On the Run – Asna Rizwan

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Photo by Jordan Franklin

Witnessing the aftermath of a murder unfortunately held a spot in my everyday life, a downside to being an agent in the FBI. However, today’s occurrences were far beyond ordinary. Isla’s murder took place in my own home, and I was the number one suspect accused of strangling and torturing her last night. As much as I despised Isla for her perfection and her close friendship with Isaac, I was no killer. But yet somehow, my husband, a fellow agent, arrested me as I left the penthouse with bloodstained clothes and a face tearful from betrayal.

It wasn’t long before I found myself sitting across from him in the interrogation room at the Bureau, nervously glancing his way, my hands fidgeting. Isaac was kind enough to remove the handcuffs, at least. The cold, hard metal had dug into my skin and left red indented bands around my wrists. I sat in this room numerous times before, sitting in the other chair in front of criminals, fugitives, convicts, all guilty of who knows what. But as I sat waiting for my husband to question me, I took notice of the room and realized how similar it resembled the inside of an insane asylum I visited not long ago: the grey brick walls, the freezing metal chairs, tinted black windows that my bosses stared through without my knowledge.

I silently reassured myself that everything was fine, that I had nothing to hide, and that Isaac would regrettably realize how wrong his accusation was. But as of now, I could feel the tension considerably growing between us under that heated lamp. Eventually, the anxiety slowly built itself into my system, steadily increasing as each second passed. I traced my nails along the grainy hardwood table, breathing heavily. Anything to distract myself from the fear of being convicted.

Isaac immediately noticed the panicked look in my eyes and reached his rough hands across the table to touch mine. “Hey. If you didn’t do it, we’ll eventually find proof. You know how this works. We have to consider every possible suspect. Don’t be so nervous,” he said calmly. He left the room for a moment and returned with a thick manila folder with my name scrawled in giant letters on the front. The dim light accentuated his dark eyes, his bony cheeks, and the light stubble on his face as his broad, muscular shoulders hunched over my case file, examining the information.

After a few awkward minutes, Isaac cleared his throat and addressed my name, with almost a hint of scorn in his voice. It seemed apparent that all compassion and love for me had disappeared as soon as he entered the room, leaving me on my own. “Okay, Jemma Simmons. Where were you on the night of September 15th?” he questioned.

“Well, Isaac…” I began.

“Agent Bojanac,” he abruptly corrected.

“Agent Bojanac. Last night, I entered my penthouse around one in the morning, made myself a cup of tea, read a book for a while, and slept the rest of the night,” I clarified.

“Now Miss Simmons, could you recount that moment, exactly as you saw it, when you allegedly came across Miss Winston dead on your bathroom floor?”
At this point, the room swirled into a vortex around me, and suddenly, standing in my blue fuzzy pajamas and warm slippers, I transported to this morning, horrified at the scene before my eyes. Sure I had seen my fair share of murder victims horribly disfigured in ways one can’t imagine, but the fact that it happened in my own home appalled me even more.
Isla’s body was sprawled across the floor near the bathtub, surrounded by a deep crimson puddle of her own blood. The gaping cut located at the base of Miss Winston’s neck was clearly a knife wound, but at the time, I hadn’t seen the weapon used in the murder. Besides that, it was all just a bloody mess. The warm, ruby liquid had already stained most of Isla’s flowery dress along with handprint smears and maroon blemishes covering the walls. It wasn’t difficult to take note of the signs of struggle at the time of her murder. In fact, there was a bulk of proof that she  fought back against her killer. But sitting in that room, I realized that absolutely none of the evidence would ever be useful in proving my innocence.

I relayed this information back to Isaac, carefully noting every detail I recalled. Thankful for my cooperation, he stood up and left the room after someone tapped on the window.
Moments later, heavy footsteps trekked into the room once again, this time his handsome face wearing a fuming expression. Isaac stared me down straight in the eye and demanded “Care to explain why your blood was found under Miss Winston’s fingernails?” clearly infuriated after believing that I had falsified my statements and lied straight to his face.

Confused as ever, the adrenaline and fear finally kicked in as I stood up. Without hesitation, I nailed my fist square in his jaw and jammed his head into the solid mahogany table before he had time to react. I silently apologized and ran outside into an area full of cubicles, where most of my colleagues continued their work, unaware of the suspect that hid in plain sight. Clearly, my involvement in the case hadn’t been released. I inconspicuously left the building after stepping foot off the stairs and set forth from the exit to clear my name.

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