THE INNOCENT VICTIM by karin chernyakov - Illustrated by Simon Betterton -
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Artwork: Simon Betterton

  • Joined Apr 2022
  • Published Books 1

The dairy of Richard Anderson

Chapter 1 – The fisrt crime.

I got up for my 18th birthday. I got organized and went out to the bank where I parked my motorbike, it was a purple Suzuki 500. I got to the bank and found out that my motorbike was not there, I tried to calm myself down, maybe i parked it somewhere else? I was looking in the supermarket, in the park.. but it was not there. I remembered it was raining yersterday so the motorbike must be near the bank because it’s the only place with a roof, but it was not there so i went back to the bank to check again, I saw pices from the motorbike lock on the floor. I felt upset and realized my motorbike had been stolen!

I went to the police station to report the crime. The policeman welcomed me happily while i was in a diffrent mood, I was sad. I gave him details about me and the crime, while he was typing everything on the computer, he turned to me and said “Happy birthday, sir!”.


Chapter 2 – An unhappy eighteenth birthday.

I was resting in my house when I suddenly heard someone knocking on the door, when I opened it I saw my girlfriend Alison. “Happy birthday, Richard!” She said. She stopped smiling when she saw I was sad. She brought me a present, I knew what was in it – a new motorbike helmet that made me even sadder. We ate breakfast and I told her the story of the stolen motorbike crime, and at one point Alison became as sad as I was. “You’ll get a new bike,” she told me, how? I do not have enough money, I will have to save months. Alison  knew how much I loved my motorbike and that I ride it every day she tried to give me hope. And now Alison herself has become angry, the helmet cost her a lot of money and took her a long time to save for me to buy it. Alison was also jealous because she knew how much I loved my motorbike. She sometimes thought I was “cheating” on her with my motorbike, and that’s how she would always remember Anthony.


Chapter 3 – Thoughts of revenge.

Anthony was a good friend of Alison’s. Anthony hated me because he really wanted Alison. Once Alison and Anthony were very close, Anthony thought she was going to leave me but no, she chose me and as a result Anthony wanted revenge on me.

He remembered my birthday, he wanted me to be sad, so the night before he decided to take my motorbike for two or three days. He searched but couldn’t find anywhere. He remembered it was raining earlier, so that means my motorbike has to be near the bank.


Chapter 4 – A bus ride.

Later that day, I was waiting at a bus station, I was depressed. I went to a job interview but I did not care about it at the moment. I missed my motorbike. While waiting for the bus I got bored, I saw a young guy handing out flyers and it made me think about my life. I was lucky, family, I lived in a comfortable house, I ate well and I had my girlfriend Alison who bought me an expensive helmet even though she did not have much money. Suddenly the wind blew and the flayer that the young man was handing out flew towards me. I grabbed it and started reading it but the bus arrived, I only got to read three words – APPLE NUMBER NINE. I put the flayer in my pocket and I got on the bus, there was no place to sit and the old women next to me wouldn’t stop talking for even a second. A few minutes later the bus was already empty and I found a place to sit, it was next to the old women.


Chapter 5 – Interesting information.

The old woman kept talking and told me “I am going to visit my daughter and my grandson”. Then she took a picture out of her pocket and showed me, “this is my grandson” she said, “he was in jail, two years for stealing motorbikes, but he’s not a really bad boy”, “you’re pretty much like him.” I looked at the picture “Yes, I do” I said. It was the word motorbike that made me pay attention to the picture. In the picture was a young man about the same age as mine. Is this the person who stole my motorbike? I thought. The old woman continued with her story “He had friends of the wrong kind, he also robbed some shops”. Her station arrived, she got off the bus. I saw that it was called Tower Road, I knew it was not possible but if there is a possibility that my motorbike is there so after the job interview I will go back and look for it. My job interview was for a travel agency and I really needed her. I was about to finish school in July and I wanted to work a year before I started university, I had to save money and get work experience. I was going to study tourism at university and that’s why the job is so important. Unfortunately my interview was a disaster, I could not concentrate, I kept thinking about my motorbike and the hand of the old woman.


