The drive to the park was long and quiet. I was sitting obliviously in the passenger’s seat looking at the beautiful view out the window. That was the night that I was supposed to spend some quality time with my best friend around the campfire in the middle of Augustine Park. But as you may know, nothing in life goes as planned. Feelings of revenge, exasperation, and anger are what makes a person commit crimes that they will regret later on in their lives. I hope you’re ready; because I’m about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why it ended. And no, listening to a dead girl is not at all crazy, so I advise you to stick around.
Abraham was an athlete that everybody liked; a “popular kid” if you will. But he had two sides to him, one of which he used to attract attention to himself which was kind, compassionate and caring. The other, he only used on me. This side was full of anger and hate, but only towards me. But he wasn’t always like that. By now, you might be asking – why you? The answer is simple, but I am not going to tell you. I want you to figure it out through my story.
Abraham and I used to be best friends from freshman year, all the way up to the junior year of high school. We shared everything with each other, our tears, our struggles, and all of our deepest secrets. We spent every single day having fun together, until that day at the park. The day that changed both of our lives for the worse. That was the day that our friendship was settled. Let me tell you, the series of unfortunate events that lead to our separation.
“Come on, Lovedeep!” He said to me as we raced each other to the campfire at Augustine. “Beat you! Again!”
“You are so annoying!”
“Ha! You’re a sore loser.”
“Whatever, Abraham,” I said laughing and rolling around on the grass.
There was a long silence between us. It felt unusual since we were never like this.
I turned and looked at him, “Spit it out, I know your hiding something.”
He looked at me with a disappointed face. “I know what you did,” He said, “That’s why I brought you here.”
“What are you talking about?” I said with confusion, “What do you mean you know what I did?”
“It was you, wasn’t it? It was you that killed her…” He said, staring at the ground.
“Did what? I don’t understand what you’re saying!” I stand up and glare at him.
He glares back, “You killed her… I know you did. Stop acting like you didn’t.”
I started to tear up. Did he really think I could have killed anyone?
“Who is she?” I cry out.
“Jeez, you just don’t want to admit it!” He stands up too and gets face to face with me.
“You will not get away with this, I will make you pay for what you did Lovedeep. Don’t you worry.” He storms off, leaving me to crumple on the grass in tears. I watched his back as he strode off, crying and sobbing my heart out. I can’t believe my best friend, someone who knows so much about me, accused me of such a crime. But who would I kill?
I wiped my tears and ran home, tired of today. I will find out what happened.
I watch a cobalt blue Toyota, Abraham’s car, drive into the school’s parking lot. He steps out and walks to the front gate, where I am waiting. I stepped in front of him, stopping him in his tracks.
“What were you talking about yesterday?” I ask firmly.
“You know what I was talking about.” He glares, pushing past me.
“No, I don’t, Abraham.” I followed him to his locker.
“You killed her, you killed my sister.” I froze. His sister?
“What do you mean? I didn’t even talk to Maria!” I said in shock.
“You killed her last month to get even closer to me! You threw her in the river after stabbing her 37 times!” He whips around and whisper-yells at me.
“I did not! I got close to you because I was trying to help you get out of your bad place! You started to do drugs and drink alcohol! I tried my best to help you out!” I whisper back angrily, remembering how different he was.
“I don’t want to lose you now,” I say, tearing up. He glares harder.
“Wow, what a great actor! You will pay for this…I swear on my own life you will.” He stomps off.
I felt a little uneasy. He actually thought it was me who killed Maria. It was so long ago, so why would he mention her now? Her case is still being investigated, and nobody knows who murdered her, so what made him think it was me? I groan in frustration and walk to homeroom.
I slouched on the bench, taking a break before I start walking home. I thought long and hard about what Abraham meant when he said he would make me pay. It has been a whole day since he had talked to me and he has only glared at me when we make eye contact. Suddenly, a car honked to the right of me, making me jump. It was that same cobalt blue Toyota, Abe’s car. He rolls the window down and yells,
“I’ll drop you off!”
I stare at him with confusion. Only a few hours ago he wanted to “make me pay” and now he’s all friendly again. He gestures for me to come along, opens the passenger door, and he grins at me. I give him a small smile back. I think he finally came back to his senses. I walk over and sit in the passenger’s seat. He sighs and says,
“I’m sorry. I wasn’t in my right mind…I-I’ve been doing drugs again.” I gasp.
