On this day: I go to the quarry and cry.
It's been seven years, yet this place never changes. Same old general store, thrift shop, and weed shacks. And based on that political sign proudly stabbed into a front yard, still racist. Go figure.
Move to the city with me
I don't wanna be alone
Don't wanna be alone
I glance down at my truck's radio, feeling the pit grow in my stomach. My focus shifts to a familiar stretch of dirt road, leading up to my childhood home. In a weak attempt, I try to revive the innocent memories. A small smile crosses my face.
Yeah, that's the rock I hit with my bike and up-ended over. My leg throbs at the memory. The body never forgets.
After my usual greetings with my mom and a nod towards my dad, I head out on foot. Memories flash through my head as I go.
Thirteen year old me rushing through the creek and catty nine tails, an odd feeling real enough to touch.
I shake my head and continue up the nostalgic path. My vision echoes the movements of that day, every step resonating with memories. The colors are brighter with every beat. With a slow breath I pick up my pace.
The ground pounds under my feet, a feeling stronger than I've felt in a long time. Spicy ferns release their now disturbed perfumes as they crush under me. Water rushes up my legs, droplets splattering against my face.
Once I break from the forest, a clearing comes into plain view. The quarry looks as serene as I left it. Danger, beauty, and mystique flow through the air.
I begin the arduous process of climbing the trail leading up to the top. After huffing and sweating, I finally reach it. My body grows heavier once I approach the ledge. With a massive humph I sit my ass down and cross my legs.
"Hey Jordan, how are you doing?" I speak aloud, breaking both my and the forest's silence.
I lean back, placing my arms behind me and bathing in the sun. It feels like I'm being hugged by a warm, living person. Tears slip through my closed eyes, trailing down my face quietly.
"Hey, didya know I just turned twenty? A full shitting two oh." My breathing evens with every word. It feels strange, going from a younger tag-along to being four years older.
I've grown older, yet never moved forward. I might as well be the one dead. The visual of my body floating on the water makes me back up in horror.
For how long I sat there, I honestly have no idea.
The other side of town, Ryan Laurent.
In a fashion typical of the force, I was called in at an hour too early for my liking. It was expected when I was a beat cop, but an unwelcome detail sprung on me when I was assigned to glorified desk duty. Whatever tip came in this morning better be worth forgoing coffee in my rush.
"Detective Laurent." A man I don't recognize curtly nods his head as I enter the building. He looks like a man weathered beyond his years.
"What can I do for you?" I try to keep my words as simple as his, assuming that b.s. was not tolerated by the man.
"He's retired detective Kurt from Dursten county." My partner appears behind him suddenly, quick to answer my question, "And he got a tip on the Jordan Grant suicide."
"As your partner was saying, this morning I got a phone call from a local regarding suspicion that it wasn't a suicide. An old cabinet broke down and spilled out some reports. The janitor who attempting to gather them all found some interesting details that were overlooked." Detective Kurt's expression was both grim and deeply characterized by a frown.
I rub my jaw at the information, attempting to comprehend what was suddenly so important as to bang on our doors immediately. Detective Kurt handed over the report, which I firmly grab and glance over. Nothing seems anomalous, it easily read as a depressed 16 year old boy ending it at a local quarry, meeting his demise with blunt force trauma to the head. Some water in the lungs and… I flip back to the report and diagram of the body, immediately seeing it too. The damage came from the back of his head. Based on the height, I doubt he spun around midair. This Jordan Grant did not commit suicide.
My eyes meet with both my partner and the retired detective, instantly understanding their concern.
"Now I've had my fair share of odd suicides, but I've never seen someone flipping off any height backwards to put an end to it." The older man stares both of us down, and I instantly understand that this is a priority.
I nod my head, looking down, then back up. There were no suspects or witnesses listed. It was an open and shut case at the time without a single post it to signal an investigation. Since this occurred only 7 years ago, I have a fighting chance of digging up new information. At the very least we have an identified body. I'd make my therapist proud with this amount of optimism.
"Okay, so what do you have?" I meet detective Kurt's piercing eyes.
"Possibly a witness. Traumatized 13 year old." He waits for my reaction.
"Jackshit. I can work with that."