Spoiler alert! This post contains information about my short story titled, Plans. If you have not already read this story then click here before reading on.
An officer guides me to a booth. Anna sits behind the glass partition in a khaki sweat suit. She takes the handset from the wall, and gestures for me to do likewise.
“My lawyer thinks this is a bad idea.”
“Thank you for speaking with me. Your story certainly started people talking.”
“What have you been charged with?”
“Aiding after the fact and obstruction of a criminal investigation.”
“Are you telling me you didn’t have a hand in killing your sister and brother-in-law?”
“Yes.” Anna’s knuckles whiten as she grips the phone. “She was my sister and I loved—,” she swallows, “They both meant a lot to us.”
“Who do you mean by ‘us’?”
“Sean loved them as much as I did.”
“Even after he knew you had feelings for Cody?”
“He still considered him his brother.” Her gaze falls. “Nothing ever happened between us, and I’m not proud of the strain I put on my husband by carrying Jasmine’s child.”
“Is the baby why Sean killed them?”
“You don’t know he killed them!”
“What do you mean? Your story made it obvious that Sean killed them.”
She snorts. “Obvious answers do not a story make.” Her gaze levels on me.
“What do you mean?”
She shakes her head. “I mean there are things the devil himself doesn’t know about what happened.”
“What exactly did happen?”
“If I tell you that, not only will I seal my own coffin, but I’ll put in the grave the only family I have left. My Mom doesn’t deserve to go to die with my baby niece in her arms. Sean might have made a lot of mistakes in his life, but I won’t put a price on his head either. If you have more questions like that, this interview is done.”
“Fine. One of my readers asked, ‘What did you do to them, besides the obvious?’”
“I said no more questions like that!”
“It’s up to you how you interpret that question.”
She pauses, chewing her bottom lip. “It’s not what I did, but what I didn’t do. I didn’t try to stop the train that was barreling toward my family. I didn’t yell for them to get off of the tracks. I did what I thought I must to protect myself, and found out that the price of doing nothing was highest price of all.”
“Final question. If you could tell your niece one thing, what would you tell her?”
She inhales and closes her eyes, the corners of her mouth drawing down with her thoughts. “The prettiest lies will never bring you peace, and the ugliest truths will never break your spirit. If she wants someone to blame for her parents deaths, then she’ll have to look beyond the obviousness of evidence. If she does though, she had better be sure the rest of the world keeps believing what it thinks now.”
Thank you so much for reading! And, a BIG thank you to those of you who asked questions. I know this interview will have spawned a few more questions than answers, but I do plan to continue this story sometime in the near future. Click here to read the sequel Identities.
Want to see Anna’s pinboard? Click here.