A piece of flash fiction by Catherine Kos
It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
I sit in the cop car on my way to the police station, feeling numb. How did it get like this? The cops, they think they know everything, and they’re going to charge me with murder. Murder. I’m not capable of murder. I cried when my dog died. I cried when my goldfish died. I throw up at the sight of blood. Really, how could they think I did this? Rather than finding the real culprit, they’re wasting their time chasing me down. Can’t they see that I’m just scared, that I was scared, and that’s why I ran, not because I actually did something wrong.
In that moment, I just didn’t know what else to do.
But, I guess I should start from the beginning.
My brother, Lee, was being bullied by this kid, Sean, in school. So, like the great big sister I am, I went up and confronted the dude. I wasn’t scared. Sure, he was like twice my size, but I wasn’t afraid. I’m actually friends with his younger brother who said he’s really a scaredy cat. All I had to do was stand up to him and he would back down. Anyways, he didn’t really back down, and I told him to meet me down near the docks at five – that’s when I get out of lacrosse practice – and he said okay. I wasn’t going to fight him or anything, I just wanted try and talk some sense into him. He’s a nineteen year old kid, who had to repeat a year of high school, and is now supposed to graduate with his younger brother. I understand why he’s pissed at the world, but he shouldn’t have been taking his own stupidity out on my sixteen year old brother with autism.
So, I go down to the docks. I picked this place because it’s kind of neutral ground. It’s in between both of our houses, and it’s where most kids come to party on weekends. I’m standing around looking for the kid. I wouldn’t have been surprised if he just didn’t show up. I start kicking some rocks, and that’s when I catch a glimpse of this thing near the water. It’s a big lump just lying half in the water, half out. Naturally, I’m intrigued so I walk towards it, and I see that it’s a body. I squat down, and turn the head of whoever it is lying there. I gasp, and fall back on my butt. It’s Sean, the bully.
I started freaking out, like, what the hell? This kids nineteen. I know he’s kind of terrible but how could he be dead? Who would actually kill him? I knelt down next to his body, and shook him a little bit. He didn’t move. I put my fingers to his neck but I couldn’t feel a pulse. Then again, I’m not a doctor. But he sure looked dead. I pushed away from the body, letting out a cry. Oh my god, I kept thinking. Oh, my god, he’s dead. He’s dead.
That’s when I heard the sirens.
My head jerked towards the sound, and I could hear them getting closer.
The cops were coming for me, even though they didn’t know it was me that they were after, but there I was next to a dead body. Who else would they be going after? If the cops pull up and see my sitting here next to him, they are going to think I did it. They are going to ask around school and find out that I told him to meet me here, and then that will be the end of me.
So, I did the most sensible thing I could think of. I ran. I ran as hard as I could. I ran towards my home, but then I turned realizing that’s probably the first place they’re going to check. Once they realize who the body is, they’ll know it was me.
When I turned down another corner, to where, I didn’t know, a cop car came out of nowhere. I froze like a deer in headlights. So much for being fast on my feet. It didn’t get me far.
The police officer slammed on his brakes, tires squealing, and was out of the car in seconds.
“Put your hands on the ground,” he shouted, pulling his gun out and pointing it directly at me.
My heart stopped beating for a moment when I saw the gun. I instantly did what he said, and laid on the ground. I even put my hands on my head, like I see people do in movies. He came around me, holstered his gun, and then put me in handcuffs. He lifted me off the ground, and put me in the back of the squad car.
He climbed into the front seat.
“I didn’t do anything,” I said, pleadingly.
“Shut up,” Was his reply, as he started to drive the car.
And that’s how I got to where I am now. Crazy, right?
I sink back in my seat, and that’s when I start to realize that he’s not heading towards the police station.
“Where are you taking me?” I nearly scream.
The police officer doesn’t respond.
Then I realize, he has no idea that I’m the person he’s looking for. There’s no way he’s had time to I.D. the body, and then figure out it was me that asked to meet Sean there.
Now, I’m starting to get scared. I begin kicking the bench seat in front of me. There’s no way I’m going down without a fight.
The car begins to slow, and he pulls the car into a long driveway. He gets out and comes around to my side. I pull my knees up to my chest, preparing to kick, but he must be prepared too. When he opens the door, he dodges my kick, wraps his hands around my legs, and pulls. My body is halfway out of the car, and he pulls me by my shoulders to stand on my feet.
“Relax, I’m not going to hurt you,” he says, before stepping a few feet away.
“Oh, ‘cause that’s comforting,” I reply, snarkily.
“Calm down, Lexi,” A voice says. I look and see Sean standing five feet in front of me, alive and well. I do a double take. What.
“What the fuck?” I yell.
“Don’t worry, it was just a little trick I played. This is Jack, a friend of mine. He was willing to help me out.”
I’m going through all the obscene things I want to yell at him, when another voice sounds.
“Sean!” I know that voice.
Footsteps sounds, and then Shane, Sean’s younger brother, runs around the corner. He stops when he see’s us. Stokely, Sean’s younger sister, and my best friend follows Shane a few seconds later.
“You okay?” Shane asks me.
I just nod.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” Stokely yells at Sean. “We came right away when we heard what he was doing,” she says to me.
“Uncuff her,” Shane says to Jack, and he does what he told.
“What kind of prank is that?” I scream at Sean once my wrists are free.
“You embarrassed me at school today!” He yells back. “You needed to be taught a lesson,” He replies to me.
“You embarrassed yourself when you had to repeat a year,” I say, hands on my hips. “If anyone here needs to be taught a lesson, it’s you apparently.”
He marched forward a few feet but then Shane stops him.
“See, like I said. You need to be taught a lesson,” Sean says.
“You are picking on a kid that is younger than you, and he has a disability, Sean. I just wanted you to leave him alone. But you wouldn’t listen.”
“I treat your brother like I do everyone else, having a disability doesn’t make him special,” Sean says. “They want to be treated like equals, that’s what I’m doing.”
“Oh, so you’re a stand up guy, now?” I reply.
I walk closer to him. “Oh, yeah, well stand up to this,” I say, and punch him directly in the face.
He staggers back a few feet, clutching his nose.
“You bitch!” He screams.
“Yeah, well you started it,” I say, shaking my hand out.
Shane, Stokely, and Jack just stare at me in shock.
“What?” I ask them. They just shake their heads.
I look back at Sean. “Leave me and my brother the hell alone.”
I turn to the twins. “Can you give me a ride home?”
They nod simultaneously, and I follow them to their car. I get in the back seat, and lean my head back, closing my eyes. Exhaustion seeps through me.
It’s been one hell of a night.