CREATIVE FICTION : Hope always perseveres by Sanjeev Shankar
“I would never do that. I’m telling you! I didn’t do it! You have to believe me, Officer Madhan!”
Surya pleaded to the police officer that cuffed his hands.
Officer Madhan roughly shoved him in the back of the squad car, ignoring his pleas. Surya dejectedly looked out the window, where he saw his son and daughter trying to break free of his wife’s grasp. Surya’s children kicked, screamed and cried, trying to wriggle away from his wife and come running to him.
Surya looked at them, mustered a smile and mouthed, “It’s going to be okay! Daddy just has to take care of a problem. I’ll be back before you know it.”
He looked up at his wife, who was sobbing as she held the kids as tightly as she could. He heard the car door slam shut as Officer Madhan got into the driver’s seat. Madhan gunned the engine and accelerated, leaving Surya’s family behind, still in shock at what had happened.
Officer Madhan’s partner, Officer Ashok, looked at Surya from the passenger seat, “You’re going to be behind bars for a long time, buddy.”
Surya looked up at him with teary eyes, “I told you, sir. I didn’t do it! I could never do it! If you think I could do something as horrible as this, then you are mistaken!”
“Yeah, right.” scoffed Officer Madhan and Ashok, “That’s what they all say. And they’re all liars. Face it. You committed it. There’s no running now.”
Surya looked at them despondently, knowing that he couldn’t convince them. But he didn’t do it though! Surya was an honest man, one who would never lay a hand on a fly.
“I wish I could somehow make them believe me,” he thought, “I didn’t kill that family!”
The rest of the ride was silent, the police driving to the station as quickly as possible. Surya was still in shock. One minute he was at home, watching a movie with his wife and kids, and the next, being dragged to the police car, accused of a murder he never committed. After what seemed like forever, they finally reached the police station. Officers Madhan and Ashok got out of the car and Ashok grabbed Surya. He was dragged inside the precinct forcibly and hurled into a jail cell. Surya stumbled from the force of the push Ashok had given him. He looked back just in time to see the jail cell close with a metallic clang. Surya looked around his new accommodations, taking it in. There was a bed on the right, that probably felt like sleeping on literal stone. There was also a toilet on the left, which was next to a sink to wash his hands. Surya flopped down on the bed, confused about his predicament.
“What’s even going to happen to me?” thought Surya sadly. “If they say I committed the murder, they’re going to put me away forever! I’ll never be able to hold my kids again.”
Surya buried his head in his hands, trying to contain his anger, frustration, and grief. He heard the buzz of police conversation outside of his jail cell. He could only assume what they were talking about. Surya laid down on the bed, trying to sleep and get away from all that has been happening to him. Eventually, after a very long time of hearing them talk, he fell asleep, able to get away from all the things that were tormenting him. Surya slept very poorly and woke up earlier than he normally did. Immediately after waking up, he was flooded with the confusion he had from yesterday. Just as Surya was about to sink back into his grief, he stood up straight as the image of his family came to his mind. Surya closed his eyes and shook his head, opening them with a new resolve.
“NO!” he thought, “I’m not going to sink into grief. I will get back to my family. If I have hope, I’ll be out of this place in no time.”
Surya thought over this and smiled. He had a mission now. Prove himself innocent and hold out hope that he would be able to go back to his family. Surya finally got the confusion and grief out of his mind, replacing them with hope and faith.
“What are you smiling about?” barked a voice outside of Surya’s cell. “You’re in prison for murder. What type of psychopath smiles after killing an entire family?”
Surya immediately dispelled the smile and looked at the person outside of his jail cell. It was another police officer, not Officers Madhan or Ashok. He was definitely older than both of them and had a big beard, which definitely added to how intimidating he was right now. Surya thought he might be able to convince the older gentleman he was innocent, so he tried.
“Sir, I know you think I committed the murder, but it wasn’t me. Check my record if you want, I have never hurt anyone. I knew that family and I liked them. I would never kill them.” Surya pleaded.
“You shut your mouth! They had more money than you. You worked as an electrician for them. You were there last night too. You obviously killed them for their money.” the officer retorted. “Anyways, it doesn’t even matter what you say. You are going to court today. Though you will be given a lawyer to prove that you are innocent I suppose. I don’t know why. They should just throw you in jail and forget about it.”
A lawyer! That was exactly what Surya needed! He could hopefully help explain that he didn’t commit the murder with the help of a lawyer. Surya wished that the lawyer he was given would be able to prove to the court that he had nothing to do with the murder. With the hope that the lawyer would be able to prove him innocent, Surya sat down on the bed and waited for the moment he could go to court. After fifteen minutes, he was given breakfast, which was pretty bland. But, Surya was hungry, so he wolfed the entire thing down. A few minutes after he finished his breakfast, Officer Ashok came to take him to court. While Officer Ashok was pushing Surya to the car, he could swear he heard him say “I’m sorry” and “What have we done?”. Surya was dragged outside and shoved into the back of the car in which he came in yesterday. He was joined by the older officer who he had talked with yesterday. Officer Madhan was driving and Officer Ashok got in the passenger seat.
