Monday, June 28, 2010
"Go, Meredith, go!"
There was a sense of urgency pushing Meredith Kane into her car as she walked home from her sister's house. She called the babysitter, kissed her youngest son goodbye, and found herself watching the scenery roll by as she drove into the far reaches of Riverview's countryside. Although her husband had been in jail for less than 24 hours, she felt like she had no time to waste -- the detectives were only becoming more and more convinced that Jebidiah had murdered Carl Strummer... And if Tana was right, he was being framed.
As she turned a corner, Meredith pulled out a small scrap of paper her sister had slipped her before she'd left to go home: Mimi Brown's address. To be perfectly honest to herself, Meredith wasn't sure what to expect. Tana had mentioned that Mimi was a family-loving person, and would understand the pleadings of a wife, but if she was really so stubborn turning in the complete evidence to her fellow cops, what good would she be to Meredith? "I guess I'm just going to have to find out," she thought to herself, as she pulled up to the small farmstead where the Brown's lived.
To Meredith's luck, the dark-skinned woman she'd met at Jebidiah's work party was out working in her garden, and no other family members were in sight -- good, no one around to overhear. With a deep breath, she shut off the engine of her car, walked across the lawn, and cleared her throat as she neared the woman who had betrayed her husband.
"Mimi Brown?" she asked, her voice cracking.
"Yes, what is-- Oh. Hello, Mrs. Kane."
The way that Mimi recognized her, and smirked to herself, only made the butterflies in Meredith's stomach jump faster. But, she had to do this... For her family. For her husband. "Look... Mimi, I need your help. Can you spare a minute to talk?"
"I suppose I can, but lady... You gotta realize, I'm not really supposed to be talking to you off-duty. Wouldn't look too great at the depar--"
"It'll only take a minute. I just... Mimi, I know my husband didn't murder that man." As Meredith gulped back her fear, Mimi simply stared, and blinked. She said nothing.
Frustrated, Meredith continued. "My husband was arrested for someone else's crime... And I know that you have evidence that could help Jeb. Why are you hiding it?"
"For plumbbob's sake, has Tana been filling your ears with nonsense?" Mimi shook her head, clearly annoyed. "Look, lady, I found something that might get Jebidiah off the hook, but you don't understand -- I've spent the last few years of my life trying to nail the Company. Years of my life that would be wasted if I let Jebidiah walk out of prison when there are crimes he did commit. I know that it's all hitting you hard right now, and that it's hard to believe how your husband was a criminal, but of the entire Company, he's the only one I was able to get... If I turn in this evidence, they'll start to question everything else, and then everything I've done to try to rid this town of crime will be for naught."
Meredith looked at Mimi with a confused look, which inspired her to explain. "Everything about this job was pinned on connecting Dallas to the crime. Get the crime lord, get the whole operation. But outta sheer dumb luck, I underestimated him, and he skipped town the moment he heard there was trouble. Cody got herself near completely off the hook by agreeing to help me nail everyone else, and Tameka... Well, she was the one who was supposed to keep the Strummers gone that night. Obviously, she chickened out, or somethin'... Because the Strummers were obviously home."
"So... So do you think Tameka framed Jebidiah?"
"Of course Tameka didn't do it, she a crook and a thief, but only 'cause her mind's too young to understand it's wrong. She's always been a little... off her rocker. She still deserves a year or two in the slammer, if you ask me, but... Honestly? The girl don't have the attention span to plan something like that. Maybe a murder of passion or something, but clearly, that ain't what this was."
"So you know it wasn't Jebidiah, and yet you still won't help him? When you know he'll spend the rest of his life in prison, when his wife is left alone with two kids to raise on her own? Don't you understand what you're doing, by letting this happen?!"
"Calm down, Meredith!" Mimi said, backing away from the outraged redhead. "You gotta understand, even if I did tell the Department, they'd probably laugh! No one even seems to care if Jebidiah didn't do it... He's the perfect scapegoat. Everyone's wanted to get Blackjack behind bars since the moment he stepped into the scene of Crime, they're happy knowing he's going to be behind bars forever... Even if I don't think he should."
"Please, Mimi..." Meredith was running out of options. The undercover cop had only given hints on who it couldn'tve been.. Which didn't really help much. "If the cops won't look for the evidence, then it's gotta be brought to them... Just give me the chance to find out who did this, then they can be locked up for killing Mr. Strummer... Jebidiah can serve out the sentence he deserves, I just want to know I'll get him back someday... Please..."
