He was like a brother. Actually he was closer to me than my brother. He was my best friend. We share every secret, every story. And that’s why he came to me on that fateful evening with a startling revelation that turned my world upside down and re-invented out friendship.
(I know I promised to use this blog to write about light and funny stuff, nothing too serious, but I have had this on my mind for some time and I want to share it with you as my way of getting it out. Don’t worry, I’ll be back with the fun blogs, humor me).
My best friend showed up at my house, which is nothing unusual. Unfortunately, what he had to reveal was not only unusual but unprecedented. He had killed someone in a fight the night before! Aghast, shocked and unsure of what to do next, I allowed him to steer me into agreeing to be somewhat of a cover for him. He wanted me to hold on to the clothing he was wearing when he committed the crime and other personal belongings which would later be exhibits. I was still stunned and my allegiance to my best friend was foremost in my mind. No thought was given to the victim who was only 17. I promised my friend not to breathe a word to anyone but I did. Did I ever!
For two days I gave him updates on the news and whether the cops had any suspects. My sense of right and wrong and my moral obligation was now slowly kicking in. It was starting to over shadow my bff responsibility. I tried to get him to turn himself in, promising to go with him and be supportive through it all. I even gave him an explanation that would excuse his failure to report the crime. He would have none of it so I did it for him.
I went to the police. I told them everything. The interrogation was scary as I was placed in a tiny locked holding room alone for a long time as a ruse to scare every bit of information out of me. They didn’t have to. I was there to sing like a bird, squeal like a pig and whatever sound a rat make.
My friend was arrested and charged based on my information. I had to sit in the courtroom and testify against him. It was hard. Does he hate me? I don’t know. He calls me from the pen regularly and we talk like old times. I am not sure if he harbors any ill feelings towards me. I have asked myself if I would do it again and the answer is always yes. I would do it even if it was my son. Why? Not only because it is the right thing to do but I would be grateful if someone did the same for me if I ever found myself losing a loved one by the hands of a coward. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do and I hope it remains the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
Now, would you have done it? Do you think I did the right thing? It’s harder than it sounds. I have no doubt in my mind that if the situation was reversed, my friend would have covered for me. It’s called conscience and some of us have lots and some have little.
There. Now that wasn’t so painful was it? I just had to get that out of my system even though it’s something that will haunt me for the rest of my life but not as much as it would have haunted me if I had kept my mouth shut.
Next blog: Picking Up The Soap In Jail