Right after Officer Madhan and Surya locked eyes, Madhan jeered, “Well, well! Guess the murderer is going to jail! Good thing we caught him, right Ashok?”
Surya looked at Officer Ashok, who was glumly staring out the window. Madhan noticed this too and reached out a hand to shake Ashok’s shoulder.
“Ashok? Ashok? Come on, aren’t you glad we caught this guy? Are you even listening to me? What’s up with you?”
Officer Ashok shook his head and turned to look at Madhan. There was something about him that seemed off.
“Yeah, yeah man. I’m glad we caught him. He deserves to be locked up, that scumbag!” replied Officer Ashok, trying to act normal.
This satisfied Madhan so he hit the gas and they were driving to court. Surya was glad that he could finally see a lawyer, but he was also nervous and stressed. He was trying to act calm, but in his mind, he had so many questions.
“What if the lawyer doesn’t believe me? What if the judge doesn’t believe me? What is the evidence they have that I murdered that family?”
With all the questions in his mind, Surya didn’t even realize that they had arrived at court. Ashok got out first and took Surya by the handcuffs. When Surya stepped out, he looked around and spotted his family. Before he could call out to them, Officer Ashok pushed him inside the court. Madhan followed right behind Surya so he couldn’t look at his family again.
“Alright, listen up!” Madhan said when they got inside, “Vikram, you take our friend here to meet his lawyer. Ashok and I will be at our room, reviewing the evidence. Join us after you drop him off.”
The older officer-who Surya now knew was called Vikram-nodded and Officer Ashok relinquished his hold on Surya. Officer Vikram took hold of Surya and guided him to his lawyer. The lawyer immediately opened the door and greeted Surya.
“Hello, Surya! My name is Siddharth and I’m going to be your lawyer for today. Come on in and we’ll discuss your case. Thank you, Officer Vikram. You may leave now.”
Officer Vikram nodded and left. There was something about Siddharth’s voice that was calming and soothing. Surya immediately knew he could trust him. Siddharth quickly ushered Surya into the room and closed the door. He then motioned Surya to a wooden desk and they both sat at opposite ends of the table. Surya gathered his thoughts.
“Sir, I just want to start off by saying, I’m innocent” explained Surya nervously, “I know it doesn’t look like it, but I am innocent. You have to belie-”
Siddarth cut Surya off and said, “I know you’re innocent. That’s why I accepted this case. You have never broken the law before, so this case felt off. That’s why I took it. Now, we just have to find out how to prove it. Why don’t you tell me what happened from the start?”
Relieved that Siddharth believed him, Surya narrated all that had happened to him since he was arrested in his home. Siddharth sat in silence after Surya was done telling what happened to him. He seemed to be in deep thought. After two minutes of this, Surya couldn’t take the silence anymore.
“Siddharth, I’ve told you my story. Now, do you know what evidence they have against me?” Surya asked, eager to know.
“Oh yes, I do know,” replied Siddharth. “In fact, that’s what I was thinking about. You see, there was a security camera recording you from across the street when you were in the family’s house. In it, we see you get out of the house and the adults are there at the door. We then see you go into your car, wait fifteen minutes and go back in. Then, you come back out and the adults don’t come to say goodbye. A while after that, Officer Madhan gets there. He knows this family because they are relatives. After he gets in, he calls Officer Ashok because he said someone had murdered the family. Can you explain why you went back inside after waiting for fifteen minutes?”
Surya thought back to the day he supposedly committed the murder.
“Ah, now I remember. I finished fixing their power lines and went back to my car. When I got into the car, I got a phone call from my wife. We talked for a while. Then, right as I was about to head out, I realized that I left some of my tools in their home and went to get it. They opened the door and gave me my tools back and then I drove away.”
“Well, that explains why you went back to their house!” stated Siddharth.
“But, if you didn’t do it, then who did? Did you notice something off or anything suspicious about the police officers or even your family?” questioned Siddharth, in hopes of proving that Surya was innocent.
“Actually now that you mention it, there was something that was suspicious” recalled Surya. “Officer Ashok was acting very weird on the ride here. I could swear I heard him say he was sorry to me. He looked very sad and even regretful.”
“Hmm, interesting,” said Siddharth
“You know what, why don’t you wait here? I’ll be back. Have some hope. We are going to win this case.”
Perplexed on what Siddharth was going to do, Surya complied. He was still nervous and stressed about the outcome of the case, but as Siddharth said, he had hope that he would win and all would be back to normal. After a while, Siddharth eventually came back. Curious about what Siddharth had done, Surya asked him about it.
Siddarth replied, “You’ll find out later. Now, come on. We have to go. The case is about to start. Trust me, we’re going to win this case.”
