The room was well lit, and the silence within it was deafening. So silent that I could even hear the breathing of the other person sitting next to me. My hands were cuffed together like I was some maniac trying to kill a someone at hair’s breath.
His eyes were fixed on me, and I could see nothing in those eyes. Nothing but despise. Like I was someone worthy of contempt. “Why did you do it?” He asked.
I stared blankly at him. “I don’t know what you are talking about.”
“Oh, you know do well know what I am talking about,” he countered.
“Bastard,” he started off again, “we have been here for three hours. Just tell me why d’you do it?”
“Is this how you catch a tiger?” I asked, mockingly at that.
“I said, is this how you catch a tiger—you catch a cat and beat it until it admits that it is, in fact, a tiger.”
“Why, you little—” He raised his fist, ready to land another punch on me, but his partner stopped him. “Just tell us why you did it.”
“I can’t,” I said, “because I did not do it.” That’s all that I said. I tried to remain really, really calm even though I was scared.
He placed a folder in front of me. He opened it, pulled out some sheets of paper, and gave them to me. “These are screenshots of your online posts the night of the murder,” he said. He paused to check for my reaction, but I just gave him a shrug. “Let me read some to you: ‘Good riddance.’” He looked at me again.
I just stared blankly at him.
“‘I will have solace over your death.’” His eyes were still fixed on mine.
I gave him a slow sarcastic blink. “So what? Those are just online posts. You can’t charge me with murder with just that. You need something more, like finger prints, murder weapon, DNA samples from the crime scene, and I am guessing you have none of those.”
He gritted his teeth and slammed his fist on the table.
I gave him the most annoying smirk I could ever muster. He seemed so frustrated that he felt the room. His partner decided to stay.
His partner, a woman, sat in front of me. Her eyes shows the most sympathetic look I have ever seen since they held me in as a suspect for a murder that happened a few nights ago. Murder of a person I hated. Yes, hated. I hated him so much, but I stopped hating him because it was taking too much time and effort on my part.
She sighed. “You can tell me everything. I promise to help you out of this mess.”
“The prosecutor often says things that are not true just to get hold of the truth.”
She shook her head. “I am not a prosecutor. I am a detective. I just want to know the truth.”
I smiled. “I told you already. I did not kill him.”
“Then what is your alibi? Where were you at the night of the murder.”
“At home. Asleep.”
“Can anyone vouch to that?”
“I am afraid no one can. I live alone. But as you can see from my browsing history, I was at home.”
“Not at the time of the murder. There was no activity on your laptop.”
“I was asleep. Do you expect me to be browsing the Internet while I sleep? I should add that to my to-learn skills.”
“Please, just tell us the truth.”
“I have been telling you the truth, but what you actually want me to say is what you want to hear from me: that I killed that bastard.”
She paused. She seemed affected of what I said.
“You had issues in the past. That’s what keeping us from believing your alibi. Also, you have a motive.”
“Oh, sure. I have a potential motive.” I have special emphasis to the word potential.
“Why don’t you walk me through what you did during the night of the murder, please?”
I cackled incredulously. “Okay, let me see . . . ” I paused and pretended to think what I did that night. “I browsed the net while eating dinner, then, I went to sleep. Is that okay?”
She sighed again. “Look, I really wanna help you. But I cannot do that if you don’t tell me the truth.”
“What truth? I have been telling you the damn truth. And just because I have a potential motive does not make me the killer. What do you have against me to pin this crime to me?”
“Nothing, actually,” she said. “Now let us try this the other way: Tell me what caused your fight against him.”
I hesitated. It was something I did not want to talk about. It was something I would rather forget. But if this can get me out of this mess, then, I might as well play this card. “I don’t want to talk about it, but I don’t have a choice, do I?”
“We were good friends, he and I. In fact, most people labeled us best friends. I treated him like he was my own brother. I stood up for him, I helped him, I did what I could to help him in anything. And it took a lot of effort for me to accommodate him into my life, and I trusted him despite his untrustworthy past.
“We met at a party. A mutual friend introduced us. We became really good friends soon after. We spent time together with our partners many times over. We had sleepovers, coffee and tea time, and many more fun activities together. He with his boyfriend, and me with mine. What I did not know is the fact that he might have been eyeing my boyfriend from the start.