Mimi sighed, but Meredith had obviously gotten through to her. Looking around briefly to make sure that they weren't being watched, she began to speak in a low voice.
"A couple of days before the job, I got an e-mail from an anonymous address. Got it on my work account, and pry only sheer luck that I got that email outta anyone else in the department. Don't make a lotta sense to me, which is why it kinda caught my eye." Meredith gave Mimi a look as if to say, 'Go on'. "It was a tip. Somebody wrote to tell me that they knew there was gonna be a murder, at the Strummers' exact address... But since I was inside and knew what was happening, I knew there weren't gonna be a murder. So whoever sent the email..."
"Was the killer," wheezed Meredith. "But how does that help?"
"Whoever sent the email didn't cover their tracks real well. They obviously didn't know I got Jebidiah's hacking software installed on my computer... All I had to do is hit a button to see what computer sent it."
"And, it was sent from the library, which is no good."
She paused, before ripping a piece of paper from a notebook in her pocket, and handing it to Meredith.
"But I did get the address."
Meredith slammed the door when she arrived back at her house. There was a small crack in the glass as a result, but she didn't care... It didn't matter in the slightest, right now.
She'd gone to Mimi for help, and this is what she got: an email address. She didn't have a copy of the email, any proof that her husband was framed, nothing but a scrap of paper and the pleading of a wife. At this rate, she'd only be locked up too, since the cops would have the think she was aiding him in some way on this whole crime.
Come to think of it... She was.
"Aaaagh!" she yelled, kicking a chair -- which was even dumber than it seemed, because she was wearing sandals.
"Are you alright Mrs. Kane?" asked the babysitter as he came running from the other room.
"I'm fine... Fine..." she winced as she limped away from the scene of her stubbing... But as she walked, her eyes turned to the table.
She carefully began to think. "I don't have any proof, but the killer does. And I can contact the killer. Maybe... Maybe if I..."
But the idea almost made her laugh. What, and ask them to give themselves up? What a laugh. If anything, all she'd do is set herself up to get killed, too...
No. She'd hit a dead end. Tana had sent her on a wild goose chase, and she'd gotten excited for nothing. "I have no one to blame but myself."
Trying to get back to normal was harder than Meredith had imagined. It was no use lying to Travis -- he knew what was going on, even if his mother had refused to tell him. He was already talking to his friends from school about how his father was going to be convicted for murder. She tried to ignore it, but it stung more than anything in the world... Seeing her children suffering the same burden of knowledge that she was. At least Bradley was still young... At least Bradley did not have to know that he would likely never see his father again. For now.
In fact, Meredith was so absorbed with what was going on, she didn't realize it was her birthday -- she was now fully adult... And she felt it. So childish, she never thought she'd feel old, even when grays hairs spouted from her head -- but all it took was a few hours of agonizing defeat to feel broken down. She didn't bother telling Travis, either -- this wasn't how she wanted to celebrate her birthday, so... She'd just wait another day. There were more important things to think about.
Yes, more important things. Seems that we're always back here, watching as Meredith fights to fall asleep.
As she stared at the cieling, thoughts kept going through her head... The tortures of being alone while raising her children. The torture Jebidiah was surely going through, trying to convince the cops he was innocent. The torture her son was going through to know his father was a criminal. And, of course... The torture of her heart. "I just want him here. I need him here."
Closing her eyes, she took another deep breath. It was time to do the wrong thing... But it was the best idea she had.
Opening the laptop, she carefully spent hours trying to figure out her husband's hacking program... But he'd already done all that for her. What the cops couldn't find, she'd seen him open hundred's of times -- and there, there was everything she needed. A cop's email address to write from -- fake, most likely, but obviously used on several occasions before. ("Dear Plumbob, my husband was brilliant.") In her hand, the email address to send to.
"Need a follow up interview on the murder of Carl Strummer. Please go to Lost Willow Park at 8pm tomorrow evening, bring all information you have to help solidify the case against Jebidiah Kane. There is some discrepancy at the department over the details of the murder, and since you seem to have a good idea what happened, I need your help to nail this guy. You're all I've got.
And now... To wait.