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Manhattan, New York is home of Vivian Black. A 23 year old female who spends her days writing and drawing in her notebook. Her main goal? Finding the people that murdered her parents.
Her parents, Matthew and Susan Black, were murdered when Vivian was just 6 years old. Since Vivian’s school was close by, she would always toddle to her apartment building. When she entered the building and reached her home, the front door was open. She slowly crept up the stairs aware of her surroundings. It was dead silent which wasn’t expected since her parents would always listen to music. As Vivian reached the top of the stairs, she spotted a spot of blood on the carpet out of the corner of her eye. She was terrified. She followed the trail of blood, which soon led her to her exact own room. Her hand shook as she reached for the doorknob. She slowly turned it and tiptoed into her room. She screamed as she saw her dad and mom on the ground covered in blood.
After she found her parents lying on the floor, she rushed to her Aunt’s home, which was just two blocks away from her apartment. She rang the doorbell at least 15 times and her aunt came rushing down. Vivian told her aunt the story in tears. Once she finished her cousin, Anna who was 16, comforted her. From then on, Vivian remained with her Aunt and her cousin Anna. Five years ago, Vivian moved out and found an apartment. She decided not to go to college and instead decided to work at Soy Luck Cafe.
Chapter 2: Present
Vivian strolls around Manhattan any chance she can get. She wakes up at 4:30 every morning to stride around Central Park to write and draw anything she sees. At 6:30, she starts her job at Soy Luck Cafe. After spending quite some time at Central Park, she returns home to change and walks to work. For some odd reason, she always runs into her neighbor Jack Husser.
Jack is 24 years old, tall, with short brown hair, and bright green eyes. Vivian has never actually spoken to Jack other than the quick glances that they always share. Jack’s bright and bubbly personality makes Vivian stay away from him, but that is not always as easy. Today was the first time that Vivian spoke to Jack. Right as Vivian starts leaving her apartment, Jack strolls out his apartment and stares at Vivian.
“Hey there” says Jack
“Oh, um hey” responds Vivian shocked by his greeting
“Where are you off to at this time of the day?” asks Jack
“Work of course. Where else would I go?” answers Vivian with a sharp edge to her voice “Oh well I’ll see you later then. Bye.” says Jack
Vivian doesn’t say bye and rushes past Jack. She’s never liked Jack and doesn’t want to start now. On her way to work, Vivian walks quickly ignoring everyone around her. Once she gets to work she starts her long day of work. The only person she can slightly stand at work is Anna, her cousin. Anna and Vivian have always been intimate friends and cousins. Anna is a 33-year-old woman with two children and a lovely husband. Anna is an extremely joyful person, which is the only reason Vivian doesn’t actually like her at times.
“Good morning Vivian!” shouts Anna
“Mornin Anna.” Vivian responds gloomily.
“Someone seems to be in a grumpy mood.” says Anna
“I’m not upset. I am like this every day.” Vivian responds glaring at Anna.
Anna decides to mind her own business and continues to work. Vivian marches to the back of the coffee shop to get her apron on and then paces out of the kitchen to start serving her customers. Vivian has never enjoyed working at Soy Luck Cafe but at least it pays the rent for her apartment. Since Soy Luck Cafe is entirely empty, Vivian decides to start reading her book. Vivian can read all day if she could. She dreams of having lives like the characters do instead of her miserable and gloomy life. She wishes she could have fantastic adventures or go on an amazing journey, with someone to share it with. Vivian’s lack of friendliness causes her to not get many friends. The only person that actually likes her is Jack. Ever since her parent’s death, Vivian rarely opens up to anybody and stays in her own little shell. Right as Vivian opens up her book, the front door of the cafe chimes.
Vivian sulks over to the customer and is surprised to see Jack.
“Um hi Jack.” says Vivian
“Hey Vivian!” answers Jack “I didn’t know you worked here!” Vivian found that surprising since every day when she went to work she always wore her Soy Luck Cafe t-shirt and Jack had seen it on her many times before. “Oh, that’s weird. I thought you knew.”says Vivian staring at the floor “So, what’s good here?” asks Jack.
