September 2, 2018 by Patrick Starks
Everyday. Every day I’d wake up. And I’d see or hear something on the news that was negative. Murders, child abductions, suicides, to the wars we fought. Was the world ending? I mean, what does a girl have to do to get some positivity in her life. It’s already bad enough that I’d hear about the same topics at work, but to come home to a place that’s supposed to be my sanctuary. Well, that’s a problem. Although, it was better to know what was going on, then too not know at all.
Sure I could cut the T.V off, but let’s be honest, who could ever do that. I guess the good news was that I didn’t have to work that day. But little did I know that that day would be the day my whole life would turn into a Sherlock Holmes film.
It feels like it was just yesterday I made the decision to be courageous, for once in my life, to do something that most would be too afraid to do. It was a typical day in Seattle—rainy as always, and cold enough that wearing thermals was somewhat of a waste. I had my favorite peppermint mocha in one hand and my favorite pen in the other. Without a doubt, Uniball was the pen of them all. And it was the only one I liked to write with.
Nevertheless, there was a lot to be done. I’d waited weeks to finally hear something back. And just minutes later it pops up on my laptop—Seattle Fire Department.
I don’t think I could ever see myself in the military like my dad. But of course, I could have always been a cop. But I’d had too many bad encounters in the past to ever want to be one. But that’s another story to tell. Being a fireman, more so, firewoman was what I preferred.
I took a sip of my mocha. I closed my eyes. I opened the email blindly. Then opened my eyes again. And without hesitation begin to read.
Dear, Ms. Crime
We would like to thank you for applying for the Seattle Fire Department. Unfortunately, we have decided to…”
Sorry for the sudden pause. But why the hell would I even finish reading such a ridiculous response. It actually baffles me how so many jobs send these same kinds of shitty letters to everyone they interview. I mean come on, at least make me feel special. Word of advice to any businesses out there, get off your lazy bums and mix it up a little. Make people want to interview with you again. Sorry, let me calm down. Breathe Luna, breathe. Anyways.
That day was the last day I would ever apply for another job. There was nothing for me to prove, not to anyone. To help the helpless was in my DNA. I was a natural born leader and I knew that. But it came to find out that that just wasn’t what most businesses were looking for. Matter, in fact, the last person I worked for told me that they didn’t pay me to think. That person was an asshole, to the fullest.
But I should have listened. Dad gave me all the wisdom he could before he passed, but I ignored it like the bratty little girl that l I was. But now understand what he meant that day. Take a look for yourself.
Hey baby girl. This will probably be the last time you’ll hear from your old man. So, let me leave you with one little piece of advice. Something your grandfather told me before he passed. And don’t you roll those pretty little eyes of yours. Just listen.
“Leaders cannot be manipulated, they are not followers. This is you. However, it is a good leader that teaches his or her followers how to lead. Do not be a leader that has everyone always coming back to you in aid. This shouldn’t be the case. People need to see their greatness. It is okay to have a mentor, but at the end, you yourself will need to become the mentor or the knowledge of what you have inside, the gifts you hold, will never be shared. You might not have talent, people will tell you this. And you might not be the smartest in the room, but somewhere inside there is always a gift. Baby girl, my lunatic, go out there, don’t be afraid, and show them all of what you can give and what you can do. Everyone has something to share with the world.
PS: Take care of your mother for me. You know how she gets about stuff like this.
Love you always,
That was the last thing my dad had left me before he passed. Just the letter, the flag, and a few medals were left in the box in my closet. How could I ever be as good as him? He was a man, after all, however, I’d be belittling myself and all the woman around if I continued to exercise such negative thoughts. No, I can do it better.
I then took another sip of my mocha. It was cold, somewhat chalky. I checked more of my emails, and before I could get through them all an unusual article caught my attention. Another missing child. It was the fourth one that week. What the hell was going on? I’m pretty sure God or the gods would let you know if you were dead or not? But only the dead would know this.
I don’t know what it was that urged me on, but I needed more information. So, I clicked on the image. Flashbacks of high school all came back to me. The hallways, the lockers, the cafeteria, all of it. It couldn’t be. I read further down the lines. The girl in the picture was the same age as me and disappeared around the same time I graduated—Sindy Law. How could I forget her? We were practically like sisters. Out of the 11 years that had passed, no one had ever told me what happened to her. I was her closest friend, but not even the police came to me about her whereabouts. All I remember was walking to her house one day and in bold letters, a signed said: “Moved.” I thought I upset her or something, but all this time the reality was that she had gone missing.
