Just a Precaution



A man confesses on his trial for murder.
Reading time: 4 minutes.

Just a Precaution

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The courtroom was silent; no one said a thing. The prosecutor had just summed up his case. The judge had asked the convict if he wanted to say something. The convict had asked for a glass of water.

The doorman entered with a glass of water. He walked up to the booth and handed it to the convict, who gulped it down and handed it back.

“I did it,” he said finally.

Everyone in the courtroom gasped. The judge ordered them to settle down, and the convict went on.

“I killed my best friend. I didn’t want to, but he threatened to throw me to the police for murder. Yes, I killed the barman too. It all happened in a spur of the moment.”

The convict was lost in his memories.

“It was late, and I had been thrown out of three bars consecutively. This was fourth. The barman said they had closed, but I begged him to serve me one last drink. My alcohol addiction got the best of me. He refused, and I lost my temper. There was no one at the bar, so I fearlessly jumped him.

“I kept hitting him long after he was dead. Then, I made myself a drink. After finishing a whole bottle and taking another one with me, I went to my friend’s house. He was my childhood friend. I would always go to him whenever I was in trouble. He would always help me.

“That night, he was shocked to see me covered in blood. I had never seen him so scared. He asked me what had happened, and I told him everything. He did not call the cops. He just asked me where this bar was, and then he cleaned me and put me to bed.

“The following morning, I woke up and found him waiting for me to wake up. He asked me if I remembered anything. I did, but I refused. He then narrated the whole thing back to me. He was disgusted with me. He had to clean up after me. He became a goddamned associate in a murder for me.

“I asked him where he hid the body, but he didn’t tell me. He said it was better if I didn’t know. I asked him how he cleaned the blood, and that’s when that son of a bitch tricked me.

“He said he used milk to wipe it off clean. That thing set deep in me. I unknowingly fell into his trap. He never brought that thing up again. I thought we’d never have to look back on that night. But my alcohol addiction had to go. I could not risk it again, so I went into rehab. When I came back, my friend had gotten married—my girlfriend.

“When I saw him with my girlfriend, I just lost myself. I couldn’t tell the ground and the sky apart. I controlled myself and stopped talking to him. I never wanted to see his face again. I thought I'd be able to live without thinking about any of those things, but I couldn’t. He kept appearing before me one way or another. It seemed to me as if he was doing it all on purpose just to punish me for what I did.”

The convict stopped talking and kept staring at nothing.

The judge waited before asking, “What happened the night you killed him?”

The convict thought for a second as if he was trying to remember. Then he began, "It was my girlfriend's birthday. I went to my friend’s home to see her, but I saw my friend with someone else.”

The people in the courtroom started whispering to each other. The judge, once again, ordered them to be silent and maintain the court's decorum. The convict continued.

“When I saw my friend with another girl, I burned with rage. Not only did he steal the love of my life, but he also cheated on her. I could not control myself and scream at him with rage. He shouted back and threatened to hand me over to the authorities for murder. I was shocked to hear that he was blackmailing me. He revealed that he had saved enough evidence against me just as a precaution. I lost control of this betrayal and killed them both.”

A grim silence fell across the room.

“What did you do after that?” the judge asked.

“I wrapped the bodies with plastic and cleaned the whole place with milk just as my friend had once taught me.”

“Do you know what happens when you wash blood with milk?”

“No, your honour. I don’t.”

“It gets rid of the red pigment for sure, but it preserves the DNA.”

The convict looked at the judge with surprise.

"Yes, it makes it invisible so only a forensic expert could find it. That is how the police got you. Your friend had written it in his diary. He knew the day might come, so he lied to you.”

The whole courtroom gaped at each other with sheer horror on their faces.

The judge signed something and looked at the convict before he went on to sentence the death penalty. He said, “Your friend wrote that it was just a precaution.”


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