Broken Bonds | Teen Ink

Broken Bonds

January 5, 2022
By Riss1225, Syracuse, New York
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Riss1225, Syracuse, New York
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Favorite Quote:
"Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get" -Tom Hanks

Author's note:

*Disclaimer: read with caution. Contains content that might is intended for a mature audience.

“What have you done?”, the chief hollered, all eyes now turned towards me as they all stood over the lifeless body in the alley. 

    A normal day at my job consists of: doing nothing, paperwork, more nothing, getting paper balls thrown at me by Chris and John, more paperwork. My job title is a forensic scientist. Already judging by the title you’d think I’d get called on the job 24/7. Nope. Most cases we get around here are burglary and theft. Why am I still here? I, frankly, don’t know. It makes good money, that’s my reason now. And I’ve also been here for 5 years so why quit now. The good part about my job is that I managed to make a friend. Ethan and I have been friends since the start of my job here. He introduced me to everyone and showed me around the town. He even showed me where the most call ins happen. He’s from St. Louis, Missouri, has 2 older brothers, and was raised by aunt and uncle. I asked why and I kinda wish I didn’t. Apparently his father had an addiction to alcohol and he would come home super drunk and destroy the house. One night, his mother had enough and confronted him about it. That didn’t go well, he struck her hard in the face and Ethan witnessed it. He was filled with adrenaline and rage after what he saw so he attacked his father. He injured him so badly, he sent his father to the ER. That night gave Ethan PTSD for the rest of his life. After work, I usually order some take out and watch some NCIS. My life doesn’t get any more exciting than that. Until this one case…

    It was Ethan's and my day off. That morning, I had an argument with my father about my job. He wants me to stand up for myself more and become more “well-known”. I told him that I don’t want to ruin anything by doing that. He,being who he is, disowns me once again and just calls me a sucker. I don’t let that altercation bother me, Ethan is going to be here in a few. We’re having a guy’s day. Which just consists of going to bars and watching any game that is on the TV. Whenever we go out, Ethan always has his gun on him. I asked him before why and he responded with, ‘suspicion’. Ethan scares me sometimes. I just get this feeling that it isn’t JUST for suspicion. It was 11:00 and we were wrapping up our night until Ethan saw something in the alley. 

“Hey! What are you doing?!” Ethan yelled.

    Before I could see what he was yelling towards, Ethan dashed down the alley; chasing whoever he was yelling at. I’ve never seen him run this fast. 

    “Stop! In the name of the law, I instruct you to stop. Come on Noah!.”

    As soon as I heard my name, I chased after him as well. Once I got closer, I saw a pool of blood. The person we were chasing had killed this person. I continue my chase; increasing my speed. I turn the corner and Ethan is there with the suspect on the ground; in cuffs. 

“Ethan, there was a body. They look dead,” I say.

“I’m aware of it. What were you doing? Why did you kill them? Speak now!!”

It’s silent. All you hear is laughing for the perpetrator. Ethan is getting visually fed up. So before he does something he’ll get fired for, I step in.

“Let me take this,” I said.

Ethan gives me a nod while keeping his eyes locked onto the target.

“Hello sir, I’m going to ask you a few questions. If you just participate, we’ll be just fine.”

After some hesitation, the perpetrator agrees. 

“Great, now first question. Did you know the person you killed back there?”

They nod.

“What was the relationship with them?”

“He was my best friend,” the man says. 

“Last question for right now, why did you kill them?”

After 3 minutes of silence, he speaks.

“My girlfriend and him were seeing each other. She told me that he initiated it first and she just went with it. I confronted him about it and he lied straight to my face. So when we left the bar, I told him that I knew what he did and I killed him.” 

After the story, Ethan and I exchange looks. We both know what we have to do. 

“We’re bringing him in right?” I jokingly asked. 

“No,” Ethan says, cold-heartedly.

My eyes darted towards him in shock.

“Then what are we doing? We can’t let him go. What if he does this again?”

“Oh he’ll never do anything like this again,” Ethan says as he reaches for his gun.

I take a few steps back; shocked by Ethan’s consideration. I can’t let him do this. It will ruin everything. Not only for him but for me as well. I would be a witness. 

“Ethan, stop!” 

He looks back at me with his cold eyes and expressionless face. I’m genuinely scared for my life right now. As I try to deescalate the situation by grabbing the gun, he hits me with the butt of it and shoots the guy twice. I’m stunned. I just witnessed a murder. 

“We don’t tell anyone any of this. You hear me?! Because if you tell, you’d be in the can as well.”

As I help him clean up the bodies, we head to our cars and don’t say a word to each other. I lay in bed and ponder what just happened. Ethan just killed a man. And I didn’t do anything to stop it. That makes me just as bad as him. Great.

