HE WAS well dressed today. That black tuxedo he bought for 5 grand, he was wearing it today. You look good you feel good – that’s what they say. But he wasn’t feeling good. Hargreaves Teaching Hospital was attacked, by a man. The man apparently blew up the entrance, killing twenty, injuring seven. Twenty seven. Twenty seventh of next month was his birthday. He didn’t know if that was a good or bad thing.
“Wow, Honey. You look like a million bucks” His wife came into the room. He flexed in the mirror a bit more and turned to see his wife.
“And you’re not so bad yourself, Leah”
She giggled and they both hugged each other.
“Ready for school,”
“Alright. I’m gonna have to leave now or I’ll be late. Tell the kids goodbye for me,”
“Late? It’s 7:30 in the morning” Leah was concerned about him. She was always concerned about him. He considered himself the luckiest man on earth to have found such a caring wife. Honestly, he couldn’task for more. A loving wife, two beautiful kids, a job where he gets to do what he loves. It was almost perfect for him.
“Well, with the ruckus going on the country, I have to be there early to help sort it out”
“You hardly talk to them, they hardly see you. You just always don’thave time for them,”
“Leah… I promised you I’d make time and hang out with you all. But I just can’t afford that time now.”
He hugged her one last time.
“See you in the evening, okay?”
He picked up his briefcase and left the house. He waltzed to his garage. He had three cars, but his favourite, was the green Rolls Royce. He used that car only when he was in a confident mood. The city was in total tumult and he was feeling good about himself. Part of him felt bad for that but, most of him liked that he had more than enough confidence to deal with the situation. The driver took him to the presidential house. He got out of the car, dodged an army of Journalists and press and made his way to the president’s office. The two heavily armed soldiers in front of the door made way for him. He knocked as usual. He had a special knock so the president knew it was him. He would knock the door three times in quick succession, pause and then knock twice. Then the president would it was him coming in.
“Come in Mr. Patterson”
He opened the door and walked inside. The president stood at his window. The presidential house was built in the highest slope of Mellville. From his office he could have a decent view of the country. A very beautiful country. But beneath all that beauty was the most uncomely thing a man could ever see. Rising crime rates – most of it hate crimes, rising death rates – most of it suicides and increasing poverty all over the country. Of all the catastrophes in the country, hate crimes were the ones that irked him the most. Most of the hate crimes were race related. Whites killing blacks everyday, blacks thieving from whites, the whole country was divided. He wasn’t a man of religion, so he didn’t really get religious hate crimes. His stereotypical belief of it was that, Christians always felt like they were better than all other religions and Muslims felt the best approach to any problem was violence. Christians and Muslims were the majority among the country's 40,000 inhabitants. Only about 2,000 were atheists, much like himself. But, bottom line, any kind of crime was wrong and as leaders of the nation, their job was to reduce it as much as possible.
“Good Morning, Mr. President”
“Good morning Matthew, have a seat”
He took the seat by the president’s table. The president left the window and took his seat. The President had Special Advisors on all matters of the country, but he insisted on having a general Special Advisor, a personal advisor. He was the President’s Personal Advisor. The President took advice from his Special Advisors, but he reviewed the decisions with him.
“You’ve heard the news right?” The President asked
“Of course Mr. President. There’s a murderer out there. He killed Timothy Little, the minister of Information, hours later he murdered Timothy’s personal guard in Hargreaves Teaching Hospital and gave them a quite grandeur farewell.”
The president stood up again and walked to his window. He was far to fidgety a man to sit in one place. He wasn’t the type to sit and watch things go by. That, Matthew thought, was a major attribute that contributed to his success in the presidential election. He’d been President for just a year and half and things were already getting sour. They had to do something to rectify this problem as soon as possible.
“How many were killed?” The President asked still facing his window.
“Twenty, Mr. President”
The President rubbed his temple briefly with his right hand.