I then clicked print, chugged down the rest of my mocha like the gasoline it was, and then shoved the print-out into my MICHAEL KORS purse. I hopped into my 2005 Volkswagon Jetta, started the engine and put the pedal to the medal. And shut your mouth, Jettas are faster than they look, hence, the name Jet. I gotta Jetta way, you know. Okay, I’ll stop. Moving on.
Even though I was only an hour away, I still hadn’t been down there in quite some time, not at least since my dad passed. But mom was still there and I knew she’d be happy to see me again. We talk on occasion over the phone, but it had been years since we did so in person.
It was just like before. Nothing had changed. Any flower you could think of and mom would have it in the gardens. Dozens of bees swarmed the garden, but none I was ever stung by—they knew who I was. I then knocked on the door twice.
“Who’s there?” asked the woman.
“Mom, it’s me. It’s Luna,” I said.
“Luna who?” asked the woman.
“Lunatic,” said the woman. “Is that really you?”
The door then opened. And by the way, it opened, it still hadn’t been fixed for it screeched of screech.
“Oh my heavenly,” said Mom. “You’re still just as beautiful as I remember. Come and give your mother a hug.”
We hugged. It felt right. Something I hadn’t felt in a long time—love. Or was it just the caffeine from earlier. Who knows, but my heart was racing with joy.
After a moment that felt like tranquility, we walked inside. My stomach growled to the aroma in the air. Mom had just finished making her famous pig in the blankets. I made a bee-line to the kitchen. Mom poured me a glass of Florida Orange juice. You just couldn’t have a pig in the blankets without a little tang.
“So, what brings you all the way down here?” asked Mom. “You haven’t been here in years. Sadly…”
“I’m sorry mom it is just… ” I said.
“I know you don’t have to explain it to me,” said mom. “There is no man like your father, none.”
The room was silent. Even though it had bee seven years since mom I could tell still hurt inside. I felt bad. If anything I should’ve been there for her, yet, again, like the bratty little girl I was, I ran away from my reality.
“Anyways. So what you got going on missy?” said mom. “I know that face way to well. Your foot has been tapping the floor like a woodpecker ever since ya sat down.”
“Well, mom. I’m on an investigation,” I said.
Moms eyes bulged from its sockets. She pulled a cup of tea away from her lips, then rested it down gently on the table and not the stream.
“W-what kind of investigation?” asked Mom
“Well. I’m looking for an old friend. You remember Sindy? Sindy Law.”
Mom then stood up from the table and walked away. And within seconds, rambling in the background trembled the walls. Glass broke. And to top it all off, clothes were now all on the floor, along with the boxes they’d come with.
“Mom!” I yelled. “Jesus, are you alright?”
“I’m fine. And don’t be swearing in the name of Jesus. I knew being in the city would turn you into one of those tattooed freaks. You don’t have any tattoos do ya?” yelled mom.
“No, mom. Come on. Tattoos are so overrated,” I said.
Little did she know I had one on my back. But it was for dad, something to remember him by. Mom then came around the corner with a box in her hand. It was small, with glitter all around it. But it wasn’t just any glitter, not just any box.
“M-mom where’d you get that box?” I asked.
It looked similar to the one Sindy and I made years ago.
“Sit down honey,” said Mom. “I have something to show you.”
We both sat back down at the table. She opened the box and then pushed it across the table to me. I looked inside and it was just what I expected—a folded up paper butterfly. Without a doubt, it was Sindy’s. I grabbed the box and exited the kitchen.
“Wait, Luna!” said Mom. “Where are you going?”
“Jesus mom! Why didn’t you tell me?” I said.
“I’m sorry honey, but I just couldn’t lose you too,” said mom.
“Mom,” I said. “Do you know what this means Cindy could still be out there alone and helpless.”
“Wait a sec. You’ll need this,” said mom.
Mom then went to the back of the room again. More rambling. And after a few seconds had gone by she would come back out. There was something in her hand. She walked over and then gave me a kiss on the cheek. It was as if she wasn’t going to see me again.
“Here your father wanted to give you this earlier, but you were still so young.”
It was a swiss army knife. It had markings all over the blade. I counted forty-five, but what did they mean?
“Mom ill be back,” I said. “I just need to figure out what happened.”
Mom nodded and walked me out of the house. We gave each other one last hug before parting ways.
As eager as I was to help an old friend and more in her situation, the next place I went to would be a place that would make me regret pursuing on such a case. But what else did I have? If I was going to keep seeing negative all my life, then I at least had to try my best to turn a few to positive. If not, then I’m sorry dad, I failed.
TO BE CONTINUED