[by Tom Lokovic, circa 2007.]
Two weeks after his twenty-seventh birthday, Mel framed himself for a murder which he didn't commit. He did this to win the favor of the victim's widow. That is, she became a widow in the process, but she wasn't one at the time, and in any case he didn't even know she was married.
This may take a bit to explain.
Mel lived alone in a rent-controlled apartment in Lower-East Side Manhattan. He'd been unemployed for six months now, having found that Loan Officer was a job ill-suited for a man of his ambition. At least, that's how he thought of it. The real problem had been the ambition of Mel's manager, who had orchestrated a certain amount of fraud through the agency. Mel's coworkers were complicit in this, and Mel was thought to be, though in reality he had trouble following all the winking and whiting-out of numbers. The manager had finally let him go, offering a tiny bribe in exchange for Mel's promise of silence. Mel assured him that he couldn't explain what had been going on if his life depended on it.