“You murdered a cop.” She says.
“No I didn’t.” He replies.
“I don’t have time for this.”
“That’s not fair.”
“Justice is fair and it will be decided upon in court. You’re wasting my time.” She stands.
“Wait!” The handcuffs rattle as he bangs his palms on the steel tabletop.
“I think I’ve figured everything out. Not just that night.”
“Alright. Go on, but your lawyer should be here.”
“I don’t need a lawyer. I need you and the police to believe what actually happened.”
“Fine. Continue.”
“I had a friend when I was a kid.”
“Is this going to take long?” She interrupts.
Silence.
“His name was Adam and we did everything together. Everything.”
“Please get to the point.”
“We grew up and Adam decided he wanted to forge passports.”
“You did this together?”
She scribbles something in a notepad.
“No, I wasn’t involved, but I met the girl he’d been seeing. Erika was his partner in everything. It was the first time I’d ever been in love but I couldn’t do anything about it. No bond, not even love, was stronger than the brotherhood between me and Adam.”
Silence.
“Go ahead and roll your eyes. You weren’t there. You don’t know.”
“Continue.” She says.
“One night, Adam invited me into their room. Erika was naked on the bed.”
“Sounds like a good friend.”
“The best, but in the morning he was gone.”
“Just gone?”
“He left a note. It read ‘If I’m not home by tomorrow, run away together and never look back.’”
“Did he come home?”
“Erika and I left everything behind and nine months later she gave birth.”
A pause.
“My records don’t show a child.”
“He’s with a loving family.”
“Hold on.” She says.
“That was twenty four years ago. Erika and I were married, that’s all you need to know about our past.”
“Fine. What happened that night?”
“I heard a gunshot from the hallway outside the apartment. The lock was smashed and the ‘for sale’ sign had fallen, so I just stepped in.”
“Alright.”
“There was a naked man on the floor. Blood everywhere. Another man was standing a few metres away with a pistol pointed at Erika. She was naked too, but calm, with her hands by her sides.”
“I understand.”
“She said the strangest thing. She said ‘I’m so sorry’. Can you believe that?”
“Guilt is common in such situations.”
“No, she said it to him. To the intruder.”
“You’re sure?”
“Positive. Erika didn’t even look at me as I reached out for the dead cop’s gun.”
“Officer Edman.”
“Yeah. It’s ironic; if he hadn’t undressed by the door I’d probably be dead. The intruder shot Erika in the face.”
“And you shot him.”
“Yes. He didn’t try to stop me. The man I killed looked so,”
A pause.
“So sad.”
“I don’t believe you.” She announces.
“Wait, here’s the thing. I’ve made a few friends in here since I was arrested.”
“Being a cop killer will do that in lock up.”
“One guy said that he’d heard of document forgers being kidnapped and forced to work for entire lifetimes.”
“I don’t care. Wait what?”
They stare at each other a moment.
“Oh my god, it’s not a mistake.” She mumbles.
“What isn’t a mistake?”
She doesn’t reply.
“Tell me!”
“The police tested all traces of blood on the scene.”
“Yeah?”
“There was a connection between the intruder and officer Edman. We thought it was a mistake.”
“What connection?”
“They were related. Probably father and son.”
Dead quiet until he answers.
“What did that make Erika to Edman then?”