I called the number on the business card and someone picked up. “New York City Police Department, Detective Alex Collins,” said a very deep, authoritative voice.
“Hi, Detective. This is Jenna Velius. Officer Anderson gave me your number for emergencies,” I said with a little bit of fire from inside of me.
“Oh. Mike gave you my number? Huh. Okay, so what happened?
“My brother was beat up and left for dead.” I said curtly.
After a polite, yet awkward moment of silence, he responded, “Come to my office. We’ll talk over here.”
When my mom came out of Subway, I quickly told her to start the car and which way to drive on the jammed up highway. When we finally got there, I thought we had come to the wrong place, so I triple-checked the address.
Yep, this was the place. It was so sketchy! It was mainly made of brick and had a few stained glass windows. When we walked in, a cold blast of air hit us like it was someone belly-flopping into the water without a shirt in November. Not very nice. We were met by a big officer with a scanner to check for weapons or unauthorized metals. When we passed, I went to the main desk and asked the lady where Detective Collins office was and all she did was wave towards the shadiest door in the whole place. We walked into the room, hoping for the best.
“Hello, Jenna,” said the same deep voice right as we walked in. The room was bright and had a whiteboard covering half the room. Mr. Collins didn’t smoke cigars and wasn’t more than 35 years old. He even had a rainbow sticker on his computer monitor. If this wasn’t the investigation of my brother’s assault, I would’ve even thought it was cute. I sat down on the surprisingly comfortable chair and waved for Mom to sit down. “Hi, Detective,” Mom responded as she sat down, looking at the nameplate.
“Please, call me Alex. Okay, let’s jump into why we’re actually here. So, Jenna,” he said, knowing who he was talking about, “you said that Tristan was attacked by someone and you want to figure out who and why.” I nodded and put on a more confident face, even though under that face was pain and sorrow. “Ok. Here’s a few questions for you. I need to know what happened. Was your mother present when this happened, Jenna?” I shook my head and let him continue. “Tell me what happened before you came here.” I started talking about my day, about the letter, about how Tristan made breakfast, how I found him on the ground. I told him how he was drinking a lot the other day. I rambled on about everything I could and he listened intently through all of it. I told him about Mahala and Mom’s theory and his face softened and he looked like he genuinely felt bad for Tristan. His face also showed a new, fiery determination and energy inside him. For what felt like forever, we ran through all the questions he had and all the answers.
At the end of it, he went on his computer and started typing. I waited as patiently as I could and at the end of that, he said, “Ok. I will be calling you two a lot from now until we find whoever did this to Tristan, so keep your ringer on. If you have any info you think might be useful, call me. Otherwise, I think we are done” He gave us each a business card and I kept it anyway, just in case I lost the other one. We waved goodbye and left the room, slightly happier about the day, if possible.