(Previous post: Caliente (Dina) – Round 5.3 – The Mission)
Sara sat in Alyssa’s office her heart beating like crazy, her palms sweating as she moved them from griping the seat handles to rest on her knees. The electrifying excitement followed her from the dark basement in the office building downtown right back to the police station.
The note she found on the crates in the abandoned office, carefully bagged by all the procedures Alyssa and Mr. Hoves had shown her just hours ago was now in Mr. Hoves’ hands and both he and Alyssa were busy examining it in silence that was unbearable for Sara’s nerves.
She wasn’t sure if she was needed here anymore, or if she was supposed to be here at all but she was still to excited about the whole thing to leave. What had the note meant? Who left it? Was it Mortimer Goth? Will they be able to extract his prints off it? Why did who ever it was leave it there? Her mind was buzzing with questions and she found it very hard to keep her mouth shut.
“You are right.” Mr. Hoves spoke to Alyssa finally breaking the eerie silence. “Definitely female handwriting. I’ll take to the lab to see if we can pick any trace from it.”
“Are there any women in Mortimer Goth.’s organization?” Sara blurted out without even thinking. Both of the older forensic specialists turned to her looking at her as if they had completely forgotten she was there, which was probably true considering how immersed they were at the little piece of evidence Sara managed to collect on her secret mission.
“Take your pick.” Alyssa said, the exhaustion of this long day showing in her voice, and pulling a pile of folders out of a drawer and trowing them all on her desk.
Sara leaned forward eagerly, afraid to touch any of the folders, feeling she would seriously overstep her boundaries if she simply took one of them and started leafing trough as she wanted to do.
Instead she just glanced over them curiously reading some of the names printed on the covers. Susannah Ramsay it said on one of them.Ramsey” was Rosie’s father’s last name she thought with a pang of sadness she felt every time she thought of her cousin and best friend so she moved her gaze a little to the left and another folder caught her attention.
It was a standard issued SVPD folder with their logo and the letter SPVD printed in big letters but it wasn’t neatly stacked like all the others, there was no arrest photo attached to it, only a name, scribbled in pen: Yvette ‘Eevee’ Gradle.
Mr. Hoves followed Sara’s gaze and turned to Alyssa speaking calmly: “Better take this away before my sister gets here.” And then he turned to Sara smiling very politely: “Please summon Lieutenant Gradle. I’m sure she is still in the building.” Sara nodded and got up to leave, there was no way she could disobey the man who led the whole department. But as she got up and turned he called after her.
“I think you forgot something Sara.” She turned back around noticing the same smile still present on his face but somehow warmer. Then she moved her eyes curiously to what he was pointing at and almost gasped. Right there, next to a big pile of important books on forensic science was a badge. A shining SVPD badge. It was new, and so radiant Sara couldn’t understand how she missed it in the first place. “It’s yours now.” Junior said seriously. “Congratulations.” Both him and Alyssa were smiling now.
Sara was eternally grateful the SVPD gave her a day off the next day because when she got home she had been to excited to sleep. A million questions ran trough her brain, mixed with the memories of dark corridors and sneaking into office buildings, and there was the excitement of the golden badge that stood on her night stand.
She tossed and turned around her bed for the most of the night. Sometime before dawn she got up to paint, trying to capture the dark atmosphere of the basement, that trapped feeling along with the sense foreboding she felt with every step. But she simply couldn’t come up with anything good, she was drawn to the dark colors adding more and more to the canvas until it was simply to dark so she just scrapped it and drew a sketch of her new badge instead. That was a good one she felt and left it on the easel to watch over the real thing.
As she sat on her bed to observe it she finally felt the warm fingers of sleep touching her tired mind so she just fell back over the bed. I’ll have to tell mum now… She thought, it turned to be the last thing on her mind before she finally drifted asleep.
The next morning she had gotten up pretty late. As soon as she opened her eyes she looked at her painting and then on her night stand, making sure none of it was a dream.She then smiled feeling funny. She never wanted to be a cop, not really, she had always just wanted to paint, so why was she so happy now then?
She yawned, stretched and got out of bed. She planed to have some of mum’s delicious homemade cooking, made from delicious produce from her own garden and then enjoy, a slow relaxing day before the weekend. Somewhere in between she would have to have a serious conversation with her mother but that did not frighten her, she knew mum would support her.
On her way downstairs however she ran into her mother scratching her head thoughtfully. “Is everything alright?” Sara asked concerned. “Everything is fine!” Her mother snapped. “I’m just trying to remember where we stashed the champagne. Damn my age…” “Why?” Sara asked. “And why are you dressed like that?” She added.
“Oh this?” Her mother asked looking herself over. “It was your aunt Nina’s doing, she insisted that wearing anything shorter would be an offense to the greater population of Sunset Valley… Like it’s ok for her to wear those tight fitting pants, she is not that younger than me… And she made me were a TIARA.” She then laughed a little.
“I swear we didn’t have these silly things the first time I married…” “You are having a bachelorette party?” Sara asked not amused. “Today? You just got engaged two days ago!”
“So what?” Dina asked briskly. “You see how my brain’s getting… I’m old Sara, I don’t have time to spare like you youngsters seem to do…” Even now she manages to criticize… Sara thought but held her tongue.
