Tears slowly roll down my face as I grip my mother’s hand tightly. My face was just about back to normal after my little brawl, but the tears were swelling my eyes right back up.
Mitchell’s funeral was an intense event. Just like any other Baptist funeral, there were people “falling out, screaming and carrying on. It makes you wonder if the pastor hires actors for these funerals the way some of them were performing. I hope to God that when I die, my funeral won’t be as much of a spectacle as this one.
The preacher droned on and on about how Mitchell was in a better place and how God has now forgiven Mitchell of all his earthly wrong-doings.
“No wonder these wooden pews are so hard, it keeps the members from falling asleep.” I say to myself.
I had almost decided against going. I had enough on my mind. I really didn’t need more emotional stress. But after a long talk with mother, and after she said that she would be there to comfort me, I felt that I could go after all.
I kept telling myself that I was going to be strong; that I wasn’t going to cry. Now here I am slobbering like a big baby.
“It’s okay, baby. Let it go.” My mother says, consoling me.
Instantly after receiving my mother’s permission, the floodgates open. It got so bad, I had to get up and go to the bathroom, clearly showing everyone how deeply Mitchell meant to me.
I was in the bathroom for about twenty minutes trying to regain what little composure I had. As I from the bathroom, I was stopped by Eugene Urbans.
“How you holdin up son?” he asked.
“Oh, I guess as well as can be expected.” I say with a weak smile. “Listen, Trevor, I know I haven’t treated you well. I, uh.... “
“You really don’t have to say it, Mr. Urbans.”
“No, I think I do. I, uh, I owe you an apology. Mitchell evidently cared for you a lot and I want to thank you for being there and for helping him when he was in trouble. It really means a lot to me.” Eugene couldn’t finish as he starts to choke up.
“It’s okay, Mr. Urbans. I understand how you feel. Why don’t I walk you back to your
The rest of the service was pretty mundane. I refused to view the body. I didn’t see the point of dredging up any more of the pain that it would bring.
The congregation then proceeded to the grave site, where everyone could say their last good-byes.
The sun shone brightly at the grave site as we all bid a final farewell to Mitchell.
Wearing dark sunglasses, I shed the remainder of my tears and placed a rose on the bed of dirt that Mitchell will sleep in for eternity. After hugging and giving a few words of encouragement to the Urbans family, my mother and I headed towards her burgundy Lincoln Continental.
“Trevor, are you going to be okay?” she asks with one hand on the steering wheel and the other on my knee.
“What? Oh, I’m sorry, mom. I was just deep in thought.” “I can see that. I know you’re going to miss him.”
“Yeah, I guess I am. But you know the most depressing part about all of this?” “No, what?”
“It may sound really selfish, but I really feel alone and empty.”
“Even after you two split up over two years ago?”
“Yeah I know it sounds silly. But you know how you’ve always tried to instill in me the value of family? Ever since I admitted to myself that I am gay, I kind of gave up on the thought of having that traditional family thing. But when I got involved with Mitchell that changed. In some warped way, I thought I could establish some of that family atmosphere with him. I even had dreams of adoption with him. I mean, before I met Mitchell, I didn’t believe that it was possible to have a lifetime gay relationship. I didn’t think I could ever be with someone forever. And now that Mitchell is out of my life, literally, I just don’t see myself with anyone and it hurts like hell.”
“Baby, I know it hurts, but you’ve got to realize, son, that you are a beautiful, intelligent, strong, black man. You’re compassionate, easy-going, and lovable. Anyone, would be lucky to spend the rest of their lives with you.”
“Mom, I appreciate that. But I’ve been out there and there is a shortage of decent men, whether they’re straight or gay. You would think that gay men would have a little more insight on how to treat each other, but unfortunately that just ain’t so. I don’t know, maybe I’m just babbling. I really loved Mitchell and I suppose I still love him. Even after we broke up, I still felt that there could’ve been some type of reconciliation, though my mind wouldn’t let me and I knew better. But now, what am I gonna do? I refuse to go through this again.”
