The Owl Spirit
Trigger Warning: This story is about a Native American man who is suffering from depression. There are elements of racism in this piece. It talks about suicide and its effects. Please, please, if you feel depressed or suicidal SEEK HELP! I love and care about you and many other people do as well. This is important to bring to light, as suicide and it's prevention is an important issue in today's world. Please look for local assistance if you ever feel like this is the answer. I assure you it's not, it wasn't for me and it's not for you either. <3
“People tell you it gets better after high school. All the bullying, all the popularity contests, the “stress” it all goes away once you graduate. No more tests, no more teachers, no more “cool kids” and “losers”. The ridicule and bullying all stop if you can just get through those four years.
Eric Saunders crumpled up the piece of paper and tossed it into a nearby trash can as his manager walked by. Straightening his ever-wrinkled dress shirt and tie that clung loosely to his muscular form and taking a frustrated drink of his cold coffee.
It was almost lunchtime. He winced at the cold and bitter sugar-free liquid and put it back down on his pug coaster, tippity tapping at the keys of his ergonomic mechanical keyboard. He didn’t have to use it, but he liked how powerful the audible clicks made his finger strokes sound like a typewriter. He liked those.
The portly man, about 47. -the lifer, some people called him.- Stopped dead in his tracks and took an audible breath in.
Eric rubbed his forehead with his long and slender fingers knowing what was coming next.
The Manager, one Mister Frederick Barnes Sr. ran his hand through the greasy black comb-over he wore daily and turned on his heels like a drill instructor, marching his way back to Eric’s small 6 by 6 grey cubicle.
Eric attempted to ignore him, wondering if he pretended Freddy didn’t exist would he somehow disappear? He wasn’t so lucky, he’s never been so lucky.
The only great thing that ever happened in Eric’s life was moving to the United Kingdom with his family at a young age from Nowheresville, Arizona. But even then he was always mistaken for someone from India or Pakistan. Pakistan being the most frequently quoted place of origin, along with the racist names pertaining to that area of the world.
He told people over and over that he was Native American, it didn’t seem to matter to many people around here. His dark skin colour was all that mattered.
“Saunders! How many times must I tell you… Red for recycling, Grey for garbage. Christ, they are colour coated and they rhyme…”
Freddy bent over and picked the small crumpled note from the rubbish bin and tossed it in Eric’s cup of coffee, splashing some of the brown liquid onto his dust coloured corduroy slacks.
“Remember where it goes next time, we ain’t made of money here. We can’t afford to pay fines for tossing recyclables. Unless you want it to come from your paycheck of course. It’s not bloody rocket science, and your people are supposed to be good at those things.”
Freddy straightened his thick, brown glasses and continued on down the line of cubicles to his small office at the end.
Eric began patting at the coffee stain with an old napkin he had laying around his desk, trying to get as much of the liquid as he could before it dried into an unsightly splotch forever painted on his kneecap. He would probably get in trouble for dress and deportment as well if he couldn’t get it out, meaning he would have to get them professionally cleaned.
“Jerk, man…” he mumbled under his breath, rubbing voraciously at the mark.
“What's the matter Saunders, forget where your mouth is? I could bring in one of my daughter’s sippy cups if you’d like.” his cubicle neighbour tossed his heavily set muscular body into the office chair across from Eric.
“Not in the mood Jacob…” Eric muttered, pulling his long and silky black hair into a tight ponytail.
Jacob Evers scratched at his well-kept, long, orange beard. The only place on him that seemed to have hair nowadays.
“Just a joke mate. Don’t let that wanker sour your mood. He’s a right prick.” Jacob raised two fingers at the closed office door. “Seriously, you alright Eric? What did he get at you for?” Jacob rolled across the red and beige carpet to Eric’s cubicle.
“Recycling a piece of paper. I accidentally tossed it in the grey bin instead of the red.” Eric tossed the wet paper into the garbage. It wasn’t recyclable now. Turning his chair to face his best friend.
“I don’t know man, sometimes I just…” Eric stopped mid-sentence, he didn’t want to upset Jacob. He wanted to tell him that he was hurting inside, but Jacob already had enough on his plate. He had a way of reading him, so it didn’t matter in the long run. Jacob always knew.
