As the night gave way to another morning, Jacob went across the city in search of a place to call home. He found a small one-bedroom apartment he could afford and moved in. It would be here, alone, that he would fight the demons raging inside him. He tried to get settled in, but he just couldn’t bring himself to.
He picked up his suitcase and threw it across the room, then collapsed onto the bed.
The images of Rachel ran wild in his mind. He whispered to the memories. “If I was cold as the winter wind, I wouldn’t feel a thing, and I wouldn’t know the sting of the rain.” The tears started flowing. “I miss you so much, Rachel. I don’t even want to breathe because there is so much pain.”
As the days passed, Jake found himself in a very dark place. As his stash of money started to dwindle, he decided he needed to find a way to continue paying his bills if he wanted to get his jeep out of the shop. He walked through town looking for a place that was hiring.
He walked past a jewelry store and decided this was as good a place to start as any. He entered it and asked if he could speak with the manager.
A few minutes later, an older gentleman walked up to him. “Hello, I’m Mr. Rodgers and I am the manager here. How can I help you, sir?”
“Hello sir, I noticed that you have no security.”
“You are kind of correct. I do have security cameras so I don’t see the need for anything else.”
“Well sir, if I were you, I would hire at least one security guard. You see, the cameras can be disabled, but it if you had a security guard you would have another safety net.”
“You have a good point Mr.….?”
“Alexander. Jacob Alexander.” Jake offered the man his hand.
“Well Mr. Alexander, you have made a good case and I would be a fool not to heed your advice. You wouldn’t happen to know of anyone who would be interested in providing security for me, would you?”
Jacob smiled. “I think I know the perfect person for the job.”
“Great. Can you start tomorrow Jacob?”
“Of course. Thank you Mr. Rodgers.”
He worked himself to the edges of exhaustion every day trying to banish the dreams, but no matter how hard he tried, the dreams invaded his sleep. Jake found himself at his front door. He reached for the door handle when the door opened. He drew his gun by instinct alone and entered the house. He called out for Rachel and started searching for her. He reached the bedroom and found her dying all over again. He awoke screaming in a cold sweat.
Jacob got dressed, headed out the door to clear his head, and walked to the local market. After picking up a map of the city, he stood at the corner and waited for the red light to change. Suddenly the sound of someone shouting caught Jake’s attention. Instinct kicked in and he scanned the area where the shouting came from.
He heard a voice in his head. “Jake, look over there.”
He turned and saw a young man running from the direction the yelling came from with a couple bags in his arms.. All his police training was yelling at him to do something, so he decided to intervene. Jake knew his timing had to be perfect as the man approached him. He wrapped his arms around the suspect, picked him up, and slammed him to the ground, sending cash flying everywhere. As the man struggled to remove Jake’s knee from the middle of his back, Jake just pressed harder. “You know, things would go better if you stopped struggling. You’re not going anywhere.”
One of the bystanders called the cops. The police showed up, took statements, and thanked Jake for his help.
He started toward his hotel but found himself in front of the café where he and Rachel often ate. He wondered how he got here. This café was many miles away from where he lived now. He walked into the café, looked around at the people talking amongst each other, and noticed that it was more crowded than usual. He took a deep breath and the smelled the wonderful food the café was known for.
One of the waitresses approached him. “We have been expecting you. We have your regular table ready.”
“You have been expecting me?”
“Of course. Follow me.” The waitress smiled and led him to his regular table., Jake saw Rachel sitting there..
He approached her, kissing her gently on the neck like he always did. As he sat down in front of her, she gave him a stern look. “And where have ye been Jake? You’re late.” She tried to keep the stern look on her face, but when Jake smiled at her, she lost control and started laughing.
She suddenly got serious. “There is something I need to talk to ye about love.”
“I’m listening.” He knew what she was going to say, but he needed to her to keep talking, so he reached for her hand and stayed silent.
