Beep. Beep. Beep. I groaned as I rolled out of bed and trudged to the bathroom. I looked in the mirror and groaned, I looked like a train wreck. Mascara smeared on my face, my eyes red and puffy, and my hair looked like someone decided to tie knots in it for fun. I sighed and closed my eyes, trying to clear my head of the thoughts that threatened to consume me.
Yesterday was the 2-year anniversary of my sister’s murder. I had called in work sick and spent the whole day holed up in my room reviewing her case file. I had sobbed on the papers so they were crinkly. I enter the bathroom and look around at the yellow walls and cringe. Yellow was Akailia's favorite color. I squeeze my eyes shut and lean into the white vanity as the pain burns deep in my chest. I let a tear drip down and look into the mirror. I wiped my eyes and undressed before turning on the water to as hot as it could go. I felt hollow as I stepped into the steaming shower and scrubbed the remains of emotions off of me. Stepping out of the shower, I threw my hair into a bun and got into black dress pants and a maroon shirt, after putting my badge on and holstering my gun, I walked to the kitchen to make some breakfast. My apartment was a one-bedroom, one-bath but it was all I needed, small, but convenient. It's not like my job allowed me to be here to enjoy it, or have someone to get to go home to anyway. I poured myself a cup of coffee and grabbed a bagel. Biting into it I rush out the door and lock my door and quickly exit the building.
Once in my child, a baby blue bug that I’ve had since I started in the police academy, I started driving. I pulled into the parking lot of my building and parked. I hesitated for a moment. I wasn't sure I wanted to go inside and face the pity looks. I glance in my mirror double-checking I don't look like I sobbed for an entire day straight, I got the courage to get out of the car and enter the building.
I entered my office and am immediately approached by my boss, Lisa Carroll.
“Good morning ma’am,” I say, straightening my spine. Lisa smiles at me and gestures to me to come to follow her. “Good morning, let’s go to the conference room, I need to brief you on our newest case.”
Once I was in the room Lisa closed the door and gestured for me to sit down.
“As you know we recently reopened the case on Pablo,” I tensed at the mention of my sister’s murderer. “I have been speaking with the director and he has proposed an idea that he believes is the best way to catch him. But, you must know, although it is not ideal, it is an extremely fortunate opportunity for you and your career.” I tried to keep my face neutral even though I did not like what she was saying. She gave me a small smile before grabbing the remote and clicked a button making the screen awake and immediately pictures from Pablo’s crimes were on the screen.
“We have been chasing him for over 20 years. Every time we have failed. He will only resurface when there is a competition or there is a major drug sale. One of our undercover agents has told us that there was a huge deal supposed to happen in two days. We hope Pablo will be there.” She stopped for a moment looking at me. “But there is a chance he will send someone from his inner circle. And we know from experience that his people are tough to break. Which is why we need you to go undercover.” I coughed, not expecting her to say that. My throat felt dry and the room felt like it was shrinking.
“What do you mean undercover? Me? I have an extremely personal connection to this case you know this! I can’t possibly operate the best I can!” Lisa folded her arms and glared at me.
“The director believes you are the best for the job because of your personal connection. We’ve been discussing for some time. You control your emotions well and you have a cool demeanor. We need that for this case.” It was almost physically impossible to restrain from rolling my eyes and raising my voice.
“With all due respect, Lisa, I-” Before I could finish Lisa interrupted me.
“With all due respect, Cara, this is not a request, it is an order.” She said mockingly. My mouth flew open and out went all my restraint.
“Lisa!! You know as well as I do that I am too emotional about my sister and this case. I can’t take this assignment.” Lisa sighed and sat in the chair next to me.
“Cara I am aware of the situation, but I want you to know that by doing this we can find out the identity of your sister’s murderer. I know this is a lot to ask but really you are the best person for the job. We can finally have justice for Akailia and all those who have suffered at the hands of Pablo. Wouldn’t it be worth it?” I thought for a moment, thinking of all the lives that were lost and the families that were left heartbroken after Pablo had his way with their lost loved ones. Thinking about how I felt when the agents called me and my parents down to the station and told us she had been murdered. I realized that I could catch the one who caused all these people including me and my family, all this pain. I could bring us closure. With this b blinked the tears away and looked up at Lisa.
“Okay, I’ll do it. What do I need to do?”