Jacob waited a moment, then slapped a giant hand onto Eric’s shoulder. “I know what you mean mate… I felt the same way when I left the Military. Like there's nothing left in the tank, you just have to find something to fill it up. I got my wife and two beautiful daughters, they did it for me. Listen, why don’t you come out with me tonight? I’ll even come and pick you up. Just a few drinks and some laughs, maybe it will help you to get out of that big brain of yours.”
“Thanks, man, maybe I will. What time?” Eric hesitated a moment before responding.
“I’ll swing ‘round later tonight. I’ll give you a call when I know what time.” Jacob smiled a big smile.
This always made Eric feel a bit better. Jacob was a massive man, but he had a heart of gold. Eric liked him because he was an old friend, and one of the few people around the place that was nice to him or even noticed him for that matter. The rest either laughed at his tall stature, whispered about if skin colour, or were outright afraid of him because of his looks.
The day went by fairly quickly and without issue aside from the morning encounter with the lifer. Eric managed to move past and forget that morning's events with the help of Jacob and his wit. He had always been supportive and kept Eric grounded. They had known each other since High School.
The train ride home was uneventful, Eric sat and watched out the window, listening to an interesting audiobook about self-confidence as he silently slipped through the tubes underneath the city. Darkness, lights, walls, lights, walls, darkness. Over and over. Eric glanced up at the orange sign every now and again looking to see where he was stopping next.
After what seemed like a lifetime underneath the ground he emerged into the street once more, rain droplets flecked the glass as the train came to a halt on his platform. Quickly, he got up and exited behind the few other people that lived around here and traveled late. Eric headed back to his flat, excited for his night out. It wasn’t often he was invited out somewhere.
The walk through the narrow cobblestone streets to his small townhouse wasn’t bad. Rain or sun he enjoyed the fresh air and there weren’t many people out and about when he arrived home from work. Most had already made it back to their own houses and were cozy with their families. Sometimes Eric could hear laughing or children playing from buildings around him. They lightened his mood.
He looked at his brown leather shoes, the voice in his headset told him to stand up straight and make eye contact with people around him. He thought this was funny, he did what he was told while repositioning his leather messenger bag onto the opposite shoulder. He glanced into the local watering hole, it was full of people sitting at tables laughing and drinking.
He often thought about going in. Maybe just sitting down and chatting with someone. Joining a table and getting to know people. Then he remembered that he looked different than everyone else in Reading. The long black hair in a braid, strong facial features, and dark skin. These all made him second guess himself. Strangers mostly avoided him or were uneasy around him, so he would never do it.
“Diné Naabaahii” His Grandparents used to call him when he was younger. They used to tell Eric stories about their ancestors and how they were great warriors that helped defend the Navajo people from the Sioux and Apache in the old country. Though he looked the part nowadays, he didn’t feel the part on the inside. He felt the furthest from it most of the time.
He stuck the key into his door and rattled it a bit, pushing it open and entering his home. As he went to put his keys down Eric heard his cellphone go off in his bag. He quickly fumbled through his paperwork and laptop, pulling it out. The blue light lit up his darkened face as he looked at the caller ID screen. It was Jacob.
“Hello mate. How’re things?” Eric responded awkwardly.
“Oi!, Eric, I can’t get out tonight, unfortunately. Came home to a house of sick munchkins. Awful coughs and fevers. I am really sorry mate. I really did want to go out with you tonight.” there was silence on the other end of the phone. It was like Jacob could feel Eric’s heart drop in his chest. “I am sorry, I did want to spend some time with you tonight… It’s just the kids, right?” Jacob broke the silence.
“Oh no, no, it’s fine Jacco. You make sure those kids get better. I’d like to see them, it’s been a while. Listen, I’ll see you tomorrow then. Another time. Bye mate.”
“See you tomorrow, mate, I’ll bring you a coffee or something. Maybe with a nip to make up for it.” Eric forced himself to chuckle.
“Alright Jacob, take it easy. Tell Molly I said hi.” Eric hung the phone up slumping into the velvet chair nearest his doorway. He let the cell fall to the beige carpet and stared at the dark ceiling for a while with his hands over his face.
Another night of loneliness and silence, he guessed standing up and taking off his brown sports coat and shoes. Eric flicked on the lights and went to the kitchen table, pulling out his laptop.
Opening the screen, he was greeted by a word document titled: “Reason’s to Stay” below it was a shortlist of things he had written down over the last few days.
-Parent’s and Siblings Love you
-A Place to Live and food on the table.
