The Honest Truth (Short Story)

Do you really want to hear all about it? Well, if that’s true, I’ll start by saying that I was duped. Plain and simple. I trusted him and that was probably my biggest mistake. That and leaving my hometown for a shot at something better than I had there.

My mum once told me believe in yourself and everything is possible. What a load of crap. But when I was younger I took everything she told me as gospel. Ha! How ironic right?

I took off for the city to follow my dreams. I thought that if I truly believed I could become a famous actress then it would be so.

I stayed with my cousin Pete when I first moved; a strange fella, that Pete, but I needed a place to stay until I found work.

He met me at the train station and as we walked back to his flat he laid down the ground rules. I was to leave his stuff alone and clean up after myself. He wouldn’t charge me to live there. Fair enough.

My first night there Pete took me to the Black Bear Pub and that’s when my life changed. We sat at a high top. The smoky pub was small, loud and crowded. Through the veil of smoke, I spotted him. I swear it was only a matter of minutes before he came over to our table.

Martin asked Pete if he was going to introduce him to the “pretty bird” sitting at his table. Pete rolled his eyes and told him I was just his cousin. He rolled his eyes! So after he introduced us Pete pretty much disappeared. I guess he thought we might want some “alone time”.

Martin was good looking and smart too. I swear he looked like he stepped out of a Ralph Lauren catalog!

We spent the next hour or so talking and for me it was love at first sight. We talked about where we came from, how we got there, our dreams; the kind of stuff you talk about on a first date or something. I know is sounds pretty corny but this is how you get to know people, right? I guess looking back I was really wrong.

About a month after we started dating Martin suggested I move in with him. We did spend most of our time together and he claimed to have contacts in theatre. Maybe he could help me get a job.

It sounded like a good idea to me. Plus it would get me from under weird Pete’s roof. I mean Pete isn’t a bad bloke at all. But I always felt I was the unwanted guest. Mum convinced him to take me in. I’m sure it didn’t sit that well with him at all.

Besides I was in love with Martin and it was all too exciting. The start of a new life with a wonderful guy.

The next few months were bliss. Martin didn’t disappoint. He got me a job at the theatre as an understudy in Merry Wives of Windsor; a Shakespeare play! Can you believe it? I was in a Shakespeare play! Okay so I was an understudy but I knew one day I’d be out there on the stage in front of a packed house.

Every day Martin brought me flowers or gifts. He cooked all the meals for us too and when we went out, it was always on him. I couldn’t believe my luck. I found my “prince charming.”

One evening we went out for dinner. He took me to my favourite Indian place Little Bombay. After dinner, we were walking back to the tube station when Martin’s mobile rang. I couldn’t really hear the conversation but when he hung up he told me he needed to take care of some quick business and did I mind coming along. Big mistake.

He flagged down a cab that took us to a pretty creepy area of town. The cabbie dropped us off in front of this old run down building. I remember the air smelled really bad. Like stale beer mixed with piss; something like that. Martin paid the driver who took off really fast. I didn’t wonder why he just didn’t hold the cab for us. It never really crossed my mind at that point.

It turns out his “quick business” was picking up drugs from a dealer to give to a client. He was a drug runner! I had no idea.

We stood outside the building for hours. Well it wasn’t that long but time did seem to creep by. Finally this guy walked toward us who Martin waved at. I started to feel nauseas. But I figured Martin knew what he was doing.

And this is where it all falls apart. You see the so-called dealer was really a cop. As the man pulled out his badge, Martin shot him and took off running. All I did was stand there staring at the man on the ground; blood coming out of his neck. It was horrifying.

I heard a woman scream and the next thing I saw were two men running towards me. They pulled out their guns and I really thought they were going to shoot me. I was frozen. I mean I couldn’t move an inch. My heart beat so fast I thought it was going to jump out of my chest. I felt dizzy and my ears began to ring. Everything was happening way too fast.

As the men got closer I saw they were police. I felt relieved at first until one of them told me not to make a move. He yelled at me to drop to my knees, which I did. One of them was calling on his radio for help.

I knelt there on the ground staring at the dead man. I realized that Martin was nowhere in sight so I started telling the cops that he had run off. I pointed in the direction where I saw him last but all they told me to shut up.

One of them grabbed my hands behind my back and slapped on a pair of handcuffs. This couldn’t be happening. He jerked me up to my feet and started patting his hands all over my body trying to find who knows what. Then he half dragged me to a squad car that pulled up at some point. I don’t recall when the others appeared but I do remember seeing flashing lights.

As he pushed me into the car, I hit my head on the doorframe. Damn! That hurt. I sat on the vinyl, cracked seat covered in who knows what with so many thoughts running through my mind. I think I was in shock.

All of a sudden I couldn’t swallow. But there was nothing to swallow at all. My throat and mouth were so dry and felt numb. I started to gag and fought back tears. But I lost that round. Once I began crying I thought I was never going to stop. I wanted my mum. I wanted to be back home.

The driver kept telling me to stop crying and to shut up. And the ride to the police station seemed endless. It was as if time literally stopped. We finally arrived and I was yanked out of the car and pushed up the steps to the station door.

I won’t bore you with the sordid details of the booking process. Let’s just leave it as any shred of dignity I had was stripped with my clothes. It was totally humiliating. After the papers were filed, my mug shot taken along with my prints I was taken to a holding cell; much larger than the one we’re in now.

I sat in the cold, damp room thinking about Martin and how he left me there to be arrested as an accomplice to murder. So here I sit in prison while he’s out there somewhere free.

Father, you asked if I had anything to confess. Well since I believe god is a fairytale I don’t believe in confession. I am sorry you wasted your time but thanks for listening.