Holly and Earl arrived at headquarters and were met in the parking lot by Chief Morrison. They immediately knew that something was terribly wrong, especially when they noticed Senior Chaplain Phillips was with him. Holly looked at Earl and he looked at her, both wondering “are they here for you or for me?”
Their question was answered when Chief Morrison said “Holly, come on inside. I’m afraid I have some bad news.”
Holly was not one to fall apart or get hysterical. She simply said “yes sir.” Earl followed them into the office but Chief Morrison told him that he was excused. He put his hand on Holly’s shoulder and said “if you need me, I’ll be right outside.”
The room seemed to be spinning as Chief Morrison, step by step told Holly what happened. She sat in the chair, slightly nodded, mumbled an occasional “yes sir,” and just stared at the floor. At one point, Chief Morrison snapped his fingers in front of her face and said “are you still with me?”
Holly looked up at him and said “sir?” She was clearly in shock. Father Phillips put his arm around her and said “come, child. Let’s go to the Chapel and say a prayer.”
Holly seemed to annoyingly reject his offer, snapped to attention and told Chief Morrison that she was 10-8. “No, you’re not,” Chief Morrison said. “You have things to take care of and you are officially 10-42 as of right now.” When Holly started to argue, Chief Morrison firmly said “that’s an order.”
Father Phillips told her that he would take her home and the next day, would help her start making the arrangements. Holly numbly walked with him to his car. Earl came running toward her and said “if there’s anything I can do, just let me know.” She didn’t even answer. For some strange reason, Alvin came to mind.
When they got into the car, she looked at Father Phillips and said, “why didn’t he see this? Why the hell didn’t he see this?”
Father Phillips asked her what she was talking about. She said “one day Alvin told me that he was a bit psychic. He lied to me. If he was psychic, he would have seen this coming, don’t you think?”
She shook her head like she knew the ridiculousness of her statement. “Father, I am just broken and I’m trying to find a punching bag. Sweet Alvin, who was always so loyal to my father is not the one I need to attack, physically or mentally.”
Father Phillips said “my child, it’s only natural to want to strike out against someone when there is a tragic loss.”
“But why them?” Holly asked. Father Phillips said “you want answers, child but the only person who truly has those answers is Almighty God.”
She surprised him when she went on a cursing tirade. “Yeah, He knows but that doesn’t help me does it? And don’t give me any of that bullshit about Heaven needing a few more angels. There are enough angels up there. God doesn’t need any more. I needed them here and He’s a fucking asshole for taking them.” Father Phillips smiled. He understood grief and anger and rage.
When they got to her apartment, he said “you shouldn’t be alone right now. Is there anyone you can call?” Holly again surprised him when she said “like who? Who the fuck am I going to call? The only family I had was just murdered. Who am I going to fucking call, Father?”
Father Phillips said “I can send Helen over to stay with you.” Holly apologized for her outburst and said “that won’t be necessary. I’ll be okay, Father. I just need to let it sink in. If I need to talk to someone, I’ll call you.”
“Do you promise?” he asked. Holly said “I promise.”
She sat down and as if talking to herself said “what a senseless way to die. Tell me Father. Do you see any sense in this at all?”
Father Phillips shook his head and said “no. As I said, only God knows about these things.”
“Did they catch them?” she asked.
“Yes,” he said.
“And what’s going to happen to them?”
Father Phillips said “that will be up to the court. You know that. I would imagine there will be some psychiatric evaluations and most likely, juvenile detention.”
Holly angrily said “so in other words, nothing more than a little inconvenience, right?”
Father Phillips was worried about her, even though he knew she came from good, strong stock. He also knew that everyone has a breaking point and he didn’t want this to be hers. Through the years, he had seen some of the toughest, strongest, most resilient officers crumble before his eyes. He was determined that she would not crumble on his watch.
As he started to leave, he turned and said “child, you mustn’t let this pain and anger turn into a vendetta.”
To be continued_______________