- Diné Naabaahii
Eric sat for a long time staring at it, he found himself tearing up a bit. As he read the black letters splashed against the white background, he came to the realization that this small list is what stood between him and death.
“This can’t be it?” he spoke out loud to himself, placing his head in his hands. His obsidian strands covered his face like a curtain.
Eric laid his head onto the polished wood and began tumbling into his subconsciousness as sleep overtook him. Falling through the blackness, Eric felt his stomach flutter as he dropped into the sky of his dreams…then nothing.
He suddenly found himself standing in a desert. The air felt dry and warm against his naked skin, for some reason he thought he might be in Arizona. It was the middle of the night and he wasn’t sure how he got here or why he didn’t have any clothes on.
He looked around curiously at the sea of sand and sparse vegetation, which stitched its way through the surrounding landscape. Eric began to walk, staring at the little pinpricks of light perforating the blue blackness above him.
He noticed the dark blotches of clouds speeding silently across the heavens, then the rousing sound of drums in the distance. His heart began to pound as he found himself picking up his pace. Footfall after footfall dug into the sand and stone around him, kicking debris out behind him.
Eric opened his eyes as the warm air rushed through him. Faster and faster he ran towards the smell of fire and burning sweetgrass. Jagged stone outcroppings and reddish-brown shale began to push themselves up out of the Earth around him.
He saw an edge coming but didn’t stop himself. Eric sprinted as hard as he could coming to the lip, as he reached the edge of the cliffside he pushed off with all his might. Soaring into a drop, the gully was deep and Eric smiled as the feelings of freedom washed over him. He rolled over and watched as the sky fell away. He was at peace…
Panic overtook him suddenly, forcing the freeing feeling to evaporate. His eyes grew wide as he felt himself inching closer to the ground below him. He reached for something, anything, but there was nothing to stop the fall. His arms flailed around in helplessness as he plummeted to the ground.
Then, an owl. A white and grey barn owl glowing brightly against the sky. Its feathers reflected the moonlight above them as it swooped down into a dive next to Eric. Its body was sleek as it curled its great wings into itself. The owl’s head slowly turned and Eric’s hazelnut eyes locked with its piercing golden ones. Almost as an instinct, Eric reached out towards it. Its body rolled to the side and a powerful claw reached back, when he went to take it, the dream faded. He pushed himself up from the circular wooden table he had fallen asleep on, drenched in sweat.
Eric stood up a second and rubbed the wetness from his forehead. He could still smell the fire and sweetgrass. He looked around wondering where it could be coming from. They too faded, leaving Eric standing in the soft yellow hue of the kitchen’s circular ceiling light.
Snapping himself out of whatever delirium he was in, Eric hammered the laptop’s screen closed and grabbed a glass of water. His mouth and throat felt dry, he ran his fingers over his lips. They were cracked, almost like he had just come out of the hot desert. He downed the liquid and looked around his home, he thought he had seen something glowing white out the back window. But when he ran to check his garden it was gone.
Eric shook his head and walked upstairs into his bedroom. Flopping down on his mattress in exhaustion. It seemed he had been asleep but a moment when the pinging of his doorbell and a pounding at the door brought him back from his escape
Pushing himself off the bed, he wiped his mouth, it still was dry and tasted a bit like sand. The knocking was louder this time, and the ringing frantic.
“Yea, yea, I’m coming.” He said to himself as he fumbled his way down the narrow stairway, looking for the light switch.
Eric grazed it with his fingers and flicked it, illuminating the front entryway and porch. He pulled the door’s latch and turned the handle allowing the cool air to rush in.
A woman and a man greeted him on the other side. Two police cars were parked on the road in front of his home with white, red, and blue lights flickering. They bathed the buildings around in strange hues and colour patterns. A couple of uniformed officers milled around at the gate.
“Can I help you, Ma’am?” Eric asked the Officer who was flashing a badge to him.
“I hope so. Mr. Saunders, was it?” she pulled a notepad from her pocket and glanced at it. “I have some bad news for you. May Detective Reese and myself come in, please?”
Eric nodded silently, fear welling inside of him. He brought them into his home, leading them through the beige coloured living room. He pulled a couple of chairs out from the table he had fallen asleep on earlier in the night, offering the two Detectives seats.
“Can I get you something, Detective?” Eric asked politely, brushing his hair from his face and over his ears.
