Centre City, 16th February 2022
In a small room, about 8x10 feet, a bald man sat on a chair alone. He darted his eyes left and right, taking in all the details in the interrogation room. It was not his first time here; he had been here a week ago. Last week he came as a witness, but apparently, the Detective decided to change his status as a suspect, and they forced him to attend this stupid interrogation again.
The bald man sat with his head down, and he played with his hand. He couldn help but chuckle at his current predicament, which was ridiculous. He never thought there was a day that he would be treated like a criminal.
The door creaked open, and Detective Joe Smith entered the room with an unfamiliar-looking woman. He met Detective Joe Smith last week. They spent almost two hours together in this room, which was pointless.
"How do you feel today, Mr. Frank?" Joe asked as he pulled the two chairs in front of him. He and the woman sat at the same time.
"Couldve been better if you had not dragged me to this place." The bald man, Axel Frank, answered while rolling his eyes.
Joe ignored Franks remark. "Today, you will be talking with Detective Kathrina Reed. Ill be the observer. You have a right to remain silent and the right to have an attorney present during the interrogation." Joe explained, then Axel Frank nodded in response.
"Detective Kathrina Reed, Centre City Police department, on the basis of art. 37, 179, and 190 of the Code of Criminal Procedure questioned as a suspect in the criminal case No. 23333" Kathrinas high-pitched voice filled the room. "Interrogation begins at one in the afternoon. Suspect: Axel Frank, 45 years old, a banker, married to Bianca Stacy, no criminal record."
Kathrina read all of Axel Franks information with a flat voice. She put down the file in her hand, then took her time to watch Franks movement. A little smile bloomed on her lips as she watched him fidget on his chair as if he sat on a hot chair. It was clear that Frank was nervous in contrast to last week; he was too confident, almost arrogant.
"So, Mr. Frank, on Monday, 7th February 2022, between nine and eleven pm, can you tell me where you were?"
Kathrinas sharp eyes penetrated through Franks; it made him shiver. This woman was beautiful, but she was too intimidating for his taste. He didn like this kind of woman. They always act all mighty to him as if they were above him.
"We are back at this again? I already told your partner that I was with my wife at home. She confirmed my alibi, so you should stop bugging me about Francesca." He replied hastily, he raised his voice at her, but the Detective didn flinch. Instead, the Detective stayed still while staring at him with her dead eyes.
"I see. Then you must be talking about your second wife. Am I right?"
Frank was startled, then not long after, the sound of his laughter dominated the room. He laughed like a crazy man. "Are you drunk, Detective? Because you are not making any sense right now." He talked back at her. "Bianca is my only wife."
"Oh right, Bianca. How do I break this to you, Mr. Frank..." Kathrina trailed her words like she was seriously contemplating her word choice. She shook her face and showed him a look of pity. "Your only wife was with another man then, so you better tell me the truth right now. Where were you?" Her voice dropped. She gave him several pictures of his wife and another man.
Frank grabbed the pictures and saw his wife being intimate with another man. Rage took over his head. Then he hit the table with all his might. His breathing grew hard as he processed the truth about his wifes affair. "This bitch…" he muttered under his breath.
"Now, answer my question, Mr. Frank."
Frank kept his mouth shut. He was busy making countless scenarios to sound believable for the two detectives, but he couldn make any. Cold sweat started to form on his forehead. He kept moving his feet, restless.
"Or do you want me to answer the question?" Once again, it was Kathrina who spoke. "You were with Francesca. You were enjoying sex with her. Then suddenly, you found choking play was fun, but as a novice, you failed to control your strength and accidentally killed her in the process. Such a silly reason to be a murderer, I must say." She said with a hint of amusement in her voice. She was enjoying this, taunting her suspect. "I feel bad for Francesca. She should have chosen a better partner than an inexperienced loser like you." She almost wanted to laugh when Franks vein popped on his neck, and he tried so hard to hide his wrath, but she knew the sign of anger.
"You don have proof, Detective. You imagine things to fits your narrative." He managed to control his voice to be as calm as possible.
"Oh, that, we found your fingerprints, Mr. Frank. But unfortunately, you were not meticulous enough. If you want to commit a crime, I suggest you clean everything at the crime scene without missing anything."
"You are bluffing."
"Oh, I am certainly not Mr. Frank. We found it in the trash bin. I believe you forgot because you were hurrying to flee. Confess everything now; maybe the judge will be lenient with you."
"No, I didn kill Francesca."
"Listen here, Mr. Frank…."
Before Kathrina could finish her piece, Frank cut her with a loud voice. "Lets end this silly interrogation. I want to speak with my attorney, Detective."
