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Confession

“You okay, buddy?”

“Yeah.”

“You sure? You’re breathing heavy.”

“I’m okay.”

“Good. Relax. It’ll go quicker that way. To start, I just need some basic information.”

“Basic?”

“Simple things.”

“Okay.”

“Let’s start with an easy one. What’s your name?”

“Roy.”

“Roy what?”

“Fromeir.”

“Well, Mr. Fromeir, how old are you?”

“16.”

“Go to school?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“Dunno. Just don’t.”

“Live alone?”

“No.”

“You live with your mother and your brother Bill, don’t you?”

“Yeah.”

“Good. Good. You’re doing fine. But now I need to ask some harder questions, okay? Can you handle that?”

“Yeah.”

“Good boy. Your brother Bill’s in some hot water, isn’t he? He’s been accused of something bad.”

“Accused?”

“He did something bad. To that little girl. Jennie Connor.”

“Oh.”

“To be frank, Mr. Fromier, I think you might know something about that. That’s why you’re here today. I think you have a story about Bill and that little girl.”

“I…”

“Don’t be shy.”

“I…”

“Relax. You aren’t in any trouble. Just answer me one question. Did you see Bill take Jennie into the woods?”

“I din’t see them.”

“Really?”

“I saw Jennie. Bill was home.”

“You say you saw Jennie go into the woods but Bill was at home?”

“Yeah.”

“Mr. Fromier, I find that a wee bit hard to believe. You know, we found Bill’s jacket in those woods. We found his jacket soaked in about a pint of blood. Jennie’s blood. We found her, too. Funny enough, she was just a few yards away. We took some pictures. Want to see?”

“Pictures?”

“Of the body. Want to see?”

“No.”

“No, I expect you don’t. They’re not pretty. But nevertheless they beg the question, what was Jennie’s blood doing on Bill’s jacket? And why do a dozen witnesses claim to have seen them leave together from the football game?”

“Witnesses?”

“Mr. Fromier, I know you followed them from the field. We have it on CCTV. So I ask you again. Did you see Bill take Jennie into the woods?”

“I…”

“Did you?”

“I din’t.”

“I think you’re lying.”

“Bill was home. We go together from football. Bill said take Jennie home.”

“You took Jennie?”

“It was cold. Bill said take Jennie and take my jacket. I said let’s go to the woods. Jennie said no. It made me mad. I pushed her. She hurt her head.”

“What?”

“I hid her in the woods. I was scared. I din’t want trouble. She woke up. She was mad and screaming so I hit her. I hit her so she shut up.”

“And the jacket?”

“Jacket?”

“Bill’s jacket.”

“I hid it.”

“Where?”

“Under my bed.”

“Christ, no, not under your bed.”

“…”

“Think! For once in your life, fucking think!”

“…”

“You hid it in the woods.”

“I hid it in the woods.”

“Yeah, don’t forget. It’s important.”

“Sorry.”

“When they ask for real, you have to remember. I’m sorry for yelling. I hate seeing you made a fool of is all.”

“I know, Bill.”

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