“Trevor, let me tell you what your grandmother once told me: When you ’re faced with a brick wall, and you feel there is no way around it, don’t use up all your energy trying to tear it down. You’ve got to sit back and relax, clear your head; just forget about it.
Before you know it, the wall will disappear. Lord knows your grandmother could be mysterious at times, but what she says is true. What you’re doing right now is worrying and fretting over something you have no control over. You have no idea what the future is going to bring. So instead of beating yourself up over it, take a break, just chill out, leave it alone. And you will find that your brick wall will disappear.”
“Hmm, I guess you’re right. You know, mom, I really don’t deserve you.”
“Yes, you do. You are my son and that alone is enough for you to be worthy of me and everything I have to offer.”
We continue the rest of the ride in silence. I was trying to decide on whether or not to tell her about the problems I was having with being arrested and all. But I figured now was not the time. I decided to wait for until I was more emotionally stable.
Mother parked right next to my jeep. I get out of the car and start to walk towards it. “Aren’t you going to stop in to say hello to your father?”
“Naw, could you do it for me and let him know I’ll see him next week?”
“So, you are coming. Who are you bringing?”
I think for a minute. “I really didn’t plan on bringing anyone, but now that you mention it, I do have someone in mind.”
“Who, Marcus? I haven’t seen that boy in ages.” “No, but believe me it’ll be a big surprise.”
“Oh, I see. I hope this surprise doesn’t put your father in a hospital bed,” she laughs.
“No it won’t, but it will definitely drop his mouth.”
“Alright, Puppy. Where are you off to now, the Urban’s house?” “No, I think I’ll just go on home and take a nap or something.” “Alright, but do me a favor.... “
“Sure, what is it.”
“Promise me you won’t drink too much? It really isn’t you, Trevor. And it bothers me that you drink so much when you’re under pressure.”
“Mom, I know and I promise. I won’t have a sip of alcohol.”
It was almost as if she read my mind. I had already made up my mind that I was going to polish off the rest of the vodka and just collapse for the remainder of the day and night. I didn’t really lie. I don’t have any plans on sipping, more like gulping. All I wanted to do right now was block out the whole day. The whole day? Hell, my whole life.
When I finally got home, I had a visitor in the parking lot. Reggie was sitting in his black
Ford Bronco with his head back listening to R. Kelley’s “I Don’t See Nothing Wrong
With A Little Bump And Grind.”
I open the door to my jeep and step out, totally ignoring him.
“Yo, T, wait up!” He slams the door to his Bronco. I keep walking. Reggie runs up the stairs beside me.
“Hey, T, what’s up man?”
“Nothing, Reggie. What are you doing here?”
“Well, uh you haven’t returned any of my phone calls and, you know, I thought we could get together and do a little suhin-suhin, ya know what I’m sayin?”
“No, Reggie, what are you saying?” I say putting the key into the lock. “C’mon, T, I miss you, man. Let’s talk for a minute.”
Mrs. Liu pops her head out her door. So to avoid my having to cuss her out for minding my business, I conceded.
“Alright, Reggie, come on in. But it’s only for thirty minutes. I really don’t have time for all this.”
“Cool.” He swaggers on in behind me, grabbing at his crotch.
“Have a seat.” I instructed him as I went upstairs to change from my suit. “Ay yo, T. Ima fix me a drank ah-ite?” Reggie yells from downstairs. “Yeah, go ahead,” I yell back.
I really didn’t know what I was doing. Part of me knew that fucking this boy was only going to make matters worse. The other part of me just wanted to lay some stuff on him that he’ 11 need traction.
I walk down the staircase to the living room, finding Reggie sitting down on the sofa flipping channels on the television. I walk into the kitchen to fix myself a very strong, stiff drink.
Drink in hand, I walk into the living room and sit in the chair opposite the sofa Reggie was sitting in.