“I know I left ye, and I’m very sorry about that, but ye have to move on. What ye doin to yerself is not good for ye. Ye need to rise above the pain and live yer life. It hurts me to see ye like this. Ye have to forgive yerself; there wasn’ anythin ye could’ve done to save me, Jake. Forgiveness is the road to redemption and faith can still beat the odds. Always remember that, Jake.”
Jake woke up to the ringing alarm. He reached over and hit the snooze button. Staggering out of bed, he went into the bathroom, and splashed water on his face. The words from his love kept running through his head. One statement stood out from the others. “Faith can still beat the odds. Forgiveness is the road to the redemption you seek.”
The alarm blared from across the room again, bringing him out of his contemplative state. He knew he had to make a plan so he could forgive himself and live his life the way Rachel would want him to. He would have the redemption he needed so badly.
He walked into the kitchen and saw all the bottles of booze that he had bought the night before. He knew Rachel wouldn’t have let him waste his money on booze, but she wasn’t here anymore.
“I’m so lost without you Rachel. I can’t do this without you.”
As the feeling of loss threatened to overcome him and take him back into oblivion, a feeling a love and warmth overtook him and the feeling of loss became bearable.
“I’m always with ye, Jake.”
Tears streamed down his face as he felt the warmth of her touch once again, and for the first time in a week, he didn’t drown his sorrows in a drunken stupor.
Jake stopped by the police department after getting a call from the detective working the case. “Hey, Detective Sanderson, I’m here. What is so important that I had to come right down?”
“Thank you for coming. We just have a few questions for you about the statement you gave earlier.”
“Okay. What questions?”
“Well, for starters, we checked your background and how come you didn’t let us know you are a police officer when you got into town?”
“I’m not here on official police business, and I have had a lot on my mind.”
“Then why are you here, Mr. Alexander?”
Jacob looked down and then glanced up at the detective who was questioning him. “I’m trying to…” Jacob tried to push past the piercing searing pain in his chest. “I’m looking for a place to start my life over and this seemed as good a place as any. Besides that, my jeep broke down.”
There was a knock at the door and the detective left the room.
“What did you find?” asked Detective Sanderson.
“Detective Alexander was assigned to a special task force that went after offenders who were the worst of the worst. The task force was assigned to investigate a well known mob leader by the name of “The Butcher”. Apparently, they were getting really close to having enough evidence to bring him down. As you know crime bosses will do anything to fix that kind of problem. A few days before they were about to take down the rest of his crew, an assassin killed Detective Alexander’s family. That’s a good reason to want to start over.”
“I agree. Thanks for the information.”
Detective Sanderson went back into the room where Jake is sitting. “Sorry about the wait Detective Alexander.”
“It’s fine, Detective.”
“We put in a call to your captain, and he explained what had happened. We are sorry for your loss.”
“I also wanted to ask you, if you’re serious about starting over here?” Jake just nodded. “We would be happy to give you a chance to work here if you’re interested. I can make a call to your captain on your behalf.”
“Are you serious?”
“We are Jake. You have an impressive career so far. So what do you say?”
“Of course I’m interested.”
The detective handed Jake his card. “Come by the office later today. I’ll make the call to your captain and I should have an answer for you when you come back in. If everything goes through, I’ll introduce you to the Captain and get the paper work filled out.”
“Thank you, Detective. I’ll see you later today.” Jake shook the detective’s hand and headed to the nearest café that had free WI-FI. Jake pulled up what he could about the local police department. He wanted to learn everything he could before his interview later in the day.
He then grabbed his cell phone and called up his old captain. “It’s Jake. How are you doing?”
“Jake, it’s good to hear from you.” The captain sounded genuinely pleased to hear Jake’s voice. “It’s been a long time. How are you?”