“Well, we can’t do anything about what’s already happened. No matter what happens next, it’ll be remembered that it was in President Camden Chapman’s rule that a criminal murdered the minister of Information” The President paused briefly “But, we can do something to change what happens next. What do we know about the murderer?”
“Well he’s thorough for one,” Matthew started “According to reports, he killed the minister of Information and shot his personal detail. Apparently, the murderer didn’t get the desired result from his gunshot to the security guard so he followed him up to the hospital and ended it there.”
“Hmm. There have been many crimes in the city over the course of the year but the murder of a minister? This takes the cake.” The President stroked his chin for some seconds
“Is it safe to say, the murderer is after top officials?” He asked
“Well we can’t be sure of the murderer's motive or if he’s even going to attack again.” Matthew replied.
“Hmm. For now this is what we’re gonna do. Gridlock the whole city with soldiers. Cover any and every corner.”
“That’s a very good and conservative idea, Mr. President.”
“But we need to track down that murderer as soon as possible. I want you to send someone to the crime scene, see if the murderer left any fingerprints or trails”
“Consider it done, Mr. President” Matthew stood up to leave.
“Oh.. don’t let the police department know. Let them do their own investigation, we’ll do ours separately. Division of labour makes things easier right?”
“Of Course, Mr. President”
It was 7am but he still lay on his bed. His alarm woke him up about an hour ago but he didn’t find the will to get up. He'd relived the events of the previous day several times in his mind. He finally found the strength to lift himself off the bed. He ruffled his hair and sat on the bed for some moments. There was something he was forgetting. Oh! He had to go to his parent’s house. Given how stale they were, they probably hadn’t heard of what happened. His mother’s Blood pressure would rise up all the way to the moon if he told her what he experienced. His father would probably be as impervous as always. His father had a 'Toughness' dogma that irritated him. When he got beaten to a pulp by a bunch of jocks in high school, his father told him off for being weak and rewarded the bullies with 10 dollars each. This policy made him strong, but it may have also affected him fundamentally. His panic attack yesterday would prove it. He jumped into the shower. His mind jumped back into the previous day. What a way to begin his medical career. All seemed well at the beginning. He met Aaron who showed him the ropes for a few hours, got hungry, and went to the cafeteria. He met the man in the cafeteria. They had a cup of coffee together. Wait! They had a cup of coffee together. Scott wrapped up his shower and walked back into his room to dress. The man touched a cup in the cafeteria. The police could get the man’s fingerprints if they could find that cup in the hospital.’s cafeteria. Why didn’t he remember this yesterday when he was being questioned. He picked up his phone from his side drawer. He thought of who to call. Aaron had given him his number shortly before they all went home, the other doctor, Chloe, he didn’t have her number and he didn’t feel comfortable dialling the emergency number, 618. A good percentage of hate crimes had to do with acts of racism by police officers of the only police department in the country, Mellville Police Department. MVPD for short. White police officers shooting and killing black civillians for the smallest of reasons, Black police officers killing whites for breaking even the smallest of rules, but what worried him the most was that the leaders did nothing drastic to solve or punish these wicked policemen. He wondered if they were promoting racial violence or if they were just to spineless to address the matter or if they didnt want to upset some kind of balance. Politics wasn’t his strong suit so he’d leave that to the professionals. He was white. There was no telling if it was a black officer that would be on the other end of the call if he called 618. He realised that the behaviour he was exhibiting now was shortsighted, racial, and stupid and he felt bad for it but he wouldn’t feel comfortable talking a black police officer. He didn’t see what impact calling Aaron would do so he dropped his phone on the bed. Change of plans. He would go to the hospital himself to find the cup. He dressed in a red polo shirt a bit bigger than he was but it fit anyway, and blue jeans. He hung his shoulder bag across his body. He just loved to wear his shoulder bag. He felt incomplete without something to put the things he couldn’t fit in his pocket into. Besides, that was where he’d put the cup if he found it. He quickly opened his drawer, picked up a pair of black gloves and put it into his bag. He had to wear something on his hands to prevent contaminating the evidence. He left his apartment, went down the stairs and waited for the morning cab. The hospital was most likely teeming with police officers after the events of yesterday. He had to think of a way in. He could say he left something important but he doubted they’d let him into a crime scene because of that. The morning cab arrived.