Chapter 6 – A second crime.

While I was in the interview, Alison decided to try and get the money back for the helmet. When she arrived at the store she saw two police mobiles and a group of people standing and watching. The crime was not in the motorbikes shop it was in the store next door, a jewelry store called “Apple Number Nine”. Alison found out what had happened. “There was a robbery this morning, the owner of the jewelry store was shot, the police are investigating.” Alison entered the motorbike shop and in the boys a policeman interrogated the owner and Alison had to wait. She heard part of the conversation “There were two men, one man ran away from the store with a green bag, he also carried a fever. The other man was waiting for a motorbike outside the store, the first man got on the motorbike and they set off at full speed.” Allison left the store and walked quickly to my house, but I was not there because I was in a job interview.


Chapter 7 – Alison meets a friend.

While Alison was waiting for me near the house Anthony passed. She called to him. Alison liked Anthony she just knew she could not date him otherwise she would lose me. “It’s your friend’s birthday isn’t it?” he said. “Yes but there was bad news” Alison replied. She was surprised by Anthony’s reaction, his face turned red and he looked nervous. “Someone stole his motorbike last night” she said. Anthony trembled and said “oh it’s awful, listen Alison I have to go I’ll see you”. Alison thought he was behaving strangely, she watched him walk quickly down the street and then looked at her watch, it was almost two o’clock, four hours had passed since her breakfast with me and she was hungry.


Chapter 8 – Richard investigates.

I did not have a good birthday. After I finished the job interview I got back on the bus, thinking about how horrible the interview was and my lost opportunity to work in tourism, I knew I would not get this job. The bus arrived at Tower Road station. I got up quickly and got off the bus. Suddenly I saw the old woman with the picture of the grandson getting on the bus! I tried to get back on the bus but he was already gone. What a terrible day, everything goes wrong.
I tried to think positive. I decided to wander the streets looking for something that might help.


Chapter 9 – Anthony’s decision.

Anthony left Alison quickly because he felt guilty about Richard’s motorbike even though he had no reason to because he did not steal the motorbike.
The night before when he arrived at the bank Anthony did not find the motorbike, only saw the lock broken. However he felt responsible because of his plan to commit the crime. “Richard must be very sad, especially when it’s his birthday” Anthony thought, suddenly all the hatred he felt for me was gone. At that moment Anthony made an important decision. “I can live without Alison as a friend but I still want her as a friend, if she wanted to be with Richard then it means he’s a good person” Anthony thought and decided to call Alison to tell her that but not today.
Alison looked at her watch again, it was already two-thirty and I had not returned home. Then for no reason Alison started thinking about Anthony. “I love Richard but what exactly do I feel about Anthony?”
I finished my search on Tower Road, the only thing that interested me was that I found a motorbike helmet in window number nine! It reminded me of something but I did not know what exactly. I got on the bus and thought about food. When I got off the bus I stopped at a fruit shop and ate an apple. I went back home and saw Alison sitting on my doorstep.
She was tired and hungry. “I have news Richard, I do not know if it will help but it is interesting” she said. They entered the house and Alison told him about the conversation at the motorbikes shop. “There was a robbery at a jewelry store called Apple Number Nine” I was reminded of an earlier leaflet. Alison continued “The officer said the type of motorbike they were using was a purple Suzuki 500,
Just like yours! “


Chapter 10 – The newspaper report

The morning after my birthday, Anthony had breakfast with his parents, he turned the page in the paper and read part of a report of a robbery at a jewelry store. His hand trembled and his face was white. He got up nervously and went to his bedroom and tried to stay calm. “Maybe it’s Richard’s Suzuki, and even if I’m not tied I did not steal the motorbike in the end.” Thought Anthony.
My reaction was a little different when I read the report. “Alison said the witness was right about the type of motorbike so this is probably my motorbike!” I was optimistic, I thought the police would find the motorbike because the robbers always leave the vehicles after their robbery. In Alison’s opinion I watched too many detective films and I was too optimistic and unfortunately she was right. What happened was much worse than my expectations.


