Tia Taylor, age twenty-two, survivor of a dysfunctional and sometimes abusive childhood was a baggage handler at Orlando International Airport and part time student. Her extended family members were extremely proud of her and the successful life she had made for herself despite her circumstances. In her teens Tia discovered that she preferred the company of women over men, especially romantically. Being a Millennial she did what Millennials do to find love. She took to the internet and it’s many websites where a young person might make a new friend.
Mary Stevenson was a thirty year old single trust fund baby looking for a new play mate. She a native of Manhattan loved to fly young hayseeds into the big city and put them up in her penthouse in a tower overlooking the five boroughs of New York. The girls, so enamored and in awe would fill obligated to service as they were told. Mary quickly tired of them especially if they were too needy. She didn’t want a roommate of life partner, only a concubine.
She and Tia hit it off right away. Mary was made to understand early on that Tia could appreciate her riches but she didn’t covet them and therefore would not be controlled by them. Mary respected the challenge that Tia presented her. She was made to court Tia for a few months before they ever became intimate. They chase was new and exciting to Mary. She actually got the chance to know this one. Tia never asked to move in or spend more time in New York; she had her own life in Orlando.
The proud women held an open relationship, both trying not to relinquish control of their lives. The distance gave Tia the opportunity to make new friends closer in age with more in common. Tia eventually met a friend named Karen. Karen was twenty-one with a young family, a husband and two young children. The two seemed to connect on a deeper personal level having experienced similar childhood hurts and pains.
Surprisingly after only knowing one another for five months Karen invited Tia to come live with her and her family in Atlanta. Together they all lived for some time until eventually after months of cohabiting the dynamic of their relationships changed. It is unknown how the transition was made but it was. Tia became somewhat of a surrogate father to the children. Charles, Karen’s husband was resigned to sleeping in the guest room while Tia slept with his wife nightly.
“So what have you come up with, any suspects?”
Detective Jones of the Atlanta Police Department looked up at his captain with an optimistic look on his face.
“Do you want a full run down?”
Captain Carter smirked.
“Yea, I’ve got the time go ahead; lay it on me.”
“Well you know we found the body of Ms. Taylor in the back seat of her vehicle covered in clothing, with over forty stab wounds in the body. This obviously looks like a crime of passion. If it were a robbery the killer what have gotten what he came for and gotten out of there. No thief hangs around for overkill. Our two top suspects are a Ms. Mary Stevenson of New York and Charles Wilson Ms. Taylor’s roommate. I’ve got Rodriguez and Palmer flying to Manhattan to interview her and we’ve got Mr. Wilson in interrogation room two. While I’ve got him on ice there are two officers checking out his alibi. Apparently his friend Robert Rounds can vouch for his whereabouts during the time of the murder.”
Captain Carter scratched his chin as he processed the information.
“Okay, you continue to follow up and keep me posted. I expect ya’ll to close this one kinda quick. It’s got to be one of the three of them. People don’t get killed like this for no reason unless we’ve got a serial killer in town. Now that would be a whole other can of worms.”
He patted Jones on the shoulder and walked off into his office closing the door behind him. Detective Jones sat and pondered which of his suspects could be the killer and what their motive might be. He knew that if he discovered the motive behind the crime it could quite possibly lead him to the perpetrator. During the course of his investigation Detective Jones learned of the odd living conditions in the Wilson home. In addition he learned that this was not the first time that Karen Wilson had an affair with a woman and her husband was aware. That was a clear red flag for him.
In New York Rodriguez and Palmer didn’t come up with much. Mrs. Stevenson hadn’t had a visit from Tia in over a month and was genuinely distraught when she found out what happened to her. In addition, Ms. Stevenson hadn’t been in Atlanta or Orlando in over a year. When Jones got the news he knew he had to dig deeper into Charles’ alibi.
Jones ordered is officers to bring Robert Rounds in for and interview. He wanted to sit him down and talk to Mr. Rounds himself.
Jones personally interviewed Mr. and Mrs. Wilson as well as Mr. Rounds. They all readily admitted the nature of Tia and Karen’s relationship as well as all of Karen’s past lady lovers. Karen was the most open about her love life and her relationship with Tia. She also defended her husband stating that his was too kind of a person to do something like that. She explained that she had past lovers and Charles didn’t kill any of them so why would he kill Tia? Mr. Rounds was quite forthcoming about Karen’s infidelity and it’s affect on his dear friend Charles. Robert offered deep and somewhat dark secrets in his speech. Charles had an advocate as well as an alibi witness in his good buddy Robert.
“I don’t know why he put up with her but he did. He loves her. Sometimes I would ask him why he would want to stay with a woman who cheats on him and he would tell me that he was staying for his kids. Or, he would say how Karen was a good mother. I used to ask him how he could stand being disrespected like that but he would just try to brush it off.”
Jones took notice to how vested Robert was in the Wilson’s relationship. He pried deeper.
“So, how did Charles feel about Tia moving in with him and his family?”
Charles cleared his throat and paused for effect. He was happy to have the airtime. He always felt as if he weren’t being heard.
“Well, in the beginning he was okay with it. Karen said the girl needed some help and Charles has a big heart. So, he went along with it. Now he knew that Karen liked girls but she made him think that it wasn’t like that. Before I knew it he was telling me that he was sleeping in the guest room and she was sleeping with Karen. He loves them kids and his wife so he just could see himself leaving. I just tried to be a good friend and support him.”
