“We have a shooting on two twenty five Highland Ave, one injured, suspect on the run.” Sounded from the radio of the police car me and my partner were sitting in.
“Unit fourteen. We’re nearby, on our way.” Jamie said, turned on the siren and started driving through the quiet city.
We pulled in front of a convenience store at the address given by the dispatcher three minutes later.
There were only three people on the scene. The cashier was waiting for us outside.
“The guy was shot, it looks pretty bad.” He scratched his head nervously and looked in the direction of the said customer.
“The ambulance is on it’s way, sir.” My partner said. “Can you tell us exactly what happened?”
While Jamie was questioning the store worker, I went inside. I paused midstep when I realized that I’m looking at Emmalee, and she’s holding the lifeless body of my brother in law, Caleb.
I’ve been on the police force for about three years now and, until now, I’ve never actually seen a dead body. The sight of Emmalee crying and rocking her boyfriend’s body as if he was a baby she’s trying to rock to sleep completely caught me off guard. It took me a minute to recollect myself.
I stepped closer, trying not to scare her. “Emmalee.” I said quietly and touched her shoulder.
She looked relieved when she saw a familiar face. “Elliot! Thank God you’re here.” She grabbed me by my shoulders and shook with intensity. “You have to help Caleb.”
“Ok, ok. The paramedics will do what they can. Come with me, we can talk outside.”
“No, I can’t leave him.” She shook her head vehemently. “He needs me.”
The ambulance just arrived and a paramedic ran in to examine the body. I stood there with Emmalee and watched him look for any signs of life but there were none..
“He’s gonna be alright. He’s gonna be alright.” Emmalee kept repeating in shock while the paramedics were loading Caleb in a black body bag into the ambulance.
I wrapped my arm around her shoulders and held her tight as we watched the ambulance drive away.
“Alright, fresh batch of popcorn for my lady.” I walked into the living room where Dokota and I were enjoying a movie together.
I put the amazingly smelling popcorn on the coffee table and before I sat down, the door bell rang.
Dakota looked at me with a confusion on her face. It was after eleven o’clock at night and we weren’t expecting anybody.
“I don’t know.” I shrugged my shoulders to the unspoken question and walked to the front door.
I didn’t expect to see Elliot in his police uniform accompanied by my daughter who kept repeating ‘he’s gonna be ok, he’s gonna be ok’. Her hands were folded on her chest and she was staring blankly in front of herself.
“There has been an accident, Mr. Morrison.” The young man started slowly.
“Honey.” I exhaled when I saw the misery on her face. “What’s going on?” I reached out to her and pulled her into a hug before I turned back to Elliot for an explanation.
“What kind of accident? Is everybody alright?”
“No, it’s Caleb.” Elliot paused. “He’s been shot, sir.”
I gasped for air and looked at Dakota who’s made her way over to us and was comforting Emmalee. There was a long moment of silence. I knew I needed to ask the question if he made it but I was too scared to hear the answer.
I finally got the courage. “Is he-” I pinched the top of my nose. “Is he…gonna make it?”
Elliot looked down on his boots and shook his head sadly. “Excuse me, I have to go tell the news to my wife and mother in law now.”
“Of course.” I whispered and watched him walk across the street.
He entered the house, the lights turned on and then, a couple of minutes later, I heard a loud, agonizing scream. I knew that was Caleb’s mom, Amy. My eyes filled up with tears. My heart was broken. For me, my daughter and for Caleb’s family. I don’t know how are we all going to recover from this loss…
Meanwhile, my wife brought Emmalee to our bedroom and laid her down on the bed. She held her in her arms as if she was just a little girl again and rocked her gently.
“You’re gonna be ok, sweetheart.” She was whispering into her ear.
I stood in the doorway, not knowing what to do. I felt absolutely powerless. I would do anything to be able to take the pain away, but I can’t. There is absolutely nothing I can do except to be here for her.
The last couple of days have been emotionally very challenging. Emmalee went back to her apartment and I came to check on her every day. She seemed to be dealing with it well, considering the situation. She was putting on a brave face but I know my daughter, she won’t ask for help but she needs me. Now more than ever.
I used my key to enter the unit and saw Emmalee pouring herself a big glass of wine!
I approached her quickly, attempting to take bottle from her hands. “What are you doing, Em?! Think about the baby for crying out loud!”
She scoffed. “What baby?”
I could hear it in her voice that this is not the first glass of wine she had toady. Something must have happened.
“What do you mean what baby?” I asked softly. I feared the worst.
Emmalee broke out crying. “I lost it, mom.”
“Oh baby.” I pulled her into a hug. “I’m so sorry baby girl. Shhh.”
“The doctor said it was probably from the shock. The body couldn’t handle it” She dropped on the couch and hid her face in her hands.
She was sobbing uncontrollably. For the second time in the matter of few days she suffered a tremendous loss. Her entire life changed and I couldn’t help her.
“Come home with me, sweetie.” I begged her. “Don’t stay here alone, that’s not good for you.”
“No, no… I want to be alone. I have to deal with this on my own.”
“But you don’t have to.”
“I want to. Can you please give me some space?”
“Of course.” I nodded. I wasn’t happy, but I had to respect her wishes. “I will check on you tomorrow, ok?”
And so I left her there…broken into million pieces.
My soul is crushed to dust. I lost everything. Instead of planning a wedding and preparing for a baby, I’m planning a funeral for my fiance and drowning my sorrows in a bottle of wine.
I grabbed my glass of wine and walked into the bedroom I used to share with my fiance. I sat on the ottoman and looked around the quiet room. It felt like he is still here, like he never left. Everything was exactly like it was before we left for our vacation. I took a sip and I swear I could feel his presence.
How did I deserve this? We were happy. Perhaps too happy.. Why was my Caleb taken from me so soon? My love, my best friend, my future husband. Gone…