I sped home as fast as the speed limit allowed, my heart pounding. I rushed into the house and grabbed Tyler, dragging him aside away from everyone else. I filled him in, and then showed him the bouquet as proof. “Molly, I think you should finally trust someone and let them love you. You haven’t had a boyfriend in seven years. Just go for it!” he tried to reassure me, but I was scared. I can handle murders and suicides without a sensitive thought, but when it comes to love, I’m as easily broken as skin under a knife. I went in my room, locked the door, and put on my pajamas. Sliding into my bed, I was happy that tomorrow was my day off duty. I hoped to go clubbing with my roomies. I drifted off to sleep, thinking of the bouquet and Zach…
I got up late the next morning. At around ten, I trudged moodily into the kitchen, wishing to still be in the cozy confines of my bed. Snatching up a bagel out of the bag, I sat at our table eating. Becks walked in, pajama clad and just as sleepy as I, and got a bowl of cereal. She sat by me and we quietly chewed, got more food, and chewed some more without talking for a good while. Then I muttered “I’m so glad I don’t have work today…”
“New case, huh?”
“Serial killer. You know the one who only kills people our ages? I’m assigned to catch him, dead or alive. Promise you’ll stay safe.”
“I can handle him myself!” She snapped. Becks was, like almost everyone in the household, licensed to own and use firearms (Bella couldn’t, obviously). Almost everyone in the city owned some sort of weapon, which they had probably bought at Tyler’s shop. I left then and found Tyler on the couch with a snoozing Bella. Becca was still asleep aswell. I quietly sat by him.
“Good morning, Ty” I whispered, not wanting to wake Bella.
“Same to you. I don’t know how everyone sleeps this late.” He whispered back.
“We stay up later than you!”
“No you don’t, last night you went to bed at 11:30, and I did at 1:15.”
“Whatever.” I tucked a stray lock of Bella’s hair behind her ear, and went to my room to get ready for the day. I slipped into a pair of jeans and a lilac tank top. Running my hair-straightener over my curly hair, I listened to the sounds of a quiet house. It bugged me. I had the urge to turn on one of my tracks on my MP3 over the speaker full volume, to rid the apartment of its late morning silence.
I walked back out into the living room. Becca and Megan were awake now. I drowsily picked up someone’s steaming mug of coffee and sipped some, then returned it to the table. In a close-knit household like ours, we all had a tendency to steal one another’s food/drink items, which we usually allowed. I wandered on into Sarah’s room. I sat on her promptly to wake her up. It worked, like a charm. She sat up and shoved me off. Once I had tried it with coffee in hand. It had a very…painful and unpleasant result. That was the only time I attempted it. Wishing her a good morning, I scampered out, slightly hyper. I know it may seem odd for a twenty-eight year old officer to get hyper, but it happens sometimes. I heard my cell phone ring in my room. Sprinting there and tripping over Bella’s toys in the process, I got there just in time to answer it. Without looking at caller ID I snatched it up and muttered a greeting.
“Hey Mo.” It was Zach.
“Why do you call me so early in the morning?”
“I don’t; you wake up late.”
“So, uh…Want to go to lunch together?”
“Are there flowers involved?” I said, jokingly. “Thank you for the flowers. That was really nice of you.”
“Your welcome. Want to meet at Sinilly’s?”
“Yeah, I can walk there.” Sinilly’s was the best sub sandwich shop ever.
“Ok. Be careful though. These streets-“
“I know! I’ll take my gun, ok?”
“Ok…Well, I’ll see you there. Bye!” He said perkily and hung up. I made sure I looked okay, put my flip-flops on, and snatched up my police badge, gun, and purse. Sliding the two items into my bag, I told Becca I was off to lunch, and left. The sidewalk wasn’t too crowded, just a few shady characters and a handful of businessmen. I held my purse close, but was relaxed. The City of Shadows is, as it name suggests, a very dark, shadowy place. The mammoth buildings and large trees create shadows that stretch on forever. However, Sinilly’s was a tiny corner store. Zach was there, aswell as a gaggle of girls from the school down the street buying lunch. The schools here are awful- no order, no dress code, and an average GPA in the negatives. The majority of the girls were Black or Mexican, maybe one white one.
“Hey.” I said to Zach from behind, scaring him.
“How many times will I have to tell you not to scare me?”
We ordered, waited, and retrieved our food. We chose a small two-seater in the corner. I devoured my steamed ham and Swiss, and when I finished he hadn’t even taken a bite of his sandwich. He was still on his chips. We talked for a while, and left. He walked me home, talking all the while.
“Thanks for lunch. I’m going to end up owing you money if we keep this up.”
“No…I just like being with you.”
I stood there for a second as realization flooded my mind. He loves me.
“Well I better head up…Bye-“
At that instant he embraced me tightly, which really scared me. I just sort of closed my eyes and waited. Finally he let go and looked at me. I opened my eyes.
“…That was odd.” I finally said.
“Yeah…Can I see your apartment?”
“If you don’t mind the fact that I live with 5 of my friends and their kid, then yeah, you can.” I went in the complex and he followed. We went in the elevator and the gears whirred softly as it pulled us up. We exited and then entered the apartment. Becca and Becks were working on a painting together. Bella was napping. Tyler and Sarah were battling it out on the Playire system. Megan was somewhere unknown. I walked to my room and put my purse and shoes away. He examined my bedroom. It was pretty basic, silver bead spread with black stars on it, white Japanese lanterns for lamps, A few really old posters of my favorite bands, black bookshelf crammed with novels, Silver walls, Computer, Closet. I sat on my bed. “This is the glorious apartment.” I said, sarcastically. Tyler came in then and sat by me. Zach sat by me on my other side. I made a funny face and gave a false wail for help. “Oh no, I’m surrounded!” I grinned.