Chapter 16: Interview with the Alleged

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Safiya had a plan. She wasn't going to tell Alyssa about the article until after she interviewed Jacob and hopefully Alyssa would want to tell her side of the story. It wasn't a well thought out plan but it was what she came up with last night. She'd been guilty of procrastination.

Safiya really didn't want to do the interview. The thought of Jacob Richard made her skin crawl like a million fleas visited her flesh. However, she knew it was something she had to do. She told herself, reporters don't always get to interview the hero sometimes they had to meet with the villain.

No matter how unbiased she wanted to be, Jacob was going to be the villain in her story. She couldn't block out the screams of fright that came from Alyssa's room in the middle of the night or the bruise on Alyssa's face that took it sweet time to fade away.

She was glad Harmony was out of class and could watch Ameera. The babysitting didn't come free. She had to tell her where she was going but the only upside was Harmony knew how to keep a secret.

It was a little past two p.m. as Safiya stood on Hyacinth Bridge. Verde Park was eleven miles from her house and ten miles from campus but she wanted to make sure no one that knew her would see her with him.

She told him to be there by one-forty. He was late, another vice to add to the list.

"Fiya." A voice called her nickname and she looked into the direction from whince it came.

It was him; not looking like a villain at all in blue jeans and a plain grey hoodie. Safiya wasn't too familiar with Jacob, really. He was Alyssa's boyfriend right before she started dating Trevor during freshman year; when she and Alyssa weren't that close but hung out together because their friends were.

"It's Sa-Fiya." She pushed her hair out of her face but the wind blew it right back. "Only friends call me that."

"Safiya." He smirked holding out his hand. The cloudy sky blocked out the sun and his ecru cheeks redden from the cold front that came in last night.

Safiya pulled the notepad from the back pocket of her jeans and a pen out of her tote bag, ignoring his wavering hand, "No need to be a gentleman, now."

She flipped the notepad to a clean page. Usually, she would have questions premade, something she learned for her high school newspaper teacher but what do you ask the man that raped your friend without wanting to stab him in the neck. "Let's get to it."

"Aren't you supposed to be...cordial?" Jacob dropped his hand giving up on the handshake. "Friendly."

"I'm supposed to be objective," Safiya fought the urge to scowl but her nose did flare just the tiniest. "Get the story for the people, not try to make a new friend."

"So, shot...what's your first question?"

Safiya clicked the pen, "When you went to the hospital that night...of the rape—"

"Alleged rape." He added swiftly.

She grimaced looking down at her notepad. She didn't want to say the word but had to fight against her own will, "The alleged rape...what were your intentions?"

"I was doing some volunteer hours." He covered his ruffled hair with the hood. "My dad requires me to give back to the community. So, sometimes I read bedtime stories on the pediatric floor."

"Did the alleged attack happen before you did your volunteering or after?"

"I got a text from Lyssa saying Long time no see." He pulled his phone from the pocket of his navy sweatpants, tapped the screen then showed it to her.

Safiya quickly read it with a concrete face then noted it in her notepad, "So, ya'll texted that night."

"Yes." He shook his head quickly, "For a long time." He swiped her thumb on the screen and multiple texts between them flew by. "She said she was bored. All her friends were at Pulse and so I told her I'd stop by before I left."

" went to see her and..." Safiya gestured for him to continue.

He half shrugged, "We talked about things...about us." He looked down at his black sneakers. "About how we wished we would've done things differently as freshmen."

"Then what happened?" Safiya asked while she wrote.

His hand slid down his face as his sight drifted passed her, "We kissed and not some peck on the lips B.S." He looked back at Safiya with his eyes ablaze. "Her tongue was so deep in my mouth I had her gum in my cheek."

"So to you..." Safiya tapped the almost filled sheet of paper with her pen, "That was an invitation."

"In the words of my was consent." He stated. "Her hands were hanging on my jeans, she was begging for it and I gave her what she wanted."

"She wanted to be punched in the face." She clipped.

"It was an open palm." His face twisted as his eyes were empty of guilt.

"She wanted to be hit in the face and have her hand sliced open."

"Alyssa's a freak." He bit out. "She likes it hard and rough. So, I gave her what she wanted."

Safiya huffed with infuriation storming in the pit of her core. "You're telling raped her because she wanted to be raped."

"Wrong!" He furiously shook his head, taking a step back. "I fucked her like she wanted to be fucked." He held up his hands. "Like we always did it."

Safiya clicked her pen and dropped in her tote bag because if she didn't she'd stab it into his throat. "I think I have what I need."

How will Jacob's account of events affect Alyssa's case and more importantly how will they affect Alyssa?

How will Jacob's account of events affect Alyssa's case and more importantly how will they affect Alyssa?

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