“Abe, why? You stopped though!” I exclaim in concern.
“I’ll tell you everything at Augustine park. Can we hang out there for a while?”
I simply nod my head and he squeezed his hand on the gear stick.
“I’m here for you Abraham.” He let out a chuckle and drives to the park.
We get out of the car and walk together. He tells me everything. He tells me how heartbroken he is because of the murder of his sister.
“I thought my life was over.” He says with tears in his eyes, “I would never be the same again.”
I looked at him in shock. Abraham was a strong guy, he never broke down and he most definitely never cried. The death of his sister had had such an impact on him. I looked at him with sympathy, “You have to be strong during times like these Ab, I am sure they will find out who did it.” He turned and looked right through me. He took off his glasses and pulled out something from his pocket. He turned his head, and his dark black eyes looked like they had only ever known hate and anger. “They don’t have to,” He said firmly, “ I already did.”
Dispatcher: “911 what’s your emergency?”
Dispatcher: “What is the problem, ma’am?”
Meera: “Some…” (sobbing)
Dispatcher: “I’m going to need you to speak clearly ma’am. What is the problem?”
Meera: “Somebody k-killed my f-friend.”
Dispatcher: “Pardon me?”
Meera: “Somebody killed my friend.”(yells)
Dispatcher: “Wait- Who? Are they still there?”
Dispatcher: “The person who killed them?”
Meera: “No, the murderer ran away! She’s a dead officer…she’s dead.” (sobbing)
Dispatcher: “Were they shot?”
Meera: “No, she was stabbed!” (Screaming)
Dispatcher: “She was stabbed?”
Meera: “Yes, jeez, yes.”
(Muffled sound of dispatcher giving orders on another line; shouting in the background from the caller’s end.)
Dispatcher: “Repeat your location, darling. Everything’s gonna be okay.”
Meera: “I-I’m at the park…Augustine Park. Officer, there is so much bl-blood.”
Dispatcher: “Did you see the murderer?”
Meera: “It’s a g-guy…black hair…maybe 5’8”
Dispatcher: “Please stay put. Help is on the way.”
Meera: “Don’t leave me! Please!”
Dispatcher: “I’ll stay on the line, darling. Everything will be fine. Deep breaths now.”
Meera: *Sobs and wails*
Dispatcher: “Honey, the police are there, can you see them?”
Meera: “Yeah, t-thank you, officer.”
Dispatcher: “My pleasure sweetheart.”
End of call
“Knock, knock”. I get up and walk toward the front door, wondering who it may be. I pull open the door and freeze. There stood an officer with a manila folder. Had they found out it was me? What were they going to do?
“Hi there Abraham. We found the murderer… Your sister’s murder.” I welcome the officer inside and ask him to sit down at the coffee table.
He opens the folder and begins. I already knew who the murderer was.
“So… out of guilt, the murderer confessed. Her name is Breanne Shafto.” I gasp. Breanne Shafto was my gym coach. She had been my coach for maybe 2 months. More importantly, I killed my best friend for no reason. I freak out and start crying, my head in my hands and the tears running like crazy.
“Please be at ease,” says the officer, “none of this is your fault.”
I nod, crying harder and sobbing even louder. I had killed my best friend, my only best friend. The officer left and I cried in bed for the rest of the day, not wanting to eat. Lovedeep brought me out of this bad place I was in and I rewarded her with death. I lay there and look up at the ceiling remembering her and begging her in my mind to forgive me. I replayed the scene in my head, her screams are like sirens. How I had stabbed her 37 times, just to match my sister’s murder, to make her pay for something she didn’t do. For something, she didn’t do.
Various rumors had spread at school about Lovedeep’s death, and I wish I wasn’t there to hear them. Some people thought she was murdered by a stranger, while others thought it may have been suicide. But I was alone in the depths of the truth, and the truth hurts. It burns me, penetrating my flesh from the inside and suffocating me. I walked to my locker, listening to the chatter of the students,
“Oh my gosh, I heard she was stabbed 37 times, no way it could be a suicide!”
“I feel bad for Abraham, his best friend died…who’s gonna be there for him now?”
A feeling of guilt rushed over me like a tsunami. I buried my face in my locker and thought about what I had done. I needed to hurry and get to class, but I couldn’t find my glasses anywhere! When did I have them last? Shoot! I left them at the park when I… Just then I felt my hands being roughly tugged behind my back.