Surya mustered up all the hope he had and left the room with Siddharth. He followed him to a bunch of hallways, with a lot of rooms like the one he had been in and courtrooms in which other trials were taking place. After what seemed like forever, Surya and Siddharth finally reached the courtroom in which their case was going to happen. When they entered, Surya immediately saw Officers Madhan, Ashok and Vikram on the other side. Siddharth confidently walked up to the desk in the middle and told Surya to stand where he was supposed to. Even though he was nervous, Surya tried to look confident on the outside. When he was glancing around the room, he noticed his family in the back, looking at him.
He looked at his wife and kids and mouthed, “Have some hope. Everything will be fine. I’ll be back soon.”
What he said seemed to relieve his family’s stress. Eventually, the judge came in and the trial started. The judge asked the officers’ lawyer what had happened and they basically gave the judge an overview of what they thought happened. Surya noticed Officer Ashok seemed to be guilty and relieved at the same time. Eventually, after their lawyer was done explaining what happened and presented their evidence, Siddharth spoke up.
“Your Honor, I would like to say that my client is innocent. That surveillance video they claim proves my client guilty? We have an explanation. My client first left the house after finishing his job. Then, he got a call from his wife while in the car and they talked for fifteen minutes. After he was done with his call, Surya noticed that he was missing some of his tools and went back to get those. That’s why he ‘waited fifteen minutes and left’. To prove that this is what really happened, I have a copy of Surya’s call history and it clearly shows a fifteen-minute call between him and his wife.”
“So that’s what Siddharth went to get.” Surya thought. “I’m glad I got him as my lawyer and not someone else who might not believe me.”
“And, another thing that will prove my client innocent… a witness.” continued Siddharth. “Officer Ashok, would you please step up over here?”
In shock, Surya looked at where Ashok was standing. He nervously approached where he was supposed to stand and faced the judge. Surya could see Officer Madhan looking at Ashok with a mixture of shock, betrayal, and anger. Officer Vikram, in the meantime, just looked curious as to how the case would now play out.
“Your Honor,” Siddharth addressed the court confidently. “Officer Ashok here revealed me some information on who really committed the murder. As you know, Officer Madhan was actually a relative of the family that was killed. Officer Ashok revealed to me that Officer Madhan was in need of money and had asked the family for money many times. He had been denied every single time. So, Officer Madhan went to their house under the guise that he was visiting and murdered an entire family. He then had to say someone had committed the crime, so he blamed it on my client, Surya.”
Surya looked at Officer Ashok and secretly thanked him for coming out with the truth. He glanced over at Officer Madhan, who looked like he wanted to just get out of the court.
The judge looked at Ashok and asked him, “Is what Siddharth said true? Did Officer Madhan commit the murder? Did you tell them all this in your own free will?”
Officer Ashok looked at Officer Madhan, turned back and replied, “Yes, Your Honor. All of what I said was true. I would also like to apologize to Surya for what we did to him. He was indeed framed and didn’t actually commit the crime.”
The judge looked satisfied with this and wrote some things on a piece of paper. She then banged her gavel and said, “I have come to a decision. Based on all the evidence presented, I sentence Officer Madhan to a lifetime in prison for murder of several accounts, abuse of power and trying to frame Surya. Officer Ashok will serve a sentence in jail for seven years due to being a co-conspirator and abuse of power. Case dismissed!”
After hearing what was going to happen to him, Officer Madhan tried to bolt out the door, but Officer Vikram grabbed him just in time. Four other police officers came over to take Officers Madhan and Ashok away. Surya felt a massive amount of relief as he was now proved innocent. He looked at Siddharth and smiled at him, who smiled back. He walked towards Siddharth and thanked him profusely for what he had done for Surya.
Siddharth just brushed it off saying, “It was the right thing to do. Now come on, let’s go meet your family.”
Right as they were about to start walking, Officer Vikram approached them. He looked very guilty and ashamed.
“Hey, Surya,” he said. “I’m really sorry about what I said to you yesterday. I can’t believe I followed Madhan. I had no idea you were innocent. I hope you can forgive me. I can’t believe you went through that.”
When Officer Vikram said the word hope, it reminded Surya of what had gotten through this ordeal. He remembered how distraught he was at the start of all this and how he found hope in a jail cell.
“Hope is the reason I’m here right now, about to see my family again. Officer Vikram hopes I’ll forgive him? Well, he hoped right!” thought Surya.
He then said aloud, “I forgive you, Officer Vikram. You did nothing wrong. You just followed the wrong people.”
Right after he said that Officer Vikram broke out into a smile. Surya smiled back and they shook hands. Surya felt something crash into him. He looked down and saw his kids hugging him tightly, and he smiled.
“That’s one more thing having hope gave me.” Surya thought. “It gave me a chance to hold my kids again!”
About the Writer:
About the Writer:
Sanjeev Shankar is an eighth grader who lives in Boston. He has been surrounded by video games and books his whole life. As soon as he touched his first book, the words consumed him. This passion for reading fuelled his love for writing and being able to create stories. In his spare time, he reads books or plays video games.