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Assisi & Brannan #13: Catching Up

Apr 22, 2014

Katherine and I hosted a party that night. By the time we were ready I had already forgotten our conversation in the morning where she tried to match make me. But the past has a way of catching up and making you remember things you don’t want to. Like the envelope with my story and what happened at the party.

One of Katherine’s friends, an attorney named Gregory Parker, was quite drunk on the cheesy, pink aloha drinks we had fixed. We were talking about what we both did. It wasn’t too long before I found out that he was defending a man involved in a case I reported on when I first joined the Bay Area Reporter.

You know how you recall things you haven’t thought about for a while? They bother you but they usually dissipate. I didn’t remember much of Gregory’s conversation with me except for the unpleasant feeling the memory of the case always elicited in me. Somewhere in there, mixed in with discomfort was guilt for something I still wonder about.

I got a text this morning. It was time stamped at 4 a.m.

The same chill seized me.

I don’t know how he got my number and it’s not an unpleasant feeling anymore. I feel violently ill.

My mind races. Did I give Gregory my number? Did he pass it on? If he has my number he will know where I live. It is only a matter of time.

I have to tell Katherine. I wanted to call Peter to tell him…what? What do I tell him? I got a text from a man I helped get convicted. Peter: Did he sign his name? No. Peter: Did he identify himself? Why would he? He didn’t need to.

What do I do? What can I do?

Do I call Kevin? Sam?

All the things I did wrong in reporting that story have come flooding back like a flash flood in a dry wash after a summer thunderstorm.

That first story at BAR…I wish I had done things differently, like let the police solve the case and not scoop them. Like question the truth of my beliefs. Like wait. I did not lack conviction, the problem was I had too much of it.

Three words told me who had sent the text and why he had written it.

“I AM INNOCENT.”

© Jocelyn Uma 2014. All Rights Reserved.