Isis had texted Toni to tell her to come and pick her up. Toni arrived fifteen minutes later.
“Why did he take your car?” Toni asked.
“I don’t know, but I’m gonna kill him when I catch up with him.”
As Toni drove, she asked, “Why don’t we drive by his house? Maybe he wasn’t feeling well and went home.”
Isis was in deep thought. She was thinking about all the ways that she could hurt Taylor. She was also thinking about the sketch that the homeless man had made.
“I’m sorry, did you say something?”
“Where does Taylor live?”
On Tenth Ave and West Thirty-Fifth St., Isis saw her truck. “Stop,” she said. “There it is. I’ll be right back.” She angrily entered Taylor’s five-floor walkup. Isis pressed her ear against the door. She heard laughter coming from inside of Taylor’s apartment. Isis banged on the door with such force that the hinges started to yield. “Open up this door, Taylor.” Isis banged on the door some more, then she pressed her ear against it. “I hear you in there, Taylor. You better open this fuckin’ door—” Isis heard the chain latch sliding into place, then she heard the lock disengaging. Taylor opened the door as far as the chain would allow.
Isis kicked it open the rest of the way. “What the fuck—” Isis froze in her tracks when she stepped into Taylor’s studio apartment. The place was a dump. A couch that was pulled out into a bed had five hookers on it. They all had a part of the sheets pulled up against their breasts, and they all looked terrified. Empty liquor bottles were strewn all over the floor. ” What the hell is going on, Taylor?”
Taylor was wearing a pair of soiled boxer shorts, and his .9mm was in his hand. He walked over to a night table and picked up Isis’ keys. His nose was bleeding from the impact of the door. He threw the keys over to her, rubbed his temple with the barrel of his gun, and said he was sorry. “I can’t go on like this, Isis.” Taylor looked over at the hookers. “Get out. All of you, get the fuck out, now!” Taylor said as he waved his gun in their direction. The hookers scrambled to find their clothing. After the last one had left, Taylor burst into tears. “I can’t take this shit no more.” Taylor sat on the floor and he continued to rub the gun against his temple. “I’m fucked up, Isis.” Nasal mucus slid from out of his nostrils, mixing with the blood. Taylor used the back of his hand to wipe it away. “I’m a fuckin’ pig...I don’t deserve to live.”
Isis was watching Taylor’s gun closely. “Look, Taylor,” she said as she dropped to one knee. “I’m gonna get you some help, but please, don’t kill yourself, dude.” Isis held out her hand. “Give me the gun, Taylor, please.”
Taylor stared into Isis’ eyes. “I’m no good, Isis,” Taylor dropped his head. “I have sex with teenagers, I’m a fuckin’ animal.” Taylor lifted his head and stared into Isis’ eyes.
Isis offered him a look of genuine concern. “Please, Taylor, give me the gun...please.”
Taylor handed over his weapon. His sobbing was so gut wrenching that it moved Isis to tears.
Isis gave Taylor a card. “Here, this is my therapist’s name and number. She’s helped me in the past. Give her a call, okay?”
Taylor took the card and nodded his head. “Look, tell Lt. Stone that I’m going to need some time off—”
“Don’t worry about the job, Andrew, your health is more important,” Isis said, cutting him off. Isis had taken one last look at her partner before she closed the door, not knowing that it would be the last time she’d see Detective Andrew Taylor alive.
Stacey and Jannifer moved slowly through the crowd of spectators on West 145th St., the block that they’d lived on with their Aunt Jackie. The crowd was staring at the very building where the twins used to live. They watched as two men from the city morgue carried a large black body bag from out of the building. Two men that were standing behind the twins said that the woman got her hands on some bad dope. A couple that was standing in front of them said that the dead woman had been in the apartment for three days and that they’d overheard a medic saying that the woman shot up rat poison. Another onlooker said that the dead woman’s name was Jackie.
Stacey and Jannifer entered the subway station on 135th St. They took the C local train one stop to 125th St., then they jumped on the downtown A train headed for Queens. Twenty-seven stops later, they got off at Mott Ave., Far Rockaway. At Central and Mott, the twins took the N31 bus toward Hempstead. Twenty-four minutes later, they walked into Ohel Children’s Home & Family shelter.
Since the twins’ arrival in New York City, they longed for a place where they thought they would be safe, a place where they didn’t have to deal with drug dealers and drug users, like Aunt Jackie. The Ohel Children’s & Family Shelter was that place, and they visited the shelter every day just to get away from their aunt and her drugs.
Stacey and Jannifer loved playing with the children at the shelter. They would often volunteer their time to help the staff. Everyone loved Stacey and Jannifer at Ohel’s. On this visit, the twins would donate fifty thousand dollars apiece to the shelter.
Taylor spent the last six hours at his favorite bar in Harlem. He wanted to call his ex-wife, but he didn’t have his cell phone. He pounded his fist on the bar when he remembered that he’d broken it when it slipped from his hand when he was at his ex-wife’s house.
The bartender shot him a look.
He wanted to tell her that he was quitting the force and that he was going to seek treatment for his disorder. He bought his sixth shot of vodka, and by the time he left the bar, Taylor was smashed. His blood alcohol level was way past the legal limits. He clumsily removed the card that Isis had given him. He tried to read it, but the words kept moving.
Taylor couldn’t find any hookers. Slow night.
Taylor stumbled out of the bar. The detective had enough sense not to get behind the wheel--he needed a designated driver. Four teenagers were leaning against Taylor’s car. In his inebriated state, Taylor lost his footing and fell. He landed in the gutter. As he tried to stand, Taylor threw up. He heaved for a minute or so before he regained control of himself. One of the teenage boys cursed him and called him a drunk. Taylor staggered over to his car and laid across the hood. ” I’ll give you fifty dollars if you drive me home,” he said to one of the boys. The teenager boys glanced at one another.
“Look...I’m a cop…” Taylor’s stomach lurched, and he heaved again. He wiped his mouth. “I’m a detective.” One of the teenage boys ran his hand across his goatee. They both agreed to drive Taylor to his apartment.
While Taylor lay in the back of his Infiniti, he thought about Donna and how his addiction had messed up his life. He wanted so much to get back with his ex, but he knew that Donna would never take him back.
Taylor couldn’t remember how he got into his apartment or how he’d gotten undressed, and he thought it strange that the teenagers would leave him on the floor, an inch or two away from the couch, but it felt so good to be lying down. Taylor had to pee. When he tried to lift himself up he could not, and when he tried to move his arms, he could not. His mouth felt funny. When Taylor lifted his head, he got the shock of his life. His entire body—except for his genitals—was completely covered in duct tape. Detective Taylor was wrapped up like a mummy. Taylor noticed that there was clothing thrown haphazardly on the floor. The boys’ clothes. The teenage boys were nowhere to be seen. Taylor struggled against his restraints.
A minute after Taylor had regained consciousness, the two teenage boys emerged from the bathroom. Taylor blinked his eyes twice. The two teenage boys that were standing in front of him were females from the neck down, and their bodies were completely covered in cellophane; one of them had a scalpel in her hand, while the other girl held a stun gun. The twins glowered at their latest victim.
“You motherfuckin’ fatherfuckin’ pig,” they said in unison.
Taylor felt his body stiffen when one of the girls grabbed a handful of his genitals. A second later a searing, hot pain shot through his body. She held Taylor’s cock and balls inches from his face. The blood from his genitals dripped in his eyes. Before death took him, Detective Andrew Taylor thought: yeah, this is the way it’s supposed to end.