As continued from Part 4
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Detective Howell tapped his office desk with his thumb, looking at me waiting for anything I could recollect in my head. But nothing came back to mind – I had forgotten everything. I couldn’t even recall why I left my house to see the detectives. I felt very tiny and dumb in front of Detective Howell and Reid. Detective Howell looked like he was feeling bad for me. As a man he understood that a sharp mind is a must have for any man to earn respect. Reid looked irritated. She hesitated many times rising from her chair.
“I feel bad I wasted your time. As I said it was two crucial things, but I can’t recall anything,” I said, staring at his desk, desperate. Detective Reid asked to attend something and she went out. Probably it was genuine urgency, but I concluded she was angry I wasted their time. But it wasn’t my intention. I also didn’t know I would forget everything. And above all I never asked to have amnesia. Whoever shot me did it and left me incomplete and unreliable. But I thanked God I was alive, my son wasn’t that lucky – the bullet went through his brain and he died on the spot and left a hole in my heart. Every time I thought of him I wished I was the one who died and he survived. Whoever killed him killed a part of me. After the incident I would cry almost every time I saw anything that brought my boy to mind. That’s why I stopped watching the Saturday afternoon games, either live or on TV. I would cry profusely when watching them. My mind would always see my boy sitting next to me, screaming at the players or the coach on the screen alongside me. Grace tried to close the gap by watching the games with me, but she was a square peg in a round hole. She didn’t even like the game. She just did it for me. She believed I needed to be with someone to gradually forget Leon, yet I needed someone who would scold at the players and the coach or the referee and run all over the living room with me when a goal had been scored. I just needed Leon with me in the living room.
I used the palm of my hand to wipe tears welling up in my eyes. And when I recalled I was with someone I quickly raised my eyes and found Detective Howell staring at me. I felt embarrassed. He didn’t ask me a thing – probably because he knew I had all reasons to fall apart. He knew everything about Leon. He did everything to find him alive, but found him dead. Now he was dealing with my love. I believed he even prayed to find her alive. Sorrow upon sorrow would be too much for my heart to handle. It would kill me.
The door flung open after a brief knock. “A minute, sir,” Detective Reid said, holding the door handle. He got the message that they had to talk somewhere private, not in my presence. He stood up.
“Mr. Turner, excuse us. We’ll be back,” Detective Howell said, heading to the door.
“No problem, sir,” I said, still embarrassed. Reid’s presence revived my embarrassment. Probably due to the way she was impatient with me. Or because she was a young woman. It is every man’s wish to look perfect to any young, beautiful woman.
I took out my cell phone thinking probably I wrote a reminder. There was nothing. I sat there feeling clumsy. “What could be worse than boarding a bus to report nothing to busy officers?”
I sat up and glanced at the door when I thought probably Detective Reid had called Detective Howell because Grace’s body had been found. I couldn’t understand why she asked to speak with him privately since they had discussed other cases in front of me without any problem. Or she called him to ask him to get rid of me because I was nothing but a lunatic who had come to waste their time.
I rose and went out of the police station. I walked up the busy and noisy 7th Ave, to the bus terminal. A thought that connected the amnesia and Grace struck my head and troubled me. It was an honest introspection but I hated it. I wondered if I wasn’t the one who killed Grace, dumped her body in the woods somewhere and forgot I did it. But I quickly aborted the horrible theory. I knew it was impossible for me to kill someone I loved so dearly. There wasn’t anything that could make me kill her – instead I could kill anyone who could harm her.
I placed ten dollars on the roadside vendors counter and took two hot dogs.
“Your change, sir,” the young Italian boy shouted.
I looked back, “Keep it, son.”
He said, “Thank you, sir.”
I avoided speaking a lot with him. He seemed fifteen, Leon’s lifespan. He died when he had just turned fifteen, so speaking with that boy could probably make me embarrass myself by crying in front of him. People who do such things end up on YouTube these days. The reputation damage I had suffered in front of Detective Howell and Reid was enough for the day – for a lifetime actually.
“Oh my God!” I stood still. Someone who was following me close bumped on me.
He said, “Sorry,” and walked past me. He seemed to be on a rush like most of the people.
I had recalled I left Detective Howell’s office without saying anything to him. He left me there expecting to find me when he came back. But I was also lazy to walk back down there. I continued to the bus terminal. After all they took me for a lunatic – there was no reputation to protect really.
I bit one of the hot dogs. It was fresh and hot as its name.
My cell phone rang. “My God!” Detective Howell was calling. I felt embarrassed to take it. It was a stupid fact – I forget our business wasn’t concluded and left. So what would talking about it solve, besides formalizing my folly?
The thought of killing Grace flashed again. I pushed it away.
The call ended. But he called again. “Jesus.”
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