The events depicted in this story are fictitious. Any similarity to any person living or dead is merely coincidental.

<At night in my chamber of the jail>

Here I am, one who would be desperate to live a free life, now confined in a 3mX3m cell. Probably tomorrow I am going to be a free man again when my uncle would arrange 50K. It is a quite lot of money for me. But at least it is better than consuming rest of my life in a prison for killing an innocent man. Well,  I did not want to kill Peter. It just happened in the flicker of an eye. But then again, his mother is a woman with a big heart to pardon me for the killing of his only son if I agree to donate that 50K to an orphanage.

<Flashback>

It was  early days of summer. The semester is almost ending and everyone of my flat is finished with their exams. We threw a semester ending house party in one Friday evening. There were not many people as such, only around 20 people. So, we were spread out in our rooms. I was with some friends in the living room. Chilling with the music and slow drinks. I am not a heavy drinker but likes to keep something sweet when it comes to that. I was chatting with one of the guests, Peter. I did not know Peter personally or never saw him before but assumed that he must have been a friend of my other friends and guests. We were discussing on something and both of us were tipsy. The spark of the discussion suddenly raised to a point where I was trying to persuade him and to do so, I quickly moved my hand to make a gesture. That instantly hit Peter on the back of his head with my bottle. Peter collapsed on the floor fainted and his nose started to bleed heavily.

Seeing him unconscious and bleeding, I got panicked and screamed out loud for help.  Only a handful number of people heard that over the loud music and they came in. They were also shocked seeing him lying on the floor while I was still holding the bottle.  But in a moment Peter got back to life but he kept bleeding. One of my flatmates, Linda, wanted to take him to the hospital but I could see that Linda was way too drunk. Hence, I convinced that I alone could take Peter to the nearby hospital. I carried Peter on my shoulder and came on the street to get a taxi. It was a weekend evening so taxi was plentiful on the street. We rushed to a hospital.

A nurse rushed towards us and signaled someone to bring a stretcher. They took him to the emergency and I was left alone frantic at the corridor. I saw nurses and doctors running busy from one cabin to the other. Then a surgeon with a blood covered gloves hastily passed me.   I started to feel light-headed; from my childhood, I was never a daring guy. I could not even stand seeing slaughtering of animals. I do remember that once I was fainted for half an hour simply hearing the story from my aunt how doctors took some vein from her thighs to create a separate blood circulating channel for her newly implant kidneys. Of course, I don’t have any memory of the happenings for that half an hour of my life. I wonder if  death comes in the same way too. Well, I doubt if anyone can say that to the living beings. While thinking about all these merely forgotten memories, I was startled by a nurse who asked me whether I am with the person who was heavily wounded in the head.  She looked pretty to me than any typical nurse, usually exhausted after all long hours of working. Is she wearing makeup? Who would want to look at her perfectly done lips? Maybe it is just to distract someone wounded.

– Yes

– I am sorry, we could not save him. Please call any of his keen if you are not one of them to release the body from the morgue. We cannot keep it here for more than 48 hours.

She said all these in one breath, without any sign of sympathy. Perhaps, she got used to it, telling it every day. I could not say a word to her. I quietly left the hospital.

Jumped back on the street, I could not decide what to do. In essence, I murdered someone. All my world shattered in front of me.  I crossed the busy street and wanted to buy a bottle of water.  The middle-aged woman shopkeeper handed me over a small bottle of water, I asked her to give a one-liter bottle. I need to drink plenty, for, now an ocean of problem is ahead of me.  The lady reminded me of my mom.. her innocent face.I wanted to hold her tight before I go to jail. But I can not.. she is thousands mile away from me. Oh no, I don’t want to make her crying when she would know her son killed someone. This would be the last thing she would want from me.

I paid and before leaving, the woman asked me:

– Have you had a fight with someone?

I got pale, thinking she might have seen me carrying Peter to the hospital. I lied,

– No, Why?

– Oh, there is blood on your forehead.

Quickly, I rubbed it off and rushed towards my flat.  The woman does not seem to be convincing.

<At my flat>

I am trying to hide it, whatever had happened at the hospital, simply joined back to the party. In fact, no one bothered me asking, not even Linda. Where is she? Anyway, I did not want to look for her either.

The night started to fade out. Around dawn, we heard our door bell ringing. There were two police at the door (one of them was female). They were looking for a missing person. They wanted to ask questions to all of us. My face turned white, that time I also noticed Linda, we exchanged looks.

Police started questioning. All of us were in one room while they were calling one by one, showing each of them a photograph. Of course, we could not see the photo before our own turn; police asked to leave the house once one is done with the questioning. I and Linda were waiting to be the last.

