The Hidden Sin Volume 1 : Chapter 3
The morning, summer sun enlightened Greensburg with its bright and warm rays. The light had filled the roads with life and energy, like as if the entire world had just been reborn. Cars driving up and down the streets, people walking by in their summer hats, children playing and laughing as drops of water soaked their skin from a waving sprinkler nestled on their front lawns. The campgrounds outside the town were filled and tourists walked along several nature trails and pathways. It was a beautiful summer day filled with warmth from the sun and a cool breeze to keep the people from overheating. Some say it was because the heavens were smiling and this was their reward for constant hard work and strain that the people below had to endure to keep everything in order. But some say the heavens were smiling over one particular person pushing a grocery kart in the Greensburg Food Market.
Olivia Chambers Miller had a slight smile on her face. A hint of joy and excitement had filled her heart and her soul for when she heard the news about her husband Jeremy. It was their eighth wedding anniversary, and Jeremy had planned to visit his family for the weekend and take them on a camping trip. It was also the prefect time for their son Jake to try out the new fishing pole his father had got him on his sixth birthday.
“Hey, Olivia!” a woman called out from behind the vegetable isle.
“Hey, Laura.” Olivia Miller waved back from the dairy department as she watched Laura pushed her grocery kart toward her sister's.
“How have you been?”
“I'm doing good. Just excited about tonight.”
“Yeah, but I think Jake is more excited than I am.”
“Let me guess, Jeremy is coming down on your anniversary.”
“That's right. He's taking a few days of vacation so we can have one night together. Then tomorrow he's gonna take all of us camping for the weekend.”
“Oh, that's just great.” Laura said happily. “I'm sure like to take another picture of all of you on your camping trip.”
“You should come with us, Laura. It'll be fun.”
Laura gave a somewhat disappointed look. “I wish I could but I have to fill in for someone over the weekend. But I will take that picture for sure. Seeing you all together always seemed to brighten my day.”
Laura had a wonderful job at the Greensburg Civic Centre. She basically was in charge of certain arrangements which involved sport events, swimming classes, even certain therapeutic sessions for the elderly. But over the weekend, she would have to help with some maintenance around the area along with her boyfriend, who's partner that was suppose to help him had recently been struck by the flu.
“Just seeing Jeremy and our son together always brighten mine. You know how Jeremy likes to talk detective stories to him like he'd be today's Sherlock Holmes.”
“Have you ever imagine Jake as a detective?” Laura asked.
“Sometimes, but not in a city like where Jeremy is.” Olivia's smile dissolved into slight sadness.
Laura thought of something that she wanted to tell Olivia but she didn't want to scare her. She recently heard something in the radio about some gang riot that was happening in the city and almost every police precinct in Carlton City as well as Jeremy's precinct were involved in stopping them. They even got some help from the Greensburg's police and even some from the United States since there was talk that some gang members, whom were Americans, had used fake passports to cross the border. She didn't want to alarm her but Laura had prayed for Olivia's husband to arrive safely.
“Well,” Laura said gathering her items in her grocery kart. “I might as well take off. You have fun this weekend. And let me know when your leaving for your camping trip so I can take the photo.”
“Sure thing. Bye, Laura.” Olivia said as her sister pushed her kart toward the cashier.
Having Jeremy visiting for the weekend felt like her knight in shining armour was on a quest to take the princess to an enchanted forest. It has been a long time since her family had spend quality time together, especially on occasions like a camping trip. The last time they went somewhere was at a baseball game across the US border, south of Carlton City. It wasn't a long trip from Canada to the US since it was only a three-hour drive to the game. But the whole family enjoyed the tensity of the baseball game, whether it was from waiting for the pitch, cracking sound of the bat that made the ball flew just like a bird that had eaten some worms that may have been filled with rocket fuel, and finally seeing the batter jumping for joy, throwing his hat in the air all the way to the home base after the ball went over the fence for the home run. The crowd cheered so gratefully to the winning home team and so did Jake and his parents. They had so much fun together, and it was memory that they would never forget. But that was before Olivia decided to take Jake and move out of that violent and corrupted city into a peaceful, quiet town.
Later, after Olivia paid her groceries and was storing them in her car, a police patrol car drove into the parking space next to her. The driver door swung open and a brown cowboy hat emerged from the car, following by small brown eyes, pointed nose, a curly Hungarian-style moustache with a fuzzy grin. It was Greensburg's own town sheriff Clarence Barkley, in his mid-thirties and a long time friend and former partner to Carlton City's detective, Jeremy Miller. He had been in the police force for ten years, most of the time as Jeremy's partner. During that time he was getting weary with the amount of crime the city had been infested with, and decided to transfer to Greensburg which from his opinion, the best choice he had done. He enjoyed the quiet, country life as much as Olivia did, but it would have been a lot better if Jeremy would have done the same thing as Clarence had done.
“Morning, Olivia.” the sheriff said, nearly showing pearly whites through his thin smile.
