Chapter Three 

I'm so anxiety ridden. What if I fuck up? No. Stop thinking like this, I can do it. He can't control me endlessly; some people want to help me. If mother had voiced something, she'd still be here. Oh, no. Nylah's trying again.

 

"Move from me now, away from me! Shift the fuck away from me! Don't touch me. Go away!" While screaming, I project her away, hard, she stumbles backwards.

 

Who does she think she is, trying to talk to me? She's not up to code on what's at stake here, I don't know her from a fucking wall orifice.

 

With intent, I hammer my head into the door. Self-injury scares them off more times than not. They don't want me to 'hurt' myself -- blood begins to run down my face.

 

"Go alert the nurse, Nylah." he asks. "Jog!"

 

Nylah dashes out of the room to go and retrieve Etta.

 

"Etta, come swift!" she screams.

 

She comes running toward the room with a needle in her hand to sedate me.

 

"We'll have to try this again another day." said the doctor.

 

***

 

This guy is lucky he's my best friend, or I would be fucking walloping him one. I'm always distributing the foot to his anal at this game. He tries to act as though I cheat, but he only conceives that, because he can't conquer me -- at least he hasn't yet.

 

"Fuck you, Kingston, you asshole!" I yelled and busted out in laughter, "You fucking crook!" I mocked, bumping into him sideways, and making him drop his controller.

 

"Fuck you, Kai!" he cracked up, as he picked it back up.

 

"Got a date with Svetlana," he giggled, while humping the air.

 

"The Russian chick with the bright yellow hair from the bar?" I asked.

 

Not my business, but a new fling every week is the story of Kingston's life -- and seven moons is pushing it. I never really know one, before she's history, then he's on to the next. Sometimes every few hours. He's such a player, I can't do it -- I want one girl, and I want that one girl to be with only me. Call me kooky, but that is best.

 

I'm well experienced in dealing with someone who cheats on you, constantly. My ex, I'm not sure what I saw in her or why I put up with the petty bitch for so long.

Maybe because she was what my friends would approve of look-wise, versus what I like personality-wise. Stopped letting my friends pick my chicks a while back but unfortunately there was a time, I allowed such nonsense. I cared about what they thought and lost out on the love of my life quite possibly.

 

"You're the fucking cheater, cheater!" I played.

 

"Yeah, that hottie, we're going to uncork some bubbly and shit. Go back to my place, I'm going to fuck the piss out of her, and then I'll be taking her on a long romantic walk to the door."

 

"You're an asshole!"

 

"Yeah, yeah, I know. Tell me something I don’t know."

 

He doesn't care about their feelings, and I’m pretty sure they don’t care about his either; they use him too. He promises them the world, and he supplies a whole new one to them, for the night. The man is loaded, because he was left a bunch of skrilla in his wealthy daddy's will.

 

Spoiled pretty boy, but he's my friend though, and we've been boys since long before the money. We've been homies since way back when, from day one to done -- when he was still a degenerate on the block, playing manhunt. Snot nose child turns snotty nosed rich kid. I'm still stone cashless, and we're both still degenerates.

 

"I'm finito, homie. Gotta go to work." I said to him.

 

"Copy that, homeboy. I'm out, too."

 

"You off to see Svetlana, you filthy fucking animal?" I asked.

 

"You got that right, homie! If you're good, I'll let you smell my finger later, bro." Kingston joked.

 

"No, thanks. I like my coochie unscented." I waved my hand in front of my face and laughed.

 

He's amused, we always joke with each other. He roasts me bunches for being a 'one-woman man,' as he calls me. I burn him for being a man-whore. One day I'll rub off on him, one can wish. He's a cool guy, he's just a bedraggled dog. He never hit a woman in his life, and he would take on anyone who did, but he's a womanizer, a big one. Kingston will let them use him, so he can do the same.

 

We're loyal friends since the sandbox, and we try to keep each other in check and out of trouble. Too many so-called homies during these trying times are all about 'free my homie.' Instead of that shit, they should discuss better choices their boy could make, that don't put their man in jail in the first place.

 

***

I slurped up my coffee. Man, that's delicious. Where would I be without it? Coffee, legal addiction, but no different from any other attachment. My face caterpillar needs a trim, dips in my cup with every indulgence. My moustache is starting to become more stained, and now is a darker brown.

 

What do we have here? On my desk I find a couple of new cases. Another vanishing girl, I despise these.

 

"Justice Atkins. eighteen-years-old." I read the name at the top of the folder.

 

Unfortunate, so young, so heartbreaking. How can I help find you justice, Justice? Tell me something, I read over the details of the day she vanished and her description. I swipe up on the phone and punch in the number for the Chinese food place, but the voicemail responds.

 

"I'm Detective Eastdale of the SAPD, and we're looking into a person lost. We would like to come by and have a look-see at your cameras from the day the young girl vanished. Her obvious journey takes her right by your establishment, so we want to checkup if she made her way as far as you or not. I'll be by sometime today to give the footage an eye. Have a good one, take care."

 

I take my hat, coat and case -- I need to head over. I have faith this will tell me something.

 

***

 

I have a feeling about this girl, she is someone who young Bill will open to. I sip my piping-hot tea, ouch, burns my lips and I give them a wiggle.

 

"Hot!"

 

The teacup makes a clink, as I set it down on the plate. I go over the Blake case once again -- this poor child was so scared. This is the first photo taken after his registration here, that unpleasant day. He swears up and down his dead brother is after him. He hasn't articulated this verbally, but he always exhibits fear whenever he's shown a photograph of his sibling. He signals to the door and windows of his room.