“Um well I personally like the iced green tea and the salad of the day.” answers Vivian
“Ok, well I’ll have that then!” says Jack.
Vivian treads back to the kitchen to place Jack’s order and finds that there are many more people crowding into the cafe. Vivian is the only waitress in the morning so she knows she has a lot to do. Vivian greets her customers as nicely as she can and leads them to an empty table. As she is running from table to table, she notices that Jack has not left, and she finds that he has been staring at her the whole time. Vivian is too busy to talk to Jack, and he just continues to stare.
It is already past 5, and Jack is the only person still left in the cafe. Vivian has ignored him the whole day and finds that she has to talk to him.
“I couldn’t help notice that you have stayed in that same table the whole day.” says Vivian “Oh yeah. Well I don’t have anything better to do so I decided to come here.” Answers Jack.
“Don’t you do anything throughout the day? At all? Perhaps a job?” asks Vivian harshly.
“Well I used to work as a teacher, but then I got fired. So no, I don’t do anything anymore throughout the day.” Answers Jack, a bit upset.
Vivian doesn’t like Jack’s tone and marches away from him and decides to let him be. Anna had been watching Jack’s behavior and came to the conclusion that Jack had a small crush on Vivian. As Vivian entered the kitchen where Anna was standing.
“He likes you Vivian!” cries Anna
“What are you talking about?” asks Vivian
“The man that you were just talking to. He likes you!”
“No he doesn’t Anna.”
“Ugh Vivian! Why can’t you let someone like you?” asks Anna.
“I do!” answers Vivian.
“No you don’t! Ever since your parents died you haven’t tried to have any friends, you haven’t liked anyone at all, you spend your days writing and drawing stupid things you see at the park, and you do nothing with your life!” shouts Anna.
Vivian was too upset to answer Anna so she marched out of the cafe. Her workday was finished so Vivian decides to go back home. It takes about 15 minutes to walk home because she doesn’t take the subway. As she neared her apartment she was surprised to see a NYPD car in front of her apartment building. She wondered what it could be doing there. She opened the door to her building and slowly walked up the stairs. Just as she opened her apartment door, she was startled to see that a young man, dressed as a cop, walked out of Jack’s apartment.
“Oh hey Vivian. This is my cousin Jordan.” said Jack “He works at the NYPD.”
“Oh hello Jordan. I’m Vivian.” says Vivian attempting to be polite.
“Hey Vivian nice to meet you.” Replied Jordan.
Right as Vivian started to walk back in, Jack shouted “Hey Vivian, haven’t you wanted to become a detective?”
“What are you talking about?” asked Vivian.
“Well, I’ve overheard you talk to your cousin about you wanting to become a detective!” cried Jack.
“You’ve been eavesdropping?” asked Vivian.
“No, well yes a little. The point is, my cousin Jordan is teaching a course to become a detective.”
“Oh, well I’m truly busy with work and stuff so I don’t think I can. I am sure I don’t have the money for it anyway.”
Vivian was dying to get in her apartment. She didn’t like any of this socializing. Sadly, Jack kept going on and on about this detective course. To get him to be quiet she decided to go to the dumb course.
“You know what, I will take the course.” declared Vivian quite annoyed. “That’s great! You can come to the NYPD in room 18B.” exclaimed Jordan. Great, thought Vivian. Now she would have to go to drag herself out of bed and attend the course.
The next day Vivian woke up early ready to go to the course. Every morning she always looked at the same picture of her mom and dad on her night table. Vivian misses her parents a lot and always feels empty without them. After some thought, Vivian decided that since she is going to the NYPD, she could get on a computer and find information about her parent’s death. The course might not be as miserable as Vivian thought. Vivian had to call in at work and tell Anna that she could not be able to go to work.
“Hey Anna. It’s Vivian. I can’t go to work today because I am going to this dreary detective course today at the NYPD.” stated Vivian The other line was dreadfully quiet and Vivian thought Anna hung up. “Anna?” Asked Vivian.
“Oh yeah sorry. Well have fun.” whispered Anna who seem to be extremely upset “Is everything okay?” asked Vivian but Anna had already hung up Not to her surprise, Jack was also taking the detective course. As Vivian walked out of her messy apartment, Jack was waiting for her at the door.