“So what’s up, man?” I ask as if I didn’t know. Reggie turns the television off and looks at me.
“T man, c’mon. You know I didn’t come way over here just to make chit-chat. When you gonna give me some?”
That was all I needed. This jack ass really disgusted me. I mean, all he had to do was say the right thing and the drawls would’ve been up in the air. Because right now I was so emotionally open that a good lay would be just what the doctor prescribe. But even after all this time we spent together, the asshole hadn’t learned a damned thing about me.
Well, it was time to open up school and give him a lesson. I stood up from the chair and looked at him.
“You stupid fuck. You and I both know what you’re good for. And it took you awhile to get that right. ‘When am I gonna give you some?’ What the fuck do you think this is?
I’m not a woman or one of your bitches. You know what? I think you need to step. Get the hell up outta here.”
“Aw shit, Trevor. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it like that. Damn.” Reggie says jumping up from the sofa to walk towards me.
“Damn nothing. You gotta go. Don’t call my number or come near my place ever again.” I immediately pulled out my.38 from under the chair I was sitting in and point it directly at his head. “Just in case you think I’m joking or if you’re confused.”
“Fuck, Trevor, you ain’t gotta pull out a piece on me man. I’m leavin’, damn. You fuckin faggots ain’t got no sense.”
“Ya damn right,” I said slamming the door behind him.
I lean with my back up against the door and start laughing. I bet he nearly peed in his pants. I walk towards the chair where my drink sat. For the next two hours, I si in the chair and drink myself in a stupor and was knocked into a deep sleep.
My sleep was filled with a dream that seemed to go on forever.
It started with me walking in a grassy field. Thousands of little daisies were growing in the field, causing the meadow to take on the look of a yellow quilt. As I walk through the field, I begin to see a figure far off in the distance. I walk towards it, but the closer I get, the tiny flowers seem to get thicker and denser, making it difficult for me to walk. By the time I am ten feet away from my destination, I am visibly winded from trudging through the thick foliage. Sweat is pouring down my face, clouding my vision. I look up at the figure and realize that it’s a body hung on a post like a scarecrow. In the next moment the scarecrow’s head lifted and it’s face looked like Mitchell’s.
“Baby, please help me.” It cried out. “I’m trying.” I cry back.
But the harder I tried to reach him, the harder the grass and flowers were making it for me to walk. I pull out my pocket knife to free myself, but when I bend down to cut the grass, I became aware that it wasn’t grass at all. The meadow had turned into thousands of hands reaching from the soil. The hands grabbed at my feet tripping me to the earth. As I tried to pick myself up from the ground, the hands grabbed my legs and arms forcing me on my back. All of a sudden my breath became labored as I tried to pull myself free from their grip.
In that very moment a laugh from nowhere in particular echoed throughout the field. A laugh so hideous and evil, I could feel myself shiver. I tried again to pull free, but to no avail. My arms were bleeding from the scratches the mysterious hands left. I lifted my head towards the figure on the post, it was gone. As I turned my head left to right looking for the figure, my legs began to sink into the ground. I twisted and turned to pull myself out, but with each movement the ground kept pulling me in. Again, the horrible laughter rang out through the air. And for some reason the laughter sounded familiar. I kept trying to pull myself up from sinking, but in no time I was neck deep in the ground.
I tried to scream, but nothing would emit from my mouth. The laughter got closer and closer. I turned my head as much as I could to the direction of the laughter and there stood John. His face was distorted as he continued to laugh at me.
“John, help me.” I screamed. But he just continued to laugh, not moving an inch towards my direction.
“Answer the phone.” John says while laughing. “What phone?” I ask.
“Don’t you hear the phone, Trevor?”
I listen closely and hear ringing far off into the distance. Then I realize that the phone ringing was not in my dream but in real life. I immediately woke up and sat up on the edge of the sofa saturated with sweat. It took a few minutes to clear my head. I was so disoriented, I didn’t even know where I was. Realizing that it was the phone that woke me, I reach for it.
