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by, Melissa R. Mendelson


"You mind if I smoke?"

"Suit yourself."

"Got a light?"

"You know, those things will kill you."

"Where I'm going, I don't need to worry about that."

"Why did you do it?"

"Why did I kill him?"

"You could have come to us for help."

"Please. I broke up with the guy five years ago, and two years later, I got a restraining order. But he still kept coming around. He claimed that since he had my social security number, he could find me anywhere, and he did. And it soon came down to me or him." 

"Like I said.  You could have come to me for help."

"I tried that route, like I said.  He just wouldn't let go."

"So it was your life or his?  And then you plotted to kill him?"

"I did not plot anything. He broke into my place, and I so happened to have a gun, which was loaded.  As soon as I heard someone in the house, I grabbed the gun, slowly exited the bedroom, aimed and shot."

"You could have just wounded him."

"I wasn't thinking at the time, and I don't call that murder.  I call that self-defense."

"You shot him four times, Sherry."

"I was scared, detective.  I live alone. There was nobody there to protect me, and it would take you a good couple of minutes to get to me. So, what should I have done during that time I was waiting for you? Pray that he did not kill me first?  I made my choice, and I don't regret it."

"Obviously.  You can't take the law in your own hands."

"But if my life were on the line, which it was, who's to say that I can't do what is necessary to protect myself?  How can you live your life when you know that he is out there? You can't. You're held prisoner to your fear, and the only way out... Well, there is only one way out, if they don't back off.  They just can't let go."

"So, you're claiming self-defense?  That's your defense, but it's not your first offense.  No, you don't get to look away.  I read your jacket, saw your history of abusive boyfriends, and you keep letting them in until you found this guy, and when you got tired of him, he did not want to let go. So, you took it to the next level, and you waited for him to make his move. And then you killed him, and you know what I call that?  I call that cold-blooded."

"Everyone has a sob story. Why should mine be any different?"

"You're really something.  So, what's your sob story?"

"You read my jacket."

"But it doesn't start from the beginning."

"Does it matter?  I lived through hell, and nobody can understand what I experienced."

"Were you attacked?"


"Were you raped?"


"Then, what is this hell that you speak of?"

"A circuit of men that continues to rotate around and around, catching me in their vice, and once these men have me, they mess with my mind, they tear apart my heart, and they leave me in pieces. I would be lucky to find a man to love me, but not one of them had my best intentions at heart. And this last guy? He thought I was property, and I am not anyone's possession! This is my life we are talking about, and this is my life to live as I want to live!"

"And your life to end.  Just admit it, and maybe the DA will go easy on you. You killed him. Plain and simple."

"I know my rights, detective. Until my lawyer gets here, I could stop talking, and this story will come to an abrupt end.  And I did not want to kill him, but he would not go away.  Is there others out there living a life worse than mine? Yes. Are there others, whose lives have been destroyed, and are they still picking up the pieces? Yes. Still, I have suffered, and I have every right to be angry. And I have every right to do what is necessary to protect myself, and if a gun is a way of protection, then it is my shield to hold before me to ward off men like him.  Did you read his jacket?"

"He didn't have one."

"Because he looked like a saint.  Everyone lives through hell, but not everyone makes it out. And where I'm going, I don't plan to escape."

"And where is it do you think that you are going?"

"Only God knows. Once you take a life, your hands are stained with their blood until death comes to take you, and once taken, you will find yourself repeating a similar life. And the circuit continues.  It's just a game. Life. It's a game of survival, but so many of us get lost somewhere in-between. What's the point?  What is the point of living?"

"To survive.  To become better, stronger, and to make something of your life. And to not throw it away.  And to find yourself once more."

"But I'm still lost.  I don't know who I am, and I don't like where I am going.  And I did not want him to die, but he crossed the line.  He came for me to take my life away."

"And he's gone now because of you."

"I did what I had to do."

"And now you have your life back."

"Until I am found guilty."

"Of murder."

"No.  Of death. You can't take a life, intentionally or not without paying some kind of price, and one day, that bill will come. And I'll have to pay.  Until that day, I can finally live my life.  My lawyer is here.  This interrogation has reached its end."

Created: Mar 23, 2014

Tags: dialogue, story, prose, fiction

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