Loss of a Friend
They say that trust is something that doesn’t come easily. For me that had always been the case; I only had a handful of people that I trusted all through my life. Since I was a small child, I stayed at a safe distance from everyone except my parents. Hence, when my father had told me that everything would be okay when mother was sick in bed, I put all my trust into father’s words. When mother passed away the next day, I was broken, wondering if I would ever be able to trust my father again. I was young back then, only an eight year old boy. I had learned to trust my father over time, but it was never to its fullest. No, trust was not something that came to me with ease. So now, when my greatest trust was broken with the heart shattering truth; I believed that I would not be able to trust ever again.
No, I would have never guessed that Matt was going to betray me. We had been working together as partners in the New York Police Department for five years now, slowly earning one another’s trust. It had taken me almost four years to be able to trust my partner, and when my trust was at its fullest, Matt betrayed me, left me there to suffer. I never felt so broken in my life. Naturally, when my mother passed away, I felt like it might be the end. Except, as I have said before, I was young back then, only a child; a child whose memory faded over the years to which now was just a haze. I was now older, much older; I understood how the world worked and I knew that not only was this betray of trust, a tragedy, but also the point that could change me forever. “Forever is a big word”, mother had always told me. I knew that my mother was always right in her justification; I knew that if she were here right now, she would have told me that it would not change me forever. Yet she was not here right now, she was never coming back, I had no one to tell me it would not be forever.
Truth be told, I would have never expected this day to go down this path. Matt looked so deep in thought when I entered the office that morning. Anyone looking at him would think he was concentrating hard on the murder case in front of him. I, on the other hand, knew Matt like no one else did; I could tell there was something else that the other man was thinking about. I had walked over to my partner and sat down next to him. Usually, Matt would look up at me and start the day with some strange joke that made no sense to me, he would than proceed and say that I had no sense of humor. However, today, Matt made no movement or any indication as to knowing that I was at his presence.
“Matt? Are you okay?” I spoke lightly, filling my voice with worry. Matt looked slowly up at me. Though his eyes were trained on me, it felt as if his soul was somewhere lost in the universe.
“Nick” Matt choked out, his voice was barely there, just a mare whimper in the wind.
“Matt, hey breathe, tell me what’s going on. How can I help?” I kept my voice calm, trying to stay strong for my partner. When Matt just shook his head, I stood up “Let’s go out for breakfast, we can talk there” Matt fallowed almost robotically after me, out the door and to the car.
When we made it to Matt’s favorite restaurant, which was mostly empty, I sat down at a table in the corner. Matt followed my movements and sat across from me. “I’m sorry Nick, I am so sorry, I am so sorry” his voice was broken.
“Okay, what is going on? Tell me Matt, you know you can trust me.” I was on the edge of begging. I watched as Matt struggled, he looked up at me and swallowed.
“The case we were working on? It was me, it was always me” Matt’s voice morphed into sobs. I raised his eyebrow in confusion.
“What do you mean ‘it was you’” I tried to not jump to conclusions.
“I killed them all” Matt spoke so clearly, it was as if it was rehearsed. “It was me, it had always been me. I was the murderer behind the screen. You know being on the inside makes things easier. Think about it Nick, have you never though why I was gone right before another man was found dead? It was because it was me”
I looked at him for a few seconds before speaking. “Please Matt, don’t joke about this, this isn’t funny, please tell your lying.” My eyes silently begged to him. I felt as if the world was being swallowed around me. When he made no move to answer, I asked again “Matt? Matt! Look at me and tell me you are lying dang it!” He had to be lying; this could not have been true. When matt shook his head ‘no’ I realized that the look in his eyes was pure guilt, my heart shattered. I swallowed hard and pulled out my hand cuffs.
Standing up absolutely shocked I forced my voice to come out. “Your, under arrest, you have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do may be and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to the police and to have an attorney present during questioning now or in the future…” My own voice faded away from my ears as I spoke. Not once in my life had I thought I would be arresting my partner for murder. I cuffed his wrist behind his back and lightly pushed him towards the door, broken and confused.
