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Beginning at the End

Terrified and still dazed Nicole drove slowly to the police department, an eerie hollow
feeling, the kind you get when you see the sunrise from the wrong side, filling the pit of her
stomach.
The bright fluorescent lights glared harshly on her eyes and she mutely walked up to the
burly officer seated at the reception desk. Oddly enough Nicole felt a sense of comradory toward
the officer who looked just as confused and lost as she felt.
“Can I help you miss?” He asked looking as if he wanted to run and find someone to back
him up.
“I‟m not sure really. My husband hit me last night; I don‟t know where he is now…I left a
few hours ago but he had left before that. I haven‟t been home all night; I went to the park…”
Nicole let her voice trail off, not knowing what she should do next.
“Janice, can you come here a moment please?” The officer asked imploringly. Moments
later a woman a little older then Nicole appeared. There was a moment where the male officer
whispered to the female officer before the latter moved forward looking kindly at Nicole.
“Hi Nicole, I‟m Janice. Could you follow me please? I want to take care of those bruises
and talk to you a little about what happened.”
Like an obedient child happy for some structure, Nicole followed Janice towards a small
room near the back of the station. “First off, would you mind if I take some pictures of your
injuries?” Nicole nodded mutely, turning her head when asked and raising her shirt sleeve as
directed. “Do you know if you have any other marks?” Janice asked.
“Not that I know of.” Nicole mumbled.
“Alright, well just to be sure can I ask you to raise your shirt and turn around? Thank you
very much. Last thing, could you lower your slacks so I can check your legs?” Feeling as if she
had no humility left to spare Nicole did as she was asked. Curious she looked down as she saw
Janice raise the camera again to shooting position.
“What is it?” Nicole asked plainly.
“You have a bruise on your thigh. Any idea how it got there?”
“No.” Nicole said shaking her head and staring at huge purple bruise on her upper thigh
then shifted her glance to the second picture that showed her upper arm covered in a ghastly
bruise. “Maybe it happened at the park or something…”
Janice nodded thoughtfully before replying “Why don‟t you tell me how this all came
about. Start from the beginning of your day if you don‟t mind. I do want you to be aware that what
you are giving me is a statement. This will be used to prosecute your husband.”
“Do you know where he is?” Nicole asked, an insane desire to see him grabbing a hold of
her brain. Every time something bad happened the first person Nicole could think of was Jason.
Some childish mechanism in her brain was trained to believe that he could fix anything. If her car
broke down he would rescue her, if she had a bad day at work he would rant with her, if she got
into a fight with someone he would take her side. Now she wanted him to tell her this wasn‟t real,
to make it alright.
“I can check with booking and see if they have any information.”
“Booking.” Nicole repeated the word, conjuring an image in her mind of Jason being
brought in wearing a black and white stripped jumper. Tears flooded out of her, sobs so wretched
she felt her ribs were going to collapse with sheer agony.
Janice must have had a lot of experience with these types of situations as she sat by
quietly; waiting for the worst of it to pass as she gently patted Nicole‟s hand.
“I know this is difficult and there‟s nothing I can say to make this any easier. I can‟t
explain why this happened…the only thing I can do is ask you to tell me what happened. That‟s
going to hurt like hell and you can hate me for it if you want, I deserve it.” Janice said
empathetically.
Nicole gave a watery smile. “Ok. My day started out like every other day; I was running
late to get to work…” For an hour she related the tale of the tragic day. When she began she
thought Janice was being nice and trying to lighten the mood by saying Nicole could hate her if
she wanted. By the end, after having to fill in details to areas of the story she would rather gloss
over for the hundredth time she felt she was pretty close to hating the female officer.
“Thanks, I know that wasn‟t easy. Just keep in mind that it‟s common for people to not
remember everything about a traumatizing occurrence. Take my card and if you remember
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