“Hello?” I groggily answered.
“Trevor? Good evening, this is Minna Townsend. Did I wake you?” “Not really, but what time is it?”
“It’s around 12:30.”
“I sure hope there’s a good reason for calling me this time of night.”
“I must apologize for that. But it is imperative that I speak with you.” “Okay. Hold on for a moment, while I clear my head.”
I place the phone down and walked over to the kitchen to get a glass of water. I quickly gulped down the first glass and with the second I walked back over to the sofa.
“Alright. What’s the scoop?”
“First off, we have a meeting with the DA’s office at 9:00 this morning.” “On a Sunday morning? Couldn’t this wait until Monday?”
“Unfortunately no. I pushed back the date as far as I could. I told them that you were in a state of mourning and that you would need a couple of days before you could meet with them. They weren’t happy with that, but they got over it.”
“Anyway, I want to meet with you first thing, before we go over there. I want to make sure we are in synch. Just in case you remember anything that could be of importance.”
“That’s cool. Does 7:30 sound okay?”
“Trevor, dear. Let’s make it 8:00. A woman has to prepare for beauty.” She laughs.
“Oh, I thought you had that natural beauty. I didn’t think you needed any help.” I teased. “I can see you haven’t dealt with many women. Even us natural sisters could always use a little support, especially when I work as late as three and four o’clock in the morning.” “Well I ain’t mad atcha. You go, girl.”
“You know, I can see once this is over with, we’re gonna have a great friendship.”
“Yeah, I think so too. Listen, before you hang up, I need a favor to ask of you. But by no means feel obligated.”
“Well that depends on the favor.”
“My father is having this big dinner party next week to drum up supporters for his up and coming cam paign and I was wondering if you would do me the honors of flooring my father, by escorting me.”
“When you say “flooring your father”, I assume he knows you’re gay.” “Indubitably.”
“In that case I would be more than happy to go with you. But you know, you will be doing me more of a favor than I would be doing you.”
“And why is that?”
“With all the big wigs that are expected to attend your father’s dinner, I’ll surely make. some outstanding contacts.”
“I don’t get it. What do you know that I don’t know?”
“Supposedly, your father is going to be a shoe-in for the up and coming election. And everyone whose anyone is going to be there. I’ve been trying to find a way to get invited for the longest. It’s the talk of the town.”
“Well I don’t know about all of that. What I do know is that the only reason my father wants me there is to show the people that he is a loving husband and father. And I can just about guarantee that he’ll be as phony as a three dollar bill.”
“I see there’s some tension between you two.”
“Tension is not the word. But, I don’t want to get into that right now. Well, I really appreciate you doing this for me.”
“No problem. Like I said, this would definitely help me out. So I guess I need to thank you.”
“Well, I guess this partner thing is kind of working out for the both of us.”
“Yep, it looks that way. Listen, Trevor, I have some more work to do. And you need your rest. I will see you at 8 :00 then.”
“I’ 11 be there. You have a goodnight, Minna.” “You too and try to stay out of trouble.”
“I’ll try, but lately, trouble always seems to find me.”
I woke up early the next morning feeling a little bit better, even with a nagging headache from my hangover. At six o’clock I headed out the door to go for a run. The humidity in the air was so high that half way into my run I was soaked with sweat. Thirty minutes later I completed my five mile goal and started my way up the stairs to my home. I rushed upstairs to jump in the shower. After a long luxurious shower I decided to put on a cream linen suit with a black crew shirt. I finished the outfit with a pair of brown loafers and my sunglasses and I was out the door on my way to my office building around 7:15.
Traffic to the office was extremely light, even for a Sunday. Finding a parking space was easy. I walk into the lobby and there was the same security guard I met my first
Saturday. What was this guy’s name?
“Good morning, Trevor.” he greets me with a toothy smile.