“Hey Vivian! I’m taking the class too so maybe we could take the subway together!” Replied Jack excitedly “Um I’ve never taken the subway before.” Replied Vivian a little embarrassed “Oh well don’t worry, I’ll teach you.” Expressed Jack happily “Great.” Whispered Vivian under her breath.
Since Vivian wasn’t extremely friendly, the walk to the subway was exceptionally quiet. Jack tried desperately to start small talk, but it wasn’t working. Vivian had to admit that Jack was kind of cute and sweet. She had never noticed him before, but lately they seem to have been running into each other. When they reached the subway they walked down the stairs and sat next to each other.
“If you don’t mind me asking, why do you always wear black?” Asked Jack. Vivian was taken by surprise from this question.
“Oh well I guess ever since my parent’s death I haven’t been the same content person I used to be.” answered Vivian Vivian was astonished by her response. She had never talked so openly to anyone. Not even Anna. “Oh I didn’t know your parents passed away. I’m sorry.” Uttered Jack sadly.
“I have another question. Why do you always wear that necklace?”
Vivian looked down and saw the necklace her mother had given her when she was only 4 years old. She wouldn’t call it magical but it always seemed to light up whenever she was sad or mad.
“It was my mother’s. I wear it every day.” replied Vivian.
“It’s very pretty.” Asserted Jack.
“Thank you.” declared Vivian
She looked up at Jack and she actually smiled. She looked down and saw her necklace light up. Apparently her necklace lights up when she is in love too.
Jack and Vivian finally reached the NYPD building after what seemed to be a terribly long ride. They were both a bit intimidated by the immense double doors that they slowly entered through. As they walked around, Jordan startled them from behind.
“Hey guys!” exclaimed Jordan “I didn’t know you were going to come to Jack!”
“Yeah, I decided to try it out and see if I enjoy it at all.” declared Jack. “Well I’m sure you will. Come follow me to the room” said Jordan.
Vivian and Jack followed Jordan down the long hallways overwhelmed by all the people and the grandness of the building. Vivian was expecting a tiny class but when she walked through room 18B she was stunned to see so many students. Vivian and Jack made their way through the room swarming with adolescents. They finally found a seat in the back of the room far away from Jordan.
The whole course took about 4 hours excluding the break and lunch. Vivian was incredibly exhausted and didn’t learn as much as she was hoping she would. Jack on the other hand felt that he had learned as much as anyone could learn!
“So, what did you think of my class?” Questioned Jordan.
“It was absolutely amazing! I learned so much!” Replied Jack.
“What about you Vivian? What did you think?” asked Jordan.
“Oh, well...” Vivian didn’t know how to respond. She didn’t want to hurt Jordan’s feelings so she said, “It was really good.”
“Thanks guys! Will you be here next week?” Asked Jordan.
Vivian shared a glance with Jack and she knew what his response would be. “Of course! We would love to!” exclaimed Jack.
Vivian sighed knowing that she couldn’t change Jack’s mind. Jordan left after Jack told Jordan they would be back next week. Vivian figured that since she was in the building she might as well see if she could get into the computer system somehow. “Um Jack, I need to use the restroom. Meet you outside?” stated Vivian.
“Sure thing!” said Jack already on his way out the door.
Vivian started wandering the hallways not knowing where she was going at all. She took various wrong turns but somehow ended up in front of the chief’s office. She checked if the coast was clear, and peeked in the chief’s office. So far so good. Vivian had always been skilled at hacking into computers since it was something she would do on her free time. Hacking into the chief’s computer was a breeze. According to the name plaque, it was Chief Mabel’s computer. Vivian started looking through computer files trying to find something having to do with her parent’s death. So far she wasn’t getting anywhere. Vivian kept looking and looking knowing that she was starting to run out of time before someone came into Chief Mabel’s office. Vivian started getting closer and closer to finding the answer but she didn’t know someone had been watching her the whole time.
Right as Vivian was starting to retrieve answers Chief Mabel stormed in as red as a tomato. “What in the world do you think you are doing on my computer?!” shouted Chief Mabel. Vivian was terrified. She had no response to Chief Mabel’s demand. She had no idea how Chief Mabel found out that Vivian was in her office. She then saw a young woman peeking through the window and Vivian figured that she must have told Chief Mabel.
