Author- Tito Ubabuko.
Mike glared at the television not picking any interest in what was on it, he simply reminisced his day at work and the loads of work yet to be done the next day when all of a sudden it seemed to him like he heard a man’s scream; maybe it was his mere imaginations, only for him to hear the shattering noise of glass coming from his neighbor’s room,”what could this be?”, he pondered. He opened his door seeing a man flee the scene, he was huge and wore a face cap, making his face hard to see, everything he wore was black, “who was he? Why was he running?” mike never seemed to understand what was happening but he knew for sure that all was not well. He noticed tom’s door was open, this was quiet unusual, every one living in this building knew how security conscious tom was, he never left his door open at this time of the night; it was past 10pm. Frank could hear a groaning sound accompanied with heavy breathing, he recognized it to be tom’s voice but why was he making these sounds, and his door wide open, this was certainly what mike was about to find out as he peeped into the room.
Mike was amazed to see tom laying in a pool of blood, he had a knife stabbed into his chest several times and the killer eventually left the knife stuck in his chest, “someone help !!!”, he screamed, he rushed to the dying man and tried to offer first aid treatment, if it would be of any help, as he rushed from room to room gathering as much equipment as he could find, ”somebody help !!!”, he screamed again, this time everyone heard his call, mike returned to tom but he was already dead, the neighbors arrived at the scene and confirmed his death. They called police for this was no ordinary death; it was murder. The police men arrived some minute later and conducted forensics on the body and the apartment, they searched for evidence that could leave clues on how to solve this puzzle and apprehend who was responsible for the murder of Mr. Tom Jenkins. After they had gathered enough evidence as they could find, an ambulance was sent for and the corpse was sent to the mortuary. ”We have to bring in you all for questioning”, said an inspector amongst the policemen. Mike was glad that he could render help to the police by telling them about the man who was dressed up in black, it was certain this time that he had a hand in the death of his neighbor.
Mike was brought into a dark room, there was a large glass like a window at the other end but he could not see through it, a single bulb was lit above his head, a camera was hung at the edge of the wall to record this interrogation, he gulped his saliva, frightened by this room and wondered who was to sit at the other end of the table. he waited for a while and finally a man walked into the room, he was tall and did not put on smile as he looked at mike, he wore a blue suit and looked so smart, mike was tired from his waiting and wanted to go home; he had to go to work the next day, he wanted to tell his own part of the story and leave this monster house which was so dreadful but the question he been asked was not what he had actually expected from the investigator who sat before him.
“Why did you kill Tom Jenkins?”, amazed at such a question mike gave a laughter which was not genuine, this was not what he expected, to him it seemed like it was a joke, was this police man really serious with the question he just asked him, it had better be a joke for he was no murderer, the police man adjusted his sitting position and threw a file on the table towards mike, “I am inspector Fred Johnson, well known for homicidal investigations and all I have here points back at you alone, just confess and let’s get this done with, I ask once again why did you kill Tom Jenkins !!!”,this time it was no joke for sure, he was angry this time because the police or someone was accusing him of murdering tom, he replied in an angry tone, ”I did not kill him, I killed no one, what is the meaning of this rubbish, I want to see my lawyer !!!”,the air was now tensed, mike starred at the inspector who still had a frown on his face, he was not even sympathetic, he was relaxed, like a serpent waiting to strike its prey, he watched mike spring up from his chair trying to justify himself. “Please have your seat Mr. Mike Clifford, I meant no harm”, the inspector said, sounding polite, mike sat in hunger for why he was being blamed for this crime, the room was silent for a while, only the buzzing sound of the camera could be heard in the room, mike was sweating profusely, he was nervous and scared for his end if they kept tossing him about as the one responsible for the murder, just then did the inspector interrupt this thinking, ”the file before you came from our forensic specialists, your hand print was found all over the place; also on the knife which was used to kill Tom, we also understand that you were not in good terms with Mr. Tom Jenkins , you both had a fight and as I can recall, your neighbors said you threatened to kill him, is that true Mr. Mike ?”, mike was quiet for a while, tears filled his eyes which had now gotten red, he was in trouble this time, but he was innocent, he had to defend himself at all cost, he was sweating profusely even though the air conditioner was on, ”I did not kill anyone”, he said pushing the files to the policeman, he gave a sigh and continued, ”I went round the house gathering first aid equipments in order to save Tom, maybe that was the reason my finger prints were all over the house and yes, we had a fight but it was a long time ago, it was over some football game and I threatened him out of anger, I never meant any of those words, you have to believe me !!!”, the inspector chuckled as mike defended himself helplessly, ”so why were you the first to appear on the scene of the murder ?”, this time the questions were becoming annoying to Mike but he had to answer them all because his innocence depended on his genuine answer and cooperation, ”I was in my apartment watching the television when I had a noise come from his room, I opened the door and”, he paused for a moment before he continued, “a man dressed up in black fled on seeing me, now I understand why he ran, he killed Tom, inspector am innocent, there was a man who fled when he saw me”, inspector Fred rubbed his palm against his jaw, he was tired of how mike countered every question not giving in, he was the best with cases like this but this man before him didn’t sound like a killer, inspector Fred had taken special courses on human psychology and behavior in relation to his occupation as a policeman and was certain that Mike portrayed no characteristics as that of a murderer or maybe mike was good at feigning innocence, it was time to get the truth out of him, “Mike, Mike, Mike ; am trying to help you out here, we went through the closed-circuit television footages for the past one week and found no one with this description on it, we also asked the neighbors if they saw anyone suspicious in the vicinity and they never saw your man dressed in black, am so sorry Mr. Mike Clifford but we can’t let you go home, not today ,not ever, in all my experience as a homicidal investigator you are a large suspect ;adding the forensic evidence, it’s a case close for me; a life imprisonment sentence is what you get if you are found guilty of this crime, I think it’s time you called your lawyer”, Mike said not a word as he looked at the policeman make his way out of the room, what he had feared the most had actually happened, he was going to prison for a crime he did not commit, all he ever dreamed of or set to be had been taken away from him in just a day.