Her mind went to her own bachelorette party, the one her aunt Nina and Rosie threw, back when everything was okay. It seemed a lifetime ago but she could vividly picture the moment her aunt Nina sprayed her with champagne after Rosie’s toast… Everyone cheered and laughed, even Roise, she could remember Rosie’s laugh so vividly. It was a loud, energetic, bright laugh. What would Sara give to hear it again…
There were dancers there, young men in firefighting hats and red underwear… A clever joke on her fiancee’s expense. They had all been so happy that day… And now Rosie was a sleep in the coma ward and she didn’t speak with aunt Nina anymore…
Mum’s party also had this champagne spraying part, only this time it was Minissa Gradle with the bottle and nobody cheered as loud as they did at Sara’s party, if anyone was to observe he could thing it was some bizarre funeral ritual since and all the women there wore black dresses, even usually cheerfully dressed Blair Hoves.
Sara figured it was another one of Aunt Nina’s jokes, maybe a reference to the fact her mother was retired and people should be planning her funeral not her wedding or something like that… That was aunt Nina’s sense of humor alright.
Sara had avoided her aunt for most of the party. It was hard for her to look her in the eyes. She couldn’t help but blame her for what happened to Rosie. How was it possible for your daughter to try and kill herself in your house? How come you miss the signs? How come you don’t stop her? If she had ran into her aunt how could she say anything other then this? How could she not ask this questions, she had to know. Do you blame yourself aunt? Do you? She would have asked this…
But then she saw aunt Nina alone, everyone else was on the other side of the garden, it was already that part of the day when all the women were throwing down their clothes and fighting for a spot in the hot tub. All but aunt Nina. She was surrounded by laughter and shrieking but she just stood there as if she was looking at everyone else but there was no trace of a smile on her face and her gaze was distant.
There was something so simply heart wrenching about this scene that Sara felt like crying right then and there. She realized she had never seen her aunt cry. Not ever.
The old woman was made of some strong stuff, just like Sara’s own mother was. Not even that day at the hospital, the day that often came back in Sara’s nightmares…
It all started with the news report that stated a firefighter was injured in a fire across town. A knot formed in Sara’s stomach followed by her whole body shaking so much she had to sit down in order not to fall. Her fiancee Jerod was a firefighter. As the knot in her stomach finally started to dissipate after a quick call from him her mother walked in to the room. Her voice was steady and flat when she said that they better rush to the hospital. Rosie’s bad, she might not make it…
All the rest was a blur for Sara, the only thing she remembered was her yelling at her aunt as they stood in a hospital waiting room, she didn’t care that everyone was listening, that Latricia and Branden were crying in the corner. she yelled her lungs out, crying, screaming but her aunt just stood there, no expression on her face. And Sara yelled and yelled until her own mother placed a hand on her shoulder. That’s enough. She said and she pulled her away, out of the hospital and Sara sobbed in her shoulder.
She had been so mad at her aunt then, she had been so mad all this time but now she only wondered would it be easier if she had cried too? If she saw that she was hurting as well… But she did see, she did know but she didn’t care, she wanted to blame her, she wanted to blame everyone because her best friend was gone…
Sara hurried inside, she had to get away, she just couldn’t handle looking at her aunt anymore. And she didn’t want anyone to see her crying, this was a party after all, everyone should be celebrating.
She rushed past her mother showing picture of Silvester to Jill Mayor something she would have usually find amusing. But now she thought of nothing but Rosie lying alone in that coma ward, her last nights excitement lay forgotten, her new badge lay forgotten, the whole party lay forgotten, all she thought about was her best friend who might not ever open her eyes.
Sara would have stayed in the downstairs bathroom crying her eyes out for the duration of her mothers party if it wasn’t for a sudden shouting outside. She didn’t even pause to look at her swollen eyes and pitiful expression before she ran outside.
A crowd had gathered she observed and someone was lying on the floor, a black dress she noticed with a guilty sigh of relief, her mother was okay. A black haired woman Sara recognized as Penelope Belgen, girl she knew from school was kneeling on the ground, presumably checking for pulse and shouting orders to the gathered crowd. Trough a fog of memories Sara remembered Penelope was a paramedic. Back when they were in high school she was in love with Rosie… Was she the one who came to her aid Sara asked herself distantly?
And right then the crowd had parted and Sara was up for yet another shock. There on the floor, recognized by thick green braids was Blair Hoves and with a sense of dread she remembered Junior’s words: “They did see something on her scans… In her lungs…”
The ambulance came and took Blair away, she was still breathing and Sara allowed herself to be hopeful. After the incident the partying was pretty much over. Penelope who had not left with the paramedics made drinks for everyone. The mood was rather solemn, you could tell everyone was just thinking of Blair who was very beloved in the neighborhood. It’s more like a wake then a bachelorette party Sara thought remembering the black dresses…
But Blair was still alive! She had too be! Everyone was reassuring everyone else but still Sara felt chills all over her body as she gripped her glass tightly, it was almost as if she could feel the Grim Ripper lurking silenllly…
/*That’s it for the Caliente’s this round! Hope you like it, any feedback is of course welcome! Next up is a first installment of a entirely new family, Summer, Sara’s sister comes back in this update, and we see Sara’s other mother Nala, again. Before the update however, I’ll introduce Summer’s fiancee Bradley so stayed tuned and hopefully enjoy!*/