TWISTS AND STONES (Episode 7)

TWISTS AND STONES (Episode 7)

There are two other chairs in the room besides the one I’m seated on. My hands are handcuffed to the table. The room is warm, much warmer than my cell, where I’ve been incarcerated for two weeks. I don’t even know today’s date.

When I was a teenager, my father told me something one afternoon. Ever since I got incarcerated, I’ve not been able to put what he said out of my mind. “Whenever you decide to get on your podium, remember that people are different from you. They’ll do things you’ll find absurd. It doesn’t change the fact that they are humans and you’re to accept who they are, what they do. Not for them but for you.” If I had pondered on the meaning of his words, I wouldn’t be in this mess. They had come to me in the past two weeks to taunt me.

Sigh.

Concentrating on the warm crumb of comfort seeping in through the small lone window in the room, I let it envelope me instead of giving in to the fear brewing in my belly and panicking over the uncertainty that lies ahead. I am past crying. I realize that my fate is sealed, even though, according to my father and the family lawyer, everything is being done to get me out.

Out?

That’s one strange word. I don’t think I’m ever leaving here. Oh, unless of course, it’s for Kirikiri. I hope I get to choose which prison I go to. And my cellmates too.

I laugh derisively at myself at the though.

As I sit there, I fight the intrusion of yet another thought: the reason Beeko and I had gotten into the altercation that brought about all this mess. I can’t bring myself to think about it. How do I tell my parents that I stabbed my friend because I found out he is gay and that my stabbing him was brought on by my flashbacks into a childhood when Uncle James molested me for a year? How do you tell that kind of story?

Sigh.

The door groans as it is opened to let in the two detectives who had been hounding me for a statement and confession since I was brought here.

Scratching the small lump on my skin where I was bitten by God-knows-what, I greet the detectives and ask, “Is my friend awake now?”

They both look at each other as they get seated in front of me, before one of them answers, “Good morning, Charles. I’m sure your friend is fine.”

Bowing my head, I pray silently. Beeko, I’m sorry. I really am. But please. Please, wake up.

“Charles,” the detective continues, “are you ready to tell us what really happened that Saturday? Your being here isn’t doing you any good. Both your sister and girlfriend have been brought in for questioning and they answered all of our questions.”

“Firstly, Naya is not my girlfriend,” I reply, my voice edgy. “Secondly, what did they say?”

Firstly,” the detective snaps back, stressing the word with a grim impression of his features, “we ask the questions here. And secondly, whoever Ms. Ifunanya is to you, she has given us an account of what she encountered when she came into your friend, Beeko’s apartment.”

“What then do you want from me?” I growl.

“I believe there’s more to be said. Don’t you think so?”

Looking from one policeman to the other, a chuckle escapes my lips.

At my reaction, the second detective slams a hand hard on the table, causing me to jump in my seat. His voice is a steady roar as he grinds out, “You think this situation is funny, eh?”

I keep chuckling, my mirth slowly graduating to paroxysms of laughter. I do not know what I find funny, but the laughter is a welcome release.

“What’s so funny? I really would like to know,” the first detective queries patiently.

I stop laughing and divide a look between them. “You know my lawyer should be present for every questioning, right? I mean isn’t this whole sneaking-in and hounding-the-suspect against the law?”

“I can’t believe you, man,” the second detective says, his tone still contentious. “You’re still running your mouth when we have the power to make all this go away?”

“Go away? Please,” I scoff. “Honestly, detectives, this good-cop-bad-cop routine is old. I mean, this isn’t a Hollywood movie. If you’ve got nothing to say to me but questions, kindly let me go back to my cell.”

“You’re right, this is not a Hollywood movie,” the second detective continues. He jabs a stubby finger at me as he rails on, “And you’re in a world of trouble if you don’t speak up now, young man!”

I stare mutely at him.

“Did you stab Beeko because he’s gay?” he asked, his tone blunt.

My eyes widen with shock at the question and my jaw slackens as though he had swung a right hook at my face. I open my mouth to speak, and find myself struggling to find my voice. Eventually, I mutter, “How…what are…what are you talking about? Beeko isn’t…my friend is not gay. And our fight had nothing to do with anything you’ve just said.”

“Oh, but he is gay. You see, his neighbour heard everything. How you threatened to kill him –”

“Hey! That was Beeko, not me. He threatened to kill me.”

“Why? Why would Beeko threaten to kill you?” He paused, his eyes placed searchingly on me, before he continues, “Unless of course you goaded him after you found out he is gay.”

“That is not true!” I bluster.

“Or maybe this is a case of unrequited love. Maybe you went through his messages and saw that he’s interested in someone else. Then you got jealous, provoked a fight and consequently stabbed him.”

“I am straight!” I burst out, my eyes mad at the implication of the detective’s conjectures. “I was never in love with Beeko – what nonsense! Whatever his neighbour told you are all lies.”

“So what then happened that evening, Charles?” the detective says in a taunting voice. “Tell me. What happened when you saw the text?”

“There was no text. I didn’t say I saw a text.”

“But you didn’t deny it,” he said sneeringly.

“Well, I didn’t see any text. And I am straight! I’m fucking straight!”

“Hey,” the other policeman interjects, “no swearing in here –”

“I want my lawyer,” I mutter, looking away from the men.

As if on cue, the door groans open again. “Gentlemen, I think that’s enough for today.”

The three of us look up to face the fiftyish, slenderly-built, bespectacled man who has just walked into the interrogation room.

“Whatever my client said to you in my absence should be disregarded,” the man, Mr. Odunsi, says crisply as he approached. “You know the law and I’d expect you to abide by it.” Stopping beside me, he faces the policemen with a stern expression, as though silently chastising them the way a father would his naughty child. “Now, if you’ll please leave, I’d like a moment alone with my client.”

There were a few moments of tenseness, before the two detectives grudgingly walked out of the room.

Mr. Odunsi takes one of their seats, places his leather bag on the table, before leaning toward me to ask, “What was that about a text?”

Surprised he’d heard about that, which would imply that he’d been on the other side of the door for seconds before coming in, I tell him what the detectives had told me. “They said Beeko’s neighbour heard what happened between Beeko and me. But it’s a lie.”

“A lie? Hmmm. Okay. Now, listen Charles, I want you to be more careful with the things you say to these policemen. Because the situation has changed and you’re your own saviour from here on.”

“What…what do you mean?” I ask, feeling a thread of panic begin to work its way up my spine.

The lawyer pauses, as though to organize his thoughts into words. Then he says, “Your friend, Beeko, died this morning.”

Written by Vhar & Eros

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7 Comments

  1. Mandy
    February 11, 06:13 Reply

    Chai. So Beeko eventually still died. :'(

  2. Jason
    February 11, 10:11 Reply

    Why did Beeko have to die?

  3. Jaiice
    February 11, 18:46 Reply

    And why do I think Beeko did not die?

  4. Lothario
    February 12, 15:47 Reply

    Oh dear! I was really hoping for the best for Beeko

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