as they removed the handcuffs and locked me in my own cell.

I thought I knew what it would be like to be in jail. I'd seen it in the movies and on TV a thousand times. But what you don't get on the screen is the smell of it. Urine, alcohol, perspiration, blood, and puke.

And fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of injustice, fear of not being in control.

Footsteps echoed around the chambers and mixed into the reverberations of men shouting and complaining, iron doors slamming, and the jangle of keys.

Sitting on the edge of a steel cot, I hung my head as my mind raced back through Sunday night over and over. So many things didn't make sense; the circuit breaker that was turned off and that photo of her kissing me on the cheek—that couldn't have been an accident. And how the hell did her blood get on my shirt?

The reality of what was happening slowly began to sink in. I'd never felt so embarrassed and helpless in my life. My dad was going to disown me. I expected that, but this was going to break my mother's heart. It might even kill her. And who was going to take care of Martha now?

I collapsed to my knees and wept. The eyes that had watched me so intensely now turned away.

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