I'd love to say that there has been some massive breakthrough in our case. That suddenly, these pieces, these murders, have led to something tangible, a conviction, a result...hell. A name. Something. ANYTHING. But it hasn't. It doesn't. Not all the time. Our single hair from the church has been pulling blanks. Aspen's done all she can with it, run it through every database, run for trace chemical samples, and nothing leads us anywhere. All we know is, we're looking for a black haired chap, with no prior convictions. It actually does fit with my hypothesis earlier...We might not be looking for anyone notorious. Just some loner kid, some sorry bastard who's snapped.
Detective White and I have been talking the case only very irregularly...and both of us are concerned the trail's gone cold. Hell...I think even the Captain knows it has. She's been moved onto another case, leaving this one on a temporary hiatus. Our meetings have gone back to the typical doctor/client routine, the regular checkups, the ritual monotony of a real job.
We're much closer nowadays, though, and she's no longer the uptight angry girl she was at the start of this case. We are...oh, screw it. We're friends.
I don't know why that seems so abnormal to me, but it is: I've always been on the fringes in the force. Nobody really wants to hang out after-hours with their shrink, and I've accepted that. I've never been lonely or anything like that, because I've always seen it as just work. The life I lead, to fund my real life. But I guess being on the other side of the fence, seeing what they do, has made me realize, it's more than just a job, for them. It has to be. And while there is a certain balance to be had, that can't be achieved by cutting the lives of those you help, away from living for yourself. You begin to live for those people.
I think Detective White has taken that to an extreme. Her personal life revolves around her work life, and is intimately connected. Despite acting cool and aloof to her compatriots at the force, she cares deeply about every life that comes into contact with hers, the widows, the orphans, the lovers left bereaved. And I think that gets to her so much that she can't see her life as being important in the face of that loss. She is consumed by the want to re-establish an equilibrium.
So I'm...helping her help herself, I guess.
I blew off one of my regular social occasions with my old college friends the other night to go on what I described to them as an...urgent intervention with a key patient of mine.
In reality? I took Jess to the movies. We saw 'Just Go With It', which was...odd for me, I haven't seen an Adam Sandler film since Happy Gilmore, and I swear, that man does not age. I thought he was kind of a man-child back then, too. Me and Jess didn't watch much of the movie; we got in late, and spent most of it wondering aloud to each other what happened to Jennifer Aniston's career since Friends ended, and eventually came to the consensus: "Nothing."
Don't go see 'Just Go With It'. Just by the way. It's pretty bad.
It was a fun night, really. We grabbed a bite to eat after that at a sushi train near the station, and just talked. Work didn't come into the conversation all night, and it was... therapeutic for me. And for her. I guess. I don't know. I hope it was, anyway. She didn't have that look of...imperativeness about her, she just seemed like...herself, with no obligation to the community. She even laughed, her eyes catching the light and shining it back at her surroundings with a twinkle of vivid, green life as she did it…God, I’m getting carried away here. I’m clearly much lonelier than I thought I was, if I wax poetic about a single moment at a seedy sushi joint.
She did look stunning, though.
…I think this might be the first…actual blog post of this entire venture. No work, no intrigue…just a lovely night with a lovely lady. And…after my, experiences in the field, it seems we share some of the same…quirks. We were walking back to my car down a dimly lit sidestreet.
”Thanks for inviting me out tonight, Matt. It’s been a long time.”
”Oh, same here, same here. Last time I went to see a movie…Hell, I don’t even remember it.”
”Last time I went with my niece, the 3D glasses were these green and red paper thingies.”
”…And what are they now?”
”I don’t see ANY movies, let alone 3D ones.”
”Oh good, there’s someone out there who’s as boring as me!”
”Oh, come now, you’re not boring. Anything but.”
The conversation lapsed for a few seconds, just long enough for both of us to hear the wind blowing through the trees, and a soft but unmistakable third set of footsteps directly behind us.
A chill went down my spine, my pulse quickened. I smelled flesh, decomposing, squirming. I saw his face, the man who did this, the blood streaming from his eyes, as I looked up at him, powerless, helpless, as the bile rose up in my chest and the tears welling up from my screaming eyes, the ammonia stabbing, tearing, scouring…
Me and the detective whirled around simultaneously, eyes wide and teeth clenched…only to see nothing there. Nobody. He’d disappeared. He’d never been there in the first place. I experimentally tapped my foot on the pavement, hearing the sound echo back with a sense of relief. I smiled ruefully. “We’ve been too tightly wound lately.”
She grinned playfully, her hair in her face. “We have the right to be paranoid.”
”I suppose we do.”