It did not take long to arrive my turn. The male police officer showed me the photograph. But it was not of Peter, someone else’s. A sigh of relief was on my face. Truth is, police were showing me a different photograph than he did to others.

– Do you know this guy?

– NO, I never saw him <being over confident>

Then he grabbed a bottle from the table and made a gesture, like the way I hit Peter, and asked:

– Can someone be killed just like that?

– Of course not! how could somebody get killed like that?

– Are you sure, Sir?

– No one can die with that bottle <It was the same bottle that I had>

Police took a note to that. At that moment, another police officer entered through the ajar door and was accompanying a woman. It was the shopkeeper lady. I already knew, I am going to the jail.

The woman was suspicious about the blood on  my forehead and she followed me to my house and called the police. The police had no clue about what had happened neither the woman saw anything. They were merely trying to find a clue by showing a random photograph and making up the story of killing someone. Their trick worked well indeed. Seeing the woman, I already told police that I did not want to hit Peter, it was an accident. I told you, I am not a bold person.

Anyway, they took me to the police station. Before that, they asked me if I want to make a call to my lawyer or someone.

I called my mom. just tried to talk as normally as possible. I did not want to make her upset at all. Police asked me about my parents, wife, girlfriend, partner. I made a request to them, not to inform my mom.

But they needed to find someone to be present during the trial. So, I provided them a friend’s contact details of New York. I trusted;  Shawn will be there for me even if he had to fly  all the way from New York. Police started taking my statement.

<At the court room>

The trial began.  Honestly, it did not take them long, also I plead guilty hoping that this would minimise my sentence. With all the evidence it was clear that I committed the crime and killed : Peter Greenfield, who was the only son of his widow mother. The poor mother was sobbing all the time while the judge was reading out the verdict. I was sentenced to serve my lifetime in the prison. As a rule, the judge asked the mother if she has anything to say.

The mother started to speak very slowly and almost silently. Her voice was so low that we, the people near to her could barely hear, let alone the judge himself. A technician was signaled to raise the volume of the speaker. Peter’s mother looked so familiar to me… Do I know her from somewhere? Have we met before? At her age , she looks very appealing, I must say. Perhaps, a bit of makeup…

Oh…her looks matched the nurse at the hospital… only older. Very strange.

<Peter’s mother starts talking>

“Peter, my only son was a gift to me. He was my jewel. His father never saw him. I am sure he would have been very proud seeing how fine gentleman his son was. In fact, he was always very proud of Peter. It was after 12 years of our marriage that I conceived a baby. Mark, my husband was so happy that he invited the whole village to our house to celebrate. Mark was not a drinking person, but that night he took it too far and had a seizure. My luck, he died on the way  to the hospital.

I worked so hard to raise Peter alone. He was always different, he never had a fight with anyone. Lukas, <looking at me>, I don’t know what had happened between you two, but I know from my heart that Peter would have never hurt you.

Lukas, I feel how much hurt your mother is. As a mother, I can not make another mother loose her son.

I urge to judge to let Lukas learned a lesson by donating 50K USD to an orphanage I know. ”

Everyone in the courtroom was surprised. Some were in favour of the mother’s mercy, while many were not satisfied.

The judge was also surprised that the mother who was weeping all the time, now wants to forgive the convict.

Judge wanted to clarify the mother’s decision.

– Do you want the convict to pay 50K to an orphanage instead of serving in the prison?

– YES. <This was loud and clear, she had already stopped sobbing>

Now, the judge turned towards me and asked stating my full name:

– Lukas Schmidt, do you accept the penalty of 50K,  75% of which has to be paid within  72 hours and rest within 15 days as a sentence for the crime you committed by murdering an innocent man, Peter Greenfield.

– Yes, I accept it.

For me, it was like a prize instead. Indeed, I do not have the capacity to pay 50K but that the least of a problem. One can earn the money if he lives.

<At the hospital morgue>

The nurse put the corpse of Peter in the morgue. She had a mysterious smile on her face. At the end of her shift before dawn, she would come back to the chamber again. She  pulled  off the white sheet from the dead body of Peter and kissed on his whitish forehead. Peter, opened his eyes and smiled back agreeably. Together, they walked out of the morgue and headed towards an orphanage. The kids at the orphanage are deeply asleep. They entered one of the rooms. Essentially, Peter and the woman are the care taker of the orphanage and both of them are vampires. Together they run this, mostly from donations. In return, they could suck blood from the sleeping kids, as an insurance to live forever.

<Ending>

Once in many years, a person sitting at an outdoor cafe would read  a newspaper headline about a merciful mother who forgave the son of another mother  and donated 50K to an orphanage.

 


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