The Unreliable Narrator ~ Side Effects

In answer to the Daily Post weekly writing challenge The Unreliable Narrator:

It was slightly annoying to be here; she would rather have been somewhere else. It was all so formal and boring. The room was boring; the place was too. Oh and stiff, and too warm. She would rather have been somewhere else. In bed… she was tired. She had not slept much lately and this was a chore. Her eyes darted left and right: nope, still boring. No view deserving the name. And the man in front of her was boring too. She knew; it was their second, no third time seeing each other. She hoped it was the last.
Hands folded, she tried to read him. It was fairly easy. The shirt he was wearing had a coffee stain, which he had obviously tried to remove in vain. Off his clothes, she could actually smell coffee, the one you brewed yourself, and smoke. He either smoked blondes or lived with someone who did for she could almost taste the tobacco. His suit looked to be two years or so, its cut already out of fashion.
He appeared a little worn out, his face unshaven as if he hadn’t really slept or taken a shower for a couple of days. She brought her elbows on the table, leaning on her hands brought together, causing the bracelets at her wrists to slightly bang each other. The man took a sip of the drink he had on the table, as if to steel himself against her, or the conversation they were about to have.

“You seem nervous,” she told him.
He looked at her slightly surprised, before he leaned back against the chair. It seemed for just a second he was trying to convey how relaxed he was, even though it obviously wasn’t the case.
“You don’t need to be.” She added with a smile.
“It seems you are the one a little nervous.” He said pointing at her fingers. Some of her nails were broken. She had made a mess that morning, yes.
“I’m fine.” She waved the concern away. She wasn’t too worried about it. She had done worse before. “So tell me, how can I help you today Detective?”
“Well I’d like to know why you killed Mr. James Sutton.”
“I’m quite certain I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
The name was familiar though, like those of the previous two victims. Another man from the upper class had died the same way. But there were no connections between her and these three people. She hadn’t crossed path with them in more than a decade. Kind of.
“Don’t play with me Mia, if that’s even your real name.”
“Again… I’m sure I don’t know what you’re talking about. Why don’t we wait for my lawyer, Detective?”
“Which lawyer? The one you said you had and who doesn’t exist or the one that has been assigned to you? You’re a liar Mia.”
“Considering I haven’t said anything, I don’t see how I could be a liar.”
“You don’t need to say anything Mia. I’ve contacted vice and SVU; both departments know you.”

She shrugged bringing down her hands on the table; the cuffs felt heavier now. She didn’t like the man in the end. She didn’t need to go down memory lane.
“So they do.”
“Seems you have a juvy record.”
“You’re not supposed to have access to that.”
“Come on. Did you expect we wouldn’t figure it out? As it happens, there’s a gentleman from vice who wanted to see you. He says he knows you.”
The door opened and she looked into a face she hadn’t seen for quite a while. She might have been glad to see him if it weren’t for the circumstances.
“Hey Mia.”
“Detective Winston. It’s been a while.”
“Five years Mia. You were doing so well. What happened?”
“I didn’t do anything.”
“Come on Mia, I know you and I know that look. What did you take?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about?”
“Don’t you? Mia. The bitten nails, the attitude and your eyes. You’re exhausted. And by the looks of it, you’re going through withdrawal. Not sure how you’re holding on that seat.”

She looked away; she truly hated that room. Always had hated these rooms. She hated being locked up in a place with no windows. It made her suffocate. It didn’t matter though; they had nothing. She didn’t belong to the same world as the victims, would never have crossed path with them. Once maybe, not for a long time.
“I’m fine. And I didn’t do anything.”
“What did you take?”
Detective Winston insisted. She liked him; he helped her get into rehab last time she was arrested. Maybe she could tell him the truth; but the other guy she didn’t like him. No she wouldn’t say anything… there was no way they could find anything. She wouldn’t face the past. It wasn’t necessary.
“Mia. Talk to me. I put my job on the line for you.”
She sighed.
“I don’t remember.”
The other detective snorted. The man stood and leaning on the table; his face was so close she could literally taste the coffee he had in the morning. It stunk; mingled with the smell of cigarette, it was awful. She leaned back away from him. She didn’t want him this close.
“You’re a liar Mia. We know you were with the victim.”
She shrugged.
“I will wait for my lawyer.”
“Fine, but you’re not helping yourself.” The man stood and opened the door. “Detective Winston, come with me.”

She met his eyes and he raised an eyebrow, a question in his gaze. It was useless; they couldn’t understand. No let the past rest and let them believe what they would. It was unimportant.
“I’m not done Mia. I’m not giving up on you.”
And he left.



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