It is a night of pandemonium.
I am used to the chaos. I am used to going out in the middle of the night to heed a call. However, I am still not used to the shock of seeing a new corpse.
"Evening, DI Evans," my partner DI Stark greeted me.
"I'll handle the corpse. I'll let you interrogate the witness instead," he tells me. We've been partners for years, and we know each other's weaknesses already.
"You know me too well, Ben," I say with a smile.
He fills me with information as I walk towards the car where the witness is. The victim is female. Apparently, the witness is her lover. #
I see a man in his twenties, stationary in one place.
I have seen various reactions to shock: sobs, pleas and bawls. But I have never seen someone temperamentally disinclined to talk. It is far more terrifying.
"Achilles?" I say in shock, staring at my ex-best friend.
"Priscilla?" his voice stifling his stutters, as we stare in shock, for we have not talked to each other for the past years. The unwelcome pain in my chest returns.
"I finally asked her out while we were on the bridge,"
he says, his voice shaking. "She said yes. I told her to wait as I went to my car to give her the painting she always wanted. And when I went back..."
Despite the tension, he hugs me as he loses control.
"She's dead, murdered," he stutters, clinging to me tightly. He is losing his balance. "Who?" "Aria." #
I decide to drive Achilles home so I can tuck him to bed.
"So far, the evidence we've got is that the perp is female. Five foot two. Right handed, based on the gunshot wound," I explain as he sits motionless. "She left a note on the body, 'Let me be.'"
"She has a name," he snaps back.
I almost carry him as I lead him to his room. I close all the lights, ready to leave, when I hear his baritone voice calling me.
"Tell me the Words," he pleads. I sit next to him.
My right hand trail his face lightly, as I speak: "I am not afraid..." "...I am not afraid." "I am not afraid of the dark." "I am not afraid of the dark." "Now go to sleep, my hero."
He finally falls asleep, that hero who never became mine.
He is my hamartia, my fatal flaw, my sweetest downfall. He is my Achilles... Achilles' heel. My short figure casts a long shadow on the floor. Let me be.
Aria will be forever sleeping now.