Mr. Banks’ unmarked police cruiser tailed through traffic like it was a hot knife slicing through butter. Sirens blaring, we were followed by two other cruisers who have been on us since leaving Queens and entering Manhattan. Because this wasn’t his jurisdiction he had to radio ahead to let officers know where he was going and asked for backup. Hence the patrol cars going at the same speed.
Now in the Upper East Side, Mr. Banks turned onto Madison, slowing down until double parking in front of a ritzy apartment building in the East Sixties where a doorman held the door open in anticipation of the police’s arrival.
Flashing his badge, Mr. Banks was flanked by four uniformed officers as we walked into the awaiting elevator that took us to Penthouse apartment three. Not exactly the top floor but that’s because there was no basement to the building and so the top was used for storage. Once while visiting I remember an old white lady continuously arguing with the board about that who have and will not budge.
Mr. Banks placed a hand on my shoulder after looking down at my side, only then had I realized my hands had been clutched into fists. My knuckles were white and then red as I unclenched them.
The floor bell dinged and the doors opened into an expansive room that extended deep into the floor. In the distance faint laughter could be heard. We began heading in that direction, walking through several rooms varying in size. The laughter grew as we turned right and then left as we entered another expansive room, the common room.
Inside, several high school aged kids sat around a large table. Books were scattered about, open to various pages. The laughing began to trickle into silence as each head turned towards us. Mr. Banks held up his badge as Novak stood and slowly approached, stopping in his tracks once his eyes fell on me. He quickly straightened his back and looked to Mr. Banks. With a smile he said “what seems to be the problem officer?”
“Is this your place of residence, son?”
“Is it, sir. How many I assist you?”
“Your parents home?” Mr. Banks’ eyes began to wander as he drifted away from us towards Novak.
“Unfortunately not. They’re at a function in the South Hamptons.”
“Any adults in the vicinity I can talk to?”
“Well I am eighteen.”
Mr. Banks’ eyes fell on Novak as he smiled. “You fancy yourself a bright kid?”
Stumbling over his words Novak said “I try my best. I have decent enough grades. We were actually studying for an upcoming exam.” Novak motioned towards the table and then looked at me. “Didn’t think you’d want to join, Davenport.”
As Novak smiled at me a body had stood up from the table and began walking to Novak’s side- Marshal. “Everything alright, Chase?”
“It will be.” I said, not taking my eyes off Novak as he glanced at me, then Mr. Banks, and then the uniforms. “I think you’re gonna wanna call your folks and have them meet us down at the station.”
“Am I being accused of something?”
“Just get them on the phone, son. Better yet since you’re of age I’m sure you have the contact information for the family lawyer. Best to call him first. Mommy and daddy won’t be able to help you out of this one.” Mr. Banks said as he motioned for the uniformed officers to move in as he began flanking Novak.
Marshal began stepping back as one of the officers grabbed a hold of Novak’s arm and as he attempted to place it behind his back Novak struggled free, taking Marshal by the throat while locking his arm tightly behind him.
The cops quickly backed away while throwing up their hands. Marshal gurgled words as he tried to break free, his gaze wild. Novak stared me down knowing he was in deep shit.
“I don’t know what’s going on here but I’m not calling a lawyer and I certainly don’t need my mommy and daddy’s help. So I’m going to have to ask you gentleman to leave my house. Immediately.”
“I can’t do that son. You’re in a lot of trouble. You just assaulted someone in front of the police. I can bring you in on that alone. Crime in progress-know what that means? I was giving you the chance to do this the right way. Now you’ve forced my hand.”
Mr. Banks nodded at the onlooking cops who swiftly moved in on Novak, removing his hand from around Marshal’s neck with enough time to also allow Novak to push him into the cops as he ran. But Novak fell flat on his back once his face met my fist. One of the cops reacted with haste as he handcuffed one of Novak’s hands finally bringing the other behind his back to hook it to the other cuff.
Blood flowed from Novak’s nose as he began shouting obscenities. Mr. Banks took Novak by the arm. “You’re under arrest for the assault of this young man and the rape of Charity Banks.”
Novak began to laugh. “Rape? That’s absurd! I would never touch that bitch.”
“Oh but you did, son. You touched her.” My turn to place a hand on his shoulder as his grip on Novak’s arm tightened.
I looked at Novak. “You and the team were always wondering why she stopped going to games. She was pregnant and became too ashamed of her weight. She just had the baby a little while ago. All this time I thought it was mine. But Charity told me what you did to her the night of the gala. DNA will prove that the baby is yours. You’re done, you piece of shit.”
Before Novak could speak I gut checked him and then began walking away. “You’ll never prove shit, you hear me!” Novak shouted.
“Is this what you were talking about in the locker room when you said that bitch got what she deserved?” Marshal said. I turned to him. “What do you mean?”
Marshal stared at Novak as he slowly approached him. “A week after the gala I overheard him with a couple guys talking about some woman he hooked up with that night, said he gave it to her like her boyfriend never could then ditched her when she got too clingy. Nobody in our circle is mutually exclusive. The thought that he meant Charity never crossed my mind. I didn’t think he-” Marshal’s eyes fell to the floor then back at Novak. “I never would have imagined you’d do something that sadistic.”
The uniformed officers walked out of the apartment with Novak still shouting and Marshal dragging behind them. Before Mr. Banks and I filed out my eyes fell on my classmates, eyes bulging upon seeing one of them. Mr. Banks followed my gaze, looked at me then back at the table. “Is your name Denise Maxwell, young lady?”
All eyes fell on her as she stared at Mr. Banks. While shifting her gaze to me she dryly swallowed, nodding her head. “You need to come with us, miss. You can call your parents on the way.”
“Where are we going?” Denise asked, slowly standing.
“To the station house for questioning.”
“Am I in trouble?”
Mr. Banks left the question unanswered as he ushered her out of the apartment and into the backseat of his unmarked cruiser.