Wednesday 5 June 2013

Phone Call

Late one night the phone rang and my life changed forever. My bags were packed to head home for the summer the next day. Only one more year left of medical school and I would be an intern in my hometown this time next year. I was in the top five in my class and could have picked any hospital for work. I chose to go back to my roots and eventually work for my dad in his medical practice.

I was in a deep sleep having celebrated with my classmates and probably drank too many margaritas. Realizing it was my phone that was buzzing on my side table I grabbed for it. Thinking it may be my mom making sure I was on schedule as she was a worrier and an organizer for us all. I had not seen my younger sibling since Christmas, when I went home for a family celebration.  The voice was not familiar when they asked if I was Lisa Reagan, then in his deep voice he told me he was from the police, and ask if anyone was with me. I told him no. He said someone would be at my door within a few minutes and it would be a women officer, I asked what was happening; he said she would explain when she arrived. I went to phone home the line was busy, which was odd at this time of night.

I opened the door on the first knock and saw a sombre looking woman my age with a man standing behind her in uniform. That is when my life collapsed. They told me my parents and sisters had been murdered in their beds four hours ago. They thought it was a robbery gone badly. They said they were there to drive me home and said they would wait outside until I was ready.

On the drive, I asked questions they did not seem to know very much telling me the basics of what had transpired. They thought my dad had interrupted two men that had jimmied the back door, and when he appeared, they had stabbed him right in the neck. He died instantly. My mom must have heard the commotion from the bedroom and came down the stairs, seeing my dad lying there, she ran to him, and was stabbed in her back as she was bending over him. My two sisters slept through it all as the police found them still in their beds with their throats slit. Maybe that was a blessing for them not to have known what had happened to our parents.
I felt numb, as the police car stopped outside our home where I had been born. A police officer opened the door, helping me out holding my hand as I walked up the sidewalk dreading what would be inside. My family’s bodies already had been taken to the morgue, the police still lifting fingerprints throughout the house. Blood had soaked into the white carpet with scarlet droplets covering the walls. The large family picture in the entrance lay with the glass broken and frame in pieces. 
It was like a horror movie before me, I ran outside and threw up in my dads beautiful garden. They asked if they could call any of my relatives, or take me to their house. I gave them my aunts number and she was there quickly holding me tightly in her arms.

The church was full as our family was well known in the community. Standing room only, the only thing I remember was standing beside the grave, looking around noticing a man I did not recognize, wondering did he know all my family or who had he come to say goodbye to. The police had a heavy presence through the crowd, they said sometimes killers come to watch. The next time I looked up the man was gone. I mentioned this to the officer closest to me and he went to look. The man had disappeared.

My aunt arranged to have the carpets torn up and the walls painted, then we went in to pack all my memories in boxes, I told her to put the house up for sale, as I would never spend a night there. My uncle was constantly beside us both and helped sell all the furniture, I only kept pictures and keepsakes to go through when I felt I could deal with them.

The next year I was in a haze. At school I enrolled in marital arts and took up shooting, enjoying every lesson to the extent that my instructor said he was worried about me. I still graduated with top honors. Staying with my aunt and uncle for the summer, they had decorated one of their bedrooms for me.  The first purchase I made when I got home was to buy a gun, and would head out to practice in the woods to keep the skill up that I had attained. My uncle always came with me as he had retired that year and was at loose ends, him needing the company as much as I did.

I had sketched a picture of the man from the funeral and had given it to the police before I left to go back to school so decided to stop and see if they had anything new with the case of my family. To my surprise, they told me they had a lead the month before after another robbery. An older woman murdered in her bed who lived alone. A neighbor had seen two men in the area the day before, one looking much like my sketch. They were still looking for these men.  

The summer flew by and I had found an apartment near the hospital, I never gave up hope that the killers of my family would ultimately be found. I was working the late shift in emergency when a man was brought in with a bullet wound. I got the call and went to remove the bullet. 
As soon as I saw him, I recognized him as the man that I had seen at the funeral that I had sketched over a year ago. He was in pain, had been sedated, as he had lost a fair amount of blood and looked very ashen. His eyes dilated, it was not from the meds he had received at the hospital, when he saw me, his eyes widened, and his body started to shake. Was this the man who had killed my family? The nurse had the tray ready to remove the bullet.

I asked her if she could bring me a glass of water. I wanted this man alone. When she left, I took his arm and pushed down on where the bullet was, forcing his blood to spurt out, quietly telling him that I knew who he was and wanted the name of the other man who was with him the night my family had been slaughtered. Or his choice was to die during this night and I could make sure of that. He tried to resist my hold as I pushed harder into his wound. Screaming he gave up the name and I plunged a needle into his arm. He was immobile instantly. When the nurse returned, I told her to get the police here right away. I made sure this bullet hole would bother him for months as I sewed him up. But it was all very unsatisfying.

The police took him into custody. He was charged with the murder of my family. His fingerprints matched the ones found in the house. It would take three months before he came to trial. 
I wanted to deal myself with the name he had given me and found out where the man lived. I staked out his apartment every night that I did not work, his routine never varied from one day to the next. One night late, he came home, and by his walk, he was either high on drugs or drunk. I stood and blocked his entrance to his place, and I knew he recognized me. I pulled my gun from my pocket made him open his door.

His place was a dump, I told him to sit, looking around, I pulled on gloves. He started to snivel saying he was at the house but he did not kill anyone. But I knew that only his prints were found upstairs. He saw the vial I had removed from my jacket and his eyes showed horror. Thinking to myself, I was trained to save peoples lives, as I plunged the syringe of pure heroin into his arm. He was dead within minutes, much easier than the way my family was treated.

The news reported a man died from a drug overdose and was proven to be the second killer in the Reagan family murder. The other man is serving twenty years with no chance of parole. 

I did not have to fire my gun or use any of my martial arts, only my skills as a doctor of medicine.

 Starting to sleep at night.

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