“Good morning,” I say, smiling back. Damn, this fool remembered my name. “What brings you to work on a Sunday morning?”
“Well it’s definitely not for pleasure.” “I know what you mean.”
“I’m sorry, I completely forgot your name,” I say, taking off my sunglasses.
“Now how could you forget my name? I remembered yours,” he says still smiling. Why is this nut flirting with me? I do not have time for this.
“Well I’m sorry, I’ve just got a lot on my mind lately.”
“No doubt. Well, it’s Arnold, your friendly security guard.” “I definitely can see you’re friendly.”
As Arnold and I were in the middle of our conversation, Minna walks up to the both of us from outside.
“Trevor, good morning.” she says smiling.
“Good morning. Minna, this is Arnold our friendly security guard. Arnold, this is Minna Towsend, her office is on the same floor as mine.” I say introducing them to each other. “Pleased to meet you.” Minna says shaking Arnold’s hand.
“Nice to meet you too. I’ve seen you around quite a bit. Well listen, I guess I need to let you two get off to work,” Arnold says as he walks back over to his station.
“I thought I told you to stay out of trouble.” Minna teased as we both ride the elevator up to the thirty-sixth floor.
“I don’t know what you mean. I’m just being Trevor. I can’t help if I’m too much for the people,” I say grinning.
We make our way to the office suites and turn on the lights.
“So, where do we start?” I ask.
“First, I would like to again go over your side of the events. anything.”
Try not to leave out I again relayed to her the events as I remembered them. This time, though, I took my time trying not to leave out one detail.
“Do you have any idea who might want to kill either of the two?”
“Well, like I told you, Raymond is a known drug dealer. So chances are he probably got involved in a bad drug deal. As far as Mitchell is concerned, as much as I like to think that I knew him well, there is a lot I just don’t know,” I concluded.
“After looking at the facts, there is a strong possibility that the two murders could be related.”
“Yeah, I was beginning to think so too. Now the only thing I think the both of them had in common was that they were both heavily into drugs and they were both arrested at the same time as the Queens drug raid. Which, coincidentally, is now under investigation because of some missing evidence.”
“Which makes it look as if someone on the force could have done the killing.” “But who?”
“Right now, our job is to convince the District Attorney that it wasn’t you.”
“I understand that, but don’t you think it would help clear my name if we find out who the murderer is?”
“Yes, but until we do, we need to stick with the original plan and convince the DA that they don’t have anything on you for a conviction.”
“And how are we going to do that?”
“Well, first off, they’re very much aware that they don’t have anything solid. Everything is purely circumstantial.” Minna pauses for a second.
“You know I just thought of something,” I intercede. “Don’t you find it strange that if the two murders were committed by one person, that he or she chose a different method for each? I mean, Mitchell was supposedly killed by an overdose, not by his own hands, and Raymond was shot.”
“You’re right. But let me ask you something. You said he or she. Didn’t you get a look at the person who shot Raymond?”
“Unfortunately I didn’t. But, whoever it was, he or she had perfect aim. They nearly took his head off with one shot.”
“So whoever the murderer is has to have some sort of experience with firearms.” Minna points out while feverishly writing down notes.
I looked at the clock on the wall, it was 8:50. “You know, I think we should be on our way.”
“Yes, I believe you’re right. Let me get my briefcase and then we can go.”
We both rode in my jeep on the way to the District Attorney’s office. When we got there we were greeted by the Assistant District Attorney, one other attorney and the two
Internal Affairs Investigators.
“Please, Mr. Morrows and Ms. Townsend, have a seat.” the Assistant DA said shaking our hands.
“Thank you,” Minna and I said simultaneously.
“I just want to make you aware that this is only a formality. So there is no need to be nervous.”
“Oh, I’m by no means nervous. I just want to get this over with.”
“I’m sure. But, before we begin, how are your parents? I haven’t seen them in a while.” the Assistant DA smiling.
“They’re doing great, thanks.” I was starting to get a little aggravated.
