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, to do something that most would be too afraid to do, for once in my life. 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 with them in the past to ever want to be one. But that’s another story to tell. Being a fireman, more so, fire woman 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.
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.
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 I was. But now I 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 either. 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 what you can give and what you can do. Everyone has something to share with the world, including you.
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, a flag, and a few medals, all of which sat nestled in a worn down cardboard box in my closet.
How could I ever be as good as him? I asked myself. What would it take? 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 told myself.
I then took another sip of my mocha. It was cold, somewhat chalky by the chocolate that rested at the bottom. 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, of course, only the dead would know of 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. 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 sisters when it came to our friendship. Out of the eleven years that had passed, no one ever told me what happened to her, not even the police knew of her whereabouts. All I remember was walking to her house one Saturday afternoon and seeing in bold letters, a signed that said, “Moved.”
I thought her dad or mom had gotten a knew job 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 of the file into my MICHAEL KORS purse like dirty laundry to a basket.
The seats of my 2005 Volkswagon Jetta were cold, however, I started the engine and put the pedal to the medal without any regret to why i’d buy a car with leather seats in the first place.
All the way to Snoqaumish I went. I hadn’t been home in years, not at least since dad passed. But mom was still there. I figured she’d be happy to see me again or be pissed with the fact i’d flee to the city never to show my face again. We’d talk on occasion over the phone, but it had been years since we did so in person.
When I arrived it was just like before. Nothing had changed—any flower you could think of and mom would have it in her garden. Dozens of bees swarmed the garden, but I was never stung—they knew who I was.
“Knock, knock,” I tapped on the door, it still wielded the old wild flower wreath from when I was a kid.
“Who’s there?” said a softly spoken voice.
“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, I could tell 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. And hastily, I made a bee-line towards the kitchen(something i’d learn from my little friends outside the door. Mom then poured me a glass of Florida Orange juice, you just couldn’t have a pig in the blanket without it.
“So, what brings you all the way down here?” asked Mom. “You haven’t been here in years. Sadly…”
I kept my head buried to my plate. I felt horrible, of course, all of this time mom was alone.
“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. Mom I could tell still hurt inside. If anything, I should’ve been there for her, but again, like the bratty little girl I was, I ran away from my reality not knowing what it would do to others.
“Anyways… What you got going on missy?” asked mom, twirling her silver spoon in her honey infested pomegranate tea.
“I know that face way to well. Your foot has been tapping away on the wood floor like a woodpecker ever since ya sat down,” said mom.
“Well, mom. I’m on an investigation,” I said.
Moms eyes bulged from its sockets, she pulled the cup of tea away from her lips, then rested it down gently on the table and not the stream.
“W-what kind of investigation?” she asked.
“Well. I’m looking for an old friend. You remember Sindy? Sindy Law.” I said.
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 out of.
“Mom!” I yelled. “Jesus, are you alright?”
“I’m fine. And don’t be swearing in the name of Jesus!” yelled mom. “I knew being in the city would turn you into one of those tattooed freaks. You don’t have any tattoos do ya?”
“No, mom. Come on. Tattoos are so overrated,” I said, with two fingers crossed behind my back.
Little did she know I had one on my back shoulder. But it was for dad, something to remember him by. For whatever reason he always liked to reference stars wars in any deep conversation he had with me. And so, in the name of my father I had the helmet of Darth Vader done by a tattoo artist i’d highly recommend. Thank you Nina!
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 old glittered box.
“Mom where’d you get that box?” I asked.
It looked similar to the one Sindy and I made years ago. But we buried it, I thought.
“Found it on the porch seven years ago,” said mom. “But did what I had to, you know that right. I didn’t want the cops planting something on my baby girl again.”
She was right. But that’s another story, its pretty damn complicated.
We both sat back down at the table. She opened the box and then pushed it across the table to me. I looked inside—a folded up paper butterfly. Without a doubt, it was Sindy’s but I couldn’t read it there.
“Wait, Luna!” yelled 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.”
“Mom… Do you know what this means? Cindy could still be out there alone and helpless!”
“Wait a sec. You’ll need this,” said mom. She ran back fast enough to the closet to face plant, it was the fastest I’d ever see her move.
More rambling. And after a few seconds had gone by she would come back out exhausted. 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 huge, shiny, with edges on it that only the ones worth of it could wield. A swiss army knife. Markings all over the blade—I counted forty-five, but what did they mean?
“Mom I’ll 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, 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 things 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