“Yeah, sorry you haven’t heard from me sooner.” Jake paused, trying to figure out exactly how to approach the topic with his former boss. Although he had been put on administrative leave after the death of his girlfriend and his captain had told him to take as much time as he needed, he hadn’t called or spoken to any members of his team. “I’m doing better though. Listen, I have a favor to ask of you.”
“I’m listening, Jake.”
“I’m sure Detective Sanderson told you where I’m at. I need a fresh start. I can’t come back Captain. There is just too much pain there. I hope you can understand that. I have been offered the opportunity to transfer here. I would be grateful for any help you could give me.
“I can see what I can do, but I can’t promise anything. I’m just sorry to see you go. You are a great cop. I would welcome you back if you ever felt you could come back. I will let the chief know of your decision.”
“Anything you can do would be great. Thank you, Captain.” Pushing the end button on his phone, Jake lowered his head into his hands trying to force the growing headache away.
He got there and looked around the department, imagining himself seated at one of the desks in the homicide unit. It was one of the biggest precincts he had ever been in. It would definitely take some getting used to if he was given a job. As he walked past one of the desks, he ran his fingers along it, feeling the grain of the wood. The thought of whoever was responsible for Rachel’s death being caught fueled his resolve.
He walked up to the information desk. “I have an appointment with Detective Sanderson.”
The officer at the information desk looked Jacob over. “Can I have your name?”
“Ah yes, Detective Sanderson is expecting you. Take a seat over there and I’ll let him know you’re here.” He pointed to a row of seats off to Jake’s left.
Jacob thanked him, went over, and sat down in one of the chairs. He started watching all the activity that was going on. He pulled out a note that he always kept in his pocket. He clutched the note as tight as he could as the memories of Rachel come flooding back.
Rachel entered the room and sat down next to Jake. “How are ye doin, Jake?”
“Tough day at work, but now that I am home, much better.”
“I wanted you to know how proud I am of you Jake. You didn’t give into the pain and the booze. I have so much faith in you. You have always been able to overcome anything in your life and you can overcome this as well.”
Jake suddenly felt a gentle tap on his shoulder. He looked up and noticed that the detective was trying to get his attention.
“No worries. You look like you were pretty deep in thought.”
“You have no idea.”
“Glad to see you made it, Jacob. Let’s go into my office.”
“Please, take a seat.” He gestured to the ancient wooden chair near the door. “I’m sorry to keep you waiting Jake, but I was on the phone with your old Captain. He faxed me over a copy of your service record and to tell you the truth, I was very impressed.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“The captain is impressed as well. He is willing to take you on a probationary status.”
“I’ll take whatever I can get, sir. Thank you again.”
The detective handed him a paper. “Take this paper to HR and they will give you your badge, and then go to the gun locker and they will assign you a gun. Report to me. I’ll be your partner throughout your probation.
“Thanks again, Detective.”
Jake took the paper and went to HR. “I was told to give this to you so I can get my badge.”
“Of course, Detective Alexander. I will have that processed right away.” She took the paper from Jake. “It will take just a moment.”
Jake nodded, seemingly deep in thought, not paying much attention.
“Here you are, Detective.” She handed him his badge.
“Thanks you, Miss…?” He left the question in the air, hoping she would provide her name.
“Robinson, but you can call me Claire.”
“All right. Thank you, Claire.”
He made his way over to the gun locker. “I need to pick up my gun.” Jake handed the officer the slip. Officer Hendricksen went to the back of the locker, grabbed the standard issued, and handed it to Jake.
“Here you are Detective, your Glock 9mm, three clips, and a box of ammo.”
“Thank you, Officer Hendricksen. Hey, you wouldn’t happen to know where I can find Detective Sanderson would you?”
“Yeah, he is right over there.” The officer pointed Jake in the right direction.
Jake thanked the officer again and started the first day of his new life. After his shift had ended and he got back to his apartment, he realized this was the only way he and his family would ever get justice for what had happened. He would have to bide his time until he found a way to get revenge on Rachel’s murderer, but he wouldn’t stop till he did.