CHAPTER TWO: It Happened In October
Today the sun is shining and the air is getting crispy-chilly as October moves into full bloom. October is my favorite time of year, not just because colored leaves look like fire in the trees, but because it signals the holidays: October Fest at the Radegast Hall & Biergarten on N. 3rd (I do NOT do Halloween), Thanksgiving (this year Grandma’s smoking the turkey!), and my December twenty-fifth birthday - also known as Christmas to most of the world.
I pull my Prius into a parking space that doesn’t have my name on it but is mine, none the less. Grandma went into deep hockey, even borrowed money from her ex, to get me a car with some added accommodations that makes driving simpler for me. I love this car and yes, the color is midnight blue. I especially like that I can drive back and forth to work without taking Grandma away from the stuff she’s doing – which today is canning seasoned ground beef and what she calls “meals in a jar.” Yumm.
“BEEP – BEEP - BEEEEEP”. Did I cut someone off? My bad. Glancing in the rear view mirror I see a red corvette and a driver that looks fairly pissed off. I think I’ll wait this one out … let him get out of his car, do his thing, go his way. ThenI’ll get out.
I wait until corvette guy is far enough away from my Prius to open my door, turn my chair facing out, and wait for my little auto-ramp to slide out. Easy-peasy. Since I’m always a good fifteen minutes early to work, I’m only a couple minutes late because of pissed-off dude. The elevator is empty; I get off on the fifth floor, pull up to my desk and open the laptop. I can tell by the stacks of papers and eight or nine folders piled to my right that it’s going to be a very hectic day.
“Listen up, everybody.” When Lead Detective Morrow speaks, everyone stops what they’re doing to listen. “This here is Nick Adams from Precinct 10. He’s our new administrative aid; will be helping us out for awhile.” Random light applause follows. I’m silent, my mouth hanging open baby bird waiting for a worm. It’s red corvette guy! Then it hits me: What am I – yesterday’s mashed potatoes? I’m the Administrative Aid. Is Morrow replacing me with this horn-beeping douche-bag?
Morrow weaves his way to my desk as everyone gets back to what they were doing. “It’s not because I’m not happy with your work, Tasha.” It’s like he can read minds. “We’re swamped; no matter how fast you can type and how much an asset to this department you are, things are just getting too much for one person to handle … that one person being you.”
“But what about the 10th? Don’t they need an administrative aid over there anymore?
“Don’t know, didn’t ask” Morrow replied. After he’s done with his transfer paperwork, I’ll send him your way and you can show him the ropes.”
Right now I’d feel better if that had been a request, not a command. I type in my password, grab a file, and begin looking for the facts I need to type into the Precinct’s hard drive.
Ten minutes pass, then twenty. It’s been over ninety minutes and still no corvette guy. That’s a man for you; come in, do your job, all at their own leisure, they’re all…
“Sorry to interrupt your daydreaming, but Detective Morrow said I should stop at your desk, first.”
His tone was condescending and frankly quite irritating. It was clear he didn’t recognize me as the gal he’d beep – beeped at only an hour or so ago. Just like I thought – a douche-bag.
“Hey,” Nick says, snapping his fingers in front of my face.
“Hey, yourself. Get out of my personal space.” I swiped at his finger, brushing it aside. How annoying can one man be?
“I wouldn’t be in your personal space if you were working and not so spaced out!” Nick paused. I’m thinking hard about going home with a migraine.
“I’m not ‘spaced out’; I was thinking.”
“Well, talk while you think. Detective Morrow says you’re the one who’s to get me up to speed on this administrative aid thing.”
He talks as if using your brain’s a bad thing.
“This ‘administrative thing’ is very important to this department, Mr. - “
“It’s Adams, but you can call me Nick. Think you can remember ‘Nick’?”
“No problem; so far you’re absolutely unforgettable.”
“You two getting acquainted?” Captain Morrow asks. The man can really sneak up on a body! I wonder how long he’s been standing there, listening?
“Yes, Sir,” I say.
“Good. Now get to work.”
I watch as Morrow marches back to his office and closes the door, then I turn to Nick Adams. “Okay, red corvette guy, this is how it’s going to go down.” NOW I see recognition in his eyes. “You’re going to take this pile of papers here, review them, use this password,” I hand him a sticky with numbers on it, “then, any data that’s factual into a digital file.” I point to the correctly labeled file on my laptop.
“Wha…” Nick interrupts.
“I’m not finished,” I state. “Then you’ll be putting data that’s factual into a digital file before adding commentary Q-cards and such to the board over there,” I point towards the huge white board “under the suspect’s name that the papers are for.”
I can see it’s clear as mud for him; his dark eyes appear glazed over. Good. He can fall on his face first day, see if I care.
“Got it. This my desk?” Nick snaps to and indicates with a knock on the desktop the desk facing and jammed up to mine.
“Okay, cupcake.” Nick sits down, opens his laptop, and smirks over the top of it. “By the way,” Nick says, giving me a stern look, “next time you park in a handicap spot, I’m gonna make sure you get a ticket!”
I push back my chair, and wheel around my desk, heading for the copy machine. I see Nick’s eyes widen. Gotcha.
“Let the games begin!” I say. Having the last word feels so good.