I didn’t get any sleep last night. I kept having nightmares of Ethan’s face. As I arrive at work, everyone is dashing around the office; panicked. The incident is on the news. MAN FOUND DEAD IN THE ALLEY: SHOT IN THE HEAD (SUSPECTS NOT FOUND). I feel sick to my stomach. That’s the guilt coming up. Jennifer is all flustered, she’s asking every cop if they saw anything or was out that night. My hands begin to shake, I suck at lying. Especially when I know who did it. 

“Noah, Ethan, my office.”

“What’s up Jenn?” Ethan snickers. 

“The camera footage of the restaurant with the alley the man died at showed both of you walking out of it. Did you guys see anything that night?”

My hands are trembling. I don’t do great underpressure. All my moving triggers Jennifer. She’s onto us for sure.

“We didn’t see anything. When we looked down the alley, it was pitch black so we couldn’t see anything. And we were also  slightly intoxicated. So even if we did see something, we wouldn’t have the reaction time for it,” Ethan says, as he gives me the side eye. After a few moments of silence and scanning stares she lets us go.

When we left her office, Ethan pulled me into the back file room.

“What are you doing? You almost blew our cover. Why were you shaking so much? She’s definitely onto us now dude.”

“I was nervous Ethan. I’ve never been a part of something like this. I’m not good at keeping secrets.”

After our conversation, Ethan has been keeping tabs on me. Making sure I don’t make another mistake. Wherever I go, he lingers. He’s really starting to scare me. Maybe I should file for a new partner. I’m just kidding, he would kill me…literally. Jennifer issued a 5 day research on this case. She feels that we could catch the killer as quickly as possible. 

Day 1

Everyone was assigned something. Even if it wasn’t what their job title was for. On the first day, she had us assess the recording. We checked the day of, previous recordings, and the day after. She sent some cops out to the sight of the murder. To analyze the surroundings. She sent me as well to assess the wounds and try and get a sample. 

Day 2

    The sample came back. The victim’s name was Travis McClain. No kids. Parents dead. No siblings. Address: 403 Shrewsbury Rd. Jenn sends police over to his house to see if they could uncover anything.   

Day 3

Ethan came running to my office; upset and scared. He told me Jennifer wanted us to take a polygraph test. 

“We’re going to fail. We’re going to go to jail. This is it dude.”

He kept going on and on. Little did he know the trick with those tests. 

“Ethan, there’s a trick for these tests. It is really hard to do it but if done correctly, we will be free.”

Ethan plops down on the chair; defeated. 

“The test measures your blood pressure and breathing. They also focus on your eyes and hands. If you just relax and take deep breaths, you’ll be fine. It also helps to think about something embarrassing to avoid thinking about the incident.”

Day 4

    Test day. I’ve never seen Ethan so nervous in my life. I offered to go first; to try and put him at ease. 

    “Were you at the restaurant the day of the the murder?”


    “Did you witness anything happening outside of the restaurant at the time of your departure?”


    “Why was that sir?”

    “The alley was too dark for me to see anything. And I was intoxicated that night.”

    “Did you hear any signs of struggle or in need of help?”


    “Last question, is there anything about your partner that I should know before we question him?”

    There it is. My fear question. Oh no.

    “N…no sir”

    “That was a lie”

    My eyes are surveying the room like a hawk. They’re looking at me. Jennifer approaches me with a concerned look. 

    “Noah, please tell the truth. That’s an order!”

    I felt like a volcano. I could explode at any moment. I’m sorry Ethan.

    “Ethan did it. He saw someone getting stabbed in the alley and he chased after him and he handcuffed him and he pulled his gun out. I told him to stop and we should just bring him in but I was scared. Ethan terrifies me. So without hesitation, Ethan pulled the trigger on this man. I didn’t know what to do. I was stunned,” I said frantically. 

“That was the truth.”

The guilt feeling is back. I just betrayed my friend. 

“Thank you Officer Noah, you may return to your desk.”

“Please don’t tell him I told you,” I pleaded. 

“Oh you’ll be fine. He won’t be going anywhere tonight.”

Ethan is called in. As he was walking in, I sat and watched him get his done. It wasn’t even a minute in and he’s already yelling. 

“Ethan, you are under arrest for first degree murder,” Jennifer yells.

After the yelling had died down, I made eye contact with him and he gave me that emotionless look again. But this time it felt scarier. They escort Ethan out with handcuffs. As he was being put in the police car, he kept staring at me. As the car was pulling out he gave a little menacing smirk; like he knew this was all going to happen. Ethan was sentenced to life in prison. He was only allowed one visitor per year but didn’t ever use it. He died due to an attempted breakout. Before his execution, he was asked why he tried to escape. He said it was to get back at the man who put him in here. He was referring to me; obviously. But now he can no longer hurt anyone. Long live Ethan McMyron. No one came to his funeral. The town didn’t even want to put him in the ground but I insisted that they did. So long…partner.

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