Katrina slammed the door with so much force till several people in the station jumped from shock. Her mood went downhill after Frank decided to stop talking. They were so close to getting his confession.
"Hey, don fret. We had solid proof. His attorney won be able to do much." Joe patted her back. "You look beat, Kath. If I remember correctly, you have not slept for two days, right?"
e right. I need sleep. This headache is killing me." Kathrina rubbed her forehead softly. "Please tell everyone that Ill be out for a day. And remember, no call, okay?"
"Okay. Enjoy your rest. Ill see you tomorrow."
Kathrina waved to Joe after their brief goodbye. She walked to the front in a hurry. Having arrived in the lobby, she waited for the taxi to come while kneading her forehead nonstop. Suddenly someone ran toward her, her body limping and fell to the ground.
"Fuck, who…." Before she finished, she saw several reporters with their big cameras running toward her or, more like, toward the one who made her fall. She heard them chanting Marcella Williams as though they were chanting a prayer to God. She looked over her shoulder and saw Marcella Williamss back figure. Three big men surrounded Marcella. She assumed they were her personal bodyguards since they wore a uniform with FSS printed on them. "Now, those reporters won get to hear Marcella speak."
As soon as she stood up, the taxi arrived. Kathrina opened the door and immediately made herself comfortable in the backseat. "Centre Palace Apartments, please."
The driver gave her an okay, and they enjoyed the ride in silence. It would take at least thirty minutes to get there; in the meantime, she spent her time gazing through the car window. The sound of cars buzzing was almost like a piece of music to her. She liked it when the city was extra busy; it showed the life signs of humans. She didn know when, but one day she was suddenly addicted to the lively sound of the cars.
"We are here, Miss." The driver informed her while staring at her through the rear mirror.
"Oh, thank you."
Kathrina handed the cash to the driver, then left the car. She walked slowly until she saw that the elevator door was about to close.
"Wait!" Kathrina ran towards the elevator as fast as she could. Fortunately, she made it. She was panting so hard. She touched the left side of her chest and felt her heart pounding fast. "Thank you," she uttered with a heavy breath.
"Which floor?" The man before her asked with a low voice.
For a while, Kathrina was stunned due to the mans voice. It beautifully pierced her ear. She wished her voice had this kind of effect, but no one said she had a pleasant voice. She eyed the mans back, thinking about what he looked like.
The man pressed the number twenty, followed by twenty-five. Later on, the man got out of the elevator without saying anything.
Kathrina walked to her unit without energy left. She unlocked her unit and then said, "Im home."
The silence was the answer to her words, as usual. She took the television remote and turned the television. She increased the volume till it managed to fill her whole unit. Then, she threw her body on the couch. It didn take long for her to fall asleep. After all, her body had been begging her to rest since yesterday.
The sun fell while the moon rose to the sky. The city was still as busy as in the daytime. Some people spent their time wandering at night, and others, like Kathrina, had already rested their bodies to face another challenging day tomorrow.
An alarm sound rang frantically in the living room. It made Kathrina wake up in shock. She threw her alarm clock to the floor, and finally, it met its end. Kathrina was still lying on her couch lazily. She was counting to ten in her head while yawning. If she suddenly went back to sleep again, it was a sign for her to forget about bathing, but if not, she had to wash her sticky body. Sadly, she was wide awake even before reaching number ten.
She stood up from the couch, stretched her body for five solid minutes, and then marched toward her bathroom. She cast a glance at the bathtub. Her rational mind was screaming at her to choose the shower, but her crazy side wanted to try the bathtub. In the end, her crazy side won.
She waited for the warm water to fill the bathtub while undressing herself. She looked at her reflection, thinking about the reason for her fear of the bathtub and several other things, which she found pretty absurd. She didn remember herself being a chicken. She recalled that she had fainted while trying to face her fear, but it happened a few years back, so maybe this time, the effect won be as extreme as before.
Kathrina turned her body towards the bathtub; she pondered her choice. She was in a daze as the water spilled from the tub and touched her feet. She tapped the button to stop the flow of the water, and after that, she went in.
About two minutes passed, and Kathrina started to experience the effect as her breath became heavier. She tried to hold in for another minute. However, her body kept rejecting her effort. She had difficulty breathing, her body felt weak, and her head was dizzy. She shook her head left and right to fight the dizziness. It would pass; she believed it. She wasn a coward.
Kathrinas consciousness started to fade. Her eyes couldn take a single view of her surroundings; everything moved endlessly. She tried to free herself from the pain. She got out of the bathtub using all the strength she had left.
"Oh, God…" Panting, she lay naked on the floor, watching the white ceiling of her bathroom. She almost died, and all because of a damn bathtub. She wanted to laugh it out; in contrast, she curled her body in a fetal position and cried her heart out.