The Truth Would Help

Detective Richardson was in his office, smoking a cigar and looking out of his window, deep in thought. He was expecting Shelia this morning and he hoped Jimmy would also show up on his own accord without his having to return to the cab company. Richardson didn’t like having to ask someone to do something twice. Let alone once. If he had to ask a third time it generally became a demand. If they didn’t show up, he would send a patrol car to bring both of them in, wearing handcuffs.

Judge Washington had made it clear to Richardson during their meeting that she expected his department to have this case closed sooner than later. She didn’t appreciate that he hadn’t gotten “Any damn thing done yet” and that no one was arrested, and “What the hell have you been doing all of this time?” He gave his report in between her rants. He totally understood. Well. Had empathy about the situation. And it seemed to help her feel better, having someone to vent her anger and frustration on regarding the loss of her only child. As a judge he was sure the thoughts of justice being served played a big part in her need for him to close this case. So, he didn’t take it personally. She was Smooth’s mother. He was the Detective in charge of the case.

When he returned to his office, he went over the information that was collected thus far and eliminated the people who had alibis during the time of Smooth’s death. Richardson had narrowed the suspects down to Shelia and Jimmy. Jimmy more so than Shelia. His investigation found that Jimmy was the cab driver that was seen arguing with Smooth in front of the Colony Club. He owned a registered gun that was the same type that killed Smooth. He had an ex-wife and daughter in the same city that he didn’t seem to have any contact with, and the girl in the picture with Shelia’s daughters just happened to be Jimmy’s daughter. And of course, he’s a boarder in the house of one of the women who slept with Smooth.

Shelia also saw Smooth on the day of his death. Although she claimed she didn’t have a real relationship with Smooth, the witnesses said otherwise. Her call records also showed long talks at night with him and early mornings too. Maybe Smooth made a play for one of her daughters. Shelia seemed to be the type of woman that would hurt a brother really bad if caught messing with her daughters. Bad enough to commit murder. Although the evidence pointed to her as a suspect, Richardson didn’t feel it in his bones that she did it. Or maybe he hoped she didn’t do it. Either way, she was a suspect so needed to be questioned. Again.

A taxi pulled up into the parking lot and he wondered if it was Jimmy driving it. The driver parked the car and sat for a few minutes. Finally, the door opened, and Jimmy got out of the cab, stretched, and then walked to the passenger side of the car and opened the door. “Oh, he better not be just dropping off a cab fare.”

“What did you say?” Richardson was startled by Sergeant Holland who had entered his office. He turned away from the window and walked to his desk.

“Just talking out loud that’s all. What you need?” Richardson sat on his desk.

“Got this report for you, like you asked. It seems that there is a connection between them after all. Your hunch was correct. What do you want us to do?”  Holland handed the folder to Richardson who skimmed through it.

“I’ll let you know as soon as I do.” Richardson got up to look out the window. Good. The cab was still parked so Jimmy must have been coming to see him. One down and one to go. He went back to his desk to wait for the clerk to alert him that he had a visitor. When the phone rang it was the clerk saying that he had two visitors that were on their way into his office.

The door opened and Shelia and Jimmy walked into the room. Richardson stood and came around the front of the desk, offering Shelia a seat.

“Sir I need you to wait for me in another room. Sergeant Holland, would you escort Mr. Jimmy to room three please?” Richardson nodded to Holland.

“Look, I got a business to run. How long is this going to take?” Jimmy sounded frustrated.

“Not long sir. I’ll be right with you. Thank you for coming. I know how busy you are, and I appreciate it. Holland.” Richardson nodded to Holland again.

“Follow me Sir. Right this way.” Holland led Jimmy out of Richardson’s office and towards room number three. Jimmy glared at Richardson and followed Holland.

“Thank you, Miss Shelia, for meeting with me again.” Richardson sat at his desk.

“I hope this is the last time. What more do you want from me?” Shelia took out a cigarette and Richardson quickly lit it for her. She took a long drag and blew it out towards the floor.

“The truth would help.”

“What truth?”

“The truth about your relationship with Smooth. And before you lie again, I have both of your phone logs and I know that you and Smooth talked every night and every morning during the weekdays and weekends too. That’s more than a casual fling. That’s a relationship in most people’s book.” Richardson leaned back in his chair.

“I don’t read most people’s books. So, what if it was? That doesn’t make me a killer.” Shelia took another long drag from her cigarette.

“No. But it does make you a liar. So why did you hide your relationship from me? And the fact that you two were so close to one another?”

“Look. We had a special bond, alright. That’s not a crime. I didn’t kill the man. I loved our relationship.”

“Even when he cheated on you with other women?”

“He didn’t cheat on me. We had an open relationship. I just didn’t indulge in other men. I told you. I have girls to worry about. Besides, he didn’t care about those hoes. They were just a way to a means. Money. That’s all they were to him and me.”

“You? What do you mean?” Richardson sat straighter in his chair.

“I mean, the money they made supplied my needs. That’s what I mean. Why would I be jealous of that situation?’

“What if I told you that some of those hoes, as you call them, happen to be young girls?”

“Smooth didn’t fool with babies.”

“No. He may not have fooled with them, but he did have them stealing clothes for him to sell. And he did have an incident with a young girl that’s well known in the community. Got a knife put to his throat for it. And of course, he also had an argument with Mr. Jimmy, who you rent a room to in your home. And I believe his daughter, that you know, was one of the girls that Smooth used for profit.” Richardson watched Shelia’s expression closely.

“Daughter, what daughter are you talking about? Jimmy has a daughter?” Shelia crushed her cigarette out in the ashtray on the desk.

“Yes. Annie is his daughter.”

“You mean Sara’s best friend Annie? No!” Shelia shook her head in disbelief.

“That’s the one. Annie. You didn’t know he had a family. Well, he has an ex-wife and a daughter. And his daughter was involved with Smooth. Which means your daughters might have been involved with him too. And maybe you found out about it and that’s why you killed your lover.”

Shelia continued to look at Richardson in total disbelief. Her features slowly went from that look to a look of pure anger. She stood up and leaned on the desk to put her face almost in Richardson’s face. “I don’t know what the hell you are trying to pull but you keep my daughters out of this shit, you hear me! I don’t know a damn thing about Jimmy and his family. But you can believe I’m gonna find out! Are we done?”

Richardson stood up from his desk, walked to the door and opened it for Shelia. “You can go now.” Shelia stormed out the door. Once again, as she walked out of the building all eyes were on her backside.

“Holland. Give me a few minutes and then bring in Jimmy.” Richardson shut his door and thought about the interaction he had with Shelia. He still didn’t think she was the killer, but he didn’t cross her off of the list. Yet.