As I sit here, on the last day of what has arguably been the most stressful and yet most influential year of my life, all I can think about are the things that made this year what it was. It had its ups and downs. I met some new people...well, over the Internet...and I lost some old friends. I discovered that not everything in the world was in black and white, and that monsters do exist in the shadows of your room at night. I found...well, I guess my archnemesis, for lack of a better word, and I've had a field day with his dipshits. If I had to say anything, I would definitely say it was a productive year, this year was.
What keeps coming to my mind, however, are the final moments of last year, 2009. We were at an office party of one of our co-workers to celebrate New Years. I really didn't want to go, but I was half-encouraged, half-dragged to the event. My "socializing" for the year.
At one point I remember walking around a house that I had never been to, just trying to find Lizzie and maybe get out of there. Yeah, I worked with them, but as we all know by now, that just means we work for the same boss. And the guy who owned the house had a bunch of people that definitely didn't work for our department. So there I am, trying to find one familiar face among a sea of strangers. But at least all of them HAD faces...as far as I know, they did, at least.
I finally found her in the living room with Eric and the host, whoever it was, I honestly can't remember now. It was a formal party, and we were dressed in our best, but even this night she had outdone herself. She wore this black strapless dress that fit her like a glove, she wore contacts that lit her face up better than her glasses ever did, and her hair was wavy and neat. If you asked me then, I would've said she cleaned up well. If you asked me now, I'd say she was the most beautiful thing in that house.
Funny how that works out.
Eric saw me first, and nodded towards me with a smile. She turned, saw me, and waved with that big childlike smile on her face. I waved back with half a grin, just glad I had found familiar faces.
We hung out together in that room for a good hour or so just talking about our casework. December, Christmastime, is just as stressful a month for a cop as any other. Just the other day, I had interrogated a girl-couldn't have been older than twenty- that had three bodies torn apart in her house. Her boyfriend and two other people they had been travelling with. Any holiday month can bring out the best and the worst of people, and we always seem to deal with the worst.
It was around eleven thirty when she and I went outside for a breather. Eric was being entertained by the host's wife telling a joke, so it was just me and her on our own, and it was stuffy as hell in there from all the people practically squished together.
I sat on the lawn chair that for some reason was still on the step while she leaned against the pillar. It was snowing, and some snow had landed in her hair, and it was sparkling off the overhead light. I don't know why I remember that detail now...it's just one of those things that you wished you had acted upon then.
She asked me what I thought the new year would bring. The only thing I could answer was that it would bring the same drunks, addicts, angry amd moronic criminals that it always brought. Days, weeks, months kind of melt together when you see the same thing day in and day out. I didn't put much emphasis on the New Year; yeah, it's the end of the year, but it's just another day.
"What about you?" I asked. "You actually have any of those resolutions?"
She didn't say anything for a while, she just played with this little bracelet she had bought the last time she had went to the mall. It was a small little elastic thing with a heart charm on it. She had that look on her face that she always had on whenever she was sad or thoughtful.
"I want things to go my way this year," she finally said after some time, looking out at the three stars in a curved line that we both knew was Orion's belt. "Get out of my dad's shadow. Maybe crack that one big case that will be the highlight of my career."
"What, and leave me in the dust?" I said, half-jokingly. Only half. "You crack the case and get that big fat promotion and leave me a bitter old man behind a desk?"
"You'd come with me, dork," she said, sticking her tongue out at me. "That's what partners do."
She gave me that cute look she gave me whenever I was actually doing something nice for someone, and I shifted uncomfortably. I hated when she got like this.
"But really," she said, "I want this to be the year something good happens for us. Something more than this day in, day out drudgery we go through. You know?"
I didn't then. I kind of do now. I just wish I could have given it to her.
That New Years night we stayed until midnight to watch the ball count down, then I took her back to my house and whatever happened happened after that. That was the beginning of my 2010.
Was I supposed to know then what was going to happen? Was I supposed to know that she and Eric would be dead less than six months later and I a fugitive from the law? She wanted this to be the year she made a difference with her life...instead she went insane and was carved up like a Jack-o-Lantern. She had one wish...one fucking wish...and she didn't get it.
My wish this year?
My wish this year is to find an ending. A silver lining. To make sure she didn't die in vain, and to make sure that everything I've done up to this point hasn't been for nothing. My wish is that I can find the courage to keep myself going, and to succeed in saving these other people when I failed in saving my Lizzie.
That's all I want.
I wouldn't mind getting what I wished for.
Happy New Year, folks.
May you get what you wished for this year.
I miss her.