“I killed Jim. I killed him. If not for me, he would still be alive. I caused his death”. Lola kept banging on the wall and screaming non-stop while two officers, Bale and Karl, who had just arrived to take a statement from her were trying to restrain her from hurting herself further.
Lola turned to Karl who maintained a firm grip on her wrist. “Do not let me off easy. Take me away. Lock me up or something. Please don’t leave me to bear this pain here”.
“Calm down Ms. Grey. We have to take your statement first”, replied the second officer
. She seemed to calm at this and for the first time in about twenty minutes since they got there, she showed little signs of calming down.
He pulled out a chair for her and she sat. He took one of the curtains she had pulled down in her rage and draped it over her petite, shivering body. Bale was settling down opposite her and getting ready his writing materials simultaneously. They wanted to make her feel as safe as possible. It was obvious that she was going through a really difficult phase, and she must be handled like an egg : with care.
“Ms. Grey, would you mind—” started Bale.
“Please, call me LOLA”, she carefully articulated.
“Okay, then. Lola, would you mind recounting the events that culminated in the death of Mr. James Hue?”
Lola seemed to pause for a long while, as if searching for a suitable answer, or thinking maybe to ignore, or looking for where to start. As Bale and Kari stared at her, they had no idea what could be going on behind those big blue eyes. As if on cue, a tear streamed down her left eye aS she began her summary.
“James was a good boy, and the human with the largest heart I’ve ever seen. He moved here last summer as a transfer student from his former school. He was gentle, cool, reserved and all those good stuff. He was also a straight A student, the nerdy type. I like him, but my friends don’t. They don’t think he’s one of the cool guys at school and so as not to lose their respect, I decided to agree with their opinion. We were dedicated to frustrating him and he never spoke a word or raised a finger in protest against us. All we had to throw at him, he took calmly. All these while I started developing some emotions for him but I just waved them off. Like I said. He was just a cool guy who–”
“Miss”, officer Bale cut her off, “could you do us a big favour and spare the descriptions? We’ll just love to know what happened on that night”
“Oh, okay”, she started, drying off tears with a tissue. “That night happened to be a Saturday, like you know, and I decided to throw a house party for some friends. I live alone here, my parents are in Nigeria. The party kicked off well and about an hour later, Jim came strutting in. My friends sighted him first and attacked him for showing up at a party without invitation. He wasn’t given a chance to talk. I stood there, behind my friends, having all the power to make them stop but out of choice and fear of rejection, decided to say nothing and let him get all the fire they had to spew. He just stood there, but this time, no more his calm self. Tears were already forming up in his eyes. I still didn’t do anything, a decision I so regret right now”
Lola sniffed and continued. “He left the building, and as he was leaving, I saw a note in his hand. I ran upstairs to view him from the windows and I saw him scribbling something down, drop the note and walk towards the connecting road, head dropped. I could see his body shaking under the illumination of the halogen lamps and there was no denying that he was crying. He had his head hung down from depression as he approached the main connecting road from the lawn. My heart reached out to him, but I comforted myself with the fact that a cheerleader like me musnt be so soft to accomodate ordinary boys like James. Had I known he was no ordinary boy, at least, to me.”
Lola took a deep breath and bit her lower lip as the cops watched on. Obviously, she’s at the climax of the story.
She continued. “With his head hung down, and I looking on, he slowly approached the main road with a melancholic movement, moving to his car parked at the other side of the road. Then I saw it from afar. A truck was approaching and was coming around the corner. Jim didn’t see it but I did. He was too blinded by his tears to notice the lights and deafened by his depression to hear the bellowing of the truck’s engines. The truck came around the corner and there was only a few distance between it and Jim. The driver noticed immediately and tried to brake the vehicle. I banged on the window and screamed at him, all to no avail. By the time he raised his head up, it was to meet with the metal exterior of the truck. And there I was, helpless, knowing I had killed him”
Lola began to weep uncontrollably again. Officer Bale didn’t allow her finish up before inquiring again.
“Is that all, Ms. Grey?”
She nodded in approval.
The cops issued their thanks and made to leave. Lola screamed after them.
“You don’t get to leave me here. I don’t deserve to be here. I deserve to be jailed. Please, punish me. Kill me. End my guilt. Anything!”
Karl looked back at her and answered, “No, Ms. Grey. We won’t do that. Your guilt is enough punishment for you. Its enough to last you a lifetime. The truck driver might have killed James, but his blood remains on your hands”.
With that, they exited the building.
Lola sobbed on and curled into a ball. She reproduced a note from her inner pocket, one she found inside the notebook Jim dropped. It read..
“Sorry for crashing your party. I had no idea you’ll be having one. Saw your project notebook in the hallway at school and just decided to get it safely to you. Also wanted to unburden my mind and tell you that I think I like you, maybe even love you, but that’s not meant to be now, I think. I think this is GoodBye. I love you, LOLA”..
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