CHAPTER TWO: It Happened In October
It’s that time of year when the sun is still shining but the air is getting crispy-chilly as October moves into full bloom. October is my favorite time of year, not just because the red-gold 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 typical Halloween), Thanksgiving (this year Grandma’s smoking the turkey!), and my December twenty-fifth birthday - also known as Christmas to most of the world.
Traffic was gruesome, as usual. There’s never a dull moment on the East Parkway. I pulled 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 make 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.” Yummy.
“BEEP – BEEP - BEEEEEP”. Must’ve cut someone off. My bad. I glanced in the rear view mirror to see a red corvette with a driver that looked fairly pissed off. I decided to wait it out … let him get out of his car, do his thing, go his way. Then I’d get out of my car. You’re such a pussy, the little red devil that sits on my one left shoulder insisted. But my angel, who sits on the right, nodded his approval. I’ve always felt that there were these two itty-biddy midgets, one sitting on each of my shoulders, battling for dominance of my self esteem. Crazy, I know.
I waited until corvette guy got far enough away from my Prius to open my door, turn my chair facing to the outside, and watched my little auto-ramp 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. Nodding to the officer at the doorway, I caught the elevator just before the doors closed; it’s empty. No surprise, there. Like I said, support staff seem to be here one day and gone the next. I got off on the fifth floor, shrugged off the blazer and tossed it towards the coat rack, landing it on top of someone’s suit coat, then pulled up to my desk, and opened the laptop. And, my password doesn’t work. 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 on loan to us from Precinct 10. He’ll be working as an Administrative Aid - just to help us out for a while.” Random light applause followed. I’m silent, my mouth hanging open like a baby bird’s waiting for a worm. It’s red corvette guy! Is Morrow going to have me work with the horn-beeping douche-bag?
Morrow wove his way to my desk as everyone got back to what they were doing. “I’m going to need you to work with Adams for a while; It’s not because I’m unhappy with your work, Tasha.” It’s like he can read minds. “We’re swamped; no matter how fast you can type, things are 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. “But they agreed to a temporary transfer, so when he’s done with his paperwork, I’ll send him your way and you can show him the ropes.”
I typed in my password for the third time and it works; grabbing a file, I began looking for the facts I needed to input the case's data. Ten minutes pass, then twenty. I was still waiting. It’d been over ninety minutes and no corvette guy. That’s a man for you; they come in, work if they want, all at their own leisure. Douche-bags…
“Sorry to interrupt your daydreaming, but Detective Morrow said I should stop at your desk, first.”
The new guy's 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 said – a douche-bag.
“Hey,” Nick said, 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 rude can one tall, darkly handsome, blue-eyed man be?
“I wouldn’t be in your personal space if you were working and not so spaced out!” Nick complained.
I wonder how many days suspension I’d get if I just whacked him up alongside his head? “I’m not ‘spaced out’; I’m thinking.” Thinking about how a black and blue ring around your baby-blues would look.
“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.”
“This ‘administrative aid thing’ is very important to the 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 wondered how long he’d been standing there, listening?
“Yes, Sir,” I said.
“Good. Now get to work.”
Morrow marched back to his office and closed the door; I turned to Nick Adams. “Okay, red corvette guy, this is how it’s going to go down.”
Nick's eyes widened. NOW he recognizes me!
“You’re going to take this pile of papers here, review them, use this password until you get your own,” I handed him a sticky, “then, any data that’s factual to the case gets entered into a digital file.” I pointed to a Precinct file icon on my laptop.
“Wha…” Nick interrupted.
“I’m not finished." My patience was wearing thin. “Then after that, you grab three-by-fives and add commentary Q-cards to the board over there,” I pointed towards the huge white board “under the suspect’s name that the file is 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 snapped, indicating with a knuckle-knock on the desktop the desk facing and jammed up to mine.
“Okay, Cupcake.” Nick sat down, opened his laptop, and glanced over the top of it at me. “By the way,” he said, leveling me with a stern look, “next time you park in a handicap spot, I’m gonna make sure you get a ticket!”
I pushed back my chair, and wheeled around my desk, heading towards the copy room - but not before I see Nick’s eyes widen. Gotcha!
“Let the games begin!” I said, hoping he can read between the lines of my ear-to-ear grin, which says ‘up yours!” Having the last word feels so good.