“I am Detective Kinsley, this is Detective Reese.” she took a seat putting on a pair of glasses. Resse stood leaning against the wooden entry to the kitchen.
“Mr. Saunders, do you know one Jacob Evers? Tall, well built, bald, with a beard?” Kinsley asked,
“I do, he’s my best friend. Did something happen?” Eric replied, concerned.
“You may want to sit down…” Reese spoke solemnly, crossing his arms.
Eric pulled the remaining chair to him and sat rubbing his forehead.
“Mr. Saunders. Jacob Evers was found dead a few hours ago nearby here. We think it was a mugging gone wrong. Did Mr. Evers talk to you…” Kinsley’s words seemed to wash out and the world around Eric dulled as he felt his heart sink into his gut.
“...I’m sorry. Did you say Jacob was killed?” Eric spoke out of shock more than anything, interrupting whatever Detective Kinsley had been saying. His throat grew tight as he tried to swallow his tears.
“Yes, Mr. Saunders. I’m so sorry to drop this on you. As I was saying, any information you may have could help us solve this thing.” Kinsley replied, flipping open her notebook. “If you need a moment, we will step out and give you some space.” she looked at him over her glasses.
The age lines in her face scrunched together as she scrutinized his reaction, it reminded him of all the times Jacob and he got in trouble in Grade school. Her braided and scraggly grey hair was draped carefully over her shoulder. She seemed weathered like she had been doing this work for far too long and was tired.
“I…” Eric muttered. Kinsley looked over at Reese and raised her hand.
“We will be back shortly, Mr. Saunders. Take some time to gather your thoughts.” She stood up and put a hand on his shoulder before heading out to the front porch, lighting a cigarette. Reese backed out of the room but stood in the hallway to the entryway watching.
A short time passed. Eric took a few deep breaths, then he stood up and walked to the sink to get some water for him and the Detectives conversation. He steeled himself as footsteps approached the kitchen. He turned to greet the two Officers.
“Mr. Saunders, I’m sorry for your loss. But it’s important we ask you some things.” Detective Kinsley said as she nestled herself into the table once again. “Please join me, and we will figure this thing out,” she asked softly. Eric responded with a nod and filled another glass, bringing them both over to the table. He passed one to Detective Kinsley.
“Thank you, may I call you Eric?” she asked, popping a mint into her mouth. Eric nodded silently.
“My name is Minerva. It is a shame to meet under such macabre circumstances. I have a few specially armed officers here with me, do you mind if they come in? For safety purposes, of course”
“Yes, they can. You don’t need them. I’m not a criminal.” Eric responded curtly.
“Yes, I understand that Eric. I don’t think you are. It’s just a procedure for the safety of all parties. These types of conversations can get emotional.” Minerva waved to Reese, who disappeared back out the door returning a short time later with two uniformed officers that carried handguns on their hips.
Eric stared a moment, he had never seen guns on police officers here in the UK, not like back home in Arizona.
“There is no need to be nervous Eric. They are highly trained officers.” Minerva spoke, writing something down on her notepad.
“I’m not nervous Detective. I am from Arizona. They are normal, I’ve even fired a few.” Eric responded.
“Oh? Have you ever come into contact with a Glock, or fired one?” Detective Kinsley responded lifting her eyebrow.
“Not since I was young. My Grandfather was traditional Navajo, he lived off the land and taught me how to hunt and fish.” Eric responded, remembering his grandfather’s smiling face. It had been years since he thought of him and sort of smiled to himself.
“Ah yes, you miss him, do you? Navajo. I am not familiar with that term.” She smiled, trying to foster the positive feelings within Eric. He appreciated her attempt.
“Navajo are my people. My family are Native American’s from Arizona.” Eric responded, taking a drink of water.
“Ah, I see. Not many Native American’s in the UK. Why did your family move here?” Detective Kinsley placed her notepad and pen down lightly on the table, slipping her blue windbreaker off and hanging it on the chair's back. She leaned in and folded her hands.
“My Mother is a Math Professor in Cambridge. She received the job offer when I was young and we moved here. I’ve lived in the UK most of my life, though my Sisters moved back to the US shortly after University. I decided to stay nearby my parents.” Eric explained.
“Interesting, a Cambridge boy...” Kinsley took a drink from her glass and placed it back down, picking up her pen and pad.
