The first flashback
As I cruised down the road back to school I felt as if I was going to rip my hair out from the complete mess I had put myself into with Markus. I suddenly found myself pull up at the South Point fountain, which was the complete opposite direction from school. “It can really wait, it’s not like I’m behind on work or anything.” I mumbled to myself and stood Black Lightning up against the side of the fountain next to the plaque that read ‘Quinto círculo' that I had read many times with my dad when I was a child.
I only vaguely registered what I had just glimpsed as I reminisced about my dad, of how we would go fishing together at the lake nearby or camp outside in the backyard and I would listen to all these amazing fairy tales and stories he would come up with. How he would tuck me into bed every night and read me bedtime stories or hold me through the night when I had nightmares and couldn’t sleep and try sing me back to slumber. He was always the one who would fix my grazed knees, help me with my homework or do my hair up in piggy tails and then we would laugh at how badly he did it.
I never even thought about how my life would ever change from heaven before I fell back down to the hell of reality. It was the afternoon of my tenth birthday and I was waiting eagerly by the door for him to come back home from work with my present that he promised to give me. I waited for what felt like an eternity and eventually decided that I’d watch TV while I waited up and turned to our favourite channel, the news channel, because as my dad would always say, “An educated woman is a successful woman.” And felt the blood drain from my face as I saw the headline story was of the murder of my dad. His head had been decapitated and put on a pike and on a nearby wall the word ‘Tener cuidado Q.C’ which read ‘Beware Q.C’ with my dad’s blood. I didn’t even know what I was doing until I heard the police officer on the other side of the line trying to calm me down as I tried telling him that it was my daddy I had just seen on the TV.
Fifteen minutes later I found myself in a squad car on the way to the police station to answer some questions about my dad like where he was before the whole incident happened and who would want to do something like that to him. After the questions they let me sit in one of the waiting rooms while a young officer that was probably nineteen sat with me and kept me company. Thinking back on it he was actually quite handsome, dark hair and emerald green eyes that twinkled with kindness and a sweet smile accompanied with dimples. He was tall and built very well and carried himself with confidence. At one point he got up to get himself a cup of coffee for himself and a soda for me from a coffee shop down the road. When he returned he handed over two small wrapped gifts with the soda. When I looked at him with confusion he said that the one with the green wrapping was from my father that they found in his pocket and the red wrapped one was from him. “But why did you get me one?” I asked curiously and he simply said, “I thought it might just cheer you up a little bit more.”
I carefully opened the green one first, making sure not to tear the paper and found a jewelry box with a dainty necklace in it with a small fist pendant on it with the engravings ‘Stay Strong’ on the back of it. With the tears welling up again I moved on to the red present to find another jewelry box but with a dainty bracelet with a single charm of a ruby coloured mask. For some reason it made me feel funny inside when the young officer helped me put them on when he turned and said to me, “Pretty pieces for a pretty girl.” Which made me blush and we both just stood there laughing.
After that night, arrangements were made for me to move in and live with my mom and Mattie that I hardly ever saw after my parents’ divorce that had happened when I was barely able to walk. It was strange and awkward at first as I tried to adjust to the new life and the new school I had to attend and trying to make new friends and start over.
As I sat with my back against the fountain there thinking about all of this I hadn’t even noticed that I had been jingling the necklace pendant between my fingers as I so often do when I daydream or become distracted. I turned my head slightly to read the plaque again and felt my eyes go wide with realization. I opened my right hand with the pendant sitting neatly in the middle of my palm, an exact replica of the fist that was created by the green swirls that had flooded my hand earlier today. I sat there frozen trying to process what it all meant, feeling the questions swirl around my head, with two main questions, “How could my dad have known about this? Or is this just a coincidence?”
Well there was only one way to find out…