Mr. Criminal

It was a thunderous night when Joshua Dickens was busy working in a hotel room he had recently rented. The lightening flashed as the rain drops continued racing each other. One by one the clouds emptied their stomachs and soon there was nothing in the sky but a ray of sunlight signaling it’s upcoming arrival.

As the sun rose, Joshua sighed thinking about his last two sleepless nights. It had been tiring and so exhausting that all Joshua wanted was to do was run away and start over.  

He closed his laptop to get ready and headed for work. The rain left its footprints on his car window from last night. As he entered the work lobby, his boss was sitting there, waiting. Waiting for what Joshua had to say 

“Sir Rick, I have done what you had asked me to do so. It’s all done!”  

When Rick asked for the proof, Joshua handed some files and paper work which he got printed. Rick scanned the papers through his eyes with complete focus. An evil smile, yet a calm one seemed to appear on the boss’s face. Joshua asked for his money and received 2 bags full of cash. He was free. He would no more be accused of a criminal. 
Joshua drove back to his family, knowing the cash was with him. Before he reached home, he dropped off the money outside a crooked old house. After rechecking the address he had noted down in his diary, he was sure he dropped it at the correct address and drove towards his own house. His two day stay at the hotel was over.

As he parked his car into his driveway, the feeling of gulitiness burdened him. He hated that he’d have to live the rest of the life lieing to his family. He just had no choice. It was either lying or being accused as a criminal and maybe never getting to see his family again. He was sure lying was the better option. Who would choose prison anyway? 

He walked inside the house when he saw his 9 year old son, Jamie running towards him. 

“Dad! Dad! You’re back!”

Joshua acted as he was no where but on a road trip with his friends during these 2 days. The smile on his wife’s face guilted Joshua even more because he was living a lie. So would he the rest of his life.

Later during the night, Joshua lay in bed wondering why? Why did he do this? Why did he go out and get drunk a couple months back? Sure his dad had passed away but that was no excuse. That night he got drunk and some thing happened… Some thing really bad. Joshua had killed a child. He had killed an innocent little boy. He was drunk and out of control, and so he just did this. He didn’t know why. He didn’t know how. He didn’t even remember doing it. It was just the very next day, an old man came to Joshua and showed him a tape and threatened to reveal it. The tape showed how Joshua took a knife and stabbed the little boy quite a lot of times. The only way the old man would not reveal the tape was if Joshua could come up with 50k dollars in two days. Joshua got this money by selling drugs to people for his boss. 

As much as Joshua tried to forget this incident while he tried to sleep, he couldn’t. Flashbacks of the tape played in his mind again and again until his face started burning up. He got up and just stood still. He was the only one awake in the house. He tried thinking of what to do. He was just too guilty to live life like a normal person. But he just did not want to disappoint his wife and kid. 

He decided he had to tell them. He woke his wife and dictated the whole story. His wife was completely in shock and looked at him in horror. The next thing Joshua knew was that his wife was calling the police. 

“I’m sorry! Please don’t do this! I didn’t mean it. Just let me talk to my son, Jane!”                                                     Joshua pleaded.

Jane responded with a slap. She just slapped him and cried. Soon the police sirens got louder and louder until they banged the door loudly downstairs. Jane was quick to let them in. Joshua looked down in disappointment and watched his son watch his dad get arrested. 

It was all over, thought Joshua. His life was over, his family was over, even he himself was over. While the police were busy tieing Joshua’s hands, he saw Jane telling Jamie about what he had done. Ashamed, Joshua thought what his son would think of him now. His criminal dad?

While the police dragged Joshua into the police car, he saw Jamie running towards him 

“Daddy! I still love you. It’s okay. 20 years later, I’ll still be waiting”

Joshua’s heart softened. He still had someone. He hadn’t lost everything. He had someone to look forward to once he would be released. He smiled as he drove off with the police. His son hadn’t completely abandoned him. 

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