I for one, never believed that it was Matt who had done it. Unfortunately, it was my word against Matts and everyone else’s. When he was put into jail, I felt numb, I stood there alone, looking at my partner. I never felt the same adrenalin anymore as I had before, when I worked on cases with my new partner who I never trusted completely. Every night, I would look into files and papers, trying to prove that Matt was innocent, that he could have never done this.
Years later, I felt my heart soar into the sky when every little detail clicked into place. I made an appointment to visit Matt in prison the next day, and when I looked at him with glee filled eyes, I knew that he realized what was running through my mind. I knew how to make this all work, I knew how to get my partner and best friend back, but that’s a whole other story.
For a Friend
The beating of my heart increased, my breath got caught in my lungs, and my eyes began to water. I told myself to breath, I could do this, I would do this, if it meant saving my partner, my best friend from death. I have always known that good things come when you least expect, but tragedies also comes when you least expect them to. At first Nick and I never got along, I could tell he had some serious trust issues. My heart hated me for lying to him, for betraying his trust in me. But you have to realize one thing, when a situation becomes life or death, trusts need to be broken. So when I was pulled into an alleyway, by the masked murderers that Nick and I had been after for months, my first instinct was to let Nick know about it if I ever escaped. Nonetheless, as I have stated before, life has its way of surprising you with unexpected tragedies.
I listened as the men spoke in harsh voices, explaining that if I did not do exactly as they said, Nick would be hurt. That’s
when it hit me, they knew Nick personally and they were using me for whatever this grudge was that they had against him.I understood that what they had planned for him was not something anyone would want to face. And when they told me that the only way to protect him from being hurt was to confess as being the murderer, I jumped right to it, without batting an eyelash before agreeing.
I tried to think of ways to counteract their request. Staying up all night, I realized that no matter what I did, it would not end well. When my body began to protest against me, begging for sleep, I went to bed, letting tears roll down my cheeks. When I realized that the best chance I had to protect Nick was to confess to a murder I had never committed, my mind was made up. I would do it, even if it meant the end of my happiness.
The day of my confession was horrifying. I stared down at the case file, making sure that everything made sense with me being the murderer. When I heard Nick sweet, gentle voice ask if I was okay, I felt like breaking down and letting myself cry.
“Nick” I choked out, knowing what was to come in the next hour.
“Matt, hey breathe, tell me what’s going on. How can I help?” he was trying to be strong, he was always the stronger one. “Let’s go out for breakfast, we can talk there” my heart shattered knowing that this would be the last time
When we made it to a small restaurant Nick knew I loved, I had to force myself to stay together. “I’m sorry Nick, I am so sorry, I am so sorry” I hoped that one day he would know that it was an apology for making him loose trust in me and not for the murder.
“Okay, what is going on? Tell me Matt, you know you can trust me.” I could see Nick breaking down. No, I could not let this get to emotional, I had to spill it out now.
“The case we were working on? It was me, it was always me” I mentally scowled at myself when my voice broke into sobs.
“What do you mean ‘it was you’” I could see that he was struggling with the information.
“I killed them all” I spoke flat out, not wanting this to last longer than necessary. “It was me, it had always been me. I was the murderer behind the screen. You know being on the inside makes things easier. Think about it Nick, have you never though why I was gone right before another man was found dead? It was because it was me”
He stared at me for a few seconds. “Please Matt, don’t joke about this, this isn’t funny, please tell your lying. Matt?” He paused, thinking for a few seconds “Matt! Look at me and tell me you are lying dang it!” I had never felt more broken in my life, this was it. I looked up and shook my head, keeping my eyes looking guilty. I watched as he fought with himself before speaking almost mechanically “Your, under arrest, you have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do may be and will be…” I stopped listening after that, stopped feeling.
I never debated whether it was the wrong choice to lie while sitting in the cold lifeless cell, because I knew it was the right. I knew that Nick was alright, he was never hurt, and that’s all that mattered. But when he showed up unexpectedly for a visit years later, I knew he had found the answer. I had always known he would, it was just a matter of time. I was horrified, my mind screaming in fear of what might happen if they found out that Nick knew. But when he told me the plan, I had nothing to do except smile, but that’s a whole other story.