Black Crime Suspense


“ Peter, please, I recommend you, the file on George’s crime must be ready by tonight. You should have already found time to fill it out. If you haven’t done it, get busy. Look, you have to go and see Mr. Gilles and try to calm him down, reassure him. He phoned me all agitated”

“All right Paul,” I say, getting ready to go out. “ One moment, Peter,” my chief ( boss) says, looking around and beckoning me to come closer. “ While you are at it, try to keep Mary calm too. She is bombarding me with phone calls and questions. “ Mary is Paul’s wife. She is very apprehensive and jealous and…she is right about it since Peter is always involved in love affairs with women who are not his wife.

Paul and I were university mates and we studied often together to prepare for exams. We both graduated with honors. As a law student, I was no less brilliant than Paul even though he has always been a role model for me. He was always at ease in any situation, self-confided, and not intimidated by anyone, while I was rather awkward, I have a tendency to stay aloof. He was always well dressed and with fashionable clothes, also signed….of course, since he came from a wealthy family. He traveled and went skiing in winter. He played sports and was a basketball champion. I, who come from I modest family, had to be content with wearing what happened and I couldn’t go on trips or ski holidays. As for sports I certainly didn’t have the physique, above all the height, to play basketball.

During my university days, I had big plans for my future. I would have liked to become a magistrate or even a great lawyer, a prince of the court like my friend Paul Brown. I dreamed and wanted a social ascent. When Paul opened his law firm ( studio) after graduation I was among the first to enter it.  I thought that, given the studies in which I had been excellent and my friendship with Paul, I would lead the study with him, that I would be on the same level as him. But soon I had to realize that Paul was relegating me to the role of his assistant. Assistant handyman, to tell the truth, since I also have to deal with invoices and payments. At first, I was not a little embittered by this decision of Paul ____the studio belonged to him, and the decision on how to run it was by him ____It seemed to me that Paul not only didn’t recognize my value as a lawyer but that he wasn’t my friend either. Only over time, despite everything, did I understand that if he relegated me to the role of an assistant he did it precisely because he has strong faith in me and he really appreciates me. Sure, maybe he did it also because he wants to be alone in the foreground, not having anyone to share his success with. Success to which I contribute decisively, by working hard. Of course, mine is a job ( work?) that always remains in the background, for which no merits are recognized by me. But even worse because it remains obscure, no one recognizes it’s me doing it.  My work and my effort pass as if were made by Paul. However, this tiring and thankless job of mine has its interesting aspects. Among my many tasks the most satisfying, if very demanding, involves the research, the investigations of the crime for which Paul’s clients are accused. Sometimes these investigations reserve unimaginable surprises. Like when I discovered that the grieving widow of the man whose murder Paul’s client was accused of had been the one to hire him as a killer to kill his husband. Or like when research led me to the discovery that the pedophile who had kidnapped and killed a child, a crime of which the neighbor had been accused, was instead the child’s uncle.

It is clear that everything I discover I have to bring, to serve Paul. But when I discover it, before reporting it to him, the discovery is mine alone and this gives me great satisfaction.

Paul is a criminal lawyer and often defends people accused of murder. Thanks to his undisputed skills he always manages to acquit everyone, both the innocent and the guilty. On this, I don’t agree with him at all. In my opinion, Paul should worry about acquitting only the innocent. This behavior of his makes me think that Paul only cares about winning cases and doesn’t care about ascertaining the truth, it makes him appear to me as a man who wants success at all costs and who has no moral scruples. Even the way he behaves with his wife Mary afflicts me and also makes me feel guilty because Paul delegates to me the task of keeping her wife quiet. So I always have to make, that is to invent, excuses for his being late and for his forgetting, while Paul is having fun with his current lover. Sometimes I’m tempted to reveal to Mary that Paul is cheating on her and counting on me to keep her quiet and cover him, but then I give up and continue to hold on to him, that this too is part of my duties, of my job I can say. The fact is that Mary, to whom I continue to lie on Paul’s behalf also pities me. She deserves a better husband than Paul. And I think that sooner or later she will find out about her husband’s infidelity.

“ So, were you able to calm Mary down?” My …boss asks me. “ Yes, now all right,” I say, nodding with nonchalance. “ What did you say to her?” he asks. “ I told her a lie, as always,” I say reluctantly.” I talk to her about a closing argument you are working on and that commits you a lot” I say, giving him a sidelong glance. As if I didn’t know that it is me who prepares his speeches, the ones for which only he receives applause and admiration. Preparing his speeches and above all the closing arguments that he holds in the courtroom during the trials is a task that on the one hand gratified me ____what beautiful speeches I was able to prepare for him! ___and on the other it makes me regret because I prepare the speeches but then it is Paul the one who pronounced them and takes the credits for them.

The trial of Mr. Tibbs accused of the murder of his wife _____the man is guilty but the great lawyer Paul Brown will find a way to get him acquitted ____ was about to begin when Paul was killed by his wife during a violent quarrel. Mary resorted to a private investigator and thus learned of her husband’s betrayals.

Following Paul’s death I assumed the defense of Mr. Tibbs in his life-murder trial. But I’m not Paul and I couldn’t get him acquitted. To tell the truth, I didn’t even want him acquitted because  I know he was guilty.

I will assume Mary’s defense and even if she killed Paul I will fight for her to be acquitted.


April 28, 2023 08:47

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