I didn’t sleep well that night. I kept thinking about what happened at the mall and it kept me up for hours. I didn’t understand my ex’s behavior. Why would someone be so cruel to a person for no reason at all? Did David really think that I would do anything to his child? It didn’t make sense. I fell asleep eventually and woke up exhausted. I had a hard time getting up for work, but I got dressed and went to the office.
It was mid morning, when the two detectives showed up to talk to me. They came into the office and introduced themselves. The first was Det. Nelson, a heavy set African-American man with a pleasant demeanor. The other was Det. Marahut, a Caucasian woman that appeared to be in her late 40’s. Det. Marahut had a cold and detached way about her. The two detectives asked if they could talk to me privately and I showed them to an empty examination room that was mainly used as a place to file paperwork.
I allowed the two detectives to walk in first and I followed. I closed the door behind the three of us. The room was spacious and I offered them chairs to sit on. I sat down in a chair facing them. ,
I smiled and said, “What can I do for you, Detectives?”. I noticed that I had started scratching at my cuticles, a habit that I have whenever I’m nervous.
Det. Nelson took a small notebook and a pen out from her jacket and started, “Ms. Murad, were you at the Plaza Mall last night?”
“Yes, I went there after work. I was feeling a little down and I wanted to walk around the stores before going home”.
“We understand that you had an exchange with a Mr. David Rappaport at a clothing shop, is that correct?”, She asked.
“Yes, I was walking to a dressing room to try on some tops and his daughter, she’s so tiny, was playing on the floor in the aisles. I wasn’t looking and I almost tripped on her. She fell back and I picked her up to find her her mother. I didn’t even know she was his daughter, I mean how could I know? I have no contact with him. He yelled that I as trying to do something to her. We had words, loud ones.”, I said. I felt ashamed and insecure. Did David report me for some made up thing? Well, I wouldn’t put it past him, I thought.
Det. Nelson remained quiet, but was writing things down. He then looked at me, a tentative smile on his lips as he spoke, “Did you make any threats towards Mr. Rappaport or his family?”
“Absolutely not!”, I said loudly, “Why would I threaten him or his family? He was the one that threatened me! He said that if I ever came near his daughter again, that he would kill me!”. I was shaking with anger and tried to get my bearings so I didn’t seem too emotional.
Det. Nelson said, “No, please, Ms. Murad, I didn’t mean to upset you. We just want to know what took place last night at the store, we need to make a time line of the events that led up to….”. Det. Nelson didn’t finish, he looked at his partner and she nodded at him. He opened his mouth to finish, but I interrupted him.
“What’s going on?? Did something happen to David? Is this why you’re here asking me all these questions?”, I asked as I stood up from my chair. I suddenly felt hot and cold at the same time. I wanted to know why they were here and questioning me, but I was fearful of the answer. These detectives were here because something bad had happened to David or his family, I thought. They didn’t just go through the trouble to coming to my work because of an argument at a store.
“Ms. Murad, would you come down to the station with us to discuss this further? Your ex husband and his wife were attacked last night. Mrs. Rappaport is in intensive care for very serious injuries, she may not make it. Mr. Rappaport’s injuries were fatal. He passed away on the way to hospital.”, Det. Marahut replied. I knew that denying Det. Marahut’s request was not an option and I agreed to go with her and her partner to the police station for further questioning. I wanted to cooperate with the police because I had nothing to hide. After all, if David and his wife were attacked, it wasn’t by me. I just didn’t know if I had anything to offer the police in their investigation. I had no knowledge of what took place after I left them at the store.
At the police station, I was placed in a room by myself for almost an hour. The room was not comfortable. There was a metal table with three matching metal chairs surrounding it. An officer came in to ask me if I needed anything. He offered me coffee or a can of Coke, I took the can of Coke. The room was windowless, and the air was stale. I stood up and paced around the room. I couldn’t sit still and my mind kept going around in circles. What happened to David and his wife? Was their child attacked as well? I hoped that their daughter was alright. No matter what I felt about David and Suzanne, no matter what they may have done to me, the child was blameless and innocent.
Det. Marahut and Det. Nelson finally walked into the room, and apologized to me for the long wait. It was then that I found out what happened to David and his wife. Even now, I’m still in shock. I can still see the horrible images of what was done to them. Their broken limbs, the pools of blood, and the agony on their faces. These images never left my mind. They looked torn and almost unrecognizable. Whoever did this to them, didn’t just want them to die, they wanted them to suffer, too.
© 2021 Johanna Elattar