Nowhere to Hide

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: 'The Odd Ones'

A story that questions the benefits of social media in our society.

The 1999 black Holden Statesmen pulled up to the crime scene. It looked fifteen years from being on the showroom floor. Paint in certain areas were scratched off, leaving marks all over. It was a tired old looking machine. The driver was no better. An older man, his hair consumed by a grey tint, slightly overweight and wearing a ratty old suit jacket. His face told you how he felt before you needed to ask him. This was a tired miserable old man. He reached into his pocket for a cigarette packet. Without thinking, he grabs one with his mouth and slides the packet back into the pocket as he uses this scratched up old metal lighter to inject the tobacco down to his lungs. He then looks over to his latest assignment. A young girl by a local creek bed, she had just committed suicide.


He walks over to the crime scene, passing under the yellow tape in the process. What he saw was a pretty young girl, no older than twenty. Twelve if you judge he based on what she is wearing. Clothes two sizes to small, the fakest orange tan you will ever see, and not an ounce of fat on her. The .38 revolver that lay at her feet was more than enough to remove a large portion of her petite little face.


He takes another drag of his cigarette before throwing it to the ground and putting it out with his foot. Without any other information, the detective had two questions based on his initial impressions. Firstly, what kind of person was she? Fake tan, clothes that can’t be comfortable to wear, make up and dyed blonde hair. There was nothing about her that was natural. Popular culture had clearly taken this young girl's identity. The second question that lead on from the first then is, none of this explains a dead young girl in front of him. Why did she feel like she had to take her life?


This list could be endless to which he was annoyed by the thought of just how much young girls complain about. Looking bad, boy troubles, friend problems, hell her favourite band could be splitting up. He knew stereotyping was a bad idea, but you don’t meet too many young girls who do not fill their lives with unnecessary dramas. His annoyance then turned to pity. Whatever this girl killed herself over, is probably an unnecessary drama that she could have put aside. The delicate nature of these girls is a weakness they need to get over. A very old man answer he thought to himself, owning his age.


“Jane Ems, sir.” This voice from behind him speaks. He turns around and noticed this fresh young constable. His superior had clearly sent him over to fill in this fossil to the situation. No one has the time for me anymore. The world has just moved on without him before he was even dead. He impatiently replies with,
“And that is all we know?”
“Ahh…. no… I…. well….” Holding out a small purse and a glitter coloured phone.”So these were found on the person?”
The young constable nods his head, letting out a sigh of relief as he was leaving. He knew his reputation. The nice way of putting it was anti-social. The isolation made the job easier. A few of the older police officers laughing at the young cop as he walked back to them, having their fun. Not caring about the lack of respect from the other officers for either himself of the dead young girl in front of him he opens up the purse to confirm what he already knows. Jane Ems, a seventeen year old girl with a learners permit, a local school id card, five dollar note and an assortment of reward card for a few local clothing and beauty shops. As far as he could tell, she was just a normal girl.

Then his attention shifts to the phone. He presses the bottom button on the hot pink glitter iPhone. Against all odds he understood how to operate this phone. He flicks it open and is stumped with a phone pin code to unlock it. The thought of having to unlock this phone annoyed him. He would quite literally have to wait till he spoke to the two parents to get into this vital clue. The amount of work in front of him was frustrating. This petty girl has caused this much trouble, probably ruined her family. Why? Because her boyfriend didn’t spend time with her. She was called fat. Her tan didn’t cover her legs equally. This is the most selfish way to go. He was visibly angry at this stage. Half cause of the late night in front of him, half cause of the pain this girl has just caused her family and friends. This unnecessary suicide just should not be a part of human culture.


The detective then walks back over to his black Statesmen and stands over the driver’s side door. This was the worst part of his job. He didn’t want to tell this girls parents she was dead, nothing made him more miserable in the world. This was such a bad part of the job as he always felt a sense of distain towards the person that killed themselves. It was selfish and he knew it. This person was dead and he always got annoyed at them for it. Whether it was suicide or not. Taking a deep breath preparing himself for the conversation he got in his car and made off. He had not been at the crime scene for 10 minutes, but the police that were there would gather whatever evidence was available and go through their procedures. He really wasn’t needed for any of this, or wanted for that matter. Other important evidence would be brought back to the station for him to look over. Mind you there wasn’t any evidence of foul play. Besides, he usually preferred to get this conversation over with. The quicker he ruined this family’s life, the sooner he can go back to his own.