“Hi, Sheriff Barkley.” Olivia greeted him back with the same smile.
“How you and your son making out?”
“Oh, we're holding out just fine, thanks. Just excited about tonight.”
Barkley remembered it all too well. “Oh, that's right. You and Jeremy's wedding anniversary.”
“Not only that, he's gonna take us and Jake on a camping trip for the weekend.”
“Now that sound like fun. I used go camping at those campgrounds with my daughter when I was living in Carlton City. Best time we've had, I assure you.”
“How is your daughter?”
“Oh, she's doing fine at the University. One more year and she can open up her own hair saloon right here.”
Olivia's smile slowly faded away, thinking of how her husband would do well living in Greensburg, just like Sheriff Barkley was. Barkley noticed that semi-sad expression on her and understand why Jeremy didn't move with his family.
“Listen, Olivia.” Clarence said softly as he looked into the young woman's sad eyes. “Jeremy's a fine cop and a good friend and all. I'm pretty sure he has good reason to stay in Carlton City. Just sometimes I wonder where his priorities are. I even told him myself about you folks moving in, but he seems to proud of his job. He really thinks by staying at a city like that could make a difference. Well, sure, some difference. But it doesn't erase the fact he has a family on his side that needs him.”
Olivia stored the last of her groceries and closed the trunk, showing a small sign of anger. “If he really wants to make a difference, he should start with his family, first.”
“I know what you mean.” Clarence started to walk, heading toward the front doors of the market. “Well, I hope you have fun this weekend. I'll see ya later.”
Both Olivia and the sheriff shared a nod as Clarence walked away. But his heart nearly skipped a beat when the radio attached to his right side screeched following by a female voice.
“Sheriff Barkley, this is dispatch. Come in, over?” the radio barked.
Barkley grabbed the microphone that was strapped onto his left shoulder.
“This is Sheriff Barkley, over?”
“The department in Carlton City is requesting immediate assistance involving a gang riot. They even called in other departments around the area including one from across the US border.”
Barkley made a face, signified that he won't be getting his spare ribs and chicken for dinner.
“Copy that, dispatch. I'm on my way.”
Olivia only caught pieces of the conversation from within her car, something about Carlton City and a gang riot. But then she shook her head and ignored the whole thing thinking it was just a normal police matter. If there was something going on in Carlton City then her husband would be at the spot but she was hoping he would arrive in Greensburg soon. She had no time to think about it all, so she started her car and drove home.
The house was small and livable but warm and cozy enough to keep anybody safe from the harsh weather. The interior walls were a reddish colour, vibrant and relaxing as the floors were grayish white with a tint of yellow showing in between the zigzag pattern. The living room had a couch big enough for Olivia's family to sit together in front of the television and watching animated films with a recliner for when Jeremy decided to relax and read a book, or just taking a short nap.
Olivia walked in through the front door with her grocery bags and placed them on the island counter in the kitchen. By the time she started unpacking them she heard little footsteps coming down the stairs from between the kitchen and living room.
“Morning, Jake.” she said to the owner of those little footsteps.
“Hi, mommy.” the six-year-old Jake Miller said cheerfully. “What did you get me?”
His mother laughed.
“Well, I got you your chocolate cereal. You might as well eat some since you looked like you got out of bed.”
Jake got out of bed with bed-hair. The hair behind his head was pressed upward as well as some on the left side. It must be some kind of crazy dream, she thought. He had always told his mother how he dreams about becoming a famous detective like his father, or at least like the ones in his books. Solving crimes, putting pieces of a puzzle together using logic. And he and his father would watch detective films and TV shows together on weekends.
Olivia could easily tell that her son was proud of his father being a detective, but being a detective is not the same as what you would see on TV or read in fictional books. It could affect your personal life, sometimes it could be dangerous, scary and horrible. Especially when you're talking about a homicide detective, in which Jake's father's job was.
“You excited about tomorrow?” Olivia asked her son with warm grin.
“Yeah,” little Jake said with enthusiasm. “I wanna try out the fishing pole so bad that I was gonna go fishing in the bathtub.
Olivia laughed again.
“Well a bathtub is a good idea to show how it works, but it's a lot better when your at the river. Your dad will teach you how to but bait on the hook, cast the line and reel it in as soon as you feel a nibble.”
Jake took a quick glance at his new fishing pole, still in its package on the floor leaning against the side of the stairs, waiting for its owner to open it up and claim it.
“This is gonna be the best weekend ever,” he said with more enthusiasm.
Olivia took a quick glance at his son, seeing the excitement in his face. Just for the fact they both missed Jeremy since they moved to Greensburg, it would be a memory to cherish for all of their lives for eternity. She smiled a bit seeing how her family would be together again for on weekend but she only wished they would be together forever.
