a noir · jump to conclusions · police · two sides to every story

My side

My side of the story usually comes with an apology.

In this case, there will be none.

The truth requires no apologies. I will tell you the truth, my side of the story.

As it turns out, there is nothing particularly exotic about the truth. Tellng it may be a novel experience for some of us, okay for me. But truth is not a rare bird with wild and colorful plumes. That is more like the lies with which I am so accustomed to embellishing my stories.

Truth is a plain creature, generally hatless and sometimes hapless.

Is it scary? It is not. Unlike the famous line, it is easy to handle. The truth is just oddly normal. It has its own pattern, like lines on the paper from a lie detector sheet. It’s steady and forthright…. which does seem like an oddly circular way of describing it.

Let me just tell you and you decide.

On that Monday as the working world was heading of to jobs and lounge lizards were barely opening their eyes to cups of coffee black and sweet, I was minding my own business. By that, I guess I mean, inattentive to the people that passed and lost in my thoughts. There were some groceries I was needing to buy and some mending I wanted to attend to.

Someone a little tall and quite burly rushed by as if determined to get there before anyone else. The speed and force was really all I noticed. He went into Joe’s store and out as fast with something in his arms. He staggered a little, I thought under the weight of whatever he was carrying, righted himself and then stumbled. He dropped at my feet, the bundle in his arms first. I caught it, picked it up on its way down as it were, and took it away with me.

I’d be lying if I claimed I was headed striaght to the precinct house when the cop pinched me. He jumped to a policeman-like conclusion that I was Burly Man’s accomplice. The truth is I was curious about the package that had fallen into my hands, and wanted a chance to have a look-see. I was not averse to handing it over to the police, really, just wanted a little time to explore the contents.

So there I was caught red-handed at something I had not done. An innocent bystander, holding a smoking gun.

The truth looked a lot fishier than any assumptions to which you could jump.

The beginning of a short short story. © Tamara Beck
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