I’m trying to talk to the victim’s sister, but she’s extraordinarily unresponsive. Too busy blubbering about how upset she is about him actually being dead. One moment she says she can’t believe it, the next she’s bawling about how she misses him already. How can she miss him if she doesn’t believe he’s dead?
“So . . . was your brother.” I pause, I’m not entirely sure how to ask this. “Ahem. Was he stupid?” I guess just spitting it out is better than not asking.
She wails, gasping between each breath. “What . . . why . . . oh my god.”
“Well,” I begin. “He was found in the cage with a tiger. That’s not particularly intelligent.” She continues crying, completely unresponsive. I don’t understand. Death is as natural as tigers killing things, it happens every day and you can’t stop it. Why is she so upset that the inevitable happened?
“I guess I’ll get out of your hair for now, but if you think of anything we should know you can call me at my number.” I throw her my card. Hopefully she’ll stop crying for a few minutes and think clearly enough to give me something worth it.
“I’d like to speak to someone less . . . inhuman.” My feelings are shattered. Can’t she see I’m human? I’m bipedal, mammal, with four clear appendages, a head, two forward facing eyes. I’m quite sure it’s simple to understand my humanity.
“I’m not sure I understand ma’am.”
She looks up at me spitefully, almost like I’m insulting her. “You wouldn’t.” I don’t know what to tell her. I am literally speechless. So I just leave.
After I close her door behind me I take a deep breath. Why would she say I couldn’t understand? Some days I feel like I’m not human, they make so little sense. My phone rings, caller Mendrick.
“Boss man!” I’m jovial, I’m excited. I’m anything that makes him forget how late I was.
“What did you find out with the sister, Randall?” He asks, urgently, maybe a little happier than earlier as well. At least he doesn’t sound mad.
“Absolutely nothing, sir. She wouldn’t stop crying for a moment.” Silence. “She asked to talk to someone less inhuman. I don’t really know what she meant by that, but maybe she’d like to talk to another woman. You know, they have some sort of . . . bond.”
He actually laughs at that, well it looks like I’m back in his good graces. “Just get over here and I’ll arrange for someone human to talk to her.” He laughs a little more before hanging up. Was it a joke? I’m still fixed at zero on understanding, but it seems like he did. Maybe I’ll ask him back at the station.