(draft) Chapter 1
The crisp morning air cut through the dawn, it was still too early for the sun to shine on the grizzly scene that had been discovered only hours before. Yellow and red police tape was stroon about the parking lot, flashing red and blue lights made their mark on the building’s east side wall, like a shadow figure skipping through the foreboding dark red brick.
Voices were muffled, I could hear the jingle of keys, the articulation of proper police jargon over the transmission airwaves coming from their cruisers. There was red-brownish spots on the dirty asphalt of the parking lot, I could see my breath as I exhaled. Then the white van with the cross painted on the side was let into the parking lot by the uniformed police officers guarding the entrance to the university’s campus. I had to look away, I was cold but yet couldn’t process the chill of the dawn….I was still in shock.
A tall, gray haired man walked towards me, he was about six foot four and walked confidently, dressed as if it was just another day at the office. Crisp dark blue slacks, a white, pressed shirt, red tie and a dark blue blazer. His badge hung around his neck on an inconspicuous chain, and swung back and forth as he made his way to where I was.
As he got closer he stopped and talked to two of the plain clothes detectives and one uniformed policeman. They nodded, all looked towards me, then he began the ten foot walk towards me. I stood underneath one of the small oak trees, it was fairly new as they had been planted when they were saplings when the campus first opened ten years ago. Oak trees are not native to this part of Texas, but yet neither was I. I looked down as I felt the warm tears fall down my cheeks. As he got closer he talked to one of the police officers, the officer nodded and then opened the trunk of his cruiser pulling out one of those thermal, silver emergency blankets and handed it to him.
He came near me, slowly with caution almost if approaching a wild animal, careful of how I might react. As he got closer his deep voice pierced the morning frost, “Hello, ma’am, my name is detective Richard Logan” as he unfolded the emergency blanket and put it around my shoulders. That’s when I realized I was shaking, I felt the warmth of his hands as he pulled the front of the blanket around my neck.
“I’d like to ask you some questions Ms………” he stopped short as he didn’t know who he was talking to. “Ms. Nevarez” I said softly. “Ms. Nevarez, please come with me” he said as he guided me towards a big black Ford F150, it must have been new because as I glanced towards the front of the truck it still had paper license plates. It was immaculately clean for this time of year, not quite cold but the rain had been hitting the city for the last week, only giving a couple of days of sunshine. He still had one had on my shoulder, he told one of the other detectives “I’m going to talk to Ms. Nevarez, call me if you need anything.”
He took out his keys from his jacket pocket, I heard the unlocking mechanism of this behemoth of a truck, and he reached out to open the door for me. “Please…..get in, it’s much warmer inside” he said as I turned up to look at him. His ice blue eyes staring down at me, wrinkles of experience and age framed them.
I nodded and he helped me up into the truck that was about almost two feet off the ground. As I climbed in, he closed the door, it was warmer in there and it still had that new car smell. As he walked around the front of the truck I looked towards the back seat of his crew cab, I noticed clothes and a black duffle bag. Inside there was an electric razor, some cologne, toothbrush and other toiletries. He opened the door to the driver’s side and he seemed to get into his truck without any problem. He was tall so he didn’t have to climb onto the step rails like I did. He took his keys and started the truck and as it roared to life he turned on the heater. As he looked over towards me another officer walked up with two cups of coffee. Detective Logan rolled the window down, said thank you and closed it back up.
He said softly “It’s colder than usual for this time of year.” I nodded in agreement as he handed me a hot cup of coffee. He asked if I wanted cream or sugar, I nodded no. He took his cup, opened the lid and took a sip.
He cleared his throat and then began to speak….”Ms. Nevarez, you do know you’re not under arrest here. So, if you could please tell me exactly what happened last night.”
As I looked down at the hot cup of liquid I was holding with both my hands, I thought about how I was going to explain the blood that covered them, the copper smell of human blood that stained my hands, forearms and clothes. I looked up and I could see the medical examiner’s office personnel put what use to be a human being into a black body bag and then onto a stretcher. “What do you want me to say Detective Logan?” I asked softly as I kept looking forward, the steam from the coffee warming my hands and face.
He sighed, put one hand on the steering wheel and said “Tell me about him…………and why you thought he had to die?”