Guilty Until Proven Innocent: Short Story

The busy airport held a steady noise as people entered and exited. Flight attendants skipped down the halls to sign in for their shift, the security lineups moved rather quickly and tourists from all over the world waited by the luggage claim area. The doors continued to open and close, planes arrived and left being that not one flight had been cancelled or delayed, on this cold December afternoon. Whether it was business or pleasure, everyone’s trip seemed to be going according to plan, without a second missed.

“Sorry Miss this is an oversized load. You’re gonna have to check it to get it on the flight on time” one of the Airport Security Coordinator’s told a female traveller.

 Her face showed all kinds of worry and fear, but were hidden underneath her dark sunglasses. “Are you kidding me? I used this as a carry on last time” she argued pushing her newly dyed black hair out of her face.

The worker was doing her best to accommodate her and shrugged, “If you want you’re more than welcome to empty a few contents so we can claim it as a carry on” she suggested.

“No! I mean, it’s fine I’ll just check it.” She grabbed her luggage and let out a sigh trying to bear its weight without looking too suspicious. The wheels on the luggage spun quickly and quietly as she rounded the corner to a different part of the airport in need of privacy.

Feeling slightly paranoid she continuously glanced over her shoulder and zipped up the luggage, even though it has remained closed the entire morning. The woman kept her black hood up and made sure she kept a low profile. Thank god for the over crowd, she thought looking around the thousands of people lining up ready for a christmas getaway.

In a lineup roughly eight people long, her black luggage did pretty well blending in, the only particularly difference among the sea of black was the blue ribbon tied to the zipper. When it became her turn yet again, she hoisted the oversized load onto the scale and bit her lip fearing the worst. The scale altered from being within range to almost over for what felt like forever. Her heart audibly hammered in her chest as beads of sweat appeared on her forehead. Finally, the scale settled and her bag was one pound within range, allowing for the worker to put the label on and proceed to the next person in line. She let out a breath of relief and cautiously checked behind her. The airport staff took her luggage off the scale and moved it to the end of a luggage lineup being carried out. The small family of four behind her gave her odd looks and waited for her to move out of the way before they proceeded. She moved from their way and clutched her one way ticket close to her still hammering heart. Her terminal was only a few feet away but as it became closer, her feet felt as if they weighed a ton and the gate never seemed to be approaching.

Meanwhile seated at the bench was a blonde female whose nose was buried in a book. After a long week of funeral arrangements, lawsuits and grief, she desperately needed a getaway. The stress and sleepless nights of the past month were worn on her face. Her watch clicked away the minutes counting down to her departure. She had turned her phone off, wanting to avoid anything the media had to say about her boyfriend’s murder. Accepting his death was hard enough, the last thing she needed was to read theories and details on the case.

Memories of her years spent with him passed through her mind and as she sat there, she repeatedly had to wipe a few tears that escaped her eyes. She had been wanting to go to Paris ever since she could remember, and now that the time had come, she didn’t feel the same excitement that she was expecting. After being walked in on by his wife he never once mentioned, the pieces started to fall into place. The mysterious phone calls, only hanging out on the weekend at his place and rarely being seen in public. They talked about the future, children, dreams, trips and he always reassured her place in his heart. She really had fallen for him. His charm and elegance seemed all too good for the cheap looking wife who screamed in her face that night.

Instead now, a hollow emptiness filled her heart as the thoughts in her mind constantly reminded her that she was alone. She decided she needed a brief change of scenery and got up to walk around. As she strolled around with her black carry on luggage close behind, she stopped at the restroom near the check in station. The sign read Bags and Carry On’s Prohibited Beyond This Point so she glanced around and after seeing most people were not paying attention, she left her bag and walked inside. Not too long after this decision, a staff member put a similar black luggage next to it, assuming it was to be put on the flight, the only difference being a blue ribbon.

As the employee turned back to help customers at the desk, her co-worker grabbed the luggage getting it to the area for plane boarding.

“Oh John did you grab the bag I just put behind you? Not the one closest to the restroom” the female employee asked.

“Yeah I just grabbed it. The black one right?” her co-worker asked in clarification. She nodded and they both continued on with their busy day. Holidays always called for a steady flow of check ins and outs.

 As the saddened woman exited the restroom, her thoughts were elsewhere so she grabbed her luggage and walked back to her seat, without realizing this luggage had a blue ribbon on the zipper.

Across the seating area, the woman dressed in black had her leg shaking frantically as she awaited her flight. In her mind she was making sure she had left no traces of evidence, being careful in her plans. Her fingerprints were no where to be found and all security footage was destroyed before she left. Everything seemed to be tight and secure. She hadn’t taken her gloves off for almost two days now, thankfully it was a cold winter so she did not look the slightest bit suspicious.

Paranoia continuously crept through her veins as she worried about her bag being out of sight. Only ten more minutes until boarding and she continued to maintain her low profile. So far no one had said a word to her. With her hair a different colour, coloured contacts, baggy clothes and her face covered in heavy makeup,  even the biggest sunglasses available in the fashion industry rested on her nose. She was unrecognizable. A silent cheer arose inside her at how devious her plan had been working out.

