Detective Janice Scott entered Monica’s hospital room and immediately began drilling for oil. She questioned Monica about why she went to the bar, what did she drink, who did she talk to, why did she leave, and why did she take the route she did. Monica began to feel alone and violated all over again. She sat silently to try to collect herself. Before answering the plethora of questions, she had one of her own. “Who attacked me?”
With a smug look, the detective responded, “Let’s get the facts first.”
Since it was only Monica and the detective, Monica felt a need to have someone neutral in the room – at least as a witness just in case. She buzzed for the nurse. When the nurse arrived, so did Detective Scott’s partner Detective Al Munson.
“Now that the gang’s all here, can we get some answers?”, Detective Scott said in a huff.
The nurse gave a harsh look, and then turned towards Monica to ask what was needed. Monica couldn’t really tell her the exact reasoning, but instead told her that she needed help getting comfortable. Somehow, the nurse picked up on the cue, and took her time adjusting the pillows and bedding.
The interrogation began shortly after, and Monica finally broke down to give her accounting of the events. She described the makeshift pathway that she traveled and the feeling of someone’s forearm around her neck bringing her backwards and down on the ground. She recalled it being dark, and that she fought back as much as she could until she was knocked out.
She wasn’t sure who had attacked her. She rummaged through her mind to the individuals she spoke to in the bar. The only one that stood out was the guy that asked to escort her home. She didn’t know his name or whether he was a local or student. She gave a description of what he looked like, but based on the looks Scott and Munson gave each other, Monica felt that obviously he must not be the right one.
Pausing for a moment, Monica racked her brain again to think if it would be anyone else at the bar. Still nothing. Then she recalled a comment Chay made to her months ago about turning her “no” into a “yes”. Monica gasped, and then covered her mouth. The detectives and nurse looked at her in puzzlement.
“What’s wrong Ms. Wilfred?”, Munson questioned.
“Nothing. Do you have the person that attacked me in custody?”, Monica asked.
“We do have a suspect, but we need you to identify him. Are you up to coming to the station to view a line-up?”, Munson responded.
“She’s not well enough to be released yet.”, the nurse interjected.
“We’ll, let the doctor decide that.” Scott remarked in a smart-aleck tone.
With the same venom, the nurse said, “I’m sure he will agree with me, but could you gather a sketch or show her some pictures instead?”
“We’ll see what we can do?” Munson said in a neutral tone.
The detectives turned towards the door to exit, but not before vowing to stay in touch. The knot in Monica’s stomach started to unravel as the source of her stress left her presence. The nurse was sympathetic and tried to help Monica regain an ounce of peace by way of her IV.
After the nurse left, Monica thought about her revelation that Chay tried to rape her. She felt vulnerable and stupid because she thought he was a nice guy. And while she continued to chastise herself for walking alone and not being a better judge of character, she finally drifted off to sleep.
The next morning, the detectives returned. This time they had pictures of the suspect and decoys from the line-up. As Monica sifted through the pictures, no one looked familiar. That is, until she came to the last photo. It was the student library assistant, Aaron. She didn’t know his last name, but in this moment it didn’t matter. What mattered was that he was possibility the individual who attacked her. She stared at the picture, and then leaned back in her bed to recall that night. It could have been him, but why.
Monica thought about all the times she went to the library and how he never acted out of place. They only shared small chit-chat when she needed help finding something. Other than that, they had no interaction. She shared her recollections with the detectives, and off they went.
Later that afternoon, Monica had an unexpected visitor. It was Chay with a bright bouquet of flowers and a teddy bear. Monica was baffled on how he knew she was in the hospital. Chay confessed that he saw the attack on the pathway, and intervened. He didn’t know she was the one being attacked until after the fact. He tried to see her when she first entered the hospital, but was not allowed since he was not a family member and under the circumstances. Monica shed a tear. She felt guilty that she had inwardly accused this man of harming her only to find out that he was her hero.
As they sat and talked, Chay told Monica that he made a statement to the police, identifying the attacker as the guy that worked in the school library. Chay also vowed to serve as a witness on her behalf. He then placed his hand atop of hers saying, “I’m here for you.” In that moment, as they locked eyes, so did their hearts. And from then on, the two would be near inseparable.
XOXO, Melanie Dawnn
Photo: Plenty of Cheddar
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