Chapter 11 – An arrest

The police quickly made the connection between me and the motorbike that was used for the robbery. They also had a theory; “You report that someone stole your motorbike and then an hour later a store robber. After the robbery you use the same motorbike to escape from the crime scene.” The police came to my house, they wanted me to answer some questions at the police station. I laughed at first, until I realized the police were serious. At the police station I was asked a lot of questions and searched my pocket. I wore the same jacket as yesterday “and that’s why the policeman found in my pocket the flayer the boy handed out at the bus stop with the words” apple number nine “. I tried to explain the story to them. The policeman smiled but not in a friendly way. I knew he did not believe my story. Even the interview Job did not provide as an alibi. “Maybe you robbed the jewelry store first and then went for an interview” said the policeman. I was nervous, how could this happen to me? I thought. “No I did it” I said in a weak voice to the policeman. Smile, his face was serious. “Richard Anderson, I’m arresting you on suspicion of a robbery at a jewelry store, apple number nine on the morning of June 7.” I did not believe in my bad luck. First I was a victim because my motorcycle was stolen and then I was arrested for a crime that I I know nothing about him! I’m the victim again, the innocent victim! That evening Alison came to the police station. “I had breakfast with Richard during the robbery” she told the police but she knew they would not believe her because she was my girlfriend. Then she came to see Me, she gave me some of my stuff and also an Arab newspaper. There was another article about the robbery, the article said that the police have a suspect. It’s me! They’re talking about me! The article also included a drawing of one The bandits. It did look a bit like me but when I saw it I knew who it was. It was the old woman’s grandson from the bus. The old woman had to be found with the help of the robber, but how? I was arrested at the police station and the police did not intend to let me out, shooting at a store owner and robbery is a serious crime.


Chapter 12 – Temptation

Allison left the police station and went home. She called my family and they told the lawyer the whole story. Suddenly the phone rang, it was Anthony. He decided he should try to help me find the motorbike so he would not feel guilty. Alison started crying and told Anthony that they had stopped me. Anthony arrived at Alison’s home. Anthony thought it was a perfect opportunity for him to be with her and maybe even kiss her but he knew it was forbidden. Allison just wanted someone to be with because she felt alone.


Chapter 13 – More bad news

The next morning I was still at the police station, bored and worried. One of the cops gave me a newspaper reader, there was another story about the robbery in the newspaper. I read the article and was filled with hope and excitement. The newspaper said the police arrested the second suspect in the robbery and found some of the jewelry at. I thought now the robber would say I’m not tied up. My lawyer came to me, I thought he would come with good news but no, he told me the other robber said he robbed the store with me. I was shocked. He’s probably protecting the old woman’s grandson. My lawyer believed I was innocent but there was too much evidence against me. “We need to find the man who stole your motorbike” the lawyer said. I already knew that, but what can I do? The only person who can help is Alison.


Chapter 14 – The first step.

Alison looked again at the picture of the man who stole my motorbike – the old woman’s grandson on the bus. Alison knew there was only one thing she could do and that was take a bus to Tower Road. When she waiting at the bus stop Alison thought of Anthony, she was happy about their decision and about last night. Anthony also arrived at the bus stop. They reached Tower Road. They did not know exactly what to do so they started wandering the streets looking for something that could help them find the old woman.


Chapter 15 – A piece of good luck.

Alison and Anthony intended to give up and go home. Suddenly, Anthony looked up and saw a woman walking with shopping. It looked very similar to a photo of the robber in the newspaper. Alison thought it might be the robber’s mother. They saw that she had entered her house and decided to go and knock on her door. Alison and Anthony asked the woman if she knew the old woman and told her about me and how they had indicted me. The woman brought them into her house and said “My child disappeared on the day of the robbery, I do not know where but my mother came to Ian soon want to wait for her and talk to her?” “Yes it will be lovely” Alison replied. The old woman arrived 15 minutes later. Unfortunately she could not help, the grandmother’s story was similar to the mother’s story.


Chapter 16 – The evidence.

