"Did somebody get hurt?" "Kind of, someone got killed" *Slight bad language*
Why did I kill him?
I take a deep breath and gently push on the door handle, walking into the damp, dark safe house. I hear shuffling coming from the storage room, boxes being pushed along the ground, opened up and looked through. My stomach starts to churn as I edge closer, trying to convince myself that telling Ray what happened tonight is for the best. He may be angry but he’s an unpredictable guy. Sometimes, he’s supportive and kind but most of the time he’s heartless, unemotional and couldn’t care less about us.
The more I think about it, the more I think he’d be happy to finally cart my useless ass off to prison. He always thought I was the worst of his employees, or bitches as we put it. This isn’t a company; this is a group of people doing the dirty work for a man who doesn’t care enough to earn an honest living. Why do we work for him? Some need money for drugs that can’t be tracked by their families. Some were blackmailed after they found out about all of this and threatened to blow our cover and I, well I’m looking for a thrill in my life. I’m a 29 year old artist who still managed to end up going corporate and not making any contribution to the world. Plus the extra money was an upside, now it doesn’t seem worth it anymore for what it’s turned me into. I pushed away anyone close to me, I’m paranoid and apparently I’m violent now.
“Oh, I see someone finally made there way back” Ray’s sarcastic, cold voice cuts through the air like a knife. He looks up at me and just by looking in his eyes I know he’s angry. He grabs the bag from my hand and starts looking inside “What did you get then? Jesus what’s all this blood doing on here?”
“I-I caught my hands on broken glass on the way out” I stutter out in a rough voice. I start to argue with myself again, should I tell him?
“You stupid fuck; I have told you a million times watch for the fucking shards! Or here’s an idea, learn to pick a lock you useless fag”
“That’s not the worst thing that happened” I mumble, part of me not wanting him to hear and part of me no longer caring.
“What?!” The volume of his voice starts to rise “What the hell happened?”
“Uh, oh well I- I kind of…” I trip over my words as I try to break it slowly to him
“Just tell me!” Ray starts to get aggressive; he closes the gap between us and slaps me on the side of the head “Spit it out!”
“I killed my victim!” I shout in his face, getting agitated with the abuse. There is an icy silence lingering in the air and Ray’s face is blank for most of it but it soon contorts back into an extremely angry expression. He pushes me roughly into the wall behind me and holds my shoulders tight, knocking me into the wall more and more as he gets angrier.
“What the fuck did you do that for?! Are you trying to ruin my business?! You useless piece of shit, I don’t know why I ever brought you into this company-”
“What company?!” Anger boils over inside of me; I push Ray off of me and push him into the wall, placing my arm over his throat so he can’t get away “What kind of company are you running here where we steal shit for you to sell?! We don’t exactly advertise ourselves and we are certainly not your employees”
I feel a heavy force hit me in the stomach as Ray punches me, forcing me off of him. I double over, trying to ease the pain and back away so he can’t hit me again. I bump into the table behind me and lean on the edge, flinching as Ray comes towards me and slaps me across the head with such force, I have to throw my hands on the table to stop myself falling sideways.
“Don’t talk shit to me you bastard! I could easily go to the police and just give you up or I could just kill you myself, no one will notice you’re missing, they’ll probably rejoice if anything. You have no idea why I started this company and there is a reason for that, it’s because I don’t care for you to know but let me tell you this, it’s been a harsh life for me so far and this is my only chance of trying to live anything close to a normal life”
I am stunned to silence. I never thought of it that way, I never thought he could have had such a shit life that he turned to crime…just like the rest of us. I stare at him for a while as he avoids my gaze, clearly conflicted with what he should do with me now. He takes in a deep breath and finally looks at me.
“You need to get out of here, I can’t be associated with you, I can’t be found out because of you’re stupid mistake. Get out and take what you stole with all your dirty fingerprints over it”
“You touched it too” I point out, half of me scared of his reaction and the other half convinced he’ll thank me later. He looks at me with a horrified expression and without a word grabs the laptop and throws it at the wall, stamping on it multiple times until it is smashed into four pieces. He picks up the pieces and gestures for me to follow him. He leads me outside, throws the remains of the laptop into the neighbouring warehouses’ trash then puts his hands on my shoulders, pushing me slightly down the lane.
“You need to go” I start to walk slowly away, wondering what the hell will come next. Just before I’m out of earshot, Ray shouts “See you never”
Why did I kill him?
I stare at Frank intently, waiting for him to react. He shuffles around a bit on the edge of his bed and breathes a heavy sigh.
“I, uh, I was involved in fight with a bunch of guys who were trouble for me from day one. One of them was owed money by this guy and the only way of getting this money back that he saw fit was to meet in a car park, at night, with a baseball bat…he obviously wanted, or expected it to get violent. The guy shows up with a small gang of his own and money is just about to exchange hands when all hell breaks loose”
I look at Frank, expecting him to carry on but there is only silence for a minute. He starts the play with hem of his shirt and I start to wonder whether it is worth prompting him to carry on the story, I’m curious but it must be horrible talking about what you did to end up here, god knows how people will react.
“Did somebody get hurt?” I decide to prompt for more of the story; I’ll have to hear it eventually.
“Kind of” He starts, “Someone got killed”
I’m shocked at first; Frank really doesn’t seem the guy to be included in anything as violent as a murder, then again, neither was I. However, shock is soon replaced with relief. Frank is in here for murder just like me, which means he won’t react so badly to my reason for being here.
“Ah so you’re here for murder too?” I say, no longer worrying about being judged but Frank reacts differently to how I expected. He looks up from the floor and straight into my eyes, his face masked with confusion.
“Well, kind of, I was framed for the murder, I didn’t actually commit it. I couldn’t fight my case well enough because all evidence pointed to me but I didn’t even organise the meet up or take a weapon”
“So…you’re in here for murder?” Frank asks quietly. My head gets cloudy as fear of rejection sets in. Ever since I got in here, I’ve stopped caring what anyone thought of me but something about Frank makes me want to impress him and now, god knows what he thinks of me for being a cold hearted murderer.
“Er, I, uh, yeah…yeah I’m in here for murder, theft, breaking and entering, all that” I stutter through my confession, switching my gaze to the floor as I can’t bear to see Frank’s reaction. We sit in agonizing silence as thoughts whiz around my head at the speed of light.
“So…so you’re on death row too?” Frank asks. I pick up a slight tone of sadness in his voice but why would he care?
“Yeah, I have no chance of getting off either, I ran out all of my appeals” Frank just nods slightly in reply. He sighs heavily and gets up, changing his clothes and ruffling his hair in the mirror while I just lie on my bed hoping to god I haven’t ruined the only relationship I had the chance of building in here. I hear the footsteps of a guard coming along and look up at Frank. He smiles slightly and waves goodbye as he goes to his job.
What did I just do?