“Well, unfortunately, I am not here to chat. Though I would prefer it. Did you speak with Jacob tonight, Eric?” it was back to business, apparently.
“I did. I had exchanged a few texts with him on the way home tonight, and he called. We had plans to go out and chat for a bit, but his daughters were sick so he told me he had to stay home.” Eric recounted the story, unlocking and passing his phone to Detective Reese who approached with his hand outstretched.
“Thanks, mate, I’ll only be a second,” Reese muttered, looking through things on the device. Eric nodded in response.
“Okay, do you know about what time you heard from him last?” The Detective jotted information into her book.
“I guess he called around eightish. That’s the last time we spoke.” the words tugged at Eric’s heartstrings.
“Did you and Jacob get into a fight or anything? Also, were you two seeing each other?” Kinsley questioned.
“...no, we didn’t get into a fight or anything. He isn’t single or gay so no, we weren’t seeing each other.” Eric responded, swallowing the lump in his throat again. “I don’t even know that he knew I was gay, it didn’t really matter to him I guess.”
The Detective was furiously scratching words onto her paper. Reese returned the phone, whispering something to Kinsley’s ear.
“What happened? Did his home get invaded or something?” Eric finally got the courage to ask. Detective Reese responded, with his honey-like voice
“Actually, no. As far as my partner and I know, he was coming to see you. His wife had said that Mr. Evers was concerned about you. He had told her that he wanted to drop in. Are you okay, Mr. Saunders? Anything we should know about? We can have a patrol check in on you over the course of the next few days?” Reese questioned.
Eric shook his head with a smile, it was no secret that he was struggling with depression, apparently. Molly must have told the Officers he was depressed.
“So Jacob was coming to check on me and was killed for it?” Eric asked, more flatly than he wanted.
“It’s not your fault Eric. Jacob seems like he was a good friend, he was robbed by a criminal. I don’t think that criminal was you, was it?” Minerva asked softly.
“No, I wouldn’t kill anyone… Especially Jacob.” Eric looked into his glass, rubbing his forehead. “I’m not doing so well…” He began but stopped halfway, thinking a second.
He was afraid the rest of the sentence would shatter the proverbial dam he had spent the last couple of weeks building around his heart to protect himself from those horrible inner demons he so often fought with.
Detective Reese put a hand on Eric’s shoulder.
“I’m sure this is the last thing you needed to happen in your life, mate. You’ll be alright tonight?” Reese questioned, Kinsley was waiting patiently.
“Thank you. I think I’ll be alright.” Eric said, drinking the last of his water knowing he wasn't.
“Well, I’ll check in on you over the next couple of days. I live nearby, so it’s no bother for me to come round after my shift.” Detective Reese smiled and patted Eric’s shoulder.
“I just have a few more questions, Eric.” Detective Kinsley got ready to continue writing. “So, did Mr. Evers have any enemies or debts owed to someone? Anyone you could think of that Jacob has a problem with or has mentioned would be helpful in the investigation.”
Eric thought a moment, but nothing came to him. He felt useless and helpless at the same time.
“No, I can’t think of anyone Detective. Jacob was a good guy. Kind-hearted. He never mentioned anything like that to me. He has a few connections in the Military, maybe ask one of them? That’s all I have for you.” Eric rubbed his neck, frustrated he couldn’t help more.
Detective Kinsley scrawled some more information then put her pen and paper away standing up.
“Well, if you happen to hear anything or remember anything. Please, give one of us a call.” She slid a card across the table to Eric, signaling the officers out.
“Can you please let me know if you find anything out? Jacob and I were good friends.” Eric asked as they turned to leave.
“We will keep you posted of any significant breakthroughs. It was nice to chat with you, truly. I would like to get to know you better, maybe after all of this mess is taken care of we all go out to celebrate. Whoever did this will be found and dealt with. I assure you.” Minerva said with conviction. Reese waved and walked out, turning around before leaving the home.
“I’m sorry for this Eric, it was really nice to meet you. I can see Jacob meant a lot to you, and I’m sorry for your loss. I’ll check on you in a few days okay. Hang in there, don’t do anything silly before we get to know each other.” Detective Reese shot him a soft smile and wrote something on a scrap piece of paper, leaving it in Eric’s key bowl.
“I’m available anytime at that number. Please use it, I’m not usually so forward.” Reese said, zipping up his dark leather bomber jacket. Eric sat at the table without a word, overwhelmed by the whole situation and struggling to keep it together.