“Abraham Resngit, you are under arrest for the first-degree murder of Lovedeep Uppal. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do can and will be used against you in a court of law. ”
“What? I don’t understand! Why?”
I watched as the whole school stared at me in horror, jaw dropped and eyes wide open. They threw me into the backseat along with 2 other officers in the front, my eyes were starting to water.
“You have the right to consult with a lawyer and have that lawyer present during questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you if you so desire.”
“I didn’t do it I swear… I swear!” I sob, the tears like Niagara Falls. I knew this was gonna happen, my mind scattered and scrambled for lies I could use to cover up. All I could think about was what would happen to me next. And what happened to me next was incredible.
*Thud, Thud, Thud*
“All rise. Santa Clara county superior Court is now in session. Judge Dawn presiding. Please be seated.”
I sit down, shaking.
“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Calling the case of Meera Ramchandran versus Abraham Resngit. Are both sides ready?”
“Ready for Meera, your honor.”
“Ready for Abraham, your honor.”
“ Will the clerk please swear in the jury?”
“Will the jury please stand and raise your right hand? [Waits for everyone to stand.] Do each of you swear that you will fairly try the case before this court and that you will return a true verdict according to the evidence and the instructions of the court, so help you, God?”
“You may be seated.”
“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury Here we have Mr. Resngit and Mrs. Ramchandran on the indictment for murder in the first degree. Abraham Resngit, how do you plead?”
I looked at my lawyer, tears rolling down my cheeks. The worst feeling of guilt came over me. I was hesitant about how to answer, but I knew there was only one way to save myself. I was sweating and crying as hard as ever before. “Not guilty.” I managed to mouth.
“My client pleads not guilty your honor.”
“Okay, Meera Ramchandran, how do you plead?”
I look up from the ground that I had been staring at for the past hour, and to my left, I see Meera Ramchandran. She was one of my friends from Biology, although, I didn’t know her much.
“My client, Meera Ramchandran pleads not guilty your honor.”
I look at the judge…Oh my! Is that…no it can’t be. Dawn Hartman was my mother’s best friend! I looked at her in the eye, and she looked back. She smiled at me…and she winked! Then she said,
“Steven Dutra, Criminal defense attorney of Meera Ramchandran, please present your statements.”
I was shaking in fear. I wondered what would happen to me.
“Thank you, your honor. This young woman is the best in her school. With her excellent academics, she always manages to keep her teachers astonished. On the night of the murder of Lovedeep Uppal, Meera was late from school due to a meeting she had to attend. She was walking home and saw the dead body of Lovedeep Uppal, and a figure which she described to the police in the 911 call transcript. She was not there during the murder, so she couldn’t possibly have killed Lovedeep Uppal. The figure she described most likely resembles Abraham Resngit. Thank you, your honor.”
Oh boy! I was in big trouble. Steven was telling the truth. I am screwed.
“Bryce Beckel, Criminal defense attorney of Abraham Resngit, please begin.”
I felt my muscles tense. The lump in my throat was still there and I was sweating hard.
“Thank you, your Honor. Abraham Resngit is the all-star athlete in his school. During the night of the murder, he claims he was at the gym working out to prepare for his next game. The gym manager claims that he saw Abraham at the gym on the night of Lovedeep Uppal’s murder. There is no possible way that he could have killed Lovedeep Uppal. Thank you, your Honor.”
At this point, I was freaking out. I could not believe my ears! What were they saying? None of it was true. I was the true murderer..but…is this what I think is happening?
“Now that you have heard both sides of the story, the jury will now discuss it.”
I was escorted to a room where I sat alone. It was locked and there was nobody there with me. All I had was a window where I could see anybody that passed by. I cried and cried until a figure appeared to be walking past the window of my room.
“Don’t worry.” she mouthed. She winked again and walked away slowly. I had always been afraid of Dawn. She was the kind of person who scared children, and death-stared random people. I thought it was odd for her to smile at me like that. Did she have a plan? Was she against me? I guess we will find out.
“Will the jury foreperson please stand? Has the jury reached a unanimous verdict?”
I felt the hot tears run down my eyes, as the clerk handed the verdict form to dawn.
She read it silently and smiled. I was anxious, and I wanted to scream. I knew that they found out it was me. That was it! I was done, they thought I was guilty.