I didn’t know what this guy was trying to pull by bringing up my parents, but I was not going to let him know he was rattling me.
“Okay, let’s begin. Could you tell us where were you on the night of the raid in Queens back in...” he pauses a minute to rustle through some papers. “Back in September 18,
I thought for a minute. “It’s been awhile, but I do believe that when the bust came through I was off duty, so I was probably at home.” “You were probably at home? You’re not sure?” “That’s right.”
“I’m sorry, I find it hard to believe that you can’t remember where you were when the phone call came through that your ex-lover was arrested under drug charges.”
“That’s not what you asked me. You asked me where was I on the night of the raid. I have no clue as to when the raid took place, so how am I to know exactly where I was when it happened. But, I know exactly where I was when John called me about Mitchell being arrested.”
“And that would be... “
“I happened to be on my way home from a party. I have witnesses.”
“Excuse me.” Minna interrupts, “but could you please tell me what this has to do with the murders that Mr. Morrows is being questioned about.”
“As you may or may not be aware, the two murdered victims were directly involved in that Queens raid. Over 30 million dollars worth of drugs and money were confiscated. Now, right before Mr. Morrows resigned from the force, quite of bit of that confiscated evidence ended up missing. Since, Mr. Morrows knew both victims, we suspect that he knows something about it.”
“So this is all circumstantial, nothing solid?” Minna asks.
“Yes, but we just find it awfully strange that Mr. Morrows was present at each murder, almost as if he needed to quiet the both of them.”
“I can see where you’re going with this.” I put in. “But, I’m here to inform you that I had nothing to do with it. If you read my resignation you would know that the only reason I quit the force was because I felt I had to. I was getting pressure from all sides when it cam e out that I was gay.”
“We believe you.”
“What?” Minna and I exclaimed at the same time.
“If you believe me, then what’s with all this drama you giving me?” I asked
The heavy set Internal Affairs guy answered my question.
“Well, Mr. Morrows, in the beginning, we were certain you were involved. But after carefully examining all the evidence, it didn’t make any sense. You were present at two crime scenes, evidence was missing shortly before you quit the force. Everything was pointing towards you, but it was just too sloppy. It was just too painstakingly obvious. I mean you were a bright, well decorated detective on the police force. Then it dawned on us that someone must be setting you up.”
Minna and I looked at each other.
“And so, we need your help.”
“I don’t understand. Why would someone want to frame me?”
“Whoever it was, knew you were acquainted with Mr. Urbans. Would you have any idea who could have this type of information?”
“Not really. I can’t think of anyone....,” I pause for a second.
“What’s wrong, Trevor, do you know who could have done this?”
“No, no.” I say quickly. “I was just thinking of someone, but there’s no way he could be involved.”
“Well.” the Assistant DA started. “I would first like to apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you, Mr. Morrows, but I’m sure you can see how we had no choice.”
“Right. Listen if that will be all, I would like to go home and enjoy the rest of my day.” “Surely. But, please don’t leave town, just in case we need you for anything.”
“No problem.” I said. “Minna, if you’re ready to go?”
On the way back to the office, I was completely quiet. “Alright, Trevor, I can smell the rubber burning. What’s up?”
“Minna, I don’t think telling you would be a good idea. Already two people have died because of this mess. I really don’t need to put you in the middle of it.”
“Excuse me, Mr. Morrows, but I believe I am a grown woman. I think I can take care of myself.”
“Fine, just let me make sure my instincts are on the money before I let you in on it. If they are, then this could get really ugly.”
“Alright fine.” Minna was quiet for two minutes. “So what time are you going to pick me up on next Sunday?”
“How does 5:30 sound?” “Sounds great.”
I pull up next to Minna’s BMW.
“Trevor, listen, whatever you do, please be careful. You really don’t know what you’re getting into.”
“Minna, I appreciate your concern, but believe me, it’ll be just fine. I’ll see you tomorrow.”