Eric’s head fell as the door latched and the vehicles drove off. That creeping feeling of cold loneliness embraced him once again, this time it was different. It felt like he would never be happy again.
Eric put his face in his hands, tears began to hit the checkered linoleum floor. He pulled his hair back and tied it with a brown hair tie that was on his wrist, standing up. He leaned into the sink and stared a long time at a sharpened fruit knife that lay in the basin.
He had run the scenario through his head so many times. One cut, it would be so easy to let go. Freedom at the end of a blade, like the freedom he felt when he jumped from the cliff in his dream. No more this, no more pain, no more Franky. He could see Jacob again… maybe it was time. Tonight would be the night he guessed. Eric picked the blade up and put it against his soft skin, it wept blood as he put pressure on it.
He stared a moment, then looked out his window into the darkened garden. To his surprise, a brilliant white owl stood on the sill staring back in at him with piercing golden eyes. There was something familiar about them, Eric noticed tears run from the golden pupils and onto its brown feathered face. Eric put the knife down, leaning towards the glass.
The Owl buried its head into the crook of its wing a moment and wiped its tears away. Eric watched as it stretched its wings wide and flapped them a few times, cocking its head to one side then hopping back and forth. It puffed itself up a bit and took off, spreading its wings and pushing back from the sill. Eric watched as it faded into a mist, transforming into what looked to be Jacob smoking in the middle of the garden.
Eric stepped back in shock. A feeling of warmth washed over him, and for a moment, he thought he had felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned and looked, but there was nothing.
He glanced back out the window, thinking he was seeing things. But Jacob still stood there, puffing away. Eric pushed the knife aside and rushed to the back door throwing it open, stepping out onto the dark porch. Jacob approached the stairs and smiled.
The apparition slowly shook his head. Taking one last drag and tossing the butt aside. He saluted Eric, the way Jacob used to. Then turned towards the gate to the street and took a few steps, shifting back into the owl of Eric’s dreams. It stretched its graceful wings, then took off into the darkness vanishing into the moonlight.
Eric stood silent a moment staring at the sky, he couldn’t hold it back anymore. The dam inside shattered, causing Eric burst out in uncontrollable tears, collapsing onto the stairway as his suffering flowed forth in waves of tears and sobs. The negative energy felt as though it was purging itself from him. Wave after wave of pain, anger, and sadness crashed through him.
He tried to regain control and stop himself by taking a series of deep, controlled breaths. He looked at his bleeding arm and thought a moment, could he really do that to everyone who cares about him? To Jacob? They would all feel like they had failed, and would be left with a hole.
Eric calmed down finally. He was tired now and rubbed his saturated eyes. He thought he may be dreaming or in a nightmare, but, it was a fleeting thought.
He sat in the cold darkness for a bit longer, curling into himself and thinking about the owl that turned into Jacob and back again. He looked to his left and thought he saw someone sitting next to him in the darkness. But he blinked and whatever it was had gone. He wasn’t thinking straight, Eric knew suicide wasn’t the answer, it could never be. He was Dine Nabaahii.
Eric put his hand onto the cracked and weathered wood step, his knuckles brushed something metal. He looked down and saw a pack of beer and a carton of cigarettes with matches sticking out just sitting there. Eric laughed to himself, wiping the last of the tears from his eyes. He took one of the cigarettes and lit it, he didn't really smoke, but he needed this one. For himself and for Jacob.
By the last draw of the cigarette, he felt better than he ever had. It was like all that pain and suffering had washed away. For the first time in a long time, Eric didn’t feel alone or sad anymore.
He grabbed the pack of beer and carton of cigarettes and headed back inside,
“Thanks, Jacco… Love ya man.” Eric said to the cool night air as he closed the door on the darkness, locking it behind him. He pulled out his phone, cracking open a can of beer and calling in sick to work. He took a refreshing drink, sighing. He would miss Jacob… but he knew he would always be with him.
Eric walked back through the bright house and stopped, picking up the piece of paper Detective Reese left for him. It was a phone number… he looked at it and smiled, shaking his head. Thinking for a minute, he decided to plug the number into his cell as he walked up the stairs, clicking a message into the text box.
“It was nice meeting you tonight, Detective Reese. We should go out sometime and you can tell me your name…” Eric sent it, shutting the lights off and heading up to his room.