The scapegoat (a meditation on vengeance)

“Why did you break their closet?” my mother asked me. “I didn’t,” I answered.

My parents were really close friends with a couple (Mr. B and Mrs. R) who had children our age, so we always hung out at each other’s houses.

The night before, we were at their house and the children played in the bedroom while the adults discussed boring things in the living room.

The next morning, my mom accused me of breaking their closet and wouldn’t believe me when I said that I didn’t do it.

A week later, they visited us in the morning. My mother and Mrs. R were in the kitchen having a coffee and catching up.

The son, M., hung out with me in my room. I questioned him about what happened with the closet that night.

It turns out that M.’s cousins, who were also there that night, broke the closet. They broke it while playing hide and seek after I left. When the parents got upset over the closet, the kids blamed it on me because I wasn’t there.

Photo by Vova Krasilnikov from Pexels

What M. didn’t know was: I chose to interrogate him while sitting next to my stereo, and I had recorded our entire conversation.

I had the full interrogation on tape. I took the stereo to the kitchen. I told mom and Mrs. R. that I had something for them to listen to, and proceeded to play back the confession.

“See? It wasn’t me,” I declared proudly when the tape was finished playing. I knew, without a doubt, that I had proved my innocence and defended my good name.

But my mom and Mrs. R. looked at each other with a. smile. I was expecting them to say sorry, or to acknowledge my innocence, or to reprimand M. for his lying. It didn’t happen.

“Look at you, Sherlock!” my mother mocked me. They both laughed at what they considered to be childish antics on my part. They completely dismissed my efforts to put clear my name and prove my innocence.

It wasn’t vengeance. It was the unveiling of truth, and it didn’t work.

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