“I did not mind them meeting during their free time while I was at work. I did not mind him spending too much time at my boyfriend’s place of work. Why? Because we were friends, and I gave him my full confidence. But it was a mistake. When he and his boyfriend broke up, I was willing to accommodate as the third wheel on our dates, but what I did not know was he already had sex with my boyfriend.
“And there I was, the fool who kept trusting the both of them. I even helped him with the paper he was editing. I stayed up late, I did not go to work, I got sick helping him. But that was all fine with me because I was just being the good friend that I was. I found out later that the day he lost his phone—the same day I defended him to his then-boyfriend—he seduced my boyfriend, used that miserable pathetic excuse to have sex with him. And as if that wasn’t enough, he also spread rumors that he and my boyfriend were having an affair, that my boyfriend was no longer in love me, and that my boyfriend was actually in love with him instead. When I confronted him, he denied all those, despite me having concrete evidence.
“To top all that, he promised many times that he will remove himself from the picture, but he never did. He kept calling and texting my boyfriend. That enraged me. That made me firm to never forgive me. I can stop hating him, but I will never forgive him. So you see why I hated him so much, Inspector?
“He betrayed me, he used me, he lied to me, he spread rumors about himself and someone I love, and he made a fool out of me. Yes, I have this motive, but I know better than to act on it. I have a bright future ahead of me. A future I am not stupid enough to risk for someone like him.”
The inspector was speechless for a time. “Well, that was intense,” she said. “I see why you are clearly hurt . . . and mad.”
“So are we done?” I asked. “I gave you the reason for my potential motive. You called me in as a suspect, but without anything, you cannot charge with this crime I did not commit. I may have a weak alibi, but I cannot be held against this without any conclusive proof.”
“I know,” she said. She removed my cuffs.
“Can you tell me how he died?” I asked, feeling my wrists where the cuffs made marks.
The inspector seemed confused, but she nodded. “He died from several reasons. He was attacked using a stun gun, which, I assume, was used to immobilize him before he was stabbed. He might have been taken off guard. That voltage was really high that it left a burn mark on his nape. I’m guessing ten thousand volts, and that is enough to kill someone.”
“He died from electrocution?”
“No,” she answered, “it was not just that.” She paused, showing me a chart of a body. “He had multiple stab wounds: three on the chest; two on the back, which punctured his lungs; and two on the stomach. His throat was also slit open. Whoever did this made sure he won’t survive.”
“That’s . . . brutal.”
“I know.” She nodded. “You look pale.”
I breathed a heavy air. “It’s just . . . I hated him, but I do not think he deserves this.”
“Oh, it does not end there,” she said. I looked at her, confused. “His head was smashed by a rock we found nearby,” she continued, “like I said, whoever did this made sure he won’t survive.”
I felt my hands and knees shake. My vision dimmed. I had to sit down again.
“Are you okay?”
She sighed. “Let’s go. We’ll send you home now.”
“And the murder weapon?” I asked. “Did you identify what it is? You found it? Any DNA on the crime scene, finger prints?”
She shook her head. “No. Whoever did this was careful enough to cover his tracks.”
“His? So you think it’s a male?”
“Probably. This is an unlikely action for a female.”
“And the weapon?”
She closed the folder in front of me. “Our best guess is a kitchen knife. An inch and a half wide, at least eight inches long.”
“Why are you asking?” She inquired.
I shook my head. “Nothing. I just want to know what you are accusing me of.”
She smirked. “Let’s send you home.”
I stood up and followed her outside.
My room was left a mess when the police stormed in and took me in as a suspect. I was confused, but I knew better than to resist nor escape. I sat on the couch, with my feet on the coffee table. I breathed a sigh of relief. I was finally home. Without any evidence, they cannot arrest me again nor charge me with murder. Their best hope of finding the person responsible for his death is comb through the river where I disposed the 12000-volt stun gun and the kitchen knife I used to stab him and slit his throat. And even if they found those, there will be no prints nor DNA that will point to me as a suspect. God bless their hearts.