“I’m very sorry!” cried Vivian “I didn’t mean to interrogate your personal space.”
“Who are you anyway? You know what? I don’t even care. Just get out now!”
Vivian quickly rushed out of Chief Mabel’s office startled by her harsh voice. She looked behind herself and saw Chief Mabel glaring at her. Vivian finally reached the immense double door and stumbled down the stairs.
“Where are you going?” questioned Jack attempting to stay at the same pace as Vivian.
“I’m really sorry but I have to go.” answered Vivian still shaking from before.
Before Jack could say anything else, Vivian was already on the other side of the street. Jack wasn’t sure what was wrong with Vivian, but he figured something happened in the NYPD building. He entered the building to see if he could find some clue answering Vivian’s oddness. He was about to give up when he saw his mom who also worked at NYPD and thought she could help him out.
“Hey mom!” cried Jack.
“Jack. We’ve been over this before. When I’m at work you must call me Chief Mabel.” demanded Chief Mabel harshly.
“Okay Chief.” uttered Jack “I was hoping you could help me with something. My friend just ran out of here pretty shook up about something and I thought you would know.”
“Sure. What does she look like? Maybe someone saw her run out.” Stated Chief Mabel.
“She is not too tall. Black hair. Black clothes...” explained Jack.
Jack continued talking but Chief Mabel wasn’t paying attention. She already knew whom Jack was talking about. Vivian was running away from the NYPD building as fast as she could. Running all the way home would take too long so she ran to her cousin Anna’s apartment. She ran as fast as she could and eventually arrived at the magnificent building towering over Manhattan. She ran up the 7 flights of stairs and reached apartment 7D. “Anna! Open up! Please!” shouted Vivian.
Anna rushed over and opened the door.
“Vivian! What’s wrong?! You look terrible!” exclaimed Anna. Vivian took the time to tell Anna the whole story from the detective course to the encounter with Chief Mabel. By the end, Ana was speechless. Anna was never fond of talking about the death of Vivian’s parents even though they weren’t close at all. Vivian was always suspicious why Anna was never keen on talking about it.
“Anna, why do you never talk about this with me? Every time I bring it up you turn white as a ghost and become mute!” exclaimed Vivian. “Because, I know who murdered your parents.” cried Anna.
There was a long pause between them until Anna said, “I killed them.” Vivian was frozen and she couldn’t move a muscle. She was utterly horrified by Anna’s response. She stumbled out of her chair staring straight ahead. She could see Anna’s lips moving but couldn’t hear a word she was saying. She stumbled out of Anna’s apartment and ran straight home. At the station, Jack wasn’t getting much help from his mom.
“So Chief, do you know who she is?” Asked Jack.
“Nope sorry! I haven’t seen anyone similar to that today!” exclaimed Chief Mabel.
Before Jack could say anything else Chief Mabel was walking away. Jack seemed suspicious by his mom’s actions. He decided to see if there were any clues in his mom’s office. He finally reached her office and noticed that the computer was turned on. Jack made his way to the computer and saw the face of a woman that resembled Vivian’s cousin. The only way he knew that was because she always came to Vivian’s apartment. He kept staring at the screen wondering why Anna was on his mom’s computer. He then found the answer. Anna Black at age 16 was accused of murdering Matthew and Susan Black. Jack couldn’t believe it. He read more and found a newspaper clipping describing the death of Matthew and Susan. It portrayed Anna as a lost teenager bent on revenge of the success and wealth of Vivian’s parents.
Jack had to make sure that Vivian was okay after finding out about the terrible news. He printed out the article and rushed out of the NYPD building and ran as fast as he could back home.
Vivian reached her apartment, ran into her apartment, slammed the door, and fell into her couch. She didn’t know what to think. The person she trusted the most killed her own parents! She didn’t know what to do.
She knew that Anna had been following her, and she could hear the footsteps racing up the stairs. As Anna reached Vivian’s apartment ready to apologize, it was too late. Vivian was sprawled across her couch, knife in hand, and completely dead.