love is more thicker than forget
more thinner than recall
more seldom than a wave is wet
more frequent than to fail
Greta’s life breaks like a wave upon the beach, spreading out into infinite possibilities. And it is then, in the chaos of the crash, that she begins to realize there is something much more complicated beneath the surface. She was told to take a month off to heal. She took a week off. She was not going to let the man who did this to her win. She would find him. When the department appointed therapist asked her how she felt about the man who attacked her, she thought one thing and said another. Duality. Her mind screamed, “eviscerate the mother fucker! Her pretty little mouth said, “He needs to be put in jail.” The therapist nodded, the timer went off, she left and went back to work.
In a desperate attempt to find some kind of information or lead, she searched every avenue of the internet to find information on the murder victim. Genevieve Jones was a 23 year old college student at the University of California. She was born in Santa Monica and grew up in a middle class neighborhood. Her father had worked at a technology startup creating apps for big businesses. He was a quality checker. He sat at his cubicle all day, looking at a screen, deciding which style of arrow would be the best for the consumer to click on to go to the next page.
Genevieve’s mother wrote poetry. Greta found her on the internet. She had written a poem called, “Love my enemy, enemy my love“. She read the poem. Greta thought it meant that you can love your enemy, but your enemy may also be your lover. She couldn’t really understand it. She shook her head and moved on.
The house that Genevieve grew up in was one of absolute dichotomy. Her father treated his work just as it was, a job. He came home and left work at work. Genevieve’s mother on the other hand lived and breathed for what she did. She would write if no one read it. She used to write pages and pages and leave them tucked away in files on her computer. A poem here, a short story there. There was pleasure in losing herself in the pages. Pleasure in feeling the words being typed into reality. She built worlds and lived mostly inside of them.
Suffice it to say. Life had been interesting for Genevieve. Greta found articles about Genevieve winning the math competition at school. Articles about her winning track meets and swim meets and spelling competitions. Win, win, win. She was talented and competitive and it showed in the legacy that she had left. It made her death all the more tragic that a truly talented woman was taken before she was able to give herself fully to the world. But the world does consume women, she had just been consumed in a way that she had not planned.
After a few hours, the searches began to show the same results over and over again. Greta was just about the switch off her desk lamp and head home when she noticed something that she had not seen before, a woman in the background of the swim meet photo from two years ago.
Greta squinted at the screen and she gasped in disbelief. It was Annie. Clear as day, Annie was standing in the back of the photo. She looked like she was part of the coaching team. She was standing there, in a tracksuit, with a clipboard in hand. A neutral expression on her face. What gave her away was her mass of curly, messy hair. Even though the picture was black and white and the red did not show through. Greta grabbed her phone and dialed Janet. After three rings, Greta heard the groggy voice of a man on the other line mutter, “hello?” it was Janet’s husband, Greg. Greta asked Greg for Janet, as soon as Janet said, “hello” Greta half yelled, “You have to get down to the station right now!” The urgency in Greta’s voice propelled Janet out of bed.
She threw on a pair of dirty jeans off the floor and an old sweatshirt, grabbed her keys and ran out of the house. Janet arrived at the station about a half an hour after Greta called. She walked in and Greta turned around in her chair, the office dark and quiet aside from the dim light of Greta’s computer screen. She held up the photo, she had circled Annie in bright red marker. There she was, in California…”Cali-fuckin-fornia” Greta muttered to Janet. “Cali-fuckin-fornia, indeed” Janet answered back.
“We need to find out who everyone in that photo is. Now.” Greta said.
“We need to send someone to take Annie into custody tomorrow.” Janet said.
“Let’s send a team to her house early. If they get there by 6am, she will be caught off guard and it will be easier to get her to talk.” Greta replied.
Janet and Greta rode in one car, Greta’s broken ribs ached so that she could barely breathe, but she tried her best to pretend she was fine. John and Walter, two other uniforms were in the car behind them. It was 5:45 in the morning and the day was breaking beautifully across the sky. They drove the speed limit up Mt. Tabor. The road twisted and turned until the pulled up to the front of Annie and Eddie’s house. The house was quiet. John and Walter quietly made their way to the back of the house, following the muddy trail of the officers that came before them.
It was auspicious as fuuuck. John and Walter rounded the corner. There was a wooden gate with a small latch at the top that led to the backyard. They turned the corner and nearly ran over Annie. Her face reddened with anger. She was able to pull herself together quickly enough for the men not to notice. They were too busy looking at her slender body in her see through nightgown and thin robe.
“Excuse me!” Annie yelped, “What the fuck are you doing in my yard?”
“We… uhhh… we were just, um, were from the Portland Police Department” John stammered.
Annie looked at him so intensely, Walter was afraid that John would burst into flames.
Walter jumped in as he noticed that John was temporarily out of order. He looked at Annie and said, “We are here to bring you in for questioning.” Annie said, “Question me for what? “We can give you more information when we get to the station ma’am,” Walter said. “I will not be going anywhere with you,” she said, her anger starting to build. Walter could see the red rising up to her face, it just about crested the soft part of her neck, right below her left ear. Walter thought it interesting that Annie would get so angry, John could not take his eyes off of her soft angry neck, his thoughts were clearly elsewhere.
After a few more minutes of cajoling, Annie finally let the men lead her into the house where Janet and Greta stood talking to Eddie in the living room. Eddie was quick to jump in seeing that Annie was on the edge of a real meltdown, many of which he had borne the brunt of over the years. He knew that if he did not act now, things would go very badly for her.
Eddie turned to Annie and said in a soft but firm voice, “Why don’t you run upstairs and get dressed? The sooner we go to the station, the sooner you can get home to your garden.” Greta did not know if it was his gentle pleading or her faltering will, but Annie sighed and walked slowly up the stairs. Her defiance trailed behind her like the long veil of a woman walking down the aisle. Her defiance was her covering, her joy and where she hid her whole heart. It was her cloak and her glory.
Annie came down a few minutes later wearing a pair of jeans and a very tight purple turtleneck. Greta saw John’s face flush. She made a mental note because she saw that Annie had noticed as well and had given a smug, satisfied smile. And the six of them left the house and drove in their police cars to the station.