 

He's insinuating Bobby's been here, but that's not reasonable. He killed himself at their family's abandoned home many years ago. He and his friend Ducas Dillinger ran away from the orphanage, and they found Bobby’s body incinerated to ashes, he was only able to be identified through his dental records. They never did find his friend, or the money from the robbery, some assume the two are together.

 

Mary, I must call her -- she's whom I’ve worked with on this case. We've worked together for many, many years now. We want to learn what happened in their house, what did he go through? Why won't he speak, is he afraid of something or someone? Is he keeping a secret?

 

I wanted to go back over some evidence, so I lay everything all out of its brown envelope again. The sun shines in the window directly on the mountain of teeth spread out on the tray before me. Then, something catches my eye that never did before, how did I not see this?

 

One of these are coloured and shaped different. I calculate what this could mean if this is from another person?

 

At the time of the explosion these were assumed to have been all tested -- but were they all? Or were just a couple done to confirm Bobby's identity? I'm baffled such a thing could be strayed, flabbergasted! Oh, my -- this can't be right, holy or true? Why would there be only one singular tooth belonging to someone else -- and who does it belong to?

 

If I'm correct this could revise everything, I must call Flannigan right away. This could be quite pertinent to the case, and I'm so ashamed this was initially missed! This old age must be catching up with me, maybe I should think about retiring? I can't let such errors fly past me in the future, truth dangles in the balance.

 

***

 

Fucking Kingston, he didn't pick up the rolling papers on his way home.

 

"I'll be right back, I'm going to grab the papers you forgot, asshole." I tell him while I close the front door. "You owe me, fucker!"

 

The corner-store isn't too far away, and it is a great night for a walk. I find the intersection I need to go to, a couple of blocks in front. Locked and loaded, let's go. I always carry a gun, because you never know what you're going to run into out here in these streets, these days in this 'hood. Or what will run into you -- war out here it is, son.

 

Speaking of which, someone is yelling in the alleyway a little up from me, so I do a side-eye down as I stroll by it. Three gigantic men are bequeathing a butt whooping to someone. They don't know I'm watching; I should mind my own business and keep walking. The guy they are pounding is a senior, man. He is on the ground, holding something, they're trying to take it from him.

 

What if this was my grandfather? Wouldn't I want someone to help him? But what if he's a pedophile or something, and I'm stopping some redemption from taking place. No, I have to say something.

 

"Give us the package, old man, and no one gets hurt," One of the men yelled.

 

"Please, leave me, you don't know the whole story," the senior begged.

 

Another man kicks him hard in the head and snatches the envelope out of the man's hand.

 

"Hey, leave him be!" They all turned around.

 

"Mind your business, kid. You're in dangerous territory, I'd recommend you go away, now," warned the brute.

 

"What it appears you want, you got, so let old grandpa go." I shouted back.

 

They come toward me, shit, what have I done? The last kick laid the guy out, he's bleeding from his ear and isn't moving. If I don't think of something soon, I'm going to be right next to him on the ground.

 

Should I pull out, these guys probably have a bigger arsenal. Without another thought I reach for my gun and the one guy smirks at me, like I'm cute or something.

 

"No need for that stuff, kid, trust me, you don't want it." he warned.

 

Suddenly, a growl to my left. Here sit three raccoons, digging through the trash bins out the back of Wong's. These little blokes aren't friendly, they move quick-fast, favouring the three men.

 

"Boss, I don't like these fucking things," one man pleads, while his voice quaked.

 

"Let's bounce on out of here, we've got what we came for," another man said. The raccoons charge toward the assholes.

 

"We'll see you around, kid," the guy who I think is the leader said, while nodding at me.

 

"People say that a lot but I never see anyone." I breezed back, I'm trying to seem more confident than I am, these men would rumble my arbour.

 

They jolt into their waiting parked car, and I try to peep the plate and remember as much of it as I can -- J13 is what I recall.

 

I run to the man on the ground and observe if he's breathing. He doesn't appear right, but he's conscious. I hail a taxi and sit the man up to put him in the back.

 

"SAM-H, please." I told the cab man.

 

The emergency room is not too far from the assault. I tip the driver and I take the man out of the back seat and place him in a wheelchair left by someone else. I haul my hoodie up over my face, so police officers won't pinpoint me on the cameras -- I walk fast and roll him in. Immediately, someone approaches me with twenty fucking questions.

 

"I'm sorry, I don't know this man," I walked away, and lowered my head.

 

"Sir, you're going to have to stay around and do some paperwork -- we have some inquisitions," said the attendant.

 

I brushed off the request and leave as soon as I see the man is now in better hands. I do a sudden over-the-shoulder while they secure him to a stretcher.

 

"Oh, my, Dr. Hans!" gasped the infirmary orderly.

Is the guy a doctor? What was he doing in an alleyway, with those mafia-type of men?

 

"What happened?" another woman asked, while she walked fast next to the rolling stretcher.

 

"I'm not sure, Professor. Flannigan. A young man just dropped him off here and ran out without answering anything. He is there, at the end of the hall." she pointed at me. Fuck.

 

"I tried to convince him to stay and do the paperwork, but he refused."

 

"He warned me something like this was going to happen. He didn't elaborate on it, and I didn't think it precisely would. I just thought he was being silly and paranoid, but now?" she asked. "I need to go to the office, immediately."

 

This is the last thing I heard, before the sick bay doors slid together behind me -- I needed to leave here before they called security.