By Fernanda Poblete Gonzalez
The door opened, and he entered quickly. He had a coffee cup and a few papers in his hand. He stood in front of me as he adjusted his crooked black tie.
“Miss Martinez?” He addressed me.
“Yes,” I replied, with my hands wet from my anxiety.
“I am Detective Patricio Rojas, and I am in charge of asking you some questions today.” He cleared his throat. “Are you ready?”
“Yes, I am,” I said.
“I want you to tell me exactly… what you did on July 20, from beginning to end.”
The moment he said those words, my heart began to pound, and my memories of what happened reappeared.
“I woke up, I went to school, and I had a math class with…”
“Who are your friends?” He interrupted me.
“I don’t have many.”
“And the group of ´five´? Composed of José Pedro Del Prado, Bruno Mattei, María Jesús Riveros, Begoña Santander, and Martin Risopatrón. Are you not part of them?”
“I am not close to them, but occasionally, we meet.” I bit my lower lip slightly and tried to avoid eye contact, remembering the answers that I had to say. “After taking my exam, I did some assignments and headed to history class. Then, I returned to my house and had lunch”.
“What time did you return from school?” He asked.
“Around 2 pm, and after dinner, I went back to grab a book that I needed.”
“And why didn’t you wait until the next day to get it?”
“Since I had an exam the day after,” I replied, without blinking an eye.
I still remember the message Martin Risopatron sent me that night of July 20.
Hi, Andrea. Do you want to meet at school at 9:00 pm? To remember old times. Let me know what you decide.
When we were little, we used to be best friends and next-door neighbors, too. However, everything changed after he moved out. He joined the most popular group in the school, thanks to his status as captain of the soccer team, which caused us to separate considerably, especially because of his obnoxious group of friends. But I decided to attend anyway; something told me that it could be interesting. When I arrived, everything was dark, and the guard who works at night was not in his place. Suddenly, I could hear someone yelling my name; I looked up, and Martin’s blonde hair appeared from the second floor. He took me to the pool, which was rarely open. What I didn’t know was that the rest of his unsavory group were invited too, a little detail he forgot to mention. My mind was in a dilemma. I wanted to be with Martin, but at the same time, I didn’t feel like hanging out with them, and especially not with his girlfriend, María Jesús.
Suddenly, Detective Rojas slid a photo across the table showing the five members of the group and me in the pool at 9:30 p.m., which caused my regression to stop immediately.
“This is the only thing we could get from security cameras because the rest is deleted or not recorded. But the strange thing about this image is that I don’t see you with the indispensable book you needed so urgently,” he asked me, with an ironic tone.
After he said those words, I began to remember the sensation of that viscous liquid between my bare feet, which was expanding through the place until it culminated at the edge of the pool, painting the water with its strong red hue.
“Miss Martinez, for your sake, I recommend that you be honest and tell the truth. I know that you did not go looking for that indispensable book, nor were you invited to the party…” He interrupted my memories with his hint.
“Excuse me. What are you talking about?” I asked him, confused and on the verge of panic.
Our eyes were communicating without words. While his tried to find a trace of guilt, mine struggled to keep up appearances.
“We both know that this group of guys are not your friends…I have witnesses to verify it. You found out about this party and attended with the purpose of taking revenge on the 5 people who bullied you for years.”
The embarrassing encounters in the school bathrooms, the teasing in the hallways, and the public humiliations they had inflicted on me invaded my mind and made the walls of that small room narrow.
“However, something did not go according to plan, am I right?” His eyes locked on mine in a terrifying way.
My palpitations increased to the point where my air began to get scarce. I felt like I was sailing blind, and the memories of that night arrived on my boat, little by little. I put my hands under my legs, resting them on the chair, and I began to breathe deeply.
A silence reigned over the interrogation room for a few seconds.
“I see that you are not as naive as I thought…” I exclaimed, without fear and with a mischievous little smile, detaching myself from the disguise I was wearing.
“I’m finally starting to see your true face. It took you a while…”
“I applaud you for the brilliant guesswork. But you were wrong in one part. I was, indeed, invited. Martin was the gullible one who, after a previous couple of flirtations, invited me to the party.”
“The perfect situation so could you take the opportunity to kill him… Come on, Miss Martinez, break that pact of silence once and for all.”
“I’m not exactly the one with a pact of silence…”
Detective Rojas was stunned for a few seconds, not understanding what I had just said.
“I wasn’t the one who killed Martin. I wanted him dead… for all the times he kept quiet about the things his friends did to me. But it was not me.”
“If it wasn’t you, what difference does it make to say who did it?” he asked me, curious to know the answer.
“Because, otherwise, it is very easy, and the culprit does not suffer as she…should” I raised my shoulders innocently. Detective Rojas’s pupils widened in surprise when he heard that the murderer was a woman.
That night, María Jesus’s jealousy, when she saw Martin and me kiss, led her to unleash that dark side that each person hides within them. Her view clouded with her rage, causing her impulse and nature to overcome her reason. Arguments came and went between the two, until fate placed a bottle of beer in María Jesus’ path, which she did not hesitate to break on Martin’s head. Martin’s blood ran on the floor, dragging his sins away. The action took place before my eyes, as if I were a mere witness to a book, with no voice or vote. The rest of the group–Begoña, José Pedro, and Bruno–arrived a few minutes later, to stare at the traces of the war.
“I always knew that this group had each other’s backs, but I never thought they would reach such a level. Everyone is afraid of losing something with this situation because the secrets and sins are very great in that group. So, a pact of silence was the best possible strategy to use.”
“Why didn’t you report them from the beginning?” he asked me, confused.
“Because betrayal is more painful. I preferred to agree with them to make a pact of silence and then betray them without being expected…” I smiled “Revenge is sweet.”
I stand up with a triumphant feeling, as if the pain and anger had finally drained from my body.
“Where are you going? With what you just confessed to me, you will not move from this place,” he threatened me seriously.
“And what are the charges? Having the desire to kill someone? I didn’t know that someone could be found guilty for having the intention or the thought of doing something… If it were for that, everyone would be in prison.” I winked at him.
I look defiantly at Detective Rojas, knowing he wanted to lock me behind bars for the statements I had given him, but he knew his hands were tied.
Fernanda Poblete González is a senior English Literature- Creative writing student with a minor in History in Lindenwood University. She is an international student from Chile who came to the U.S thanks to a sports scholarship in tennis. Since she was little, she always had a big imagination, which led her to write stories all day, focusing on the mystery and suspense genre. However, she recently finished writing her first fantasy novel, inspired by the Covid pandemic. Some of her pieces were published for the first time in 2021 in Arrow Rock Literary Journal.