“Oh my God. Kid. Good to see you’re doing okay. I thought you’d died at Hargreaves Hospital when I heard the news,” The driver broke into his badly rehearsed sympathy speech immediately he pulled up.
“Well I was lucky to have avoided the crosshairs,” On second thought, he didn’t seem like the kind of person that would reherase a pity speech.
“Well thank God you’re alive.”
“Yeah, Thank God.”
“What? You wanna go back there?”
“I left something very valuable in there. I need to get it.” Scott hoped the man wouldn’t ask any more questions. The driver just nodded slowly.
“Alright hop in.”
He went into the taxi and as usual they waited for the other morning workers whose workplaces haven’t been blown up by murderous psychopaths. The car was soon filled up and they began to move. He began to question himself. Why did he want to find the cup himself when he could easily tell the cops in front of the hospital about the cup. Well, there were two reasons for that. First, he didn’t like cops. Second, he felt like he had to directly contribute in the apprehension of the criminal. After seeing the man blow up a grenade yesterday, Scott felt useless. A criminal killed a couple of people and escaped in the smoke, and him, he just sat in the emergency room shaking like a fish taken away from water. He needed to do this to redeem himself. To, protect his fragile ego. But what would he do once he the cup, he would still have to submit it to the cops. Well, he’d get some credit at least.
“We’ve arrived.” Scott’s head was so deep in his pillow of thoughts he didn’t notice when they reached.
“Right.” Scott came out of the car and paid the driver. He turned to the hospital. It was the same as yesterday, except today the front was damaged, cordoned with caution tapes and surrounded by cops and police cars. There was just no way he was getting in there for any reason. The place was swarmed with reporters and their various news channels, broadcasting the live news. Onlookers passed by, police patrols, it was basically impossible to get into the hospital. What was he thinking. He couldn’t believe he actually thought he’d come to the hospital and be some kind of hero. That was childish and mediocre thinking from him. All wasn’t bad though, he could walk up there and tell them about the cup. That’s what he decided to do. But first he’d have to dodge all those reporters and their channels. He walked briskly to the front of the hospital. He walked past the reporters and stopped in front of the yellow caution tape. Surprisingly, none of the reporters questioned him. Well, it’s hard to question a passer-by when you’re too busy reporting live news. A police officer saw him from inside the tapes and walked toward him.
“Looking for something?” The police officer asked. The cop was black. He immediately felt unsafe. He’d occasionally imagined what a world where he didn’t need to feel scared when facing an armed black man would look like. Sweet dreams.
“Not really. Uh, I have important information that could help your investigation,”
The cop traced him from head to toe with his eyes. Was it his dressing or because he was white and therefore had irrelevant opinions.
“How so?” The cop asked. Scott wished he was a bit more buff. The cop would probably have regarded him with more respect.
“I may have had coffee with the murderer moments before the massacre.” The cop’s face loosened up immediately. His lips were opening into a smile then he folded them inside. The cop couldn’t hold it in anymore and erupted into laughter.
“Did I say something funny?” Scott asked.
“Get outta here man” The cop turned around to leave. Scott grabbed the cops shoulder and pulled him back.
“Hey! Don’t be ignorant. I have important information…”
“Shut up and get out of here before I…” The cop stopped suddenly and stared past Scott. Scott turned back and saw that all the stations had him live on their stations. Scott immediately covered his face with his hands as best he could and walked out of the premises. When he felt like he was out of the reach of the cameras he stopped and turned back to the hospital. When he was a kid he always wanted to be on TV but he wondered what 8 year old him would say if he told him how it happened. That police officer didn’t believe him. Another reason to hate black cops. Realistically, it was normal for a random officer not to believe what he said so he didn’t blame the cop. He’d tried the normal way and it didn’t work. He was going to have try another way.
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