“Hey, just why am I here?! Do you realize who you’re dealing with-”
“Shut it. Speak when I ask you to.”
My back slammed into the cold gray pavement of the cell. My head felt like it was sweating buckets despite the chilly air raising goosebumps all over my arms and legs. I pounced back up after the policeman threw me in.
Another officer walked calmly into the room; her outfit similar to her male counterpart: a dark navy blue uniform covered in gold and silver lines. Their goofy black hats reminded me of that of a sailor - almost making me chuckle inside.
“You’re to be questioned on behalf of your father later this afternoon.”
I don’t deserve this treatment…
That same thought has bounced around my head since early this morning. I sighed, released my clenching fist, and raised my eyebrows.
“Fine. But can I at least stay somewhere less filthy than this-”
And just like that, an iron clang echoed within the basement floor as the officers closed the prison door in front of me. I couldn’t believe it. Within an hour, I was taken and locked into a jail cell after having been forced out of my mansion earlier this morning. The sudden silence felt deafening.
The nerve of these assholes!
How could they just put me, the son of a famous rich businessman with such a high status in society, behind bars? My hands fell to my waist and my mouth was left open without an answer. I leaned against the cold wall behind me, feeling the crisp pavement dig against my skin.
Yet that irritating hush didn’t last long.
A sudden voice bounced into the room. I lifted my eyes and launched my back off the wall as if I never contacted it in the first place. The sounds of steps from the nearby hall were now floating into my ears: the clanging of boots against the smooth hard surface. Just by the sound, I could tell this wasn’t another officer.
“Hey, idiot, I’m over here.”
…Idiot? Does he realize who he’s…
My thoughts paused as my eyes caught sight of the man who entered the hall. He was tall and his short brown hair was slicked back as if it were ironed. His black suit was a brand I recognized immediately, and one of his silver glove-covered hands was carrying a briefcase.
The man oozed luxury - the same vibe as my old man.
“You’re Kai, correct? I’ve come here to help your case.”
My eyes widened and a small shiver ran down my spine.
“Why? Do you have important connections with my father?”
“No,” he immediately replied with an emotionless face; his jawline was as sharp as his glare. The wrinkles on his skin were plenty, but his dark brown eyes pierced through my soul.
“I have no business with your old man…dare I say it’s about time he was captured for all the shadiness he’s been involved with behind the scenes.”
…behind the scenes?
When we were arrested earlier this morning, all the police told me was that it was because of something my dad had done, but I didn’t know it was a plethora of acts.
The rich-looking man, who noticed my shock, closed his eyes and sighed, albeit not ridding his face of any wrinkles.
“Anyways, your father is done for, but I have requested your bail. The police will have a chat with you later today. Be a good kid.”
Throwing on his fedora, he darted off from my cell, leaving me as confused as I was stunned.
“Wait! What am I going to do after?!”
The man left the hall without batting an eye. I could barely even see his face from the shadows of his long trench coat.
Indeed, the question still lingered in my head - what was I to do afterwards? If my old man was going to be behind bars, where do I return to?
It wasn’t long after that sudden confrontation until another group of policemen came to unlock my cell. I gulped upon the sight of everyone’s faces; all of them showing a stern but robotic look. As they signaled me to walk out of my cell and follow them up the stairs and into their office, I couldn’t help but notice just how little room there was around me. I was too used to the golden spacious floors of my father’s mansion and seeing a speck of dust drift along the staircase almost had me on tilt.
“Do you guys ever clean this place?” I muttered.
“You shut your mouth, spoiled brat. Just keep walking,” the policeman behind me replied with a baton squeezed against my lower back.
The nerve of these fuckers. Wait till I complain to my - oh wait.
“Hmph...” I remembered that my father couldn’t cover for me anymore. A drop of sweat slid down the side of my forehead. If my father - Kevin Darak, the CEO of our organization - was jailed forever, what was I going to do? Was our mansion also a goner?
Hopefully that old man left me with his money…
- was all my selfish mind could think of.
As we reached the top of the stairs, a bright shining gleam of light penetrated my eyes, almost making me go blind. I slammed my eyelids shut and covered them with my forearm while turning my head away. It felt like days since I last saw sunlight.
“Ma’am, we brought Mr. Darak.”
“Thank you. Kai, please have a seat.”
Squinting my eyes to help my pupils adjust, I made out a middle-aged looking lady, wearing a blue office suit and a red tie. She was sitting down at a desk in front of the open window, making her appearance that of a silhouette. Her blonde hair was tied up into a bun, and her silver glasses shined like a diamond from the light behind her. She wore tight pantyhose with flat shoes, and I found my eyes wandering there instead as I sat down to the seat she pointed at, which was directly across from her.
“Eyes up here, young man. My, the libido must be strong,” she said with a smile. The deep tone of her voice suggested her maturity.
“Hmph,” I pouted, ignoring her rude remark. “Do you realize who we are? You can’t just go and arrest my father so easily.”
The smile on her pale face grew bigger, and she squinted her turquoise eyes, as if holding in a laugh.
