“We have a problem out here,” I radio in on my walkie. “Looks like we have a robbery in progress on 28 King Street. Requesting backup at 28 King Street.” I mumble into the walkie. No response. “Requesting backup at 28 King Street,” I repeat impatiently.
“BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP.”
I wake up, roll over, and smack my alarm clock so hard it distorts the beeping into a loud screech. My massive hands make the tiny clock look like a baby mouse. My hands are abnormally large for my body. They wrap completely around every cup and glass like a warm jacket made of skin and muscle that surrounds the bones of the hands that I eat and read with.
“UGH, Shut up.” I yank the cord out of the wall and throw the clock across the floor. I think to myself that it was already broken so why not break it more. I give off a little laugh and I crawl out of bed dragging the sheets to the floor with me. I do one last massive stretch and scream through it because in my mind screaming makes the stretch ten thousand times better. “HARRAAAHAHAH,” I scream while flopping on the floor like a fish on land.
My neighbor hits the wall and yells at me. “Shut up Paul!”
“Sorry,” I say. This happens almost every day that it has become a regular routine that I look forward to when I wake up. I rummage through the pile of dirty clothes on the floor looking for my silly uniform they make me wear. It is this beige collared shirt that has the words “SECURITY” ironed on to the front and back. I haven’t washed it in a week and the uniform smells rancid. I don’t really understand why they need me to be a security guard for a library. I always ask myself who would try to rob a library and who would ever want to steal books. But this library is special, and it has a pretty amazing history of surviving two town fires that burnt down nearly everything around it to the ground and spreading parts of those building in the hot summer breeze. But it is a job and they pay me enough to pay rent and buy the things I need.
I drive my little 2005 Toyota corolla up to the library and park in the employee only parking spot. It is 7:37 in the morning of an 89-degree summer day. My job of course is to act almost as a bouncer to the library that has yet to install air conditioning but has the money to pay wages for a full-time security guard. I saunter over to the thermostat on the far wall of the library and it reads 83 degrees Fahrenheit.
“Why the hell is it so hot in here,” I yell to the nice old lady librarian named Maggie.
“I’m not sure sweetie, but I like the warm weather in here,” she says. Maggie is the kind of person who will still be cold even when it is warm out. But she is currently the easiest person for me to tell all my problems to and confide in. She has almost become a mother figure to me after my mother and father died in a drunk driving car crash. My mom and Maggie knew each other because my mom was a book freak. Maggie and my mom were the ones who got me this job, which I’m pretty sure they made up just to get me a job to pay through college.
I sit down in one of the comfy library chairs that is meant to read books in. I usually take an hour-long nap before my shift officially starts. This nap was well needed after a night of having trouble sleeping because I was thinking about my parents. I haven’t been able to sleep thinking that they died because of someone else's bad decision. I always asked myself why that man was drunk that day at noon, and why did it have to be my parents.
When I wake up I am no longer in the library. “Where am I,” I mumble as I walk over to the window. “What the fudge,” I say, confused by what I see. Out of the window I see a cop car and a man in a police uniform waving to get my attention. I wave back not sure where I am or why I’m here. I go to the bathroom to splash water on myself and hopefully I wake up from this strange dream. Once I get to the bathroom I look in the mirror and see a Native American man looking at me. I spin around to see him behind me but there is no one there. I look back into the mirror and wave at him. OMG I AM THIS MAN. “What the hell is this,” I say looking at my long hair and bead necklace. I have all my own memories, and all of this mans as well. I hear a man yelling for me.
“Thomas hurry up in there, we have a reported drunk driver on Apple Street and we need to leave now,” this man says. I investigate this man's memories and see that this guy is his partner. We get into the cop car and he is driving. “We have to go with sirens to make up some time.”
“Ok. Hey, did I ever tell you why I became a cop?” I say while strapping in.
“No. Why did you join?” he asks.
“I became a cop because of the way my people were treated on the reservations and I didn’t want my people to lose hope that we can fit in. I also couldn’t stand the oppression and views that people have about Natives.” The man whose body I am inhabiting is saying this not me. I have almost no control over him, I can control his movements but not his voice.
“Wow. You are an inspiration to your people buddy,” He says.
The radio crackles and over the sound of the siren we hear dispatch announce that there is a car crash on French Street between a large brown truck and a small blue sedan. I get chills down my back and the hairs on the back of my neck stand straight up and try to crawl out of their follicles. I know exactly where we are going and what will be awaiting us. I feel a single tear roll down my face and it is my own emotions breaking through Thomas’s. I know what accident this is, and I know the outcome for the victims of the crash.
When we arrive at the crash scene paramedics had pulled out two bodies and had one man in handcuffs being loaded into an ambulance. I walk towards the bodies that are on the ground covered in a white cloth. They were both pronounced dead on impact and they had yet to be identified. But I knew who these two were and I had special names for them. They were mom and dad.
I get into the ambulance and begin to question the heavily drunk man that killed my parents. He can barely speak because his teeth were shattered inwards during the car crash. But I don't care. I need answers and closure. I need to know why this man was drunk at noon on a Wednesday. What in his life was so wrong that he ended up killing my parents. Once we get him to the hospital we put him in a room and I continue questioning him and I am starting to overpower Thomas’s mind and it becomes me questioning him.
After I finish questioning him they put me on hospital watch to make sure he doesn't try to run away. I take a seat outside his room and slip into a deep sleep from a very long day to have to relive.
I wake up in a hospital bed smelling of beer and vodka. I lean over the edge of the bed and vomit up blood and what looks to be this man’s hospital jelly. I investigate the window and see the reflection of my face. I am my parent’s killer. I can access this man's memories and obtain the answers that I need to have closure in my parent’s sudden deaths. But I can feel this man's sorrow before I investigate his mind. I Can feel the holes in his heart where loved ones were ripped from him and where life put him down. This man only had a select few happy days of his life and the rest of it was filled with depression and sadness. He must have used alcohol as a coping mechanism.
“Nurse!” I attempt to yell but my teeth aren’t there to help form words. The nurse walks in from the hallway. I access this man's mind to try and find family members to call, but there are none. This man has been lonely his entire life. He has been addicted to alcohol since his was 17 and he is now 34. He dropped out of college because he had no money. He couldn’t get a job because he never tried to. This man had lived a life of loneliness and depression. I feel bad for this man, but I do not his feelings and addiction cover up that he killed my parents. I have a lot more control over this man's body, so I get out of bed and walk to the tv. I turn it on and there is a support group for alcoholics anonymous advertisement going across the screen. I find the phone in the room and enroll this man into the group. I feel that he needs to turn his broken life around and that he deserves a second chance. I lay back in bed and fall back asleep.
I wake up in a cold sweat in the hot library and I am back to my body and my regular life. I walk up to Maggie and tell her that I am going to pursue my dreams of being a police officer because life is too short to spend as a low-paid security guard for a library. I tell her how much she means to me and she tells me my mother would be proud of me. I walk out of the library and go to the nearby police station to ask questions about how to become a cop. Three weeks later I am at the police academy learning how to become a cop. My hope is that I can save the lives of other people’s parents from drunk drivers and dangerous situations.