“Now boarding for flight 187 to Paris, France. I repeat now boarding” a voice rang over the speakers. Her heart began to hammer and in one swift motion she was in line to board. As she held her passport tightly and ticket in her hand she noticed someone a few feet ahead of her. That blonde hair, slim build and sea blue eyes could be seen from a mile away.

There, a few feet in front, was the girl who ruined her life. The girl who had an affair with him, the girl who believed that he really loved her, when all she was to him was a game. Rage filled her soul and fury burned through her eyes, as veins in her forehead began to pop. After all this hard work she was not going to have this bitch ruin it for her. Suddenly she heard her heart ringing in her ears.

Her cover could be blown any minute. Quickly trying to find a plan she looked around. Just one glance and she knew that the woman in front of her would know who she was. How could someone forget the night they came face to face with their lover’s killer? How does one possibly forget the face of her lover’s wife she had no idea existed? Is anyone capable of forgetting the night all the missing pieces fell into place ending in a murder? Knowing the answer to all of these questions she took deep breaths to think it all over. Then at last glance, she noticed her blue ribbon tied to the woman’s bag. Feeling nauseous and faint she squinted her eyes doing a double take. Sure enough, it was her blue ribbon was on the luggage. Unsure of how her bag came into the woman’s possession a million thoughts swarmed in her head. That meant the woman in front of her had all the evidence from the crime scene that police had been hunting for.

She could remember that night like it was yesterday. After her 4 year marriage to her high school sweetheart, she caught him in bed with another woman, who claimed she thought he was single. The fury that flooded her seeing some skanky little blonde in her  bed with her husband, did not paint a pretty picture. The wife was supposed to be away for the weekend taking care of her work opportunity, however, she was really meeting another man she’d been seeing. Both the two were married but agreed to these weekend ‘work’ getaways. Individually they both checked into a hotel and ended up having more fun than expected, until the man’s wife called and was going into labour. Hard to object to that isn’t it?

Both parted ways at different times in order to not leave a trace of evidence they had been together. The woman decided to head home too and after a relentless drive home she completely regret leaving that hotel room. The scene had only escalated her anger of the night seeing her husband caught in the same act she had just been performing. Only room for one show pony in this town.

As he tried to defend himself the wife could only hear lies and demanded the home wrecker to leave. Her husband saw her out and she pretended she wasn’t as mad. They ended up in passionate love until the next morning, police found his body dumped on the side of the road. The investigation had begun and his widowed wife had an airtight alibi being that she was supposed to be away on business, she did check into a hotel and her phone records showed a variety of conference calls she had made in an attempt to cover her assets. It’s not like her lover was going to blab, his wife just had a baby, she could easily ruin his marriage before he even got to hold hid first born. Her investigation ended when she explained the affair and the skanky little blonde was called into question.

They told the widow that the blonde seemed to be keeping up her end of the alibi too and with absolutely no evidence of a weapon. But they were still keeping an eye out.

Look over here detective, all eyes on her now.

Regardless of why or how her luggage was now in her hands, she needed to think quickly, before anyone opened that bag. Then an idea came to her, she turned behind her and a gentleman smiled at her. “Is this flight 186?” she asked quietly.

He glanced at his plane ticket, “No ma’am this is 187.” She pretended to look around slightly confused.

“Oh, I’m in the wrong line up, I can’t miss my flight to go see my kids for Christmas! Today has just been frantic you wouldn’t believe this woman earlier, ugh she was acting wild. Crazy right? ” She carried her conversation to the stranger. He shrugged and shifted uncomfortably hoping this conversation would end. After all, he’s just trying to go visit his mom for the holiday season.

“Can I ask you a favour?” she said to him in a hush tone. He reluctantly nodded in hopes that this would shut her up and moved closer so he could hear her.

“I need you to have security check that blonde woman’s bag. I saw her in the bathroom and I think she’s hiding weapons in there. I could hear her on the phone earlier, seems pretty serious if you ask me. I would hate for anyone to get hurt, I would do it myself but I have to catch that flight.” The sly woman explained to the stranger tucking her ticket away and slowly moving towards another gate.

The man glanced at the blonde woman agreed to the woman in black’s request. As she walked away she couldn’t help but sneak a peak over as the man motioned for the Airport Security to come over. After they shared a few words the Security guard nodded and called for backup in his walkie talkie. Security then asked to check the woman’s bag, and she willingly obeyed, assuming all they were going to find was her underwear, some lipsticks and last season’s Chanel number 4. In less than three flat seconds, bloody knives, a gun and towels fell out of her bag.

Startled, the blonde woman reached down and tried to grab everything, now containing her DNA all over the weapons used to kill her lover. Thoughts were swarming her mind as she began to struggle to breath and pleaded with the security that this did not belong to her. The security handcuffed her and people around began screaming in fear.

As the blonde woman was being handcuffed for someone else’s crime, she was almost certain she could feel someone watching her, the same feeling she had the night she found her boyfriend dead in the hallway. She screamed and fought yelling that she had nothing to do with this crime, the police were only concerned about the fingerprints all over the luggage and her possession of it. Not to mention her one way ticket to Paris that only furthered their belief on her fleeing the scene of a crime.

The real criminal smirked as she walked away from another scene.

With her hood up, shades on and not a trace of evidence leading back to her, she was yet again guilty, but no one could prove it.

Yours ’til the root beer floats


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s