I walked up to face the jury, there were three of them in a row, all wearing black garbs, a meter or so between each one of them. I was anxious, a little disturbed, a little distracted. A long day lay ahead with possibilities of several tribulations. My movements were already wobbly from the huge loads I was being forced to carry. Things around me were dark with a few highly focused lights enhancing the ominous nature of the members of the jury. When I was at their disposal, one of them asked me in a cold and sweet voice, “Last night, did you or did you not?”
I was a little uncertain. My memory was failing me. I struggled. How many of them were there? My eyes started rolling but she didn’t budge. She tilted her head gently, gave me a sharp look and started tapping her pen. The other members of the jury also gave me intent looks. There was a deafening silence. She said. “Well…” and tilted backwards to call for Bruno, the witness.
At that point, I broke down. I couldn’t take it anymore. I confessed. I confessed to everything. Yes, I was being an irrational fool. Yes, I was a shame in the name of humanity. Yes, I was being an insatiable glutton. I devoured that one, and that one, and that one too. Yes, I confessed, I did use the mini-bar. I took the chips, the cashews, and the coke can too, even though the price of the three could have paid for one Congolese child’s food for a lifetime.
She smiled, basking in her victorious glory, printed the bill, asked for my credit card, and then said good bye and good luck for the rest of my life.