“Mr. Darak, my name is Nancy, and I have some unfortunate news for you.”
I watched as Nancy opened a drawer next to her desk, pulling out a revolver. My eyes began to shake once I saw the silver gun in her hands.
Fuck, is this mad woman going to kill me?!
At first instinct, I thought about darting towards the door, but the two policemen stood in front, blocking the exit. The woman noticed my relentless squirming and offered some relief.
“Relax. No one will die tonight. I’m just showing you the evidence.”
What was she going on about now?
“Yes, this is the weapon your father purchased when he hired a hitman to assassinate the president of Febai.”
All the feelings within my arms and legs dropped as I heard her statement. My arms dropped to my sides, and my back sunk down the chair I sat in.
“Yes. We’ve found that he had secret partnerships with multiple hitman organizations… he had been targeting multiple political organizations that weren’t aligned with his views.”
My mind, initially going blank, finally managed to process the information. I sat up again and stared back at Nancy with a whimsical smile.
“You expect an assassin to use a revolver?”
Without hesitation, she stood up from her seat, walked over to a nearby box that had been sitting close against the windowsill, and took out what looked like a sniper rifle. My shaking arms hugged my own stomach as I caught sight of the weapon with my own eyes. I felt nauseous just seeing the size of the weapon.
“He bought this, too.”
My smile evaporated, and instead my jaw dropped to the floor. Noticing my shock, Nancy placed the rifle back into the box and swiftly returned to her desk.
“Well, that was only one small plan. Do you know how much money he’s bribed the former head chief of our police force with within the past few years? It’s estimated to be around twenty million dons.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
“And that’s only the start. I can’t even count with my two hands the number of shady business acts which have been linked to him. These include bribing partners to favor his company in business deals, securing monopolies within the country, and even selling prostitutes to his clients in private...”
“Y-You’re lying!” My fist slammed into the armchair, and I stood up halfway as if bouncing off the chair seat. I had almost forgotten about the weapons already - the bullshit she spat out was making my brain explode. There was no way I was going to let this old lady badmouth my old man.
“I wish I was… I can keep going on forever about these disgusting acts. We believe he’s spent another forty million dons just to sweep them under the rug.”
My eyes grew wider than an orange as I stared at Nancy’s pitying face. Her eyebrows were raised, and her lips formed a serious frown. Opening her blazer, she reached in and pulled out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. I watched as her two fingers secured a cig in her mouth as she lit it up. The puff of smoke which shot out of her red lips briefly formed a donut. The foul ashes even reached my nose after the smog vanished, causing me to cough.
Could there be a chance she wasn’t lying at all? I sat back down without blinking once. I could feel the shivers down my spine lighten up, and my hands caressed the armchairs as if grasping for hope.
“Well, I need more ev-”
“Your father has also been betting on sports events, and he’s been bribing the referees of our national soccer league.”
My lungs felt like they were collapsing, and I lost all my breath from just one single shout. Nancy, however, continued sitting back casually with her long legs crossed while puffing out rings of smoke. Her eyes glared back at me, as if waiting for me to say more.
“Look, this all has to be a joke,” I continued. I was on both feet now, but my legs were trembling. Nancy sighed and raised her eyebrows once more.
“Mr. Darak, would you like to contact a lawyer?”
That’s right, I can get a lawyer!
I clenched both fists as if my willpower returned. Of course, I was going to fight back on this monstrosity that was piling on me nonstop.
“No shit I will!”
“Well, I’ll have you know…”
Without finishing the rest of her cigarette, she pressed the butt against the ashtray on her desk. Adjusting her glasses, a slight smile emerged between her lips.
“A lawyer in our country costs two million don for just one litigation case…and…”
She removed her glasses, took out a laptop from under her desk, and opened it up. I sat with my legs crossed, confused as to what she was about to show me.
Only a few seconds later, she turned the screen towards me, increased the volume, and played the video. My eyes widened, and my mouth couldn’t utter a single word. It was my father, sitting in a police officer’s room wearing nothing but a gray jumpsuit with his hands cuffed behind his back. His voice perked up from the speaker.
[“I am declaring that my 22-year-old son be held equally responsible for the wrongful acts I have committed. I suggest that he and I split the debt as father and son.”]
“As you heard, your father is proposing that you are to be equally responsible for all his atrocities. The state has agreed to split the debt he owes between the two of you. Additionally…”
Nancy pulled out a document from her drawer and laid it out on her desk.
“Your father provided ownership documents for all assets he owes a debt to. Your signature is right here.”
Her long blue painted fingernails pointed at my signature on a line at the bottom of the document, causing me to stare with veins in my eyes.
Wait. You’re kidding me, right?
I stepped back, bumping into my chair. The look on my face probably said it all, as Nancy held back a chuckle. I couldn’t believe it. My own father, in his very own words, threw me under the bus despite my innocence.
“Thus, you now owe the Federal Government…”
“W-Wait!! I didn’t take part in any of that stupid old man’s-”
“Thirty million don. That’s how much you’re in debt by.”
Curse this fuckin’ old man!