“I would like to call my first witness to the stand: Miss Tess Bencosme.”
Tess stood up from her bench, smoothed her white skirt and walked to the front, careful not to trip over her heels. Rebecca looked at Tess’s face intently and calmed herself down. Her best friend would tell the truth and, finally, they would remove those handcuffs that itched her wrists. Good thing the orange was her color.
“Miss Bencosme, were you and Miss Shawn together on Thursday between 6:00 p.m. and 10 p.m.?” asked the defense attorney.
“Yes,” Tess admired her manicure.
“Miss Shawn was with you all the time?”
Say yes. We were watching a Tim Burton movie marathon. Rebecca saw Tess’s greenish eyes and something didn’t look right.
“No,” said Tess. The lawyer stopped short, surprised. The jury and the crowd muttered.
What! Tess, what are you doing?
“At half past seven Rebecca and I was hungry and she suggested we buy pizza. The pizzeria we like does not have home delivery, so I went to buy the pizza. I took about an hour.” Tess shed a tear. “If I had known what she would do I wouldn’t have left her alone.”
Everyone started muttering again. The defense attorney looked at his client with an expression that said, “Is it true what she says?”
“Miss Bencosme, you can get off the stand.” The judge announced.
The jury found Rebecca Shawn guilty.
The judge sentenced her to 45 years for the murder of 19 people.
The session was lifted.
Once alone in her cell, Rebecca cried bitterly, and for weeks she wondered: Why, Tess? Why?
“They brought you a message,” said the guard on duty, handed him a piece of paper.
It said: Scapegoat. -Tess.