Lies Exposed 

Detective Richardson sat in his unmarked black police car, watching Sheila and Sara walking towards their house. Sheila was about three feet in front of Sara, walking fast, hips swinging from side to side. Sara seemed to be almost running to keep up with her mother, looking back over her shoulder every few steps as if someone were following them to their home. When they got to their front stoop, Shelia stopped abruptly, and Sara bumped into her backside because she was looking backwards.

“Girl! Look where you going!” Sheila shouted at Sara as she continued up the steps, looked in the mailbox, took out some mail, glanced through it then unlocked her front door and entered with Sara behind. The door closed with a solid shut. Richardson made a note in his notebook, snapped it shut and put his pencil in his upper coat pocket. He had been sitting here, about three houses down from Sheila’s for about forty-five minutes. As he went over his notes while waiting, he refreshed his memory.

One, Smooth was shot and murdered behind IGA’s. Two, there appeared to be no witnesses. Three, Smooth was seen with Sheila a few hours before his death and Sheila had lied about the last time she saw Smooth when he questioned her about it. Four, Judge Washington had given him permission to search her son’s room and he found a picture of Smooth and Shelia at a club. He also found a picture of the girl that had just walked into the house with Sheila. He assumed the girl was one of Sheila’s daughters. In the black and white polaroid picture, the girl was standing in the middle of two other girls in front of East High School. 

Richardson was here to ask Sheila questions about why she had lied to him about being with Smooth, but now, he would have to figure out how her daughter figured into the picture. She had been adamant about keeping her social life separate from her daughters, yet he found a picture of one of her daughters, could be two of them, in Smooth’s personal belongings. Very strange indeed. Well, he might as well get it started. Richardson got out of his car and walked up to Sheila’s door. He knocked three times. Waited. No answer. Three more knocks, louder this time. Waited. no answer. Three more knocks, now, police you better answer me knocks, and the door flung open.

“What the hell you knocking on my door for like the damn police!” Sheila stood in the doorway with a robe on and shower cap. “Oh, you are the damn police! What you want?” Shelia stepped outside on the porch, blocking her doorway.

“I’m sorry Ms. Sheila, I didn’t know you were taking a shower that soon.”

“And just what do you mean by taking a shower that soon? You been watching me?”

“No, I mean, I’ve been waiting for you. I need to speak with you again about Smooth’s death.”

“Oh, so you calling him Smooth now too, huh?”

“Would you like to speak out here in your robe or go inside your home?”

“Come in, make it quick.”

“How quick it is will depend on your cooperation.”

Sheila opened the door and went in ahead of Richardson, stopping about three feet in the house so that he had no choice but to stand in front of the closed door. She didn’t offer him a seat, rather crossed her arms and cocked her head to the side waiting on him to question her. Richardson cleared his throat and took out his notebook and pencil. He flipped through the notebook like he was reading the notes, when in fact he was really looking at the surroundings of the living room.

There was a flora printed sofa and matching loveseat. A large coffee table in the center of the room in front of the sofa. A large ashtray with a built-in lighter sat in the middle of the coffee table and an Ebony magazine. There was one cigarette butt in the ashtray with red lipstick on it and a pack of Kools cigarettes. Three TV guides were on the brown end table next to the loveseat. On the walls was artwork by Walt Neil, the young Black local artist of Ohio whose visual prints were popping up all over the city. There was a TV console that also had a record player in it taking up most of the far wall. The TV was off, but jazz music was playing softly on the radio. There was an entry way that probably led to the kitchen area. On one wall was a large, wood framed picture over the console of Sheila, a handsome Black man, and two girls about two and three years old. They looked very happy.

“Ms. Shelia, can you tell me again, when was the last time you saw Smooth?” Richardson had seen enough.

“I told you, a week or so before his death.”

“And where were you when you last saw him?”

“At the club.”

“What club.”

“The Colony Club.”

“And that was the day of his death, correct?”

“A week before his death.”

“No, the day of his death according to witnesses.”

Sheila, dropped her arms and went over to the coffee table, picked up the pack of Kools, shook one out, lit it and took a drag. She sat down on the sofa, crossing her right leg. Her bathrobe opened and exposed her thighs. She didn’t try to cover it back up. Richardson took a long look at her, keeping his eyes above her thighs, which was a hard task because she was a beautiful woman, even with that shower cap on, and repeated his question.

“And that was the day of his death, correct?”

“What was the day of his death?”

“Now Ms. Sheila, you said you wanted to make this quick. Playing word games will just prolong the questions.” 

“Asking the same questions will just prolong the answers.” Sheila took another drag of her cigarette.“Do you need another ride downtown? I’ll be happy to have you escorted there again. Free of charge, black and white service to the front door. Just say the word.”

“Listen, I tell you what, I’ll come down to the station in the morning, how about that?”

“How about you answer my questions now and save us both some time.”

“My daughter Sara is here. She came home sick from school early and is upstairs. I’ll talk with you in the morning. Or you can take me down there now if it’s so friggin’ important it can’t wait until then. I mean if you think I killed him.” 

“I just want to ask you some questions to clear up some information I received. But I tell you this, I know you saw Smooth a few hours before he was murdered so don’t even try to come up with another lie. I don’t have time for your jive. This is a murder case. Don’t get up. I’ll see myself out.”

Richardson flipped his notebook shut and turned to leave. As he was doing so, he saw Sara watching them from the entry way. She quickly ducked back out of his sight. Richardson thought about calling her and asking her about the picture he found but thought better of it and decided he would spring it on Sheila in the morning to see her reaction caught off guard.

“Be at the station before ten in the morning or I’ll send my boys to pick you up.”

“I said I’ll be there, didn’t I?” Sara crushed out her cigarette in the ashtray and stood up.

“You’ve said several things that aren’t true, haven’t you now. Later.” Richardson opened the door and walked out, shutting the door firmly behind him.