complex - part one
Author's note: One of my favorite pieces I've written thus far.
anonymityT h e c o p shops in L.A. are always busy twenty-four seven. The clock on the wall said it was one fifteen as I entered. Trudy was still here?
I asked her the same question reluctantly; I was kind of in a hurry.
"Yeah," she sighed. "Gloria called in saying that her sister was sick. Right." She rolled her eyes. Gloria was nice, but kind of snobby, so she was on a lot of people's bad sides.
"Well… that sucks rocks—Is Robert in his office?"
I was already through the door and walking through the narrow halls, nodding at some officers here and there. I reached his office door, the kind with those watery glass windows and CAPTAIN ROBERT LEWIS in pee-yellow—peeling—lettering. I knocked. There was some rustling of papers inside.
"Enter," he called ominously. I rolled my eyes and went in.
Captain Robert Lewis was sitting at his desk, writing something in a manila folder, then turning a page and looking up. "Hey, Jake. Long time no see."
"Yeah. Sup." I sat in one of the chairs and propped my feet up on his desk.
"I've told you to stop doing that."
"I know." I smiled.
He rolled his eyes. "What do you need, Jake?"
"There was a robbery on a Get bus earlier today."
"So I've heard," he said, returning to his paperwork. "I got the call. You… handled it, didn't you?"
I straightened up and smirked. "You make that sound like it's a bad thing."
"It is a bad thing when it's broad daylight. The passengers on the bus thought you 'teleported' to the exit—even though the man doing the robbing was blocking the aisle. I heard there was a mighty big crowd outside too, watched you slam down a man much bigger than you like he was a bag of cotton candy." When his sentences started to sound funny like that, it usually meant he was slightly upset. "What were you thinking? Coulda gave yourself away. There was a news crew, Jake. Their cameras caught a denim blue blur flying through the crowd." He glanced down at my jacket—which was blue and denim. Frick.
"I was thinking that maybe those people needed my help. It came to that—I couldn't help it. You think I was just gonna sit there when he might've killed someone?" I thought of the teen girl, how defiant she'd looked. She would've definitely gotten herself killed (then who'd look after the kid?)
"What have we talked about, Jake? Anonymity is always our goal. If people find out what—who you are, then periodicals all over the country'll be talking about L.A.'s Lil' Wannabe Superman!"
"Back up a few words. First, anonymity is your goal, not mine exactly. You only threw that in my face so that I wouldn't choose being arrested on a daily basis. Second, you said 'what' I are. I'm not human, remember? Why should I conform to your rules? What good is it doing me, huh? I'm broke, I'm homeless, and I'm starving like I haven't eaten for a week—which, by the way, is technically true."
"So you want to be hounded by paparazzi? Chased down to the point you can't go out anymore? People will start thinking of you as a freak celebrity instead of someone who—" He stopped himself.
I smirked humorlessly. "No, don't stop now," I said. "Go on. Go on about what kind of freak I am."
"Jake, you know I didn't mean—"
"No, but I bet you think about it all the time for it to slip out now. Thinking about why you put up with me. About why you're paying a psychiatrist to talk to me about… what happened." I sat up straighter. "I'm not your kid. I don't belong to you or anyone else."
"No, you don't. But you need me. Just like those people on that bus needed you."
I shook my head. "Oh, no… It's you who needs me. I do the work, you get the credit."
He scoffed. "So is that what this is about? You want people to know what can you do? To know what you are? Do you want to be famous?"
I stood up as he did. "You're unbelievable." I turned for the door.
"Jake, where're you going?"
"Away." I shut the door behind me.