"I'm sorry," D.I Marsden began "For a minute there I thought you were confessing to Heather Trott's murder,"
I swallow hard "I am,"
"Right," I can hear the sarcasm rising in her voice "So for months we try to find her killer then two of you confess on the same night," She ran a hand through her curly hair and sighed "Are we really that lucky Jay?"
"Ben has been covering for me," I lied
"And why would he do that?"
"Because he's my brother and he's trying to protect me,"
"Isn't that what your doing?" she gives me a pointed look. Maybe she knows me better than I thought and I pray that she can't see through my lies.
"No," I tell her "I've spent months keeping this secret and it's tearing me apart!" I can feel my resolve breaking "It's my fault she's dead," I put my arms on the table and burry my head in them. I can feel the tears falling quickly and I know she can hear me sobbing.
"You're a good kid Jay," she sooths "You didn't do this. You wouldn't do this. Ben is a ticking time bomb we both know that,"
"You know nothing about him," I spit. My need to protect my brother becomes greater and I know that after this interview I will have nothing left. But this is something that needs to be done.
"Ben is a lot of things but he's not a killer," I lie "He's all talk, look at what he did to Phil He convinced you that Phil had killed Stella and as soon as his lies were found out he sung like a canary,"
"That's what he's doing now though, he's been found out and he's as you put it singing,"
"No I did this," I sound ashamed.
"If Ben gets away with this he might do it again," she warned me "How will you feel if you take the blame for this and he kills again?"
"And how will you feel if you let me go and I kill again?" I look at her seriously.
She ponders this for a moment and I'm sure I can see the cogs turning in her head "Tell me what happened then Jay,"
I close my eyes briefly and the images of that night come flying back so violently that I almost push back in my chair. Heather's life less body lying on the ground while George sleeps in the next room. Ben standing with the frame still clasped tightly in his hand. A look of total shock covering his features, he looked like the frightened little boy I once knew who ran from the bullies, who hid the abuse off Stella. I picture him all alone in a cold dark cell with a look of despair written across his face and I remember why I'm doing this.
"Ben told me that Heather had told the police that he had lied," I began cautiously "He was so scared that Phil was going to kill him when he got out. He was shaking, I've never seen him look so terrified,"
I pause briefly and I can tell that she is searching my eyes to give some indication that I am lying. "I was so angry with her. I know my brother shouldn't have lied to you but he's still my brother. I went over there to have it out with her,"
"Was Ben there?"
I knew that if I stuck to the truth as much as possible the lie would stay as small as it could "Yes he followed me,"
"Then what happen?"
"I knew Ben had to get out of Walford and I planned to go with him so I asked her for money,"
"Did she give it you?"
"No," I told her "She said she didn't have any, but I knew that Dot had given her some as a wedding present,"
"So what you got angry?"
"Yes," I confirmed "I went to go look in the bedroom but she grabbed me. I tried pulling away and we began to struggle,"
"So you picked up the photo frame?" she asked trying to piece the evening events together.
"I hit her harder than I thought," I whimpered
"What was Ben doing at that point?"
"He looked terrified of me," I answered looking down at the table "He turned and ran before I could have stopped him,"
"So you were on your own with Heather's body," Marsden wanted me to confirm.
"For the purposes of the tape the defendant has just nodded,"
"What I don't understand though Jay is if in one moment you just lost control and snapped how you could then be calculating enough to disguise the incident as a robbery gone wrong?"
I'm silent! I should have seen that one coming. Thinking of what to say next took a moment and not long after I gave my answer.
"I panicked!" I could feel my nerves being to waver slightly and I was concerned that soon she would see right through me. "Haven't you ever panicked and done something before thinking of the consequences?"
"I've never killed someone and tried to cover up their murder if that's what you're asking,"
"I don't make a habit of it," I snap, "If I could turn back the clock I would. I'd have never gone round to hers, I'd have never lost my temper, I'd…"
"have never smashed her over the head with a picture frame," Marsden interrupted me quickly "Because that's what your saying isn't it Jay? You're the one who killed her, you're the one responsible for her death,"
I contemplate the implications of the lie I'm telling, knowing full well what the consequences will be. I'll lose every thing; everyone and I'll spend the majority of my young adult life behind bars.
"Jay if you did this you will spend along time away from your family because of your own actions. But if you didn't do this and you take the blame you'll go away for along time because of someone else's actions. How is that fair?"
I know she's right, that taking the blame for someone else's mistakes is not only foolish but also immoral but he's my little brother and it's my job to look out for him.
Keeping that in my I sit up straight and look Marsden straight in the eyes. With more conviction than I ever knew I could possess I confirm what I've been saying for the past half an hour "I did it. I killed her,"
She stares at me momentarily before turning away in disbelief.
"Interview terminated at 01.05 on Tuesday 14th August 2012," she stands up and heads to the door. Opening it she turns to an officer outside and he makes his way over to me. Taking me by the arm he leads we out of the room and down the long corridor in front of me and I wait for my future to unfold.