Inspector Kim was tired. She had had a long week and the forensic pathologist’s stupid corny jokes didn’t help. She’s always wondered how he could crack such jokes in front of the dead. And with them as the subject of the joke. Is it some kind of occupational trait that most pathologists she’s met love to crack such morbid jokes?
“Argh! Glad this case is finally to be closed. Will just have to record that girl’s testimony and I’m done. Finally.” Kim though wearily to herself.
Inspector Kim Ji Hon, 31 years-old, is one of the best criminal profilers in Asia. Born in Korea but raised near the most dangerous neighborhoods in New York City, she was tough and street smart. She learnt to hide her emotions behind an icy cool façade, never once allowing anyone to break that exterior. Her seeming calmness helped her in many ways, most importantly; it gave her team sense of control and steadiness. She was a great leader and often motivated her team members in ways she didn’t even know she did. They could learn heaps simply watching her work.
“Inspector! The girl’s awake and the doctor says we can interview her now.”
“Thanks Sergeant Toby. I am on my way.”
Inspector Kim dragged her tired body out of the chair and decided to head for the ladies to freshen up before interviewing the girl. Arriving at the police hospital where the girl was being treated for her wounds and psychological trauma, Kim couldn’t help but pity the girl. She was only 19. She had a long life in front of her and yet she had to go through this kind of shit. She definitely deserved better. The doctor saw Kim and motioned to have a word with her outside the ward.
“Inspector, I hope you will be kind to her. She’s very severely distressed. I must warn you that Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is no joke. I have already led her through the first step towards recovery but she still needs more time. I pushed for a delay in interviewing but I understand we have a time constrain. I just hope you take note. I will be at the side to give her confidence and security. Also to inform you, I might forcibly stop the interview whenever I deem necessary. But then again, inspector, you probably already know what to do.”
“Thanks Doctor Watts. You were just doing your job. Rest assured I will take exceptional notice of it. It’s been a really tedious case and I really wish to let my men go for their well-deserved break. Anything else that I need to know about the girl? What’s her name again?”
“Mandy. 19 years-old. Very intelligent from what I gather from my therapy sessions with her over the past few days but very vulnerable. Too vulnerable in fact. Good luck.”
With the doctor by her side, Kim pushed the door to the ward open. Mandy sat on the bed, hugging her knees and staring at her toes. She still had that blank look she stumbled into the station with. But the hysteria in her eyes was lessened. Kim heaved a silent sigh of relief. She hated dealing with witnesses still in hysteria. She hoped this lessened hysteria is not just temporary and would come back with her first question.
“Hi. My name is Kim and I need to ask you some stuff ‘k?”
The girl nodded.
“We’ve found what you told us we’d find in that old hut. You know what I am talking about right?”
She nodded again.
“Ok. So you were the one who cut him?”
“Why did you do it?”
Silence greeted Kim. She knew she bordered on stepping over the line.
“Ok. If you don’t want to talk about it, next time then. We’ll just call it a day.”
Kim sighed and got up, casting a knowing look at Doctor Watts, the resident police psychiatrist which says, “Call me when she’s ready” and left the ward.
Outside, it was bright and sunny. Sunlight almost blinded Kim and she had to blink a couple of times before she could see properly again. Thinking that there was little to do but to wait for Mandy’s recovery, Kim sauntered down to the nearest Starbucks for a quick chocolate Frappucino. It never failed to make her feel better.
Armed with her frappucino, she headed back to the station and called for a meeting with her team. When they streamed into the meeting room, she could see fatigue written all over their faces. She loved these men. They helped her tackle many cases since her promotion to Inspector.
“Well guys! It’s another job well-done. We’ve all worked our asses off this case. Time to relax and take some time off for our families. As a reward, I have applied for one week leave for all of you. Paid leave. Beginning tomorrow. But today, you can have the rest of the day off. Now scram!” Kim raised her voice jokingly.
Shouts of cheer and laughter filled the tiny room. Gone were the lethargy in their movements and they found sudden bouts of energy. Kim lay back in her chair and smiled. A smile she’d never put on for many months.
“Oh man! Didn’t I just say scram? Now scoot all of you! Your holiday officially begins NOW! If I see anyone of you left in the room by count of ten, holiday’s off! Get out!” Kim closed her eyes and began counting. By the time she counted to five, there was complete silence in the room. Kim peeked and true to her guesses, the room was empty.
She smiled. Again.