Later in the afternoon, Olivia was fixing her hair and applied some perfume for the special night she was gonna have with her husband, on their wedding anniversary. She was also wearing a blue dress in which she wore it on their first anniversary and a golden necklace that she got as a gift when she graduated from high school. She applied make-up, lip gloss and then she was finally looking glamorous and ready to have a fun night.
The telephone attached to the wall between the kitchen and the front door had rung. It was Laura that called, saying she would watch over Jake while both her sister and Jeremy spend their night out and was about to rent some movies. Jake had thought it was his father so he nearly ran down the stairs and stopped about near the bottom when his mother said it was his aunt. But instead of walking back upstairs he sat on one of the steps and decided to wait for either his aunt or his father to walk in through the door. Few hours later, nearly around 4:30pm, a car drove into the drive way and Laura had emerged from the vehicle. Jake nearly thought it was his father but the white car wasn't his. Jeremy's car was a black sports car that came with a sunroof and square headlights hidden in the hood that would flip upright with a push of a button.
Laura walked in through the door looking around for any sign of her brother-in-law.
“He's not here yet?” Laura asked her sister.
“He'll show up soon,” Olivia replied. “Knowing Jeremy, he never missed an anniversary.”
“Hey, Aunt Laura.” Jake waved from the stairs with a innocent smile.
“Hey there, big guy. Just rented some movies and got some popcorn for both of us.”
Laura was carrying a small sack loaded with a box of popcorn and a DVD rental entitled 'Billy the Blind Bat Mysteries: The Upside-downed Earth.' It was from a popular cartoon that Jake watched on television every Saturday morning and he won't watch a single episode without his 'Billy the Blind Bat' hat and mask. Jake would laugh every time the animated bat would fly into walls, transparent windows and gets into crazy situations while solving a mystery, all because the bat was blind.
An hour went by and Jeremy had not arrived. Things were slowly going through Olivia's head such as what may have delayed his arrival, but she tried to ignore those thoughts and forcing herself to be a bit more positive. She sat at the dining table waiting and took several glances at the clock on the microwave. It read 5.37pm and there was still no sign of Jeremy's black sports car. He had never missed a single wedding anniversary and he would never give up the chance to see his wife and son at all. But sometimes, when your a member of the police force, your own job could steal that chance away just a sound of phone call or the screeching of their radios that tells you that you have a job to do. Your job is to serve and protect Carlton City, maintaining peace among its walls and provide help and support for the people within those walls. Those were running through her thoughts when the sun had set and the fact that Jeremy would not move in with his family because he was too proud of his job had angered her, she felt some disappointment and received the feeling of being stood up by her own beloved husband.
“I'm gonna go upstairs and lay down for a while.” Olivia bluntly said as she got up from her dining room chair and began to walk upstairs. Laura watched her sister's sad face from the couch, sitting next to Jake as she disappeared into the dim-lit hallway at the top of the stairs. She felt sorry and hoped that she can do anything, but she couldn't think of anything at all.
The telephone rang shortly after. Olivia heard the phone from her bedroom as she was lying down on her bed looking up in the ceiling where the old ceiling lamp was hanging crookedly. She was trying to think things over and she even had thought of getting a divorce, but her train of thought was interrupted when Laura called her from downstairs saying the phone call was hers. She got downstairs and grabbed the receiver from Laura's hands.
“Hello?” she spoke in the microphone.
Laura can barely hear the mumbled voice from the ear piece but she knew the voice was not Jeremy's but the captain of the Carlton City Police Department.
“What?” she said, as she tried to made clear onto what the captain on the other line had told her. To her, it sounded absurd and almost impossible.
A few seconds later, her breathing had slowly began to get heavy and a slight tremble in her arms was barely noticeable. After hearing more of what the captain had said over the phone, her breathing became even more heavier and her eyes slowly began to water. She tried to speak, but the sudden pain in her heart was stopping her and she was unable to let out a single word. Even when she attempted to mouth it out, there wasn't a single voice that had escaped from her soul. She was barely choking and her right hand had went up to her gaping mouth, trying cover what may be a faint cry. The more she heard, the more worse she had got and her warm tears had finally begun to run down her rouged cheekbones.
She heard a click in the ear piece. The conversation was over, and Olivia had slowly hung up the phone as Laura watched her sister's heart, through her facial expression, torn apart by the news she had received. Olivia fell into Laura's arms and began bawling. In between her cries she was able to say the name of her husband once. As for Jake who sat quietly on the couch, he watched the whole thing happened right before his eyes. He watched her mother's heart breaking into pieces and her beautiful smile that she always wore had been melted away by running tears. Her calm, comforting voice had been distorted, and disrupted by the cries she had made but muffled into his aunt's arms. He just sat there watching his mother crying loudly and when he heard her saying his father's name, he knew something bad had happened to him. He too began to breathe heavily and almost had a tear running down his cheek. But before he actually cried, he called out to his father in plain emptiness, as if he had faded away right before his teary, hazel eyes.
Copyright © 2010 R J Levesque