Luke often had the unpleasant job of dealing with the victims’ families. It was unpleasant because it was constantly painful for him. Even though he dealt with hundreds of people – dead and alive, he could bring to mind a most vivid picture of each poor soul that had been taken from this earth by some chillingly sick individual. As everyone can imagine, it’s the little kids that really gnaw at your insides, turning your heart, your stomach, your brain. Making you hate whoever or whatever did this. Sometimes it was hard to believe something human could have done the things he had seen – and sometimes not. You had to be a special type of person to carry that burden and still live with hope for mankind. He pondered on the fact that the killer may well see himself as God, the judge, jury and executioner. Perhaps the killer was the punisher and believed he was doing the world a justice. All these things crowded in his mind. Photographic images of the smiling women that had been murdered clamoured to find a space there too. Almost begging him to help them – he just didn’t quite know how – not yet. He battled the senses of hopelessness and helplessness and sometimes it just became overwhelming. He truly believed that he was not meant to be on the earth sometimes. It was like he must’ve come from another planet or world or time, even. Another dimension for people who don’t fit into this world. To take another person’s life just because it felt good or because you could just didn’t add up to Luke. Sure, he had had to kill people but they had been killers themselves and he was protecting the rest of the world from an aberration.
What did give Luke an escape and sometimes re-kindled his hope was music. He filled his sleepless nights writing music – telling his pain and playing his heart. It made day-to-day living a lot more bearable. He knew he had a whole lot of sad stuff he could write about but he actually knew how to control the urge to be depressed or overwhelmed by it all. Music was his heroin, his lover, his racehorse, and his island – escaping most of the time but sometimes it could drag him deep and dark.
In his early days he’d come home and immediately pour a scotch, sit down in front of the piano and play furiously only to end up crying – sobbing really. He was so filled with despair and hurt with the little faith he had left, if any, taking a pounding. As he discovered, it was just a case of controlling it – mind over matter. He knew that. Pain was just an emotion. But it had always bothered him that you could stop the emotion from showing – turn it off. And when you did that – where did it go?
Luke was a handsome man, athletic and stylish with a startling smile. He wore his clothes and character with a quiet coolness. Women looked twice and he always smiled. The ladies at the precinct gossiped constantly about him and couldn’t understand why he didn’t have a stable of stunning women at his beck and call. The reason why that should be is because it was not what he wanted. He’d been there and done that. Luke had been on his own for the last four years. He’d dated the odd girlfriend, a few ex-sex-experiences – that’s if an ex wasn’t attached to anybody in particular. Luke didn’t mind finding solace in her warm body – what the hell; he must have liked her in the first place for her to even be an ex. And so life trundled on. Somehow he had misplaced his understanding of love. Perhaps he was just cynical or too selfish to want to share himself again. He’d been hurt before. He’d taken his share of heartbreak and ball breaking, for that matter. Maybe all he was doing was protecting his very own self and that kind of made sense to him. He didn’t want to believe that he was a cynic – he still had faith in other things, a strong faith. But love continued to elude him. He wasn’t searching for anybody in particular but he did think about it. He wondered if he ever really would connect with someone special. Perhaps not an easy thing to do – especially in this line of work. It was a bitch of a job most days but somebody had to do it. Often it was rewarding but not in the same way as it might be for others in a different profession. For him the rewards were slim as they came with huge prices for families that could never afford the loss of a loved one. It was a bitter reward. The upside was actually catching a killer, an abuser, a violent man and looking at his future, which would be non-existent, as he would sit in a cell for a very long time if not for the rest of his life. Sometimes Luke couldn’t help himself and would go and visit the dirty bastard he’d put behind bars and say to him things like, ‘You having fun taking it up the arse you piece of shit?’
Or ‘We’ve decided to ship you off to Texas as this place is full – oh, and by the way I’ve booked a front row seat for me and your mum at the execution.’
That one got them, but only if they didn’t know you weren’t allowed to just ship them around. So they’d be panicking for a few days until they found out the legality of it all – dummies.
He spent the night in front of the TV for a change. He ate a lonely dinner, something frozen, micro waved but still frozen in the middle. He couldn’t be bothered re-zapping it so he ate the outside of the dinner and threw the rest in the bin. He looked at his piano sitting in the lounge and was tempted to sit down and play. He let himself be led and was sitting on the stool fingers poised with indecision on what piece to play – just for half an hour, he thought. He ended up in bed at 2 am.
© Kait King, 2015