Unsuitable(2)By: Samantha Towle
“I-I…what? I don’t understand…” My eyes are frantically searching the room. Confusion and panic are racing through my mind and body. “I don’t understand. Why would Jason say that?”
The detective gives me a steady look, saying nothing.
I lick my lips. My mouth is dry as I try to speak, “Jason is lying. I was with him at my place all night.”
“Can anyone corroborate that?” the detective asks.
No…he stayed out last night at his friend Justin’s house. It was just Jason and me in the house.
“No.” I moisten my lips again. “But I’m telling you the truth, I swear.” I stare steadily into the eyes of the detective, trying to convey that my words are the truth.
But I know it’s fruitless. He thinks I did it.
I swallow hard, fighting to hold in my rising panic. “You think it was me. You think I stole the jewelry. But you’re wrong. It wasn’t me,” I state emphatically.
The detective leans back in his seat. “What am I supposed to think, Daisy? It was your key card that was used to gain access to the store after it was closed, the same card that was still in your possession when we picked you up. You know that cancels out the alarm trigger. You know how to turn the camera equipment off. You know exactly where the high-end pieces of jewelry are—”
“But I didn’t take them! Why would I?”
“You’ve been raising your brother alone, you’re behind on your rent, and you have bills to pay and outstanding credit cards. People have stolen for less.”
“But I didn’t steal the jewelry! I would never! I’m not a thief! I-I don’t know how my card was used. Maybe…maybe it was copied.” I’m clutching at straws because not one thing about this is making a shred of sense to me.
The detective is shaking his head at me.
“Yes,” I argue, “maybe someone stole it and then put it back.”
“Who, Daisy?” He leans forward. “Who would have done that?”
My brain scrambles. Then, it clings to the only other person in my house with me last night.
“Jason.” My voice is shaking, tears thickening my words. “Jason lied and said he wasn’t with me when he was. He could have taken the key card, and—”
“But how could he have committed the robbery when you said he was with you?”
He’s right. I drive my fingers into my hair, scratching at my scalp.
I’m hit with a thought.
“Maybe…maybe Jason gave it to someone.” I’m panting now, breathless, frightened.
I can see the detective retracting from me. I’m losing him. He thinks I did it. He thinks I stole the jewelry from the store. My place of work. The job I love.
“Maybe Jason gave it to someone and then put it back in my bag before I knew it was gone.”
“It’s a good theory, Daisy.” The detective nods. “And we have looked into your boyfriend, Jason Doyle. A few years ago, he was locked up for stealing a car. He also has some juvenile shoplifting offenses on his record, and of course, we know who his brother is—”
“That’s it! Damien!” I cry. “It could have been Damien and Jason in on it together! I know Damien’s a bad guy. I’ve heard things about him—”
“We’re well aware of the type of man that Damien Doyle is,” the detective cuts me off. “Robbery is just one of the many things that he’s had his slippery fingers in over the years, but we’ve never been able to tie anything to him. No one ever gives him up.” He runs his hand over his chin, scratching at the stubble on it. “Look, Daisy, if you give me something, then I can help you. Maybe you didn’t want to do this, and you were forced into it. Maybe the sound of the money was just too good to pass up. Give me the name of the person or persons who helped you do this, and tell me where the items are now. Then, I can help you.”
He wants me to say it was Damien and that I was a part of this robbery.
But, if I do that, it would be a lie. I don’t know for sure who did the robbery. I know, in my gut, that Jason took the key card, but I can’t prove it. And, if I say it was Damien, then I’d be admitting to something that I didn’t do.
I’d go to jail.
Shaking my head, I drive my fingers into my hair again, pulling at it, my eyes staring down at the table.
I have nothing to give him because I don’t know anything, except my own truth.
And I’m not a liar.
Oh God. I can’t believe this is happening.
Lifting my eyes, I catch sight of the clock on the wall. It’s three fifteen. School will be finishing soon.