“The jury finds the defendant not guilty.”
I gasp. How on earth?
“Tomorrow, we will discuss the punishment for Meera Ramchandran. The jury is thanked and excused. The court is adjourned.”
She smiled, nodded, and walked away leaving me there. I looked to my left, and I saw a police guard by the name of…Paul…Ngo? He glared at me and shook his head. He mouthed,
“It’s not over.”
He glared and walked away. And he was right, it wasn’t over.
I saw my friends whispering about me in the halls. The stares made me feel guilt and shame. I never felt like this in my life. I lost my reputation, my scholarship opportunities, my best friend, it felt like I had lost everything. Meera was going to jail for a crime that I had committed, so her life was over too. I felt like I should have turned myself in so nobody else had to suffer, but my gut was telling me not to. I knew I was a coward to let Meera pay the price of my actions. I tried to let it slide, but it bothered me all through homeroom. Suddenly the speaker went on,
“Abraham Resngit, Please report to the front office, Thank you.”
I got all my stuff and walked away while everyone stared at me with disappointment. When I entered the office, I saw 3 police guards. One of them looked awfully familiar. His badge read…what was it…Paul…Ngo? Paul Ngo! The officer from yesterday at court.
“Come with us.” He said with a glare.
I followed them to their car, where I was taken to a room with no windows, just a door. The two police officers left and I was alone in a room with Officer Ngo.
“This conversation will be recorded for safety reasons. You have the right to remain silent.”
“Where were you on the night of the murder?”
I was hesitant. “At the gym,” I said.
“Did you kill Lovedeep Uppal?”
What do I say? I knew this would happen to me. He said I have the right to remain silent, but that would raise suspicions. I hated myself at that moment.
“No,” I said.
“Okay, then please explain this.”
He pulls out a laptop and opens something. I wonder what it is? He turns the laptop to me and I see…what…I did. Her screams, her cries and her attempt to run away haunted me. I began to sob. My poor friend did nothing to me, and I killed her. I lied about it and made someone else pay for my actions. I’ve ruined my life and the life of the people around me. I even ended a life.
“Who is the man in the video?” He looked at me viciously.
I was broken. That’s it, my life is over. I have lost all hope for myself. I might as well admit it. Admit that I am a murderer.
“That…man…is me, I killed her…I killed Lovedeep Uppal.” I looked him in the eyes while the hot tears ran down my cheeks.
“Very well then.” He grinned at me and stood up alarmed.
“Abraham Resngit, you are under arrest.”
He handcuffed me and escorted me to his car, where he then threw me in the back seat like a trash bag. I crumpled up in the back and cried.
“Do you wish to say anything before the sentence is imposed?”
I sniffled, my hands in handcuffs, unable to wipe my tears.
“…No” I said with a broken voice.
“Abraham Resngit, you will be sentenced to 40-year imprisonment in jail for murder in the first degree.”
*Thud, thud, thud*
I was pushed back into their car and immediately sent to jail, the place where karma greets you. After all, what goes around, comes around.
“Hey hey hey, what do we have here?”
“It’s a new one I think.”
A buff guy walked up to me and shoved me into the wall.
“What did you do?” He said while he was face to face with me.
“I..uh I murdered someone.”
He looked at me with disgust and spat in my face.
“You’re so soft and weak. You couldn’t have killed someone…”
I was so afraid of him, I was sweating and my eyes were tearing up.
“Can..you please…umm..let me down?”
“Hah! This little weakling wants me to put him down?”
His face was one inch away from me, and suddenly everything was in slow motion. His fist moved ever so slowly, as it hit my face. I felt the blood drip down along with sharp pain. I fell to the floor, and he laughed.
“Listen up man! I’m Andrew Dinh. And ain’t nobody gonna mess with me.”
I was curled up on the floor, and I felt such shame. Everyone was laughing at me. Maybe I should talk back, and he would leave me alone. I glared at him and said,
“I murdered someone…I advise that you don’t mess with me.”
He glared at me as he pulled something out of his pocket, and said,
“Listen, buddy, can you count to 37?”
He approached me and smiled. Then he kneeled down and stabbed me with his knife.
“One…oh look at the blood.”
I screamed in pain. But I had given up. What if this was what I deserved?
He kept counting, and I slowly faded away.
*All the names used in this story are my teachers. All rights reserved. I got permission to use these names. Please avoid using them anywhere else.*