Life Pauses Dramatically
The paramedics pronounced her dead at 8:15PM as Captain Frank Roque pulled up on Ella Grasso Blvd ten minutes later. He was satisfied that the lead detective had the crime scene under control, as the uniforms were keeping the people out of the hallways, and away from the apartment.
The bedroom was the only room that was largely intact. Only a glass-top night stand had been ransacked, its two drawers flung across the room and a hand full of socks and underwear were dumped on the floor. In one corner of that room, a bean bag chair had been split and all the beans were strewn across the floor, other then that, there was nothing disturbed.
The Detective Nathan Chambers explained to the captain that the victim was probably lying on her back in bed, being held down by an accomplice, when the rape began. The rapist had struck her from directly above, and then with his violent wayward thrusts he damaged the wall with the flimsy headboard. He had made it very clear to the captain that the rape was brutal.
Either from the force of the rape or from her own efforts to escape the woman rolled off the side of the bed and onto the floor. There was a small amount of blood splatter on the lower side of the box spring. She was stabbed on her left thigh, twice, but what killed her was the pillow to the face. Then she was dragged into the ransacked kitchen and probably raped again by the other man. She was left half undressed in an odd position.
The lead medical examiner lifted the bed sheet carefully off the mattress and folded it slowly so as to keep any loose hairs or fibers intact.
Two hours later. Her family members showed up waling in grief, listening to neighbors telling them in raw detail what had happened. The captain knew that there was always one member of the family who had to remain calm, for the sake of the others. He looked around and saw that person. She was the woman’s only daughter leaning against the ambulance smoking a cigarette. She was a boyish looking female not yet sixteen. She had the look of dread on her face, but she was the calmest.
“Hey,” the captain called while motioning for her to follow him behind the back side of the ambulance.
The captain started the conversation by asking the young girl about her mother’s vices, habits and boyfriends. He had explained to the young girl that the apartment had no signs of force entry and that her mother may have known the attackers. While asking the questions, the captain touched the young girl’s elbow lightly, as if to emphasize that he was truly sorry for what has happened, but he needed the conversation to happen so he could get a better handle of the case. The young girl took two more drags from the cigarette and tossed it away from the ambulance. She looked at the captain and nodded.
“Your mother didn’t sell drugs, or anything, right?”
“They were looking for something,” said the captain. “They found it and that’s when they took her into the bedroom…”
The young girl did not reply.
“Was she loose, you know, many male friends?”
The young girl had an empty gaze as she looked away from the captain as though she was lost for a moment in thought.
The captain did not disturb her.
The young girl broke the silence. “You know, life pauses dramatically.”
The captain looked confused.
The young girl lowered her voice to a whisper. “My mother was raped before and she contracted the HIV virus that causes AIDS. She was always at the pharmacy getting her prescriptions filled. I think the assholes that raped her thought they were getting pain medicine, but that wasn’t the case.”
“Yeah, they must have been stoned or out of it.”
“Why do you say that?”
“We live here in this bad section,” she started. “A few guys tried raping her once, but she told him that she had HIV, and they left her alone.”
The captain nodded.
“She would have warned those guys,” said the young girl. “And she never locked the door until I got home, sometimes she couldn’t get out of bed because of her condition.”
Seconds later, a dozen or more of her relatives, including her mother moved quickly into the apartment, creating instant pandemonium. The captain decided that he’d better help Nathan Chambers sort the mess out.
“Ironic, isn’t it,” she called out.
The captain turned around slowly, “life does pause dramatically.”
© 2013 Frank Atanacio
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