My trial has begun. My family and friends were nervous, but not like me. I could not believe such a thing was happening to me! On the first day of trial the prosecution lawyer presented the evidence against me, then the second robber presented his testimony against me. At the end of the first day of trial even I began to believe I was guilty. On the second day of the trial a lawyer tried to show that I was innocent. Allison also testified, she was nervous and cried. The next day it was Anthony’s turn to testify he told a night before seeing the lock of my motorbike broken.


Chapter 17 – The verdict

All the evidence for the lawsuit seemed reasonable and all the evidence for the defense seemed weak. I sat in a small room waiting for them to call me to hear the verdict. I was depressed, I was sure I would be blamed and I would lose my freedom. The time for the verdict has come. Everyone was under pressure. “Guilty”. My parents and Alison started crying. And I? I did not react, I did not believe that such a thing could happen to me. How can one be so unlucky? The judge turned to me and said “Richard Randerson you are guilty of robbery of a jewelry store, apple number nine and shooting of the store owner. You will go to jail for six years.” This time I did respond, shouting “No, I’m innocent!”


Chaptr 18 – Alison’s trip north.

I went to jail in north London, I was scared. For the next six years I will have to eat and sleep with criminals. Alison visited me on my second day, I looked tired and very unhappy. Alison told me she was going to visit her parents in Scotland for a few days and when she came back she would come visit me again.
The next day Alison took the train to Scotland. The second night at home in Scotland she went to the village pub to meet some old friends. When she arrived she saw outside a purple Suzuki 500 motorbike parked, it made her think of me. Alison told her friends the whole story, they were silent and did not know what to say. During their silence Alison heard someone with a very different London accent from the local Scottish accent. The person sitting at the next table had the same accent as Richard, she listened to what he said; “Do you want to buy jewelry?” Alison was in shock. Maybe he’s the real robber?


Chapter 19 – The discovery.

Alison went to get some drinks from the bar on the way to the table she looked at the man to check with him he really is and with him is similar to the picture. Alison and the man’s gazes met, Alison was startled and the straight man realized she was renewing him and immediately stopped selling jewelry.
Alison told her friends she should go and left the bar. Michael a friend of Alison’s alone noticed that the man was following her. The robber shouted at Alison “Hey! Where are you going, I want to talk to you” Alison was startled and started running. The robber started running after her, he caught up with her and pushed her against the wall and pressed his face to hers. The man asked her questions but Alison was too scared to answer. At that moment the robber was pushed to the ground by a trio of men, Michael and two other friends of Alison. They called the police and then called Alison’s parents. Police were not sure at first, but they saw the bag full of jewelry, the motorbike and his picture.


Chapter 20 – Richard’s salvation.

Police found out the robber was in Scotland and sold the jewelery. Luckily the robber chose the wrong pub to sell jewelry. A week later I left prison because it turned out I was innocent. I was very happy and relieved to be home. Have a big lunch party for me and my family. Alison and all my friends were there, Anthony came too. The doorbell rang and my mother went to open it; “Richard, there’s a surprise for you,” she said. He went outside and saw some men unloading his motorbike from a truck, I started crying with excitement, everyone greeted me. Alison came with my birthday present – a shiny new white helmet. I told everyone I was back in 20 minutes and was able to do a ride with my motorbike and helmet.


Chapter 21 – New beginnings.

Alison was very happy for me but she did not feel close to me anymore. She thought I was happier to see my motorbike than her. But this time it was not as jealous as before the motorbike was stolen, this time it was a feeling that she did not love me anymore. She felt a hand touch her, it was Anthony. This time she knew what she wanted and was confident in her decision. “What are you doing this evening?” She asked Anthony. Alison was very happy, she thought about the whole journey she went through in the last few weeks and that she went through this experience. She had moving memories and a new friend. “I know I’ll miss Richard but I also know I’ll be happier with Anthony” she thought. I, on the other hand, had no positive memories of the last few weeks. The only good thing was it was I got out of jail and got my motorbike back. I was sad at first because Alison was now with Anthony but slowly I felt happier and started getting to know other girls but I will always remember Alison and what she did for me. A few weeks later I did another interview for a travel agency job.

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