Chapter 54 Two Possibilities
I binge-watched dramas till the wee hours of dawn at home since I had nothing better to do. Consequently, I never got up before ten in the morning.
I was rudely woken up by the ringing of my phone one night.
Fumbling for the offensive device on my bedside table, it took a while for me to crack my eyes open and look at the caller ID.
Louis Zanetti, you little a*****e! Why are you calling me at such an ungodly hour?
Accepting the call, I immediately bellowed into the receiver, “Dude, what’s wrong with you? Why are you calling me in the middle of the night? If you can’t fall asleep, don’t drag others down with you!”
There was silence on the other end of the call. It lasted for so long that I had to check my phone to see if the line was still connected.
I raged at his seemingly senseless prank.
“Louis Zanetti, you-”
“Hello ma’am, am I speaking to Liliana Zanetti?”
My brain screeched to a halt at the voice that greeted me. Pulling my phone away from my ear, I confirmed that the number was indeed Louis’, despite the stranger who had just spoken to me.
The stranger continued asking about my identity. Confused, I inquired, “This is Liliana Zanetti speaking. Who are you, and where is my brother?”
I got an explanation immediately. “Ms. Zanetti, your brother’s run into some trouble. Could you make your way down to the station? I’m referring to the police station, by the way. It’s the one near your brother’s school.”
My sleepiness was gone once I heard about the police station. I sat up in a rush.
Having been detained in one myself not too long ago, I knew firsthand how devastating it felt.
How did Louis get himself stuck in the police station? He’s been a straight-A student since young, and his track record is squeaky-clean.
Another thought invaded my mind; I wondered if he had fallen for a scam. They’re getting more common these days, after all.
“May I speak to my brother, please?” I had to figure this out.
I could tell that the person on the other end was hesitating. Eventually, she agreed to my request and put me on hold. A moment later, someone spoke into the phone.
“Lili.” Hearing my brother’s voice on the other end of the line fueled my panic.
“Lou, where are you? Are you really at the police station? What happened?” My questions tumbled out in a rush.
“Lili, could you come here? Don’t let Mom and Dad know, please.” His request made my heart sink. Something’s very wrong.
Before I could ask more questions, the person who had spoken to me earlier had come back on the line.
“Ms. Zanetti, please hurry.”
Left with no other choice, I could only agree to go over to meet them.
I hung up and hopped off the bed, getting dressed and packing as fast as I could.
It was barely six in the morning. Louis did not want to worry my parents, and neither did I, so I didn’t approach them with the shocking news.
I did not want to throw them into a tizzy before we had sorted things out.
Before setting off, I left a note on the coffee table, letting them know that I would be gone on urgent business.
My brother was a university student at the Jadeborough Institute of Science and Technology. To get to Jadeborough city, I had to take a flight.
I bought the earliest flight to Jadeborough once I arrived at the airport. It would depart at half-past seven.
I touched down two hours later and took a cab to the Jadeborough Institute of Science and Technology.
It was my first time visiting Jadeborough and my brother’s university, so I had no idea where the police station was.
I had to ask several locals before I managed to locate the station.
“Hello, is there a Louis Zanetti here? I’m his sister,” I asked a young woman clad in police uniform at the front counter.
She moved her mouse rapidly like she was checking the station records.
About half a minute later, she said, “Yes, he came in yesterday, right? You can head over there; they’ll bring you to him.”
I thanked her politely and walked in the direction she had pointed out.
I soon reached a set of office doors and pushed them open. Two policemen were sitting in the office. Confused about who I was supposed to talk to, I repeated my question to the room.
A square-faced policeman stood up once I finished my question. He approached me and said, “Ms. Zanetti, we’ve been expecting you for a while. Would you like to meet your brother first?”
I recognized his voice as the caller from yesterday.
“Yes, please. Sorry for the trouble.” I was dying to meet Louis, and I felt relieved that this policeman seemed friendlier than the others who had questioned me earlier.
He brought me to a room and gestured for me to enter.
When I opened the door, I saw Louis slumped in a chair. The lights in the room were painfully bright.
I knew the lights were meant to keep him awake.
“Lou.” My heart ached at his suffering.
He immediately lifted his head at my tone, looking dazed. It seemed to take him a while to recognize me. His voice shook as he pleaded, “Lili! Save me, Lili! I didn’t rape that girl. I don’t even know who she is!”
Rape? I was stunned. He was detained for rape?
The severity of the situation struck me then. Lou’s future will be ruined if this goes on his record. Our parents will be devastated.
He was, however, my brother. I knew his character too well, and he was too honorable to ever carry out a crime as beastly as rape.
Clasping his hands, I tried my best to comfort him. I needed him to calm down and explain the situation to me.
“Lou, tell me what happened. Don’t worry; I’ll get you out of here.”
My tone must have reassured him as he visibly relaxed.
According to Louis, he had gone to a karaoke bar with his classmates last night. Everyone had drunk a fair bit and gotten tipsy, and at some point, he decided to go to the restroom.
Once he exited the restroom, some people dragged him off.
I asked if they were his classmates, but he had no recollection since he was tipsy.
What happened next was a blur. It ended with a girl screaming about being raped and naming him as the culprit.
“Lili, you’ve got to believe me! I didn’t do anything. I just ended up in the wrong room! I don’t even know who that girl is.” Louis began to panic as he recounted the incident.
I had the utmost trust in my brother’s character. There were only two possibilities in this situation; a simple misunderstanding or premeditated sabotage against Louis.
Falsely accusing someone of rape is too much.
“Don’t worry. I believe you. Let me ask the police some questions.”
My head was a mess as well, but I could not reveal my fear to Louis, who would only feel more hopeless.
I left the interrogation room and bumped into the policeman who had brought me here.