Jones smiled and nodded. Then he continued with his questioning.
“So where were you two the night of Ms. Taylor’s disappearance? We were at my place watching a basketball game.”
“Who was playing?”
“Um… The Hawks and the Magic.”
The detective could tell that Robert didn’t watch a game that night but he did know who was playing. Jones could have asked the score or some other specific information about the game but he didn’t want to tip Robert off. He figured he’d let the man leave feeling confident until he got the DNA evidence back.
“Well thank you Mr. Rounds; you have been very helpful. We’ll give you a call if we have anymore questions for you. I appreciate the time.”
Jones stood and shook Robert’s hand. Robert rose to his feet with a nervous smile on his face. Detective Jones patted him on his shoulder in an attempt to make him feel at ease. The DNA found in the car would tell the story of who had last contact with Tia. Sure enough both Charles and Robert’s DNA were found on Tia’s body, the clothes that covered her body and the interior of the car. It wasn’t much of a mystery. Jones pieced together the events of that fateful tragic night in his mind. He just needed to bring his two murder suspects and sweat them until they gave it up.
When pinned down, both men quickly confessed and told the whole story. Robert told detective Jones a bit more than he expected.
“Stop, stop Robert. You know we know. DNA don’t lie. Now, tell me what happened and let’s see if there’s something we can work out. This is not your weight to carry, this is not your relationship, your life.”
Robert abruptly interrupted the detective.
“That’s where you’re wrong! It is my life, MY relationship! I love Charles and I would do anything to ease his pain.”
“So you helped him to kill this woman because you are in love with Charles?”
Robert tried to compose himself. Jones knew to be patient and just let him talk when he was ready.
“Karen being with Tia was killing him. The kids were watching and they knew that their daddy had been replaced by a woman. They were asking him questions about why their mommy was sleeping in bed with that woman instead of him. It cut at him deep. He dealt with all of her affairs with women in the past but he was never before in jeopardy of loosing his family. Karen didn’t care, she just wanted him to pay the bills and help raise the kids while she had her little playmate. He was whipped by that girl and she knew it so she treated him however she wanted to.”
Robert paused as he pondered everything that was going on in his life and where it had landed him. Jones prompted him to continue on by asking probing questions.
“I don’t understand, how was you helping him to get rid of Tia going to land you Charles?”
Robert quickly perked up.
“I didn’t do it to get him! I did it to help him ease his pain and restore his manhood. That girl took his balls and he needed them back. I knew that I could never be with Charles but I did love him… and he loved me too, like a brother. I love spending time with him and I wanted things to be normal again. His spirit was crushed; Charles was a shell of himself. I wanted to help put that light back in his eyes. I know it might sound crazy to you but love will make you do crazy things.”
As Jones exited the interrogation room he knew that he had finally heard it all. He couldn’t believe that this man was going to lose his freedom because he assisted another man, who he was in love with, in murdering his wife’s lesbian lover. What an incredible disastrous chain of events. After a short break Detective Jones went in to speak with Mr. Wilson. Jones felt good about closing the case now getting Charles’ story would be a mere formality. He was however curious to know the man’s mind state when he decided to take this young lady’s life.
Charles admitted to killing Tia using a box cutter then putting her body in her car and parking it just miles away from the murder scene. He was vague about Robert’s involvement until her learned that Robert admitted to everything. When asked why he committed such a heinous act Charles poured his heart out about the emotional torture he had endured.
“Karen had disrespected me time and time again with the women that she brought into our lives. They were always disguised as a friend initially but then it always evolved into something more. You would think it would get easier but every time it happened it cut a little bit deeper. Now here she was parading this woman in front of my kids, letting her sleep in our marital bed! My babies were confused, especially about my roll in the family. I didn’t want to leave them. I didn’t want to leave her. I pleaded with Karen; she told me I could deal with it or I could go! I swallowed what little pride I had left and went to talk to Tia.”
Charles stopped and pounded the table. He was crying so hard that snot ran from his nose at a steady pace. He wiped with his sleeve then looked up at the detective.
“That little bitch laughed in my face. She liked what she was doing to my family. She was proud of herself. She told me if I couldn’t handle my woman then she had to handle her for me. Then she gloated saying that she took my bitch, my house and my kids and all my weak ass could do was stand there begging her to give it back. She called me a weak excuse for a man. She said that she had more balls than me because she had my balls in her back pocket.”
The man had to stop to gather himself once again.
“That was it! That was it! I had been disrespected so many times but this was the ultimate disrespect. She was disrespecting the disrespected and for that she had to pay. I’m sorry that I got my homeboy Robert involved. I didn’t mean to screw his life up too.”
Charles was emotionally drained. He put his head down on the table and wept into his arms. Jones stood once again and proceeded to leave then he stopped and thought for a moment. He turned and sat back down.
Charles looked up slowly.
“You know Robert loves you.”
“Yes, I love him too. That’s my brother. That’s why I’m so sorry I got him into this mess.”
“Charles you didn’t get him into anything. He wanted to be a part of your mess because he doesn’t love you like a brother. He loves you like a lover. That’s why he did what he did. He did it for himself, not you. So, there’s no need in you feeling guilty about him.”
Robert looked up in disbelief then shock.
“What? Did he tell you that?”
“So all this time he’s been hanging with me because he wanted to be with me?”
Then Robert recapped in his mind his relationship with his good buddy Robert. It all became clear to him. Now in his mind he was disrespected and deceived causing him to destroy the lives of all those around him.