The door clicked open letting a blast of stale air burst through ahead of two men in loose suits. Their scowling faces glanced around the demoralising hospital room. They seemed glad at the lack of flowers and personal items. When their eyes finally sought out my face a look of sheer disgust consumed their features. Pure hatred seethed out at me. I shrunk into the mattress, fearing for my wellbeing. I was trapped in there with these men who clearly wanted harm for me.
The shorter of the men dragged the metal chair closer to my bed. He dropped it with an echoing crash to the ground and planted himself in it with a heavy thud. His partner paced at the end of the bed, his shoes the only sound penetrating the silence. I moaned in pain with my heart racing and squeezing at the swelling in my chest.
'Doesn't feel right does it?' The sitting man asked. 'I'm not sure the previous owner would be too happy knowing a monster took what was theirs.' I was too numb to answer. I knew the heart wasn't mine. I knew about the transplant. It was the only reason I was still alive.
'It's like looking straight into the face of evil,' the man at the end of the bed said without disrupting his pace. 'Can't believe I'd see it breathing still.'
'What do you want from me? Where are my parents?' I plead. My voice ran out of breath. I focused on regaining control of my lungs to ease the beating in my chest.
'You won't get to see your parents for a very long time. Not if we have anything to do with it.' The sitting man said.
'We've been sent from the metro police,' the second man cut in, 'to investigate what has to be the easiest criminal case I've received. Should be shut by the end of the month.'
'I know right. I can't believe no one jumped at this. What idiots.'
'What crime?' I stuttered through hollow breaths. 'What's happened?' The men snarled.
'You know exactly what happened.' The sitting one hissed. 'And just to refresh your memory, here.' He opened the folder in his hand and started throwing large photos over my lap. They landed on my chest, impossible for me to avoid without shutting my eyes. Blood splattered heads laid across the dirty floors. Blank faces were barely recognisable under the gore and damage committed to their head. Their bodies remained untouched except for the blood seeping into the fibres. I gasped in horror recognising the uniforms.
'Friends of yours?' They mocked. 'You and your brother shot out the entire third floor of your high school. Not a bad effort. Too much for one person to do.'
'But I didn't do it. I couldn't have. Where's Tom? What's happened to him?'
'He's where he belongs. In hell.' Tears spurted out from my eyes. 'Cut the sympathy. You knew he was going to kill himself in the end. If he didn't I would have lined up to be the one to shoot him.' A daze washed over my thoughts. I couldn't focus on anything in the room. I choked on the growing nausea inside of me. Thin vomit spluttered out from my lips and onto the photos on my chest. 'You can keep those, they're copies,' the cop added without taking the photos away. 'Pretty weak stomach for someone who committed the crimes.'
'But I didn't,' I implored. 'I couldn't have. I haven't left hospital in months.' The cops sent doubtful stares down at me. I felt empty, sucked of hope and chance.
'We have multiple witnesses identifying you at the scene.'
My mouth gaped. I couldn't believe a word they were saying. It was impossible yet the men in my room were determine to have me done for it.
A loud bashing belted on the door.
'Let me in,' I heard my dad demand. 'Let me in the goddamn room or I'll have you charged for false imprisonment.'
The door smacked open. My parents flew into the room, my dad's face glowed with fury. My mum dashed across the room to me, latching her arms around my head and squeezing me into her chest.
'God what have they done to you?' My mum released me to scan the damage. Yelps of anguish hiccupped out of her at the sight of the photos. She shoved them, vomit and all, across the floor.
'You have no right to be in here!' Dad bellowed. 'I demand you get the fuck out and leave this family alone. We've already been through enough.'
'I'm sorry sir, they just barged in,' a uniformed officer by the door apologised.
'Fine,' the pacing detective dismissed him with a wave of his hand. 'You two must leave. This is a police matter.'
'Then we should have a lawyer present,' dad’s back arched to press his chest out.
'The family of monsters don't get legal rights.'
'There are no monsters in our family,' mum cried. 'There just can't be. We raised them right. We did everything for them.'
'And yet they both shot up the school,' the sitting cop added. 'You need to get out before we arrest you for obstruction of justice.'
'Both?' Mum asked confused.
'Yes, they were both identified as the assailants by multiple witnesses.'
My dad burst into a fit of menacing laughter.
'Both you say? Taylor here helped Tom?'
'I assure you this isn't a laughing matter. Your sons are evil.'
'Son maybe but there's no way Taylor was there. You guys are fucking morons and you call yourself cops. We've already lost one son and you want to take another.' The detectives exchanged glances. 'Taylor couldn't have been there. He's been in hospital for months waiting a heart transplant. He can't even get down the hall unassisted. Tom is the,’ dad started to choke on his words, ‘murderer, not Taylor.'
'Our witnesses were clear both the older and younger brother were there.' The detective insisted.
'Younger and older? They're identical twins,' mum said in a calm tone. 'I should know. I was there.'
'But then how?' The seated cop's composure faded instantly. 'They're different year levels.'
'Taylor missed a year when he got really sick,' mum said, wiping away an exhausted tear. 'He had to stay behind to finish it.'
The seated cop bounced to a standing position. The words seemed to seize in his throat. The pacing detectives eyes held onto the fury. He fingered through the folder in his hand.
'I doubt this is the last time you'll be hearing from us,' he declared. 'Someone has to pay for your son's crimes. Before we leave here's a little something for you.' He dropped a photo of a smiling teenager. Her teeth were glistening white and long blond hair hanging over her should in a long pony tail. 'This is the previous owner of the heart sitting inside of you. Your brother shot her in the head. I doubt her family will be happy to hear the hospital rushed her heart into you and she’s now keeping her murderer's twin alive.'
They marched from the room, leaving me to stare upon the donor's photo. My heart skipped a beat.