AatW – 68

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Damon leaned back in the chair, his shoulders sagging. “I need to privately consult my lawyer before I talk about anything related to that case.”

The investigator agreed, gathered up his things, and left. Damon looked up at the camera in the corner of the room, sighed, then turned to his lawyer.

“Listen, I’m tired of running away from this, but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in prison. I’ve got a daughter now, and she’s still just tiny, you know? I want to have the chance to know her, one day.”

“I can negotiate a lighter sentence in exchange for your confession,” the lawyer replied. “Otherwise it will go to trial.”

Damon looked away and frowned. “I suppose I should finally step up as a man, and not put Alice through the stress of testifying in court; I know she’s gonna be the star witness against me. All right, I’ll do it. I’ll give a full and complete confession.”

The next couple of hours were spent with lawyers popping in and out, drawing up a plea bargain for his confession. Damon wasn’t thrilled with the terms, but he was worn down and sick of fighting. He agreed to a 20 year sentence, with the possibility of parole after 10.

A couple more people crammed themselves into the small room to listen as witnesses, and a tablet was laid down on the table to record him. Damon watched it all passively, waiting until he felt ready to finally tell the story out loud.

Then he began. “I had been meeting the, uh, undercover officer regularly before that night. We were working out the details for a big drop that was supposed to be lucrative, but I didn’t want my girlfriend, Alice, involved, so I had started tranquilizing her with ketamine before the meetings. She thought I was getting off on a date rape fetish, and she had no idea that this guy even existed.

“That night in particular, I accidentally gave her too much. I was high and miscounted the number of pills, and since she didn’t know what it was, she took everything I gave her. I realized my mistake when it hit her too hard, and I was scared that I had killed her with an overdose. But I couldn’t just take her to the ER, you know, ’cause they’d ask too many questions, so I brought her along with me. I guess it was stupid, but I wasn’t sober.

“When I got to our meeting spot, the guy flipped. At first he thought that she was dead, then wanted to do some sort of first aid or whatever. I told him to fuck off and mind his own business, so he threatened to call 911. That’s when I realized that he wasn’t legit; guys in the scene don’t act like that, and I couldn’t let the narc get away with it.

“I remember that he was bent over Alice when I came up behind him, grabbed him around his head, and stabbed him in his back. I made sure to hit his lung, so he barely made a sound.”

Damon paused, thinking it was strange that he could describe killing someone without any hint of emotion, only to find a heavy lump form in his throat at the memory of Alice lying on the ground, covered in someone else’s blood.

“He fell on top of Alice, and she stirred and tried to talk, but she was still out of it. I had the problem of what I was going to do with a dead body, and my unconscious girlfriend. I decided to leave her hidden in the park while I took the guy to the nearby river to dump him. I threw the knife I used into the water, too.

“When I got back to the park, Alice was freezing cold. I took her straight to our motel room where I could get her warmed up and washed off, then after I put her to bed I took everything of ours that had blood on it, put it in a bag, and threw it in a dumpster.

“She didn’t remember anything the next morning, but I got us out of there anyway. We were in the process of skipping town when the police picked us up, so I decided to have Alice take the fall for me. I knew that she’d go along with it to protect me.”

Damon carefully scanned everyone in the room, reading their expressions before settling on looking his lawyer straight in the eyes and asking, “Is there anything else that you’d like to know?”

They remained quiet, until the lawyer shook his head. “We’ll need you to sign the transcript once it’s typed up, and pledge that your testimony is accurate to the best of your knowledge.”

Once all of the necessities were taken care of, he was escorted to a jail cell in cuffs to spend the night. He felt heavy as the finality of his situation pressed down on him – ten years was a long time. He already missed the elation he felt whenever he cruised around on his motorcycle, and he wondered what would become of it. He was beginning to regret his decision to confess, and the way that he had grown too cocky and expended Miranda too early, throwing her away when he still needed her. He could have really used her in the courtroom, pleading in his defense, and she likely could have ripped apart Alice’s testimony in a heartbeat. He had lost control of the entire situation.

It was that stupid dream, that had made him sentimental at the wrong moment. He had let remorse get the better of him, and he had made the wrong decision. Unfortunately, he couldn’t change directions now.

In his dream, Alice had handed his daughter to him with a smile, and the baby had reached up to touch his face.

Now, he never had the chance of that happening.

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