As he was driving to Jane’s house, he felt the deepest sadness for this family. It was nothing they could of seen coming. It was hard to pinpoint where the sadness stopped and the anger began. He had seen this many times, but it always hurt like he had never seen it before. The individuality of each victim would be attributed to that. It was a new experience every time. This girl however trying to be what everyone else expected was the worst part of this experience. That tough exterior the young constable was intimidated to approach was a defence mechanism he adapted years ago. He tried to emotionally detach from these situations. Naturally that wasn’t a seamless transition at the best of time. When a child ends their life though, he could only think to himself that if they allowed themselves to grow, they would mature past this.
The drive was quick, considering her learners permit, she had walked to the creek. It was a few moments away by car. Felt like a few moments more in his. When he did eventually pull up to her address he parked out the front, double check the licence before then stepping out of his statesmen. In his right hand was this young girl’s purse and phone. Another deep breath and he walks up to the door.


“Knock, Knock, Knock”


As the door swung open, an oldish looking lady stood in the doorway. She was dressed in full business attire, however looking a little worn. She had clearly been home for a little bit, removed a tie and shoes and such, clearly to get slightly more comfortable.
“Well what has Jane gotten herself into?” Clearly an impatient person and straight to the point. She clearly recognised Jane’s belongings and the stereotypical detective in her doorway. Taken aback by this comment, the detective really had no response to this. He looked down at her belongings before looking back to this mother and responding.

“Jane is currently on the side of the road about a few minutes up the road. You’re going to have to come down to the morgue and identify her. I’d like to go through her room and understand why she has felt the need to take her own life. Looking at how much effort you are to talk to though, I have a few ideas. If that is inconvenient for you I am sorry.”

He had never been this cold in his life. His tone was filled with a multitude of layers. He was angry and disappointed in this parent. He was sad, confused at this tone.  He was about to go to Jane’s room and attempt to figure out what had pushed her over the line. But this parent anyway, clearly didn’t have the time to bring her back. The mother broke down. He felt guilty, but relieved at a more correct response to her child’s death. He spent the next bit of time consoling her. Watching as she made calls to friends and family, asking questions of her motives and such. His lack of knowledge annoyed the mother. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. His rude entrance was all but forgotten at this point. The only thing on her mind at this point in time was Jane. He helped break the news to the younger siblings, Jane being the eldest in this family.


It was at this point in time, a phone goes off, the detective looks down to see that Jane’s phone was sending a message saying it was down to its last five percent battery life. This being a key clue to Jane’s suicide he asks the mother to go to Jane’s room and borrow the iPhone charger. She responds with a nod of the head, completely beaten by the world. Conqueror of some big finance company, or marketing agency by the impressions and mannerisms and materials around her and this world had stripped her of one of the only things irreplaceable.
The detective makes his way to Janes room, opens the door. Again pretty normal. A few band posters, a photo collage of her and her friends having a good time. She had a bit of a talent for this because she had the outline of a heart in the centre of this collage using the pictures. In the centre of this heart was a picture of her and a young boy. His eyes dart to her desk and see a very tidy desk and a small piece of paper in the centre. Upon approaching this note all it said in pretty pink writing.


“I don’t want my family to see me like this” 
Below that lay a four digit code, 3476. He removes the phone from his pocket and swipes again to unlock the phone which then asks for a four digit code.


Slowly the code was put into the phone. When the 6 was put in the phone came to life with an open application. He couldn’t comprehend the majority of what he was looking at, social media was as foreign to him as work was to the current youth. What he was looking at was a status update, unbeknownst to him. The status was Jane Ems in a photo. It was rather a revealing photo, looking as though her boyfriend had caught her off guard. This was a photo she was clearly embarrassed about but it was the responses to the photo that answered all the questions in front of him. It was as though the whole school had come down on her, calling her every name under the sun. She was clearly too ashamed to face her peers.

He initially thought it was some unnecessary drama that had consumed her life. He noticed for the first time in a very long time a tear slide down his cheek. He had made the same mistake the people around her did. No one understood the pain she was going through. To go through it alone. It is just not fair. 

Where do these kids have to hide in this day and age?

 


Submitted: March 18, 2015

© Copyright 2021 JD-. All rights reserved.

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