Her Confession, an Excerpt
By Yaamini Jois
Just when you think you’ve caught the criminal of the biggest case in your town, a meddlesome young police officer is there to foil your plans. Maybe he’s right, but what are you to do?
It was my thirteenth day on the job as a police officer. I had spent almost a year in training, and I was a well-respected man. I was in peak physical condition and trained for all kinds of situations. There should have been nothing that I couldn’t handle.
And there wasn’t—not until the day I was assigned an interrogation. My very first interrogation.
A young girl stood in the dark room. It was quite peculiar: she contrasted the background. She had light blond hair and piercing blue eyes. She was quite tall. She couldn’t have been older than twenty, though her wrinkles and tired demeanor made me think otherwise. She hung her head.
I stood outside the door, watching her from the window to my right. I didn’t dare walk in, though I didn’t know what stopped me.
“Who’re you waiting for?”
I snapped out of my daze and turned around to face the deputy sheriff. He stood on the other end of the dimly lit hallway, his hands crossed over his chest, leaning on the doorframe.
“Waiting for someone to tell you how to do your job, kid?” He chuckled. “Get in there and do what I asked you to.”
“Sorry, sir,” I replied, “I was about to go in.”
I grasped the door handle and walked in. At the sound of my entrance, the girl jumped sharply and stared at me, suddenly aware of her surroundings.
“I—I’m sorry,” I said, “I didn’t mean to startle you . . . could you please take a seat?” I gestured at the chair closest to her.
I felt pathetic. I was a police officer, not an amateur detective. I’d been training to face worse criminals and now I was saying please and sorry to a girl who wasn’t even speaking to me.
The girl still stood in front of me as I drew the chair in front of me and sat down.
I pulled the chair in front of me. The girl stood perfectly still, her eyes now focused on me. Her lips were a thin line, her expression unreadable. I hadn’t understood the term “pin drop silence” until this moment. I sat, transfixed as my mind went blank. None of my training had prepared me for the state I had gone into.
A moment later, she drew the chair out and sat down in one motion. I instantly snapped back out of my transfixion.
I noticed a delicate ring on her right hand. It was intricate, unique, and . . . I had surely seen it somewhere.
Before I could think, she broke the deafening silence that had settled in the room.
“What do you want from me?” she asked as she leaned in, her voice a faint whisper.
“I—I’m sorry?” I said, my mouth dry, my voice a bare croak. “I just wanted to talk to you, that’s all.”
“That’s not true,” she said coldly. “You want my confession, don’t you?”
Her voice was clear. She scared me. In all of my bravado, I couldn’t bring myself until this moment to realize just how scared I was of this frail girl.
“It’s nothing like that,” I said, shocked. “See, I don’t even know—”
“I did it,” she cut me off. “It was me. I admit it.”
“What?” I said. “No, you don’t have to do that, what are you even confessing to?”
“What I was brought in for,” she said. “My husband’s murder. It was me.”
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I stared at the girl, my mouth gaping. I knew what I was told to do, I knew why she was there, and I knew that I didn’t want to be sitting in this cold, dark room talking to this strange girl. But I didn’t expect her to confess. It didn’t feel right. It didn’t feel like the truth. I had only just registered what she had just said when I heard the door open. I couldn’t stop remembering the ring on the girl’s right hand. She wasn’t guilty, and I knew it instinctively.
The deputy sheriff stood in front of us, grinning widely.
“Nicely done, kid.”
“No—wait, I haven’t gotten to talk to her yet,” I started, but he held a finger up.
“No need, kid!” he said, shifting his focus on the girl. “She,” he said, now pointing at the girl, “just gave me the confession I needed.”
I stood up, facing him.
“Surely, you can’t be serious? That was no confession.”
“It’s all I needed,” he said. “I don’t need the details. What I need is to finish my job, but she’s already done that for me!”
I looked at the girl next to me. She wore the same expression as she had since I entered the room.
“The girl spoke, the girl spoke!” the sheriff said, chuckling. “Isn’t that all that matters? She fessed up to the crime. Guilt got to her faster than we did. Don’t worry, boy, you’ve done your job!”
He ushered me out of the room without giving me a chance to say goodbye to the girl. The girl did not look at me as I left.
I started this piece two years ago, the day before I started school. I remember there had been a power outage, so I sat in the dark, writing whatever came to mind on an offline Google Doc. I left the story halfway finished and came back to it a few weeks ago to rework it. This is a short excerpt of the longform piece that will be my finished story!
Yaamini Jois is a junior from Texas who loves reading and writing. She once read 272 books in a year, which is proudly one of her biggest accomplishments and is currently a staff writer for her school’s newspaper. She likes to go walking with her german shepherd puppy and explore boba shops with her friends in her free time.