Author’s Note: I want to apologize in advance for the crappiness that is this chapter. I’m really not feeling well but I needed to get this chapter out. I’m in the process of trying to figure out a special chapter for my year anniversary so I needed to get something out beforehand. Just consider this chapter a filler. It’s smaller, but at least it’s better than nothing. Once again, my apologies.
Noah’s Point of View
How does a heart even begin to heal, if it has stopped beating? There is just no word to describe the pain I am going through. I drag myself through the day, numb; completely out of tune with everything else around me. I sleep in an empty bed every night and although I try to fight it, I still cry myself to sleep. How can I possibly live any kind of life that my beautiful wife isn’t in? WHY didn’t I go back to her that night when she told me to go away and beg her to listen? I could have changed everything if I wouldn’t have left her to be alone and afraid. I just had to be an idiot and run away from my problems. I came to Bridgeport to find myself, to ignore the past, but all I found was an aching pain in my heart that was so attached to one girl and one girl only. If I would have never ignored her and been so selfish, I could still have her right now. I wouldn’t have had to bury my 24 year old wife and to be left alone with our 2 month old son!
I sighed, “Riley, I know you don’t want me to blame myself, but who else is there to blame? How can I live my life knowing that you’re not there with me? What do I tell Ryder when he wakes up one morning wondering why he has no mother to love and hold onto? HOW can I be both for him!? I’m afraid, Riley! I don’t know what to do!”
A soft breeze blew by my ear. I wrapped my arms around myself, staring at her grave through the dark of night. The trees rustled and crickets chirped. I felt so alone without her; everything seemed so much harder to deal with since she left me. I couldn’t even go one night without visiting her gravestone. I had to talk to her, even though she could never answer back. She’s been gone from me for almost 2 months now and yet I still feel the same as the day she died in my arms.
I hesitantly stepped onto her grave as if I were actually going to hurt her.
I dropped to my knees in front of her grave and just began to cry. I cried harder and harder as each minute passed me by. Why couldn’t I have been the one to die? I would have gladly taken her place so that she could live. Ryder doesn’t need me, he needs Riley! What the heck kind of life can I give him?!
I shouted, “WHY?! WHY did you have to die??” I coughed back tears, wiping them from my face, “You-You didn’t deserve to be taken away. Riley… I love you so much.”
I was at her gravesite for at least 3 hours; it was getting late so I decided to just go home. Every night that I would visit her, Mrs. Peterson (my neighbor) would keep an eye on Ryder. I hated dumping Ry on her like that, but she understood that I needed to do this or I would seriously lose my mind. The only way I found to cope with her death so far is to visit her grave and talk with her. I guess you could say it gets rid of all the emotions I stored up for the day. If Riley could see how I was acting, I know she would not be happy with me.
I stepped foot into the elevator, “I don’t know how much longer I can do this for, Snoot. It just hurts so badly.”
Yeah and I talk to myself too. Let’s just face facts, I am losing my mind.
Once in my apartment I thanked Mrs. Peterson for staying with my son and then told her she was free to go. She gave me this reassuring look and hugged me before walking off to her apartment next-door. That’s the thing about losing someone; people are always doing things because they feel bad for you. Like when my family came to the funeral, they treated me like an entirely different person. I guess I can understand why though, I am a different person- At least I feel that way anyways.
I was only in the apartment for a minute when all of a sudden I heard the familiar cries of my son. Oh, so the moment I come home is when he decides he’s hungry. Why am I not surprised?
I walked into his room and then over to his crib. I leaned against it and just stared at him. The second he saw me, his cries hushed and he stared back giving me these tiny smiles as he wriggled around.
“You know something?” I sighed, “You remind me of your mother. She always liked to have things her way as well or she’d get mad too.”
He stared at me some more and then started to cry again. I guess he was letting me know ‘enough chit-chat and pick me up already!’
I left him to cry as I rushed to the kitchen to make him a bottle. I remember the first time I tried to make one of these things; I had no clue what I was doing. Now I pretty much mastered it. You put 1 scoop of formula to every two ounces of water, and then you put it in the bottle warmer thing and let it work its magic. I could also use a microwave, but I don’t really trust that thing with my baby’s bottle. Oh god, did I just say all of that? Having a baby really does change the way you think…
I picked Ryder up into my arms, “Here.” I sighed, placing the nipple in his mouth, “Now you can eat up and stop screaming at me.”
He wasted no time in sucking down as much food as he possibly could. The way he was eating it’s like he had never eaten a day in his life!
“Slow down Ry! You’re going to get the-“
I sighed, “Yeah, that.”
With the death of my wife, Mr. Hemming let me continue to work from home. I’d like to say that I was grateful for his kindness, but I felt like I was living in a nightmare. I couldn’t take all the stress with trying to work, taking care of Ryder, and dealing with the loss of Riley. Just being in this apartment made me upset, how am I supposed to get anything done when I can’t even focus?!
I was flipping through a report when all of a sudden Ryder started to scream. I clenched my fist and then took a deep breath. I know for a FACT there is nothing wrong with him. I put him down for the night 30 minutes ago! He’s changed, fed, bathed and I even put that classical music on to help sooth him to sleep.
I sighed, “God help me, I feel like I’m going to lose my mind!”
His screams just grew louder and louder. It got to the point where he was making that weird breathing sound kids do when they cry too hard. Just when I thought I couldn’t take it anymore, my neighbor on the opposite side started banging on the wall and telling me to shut my brat up.
I jumped up from my chair and slammed my fist’ on the table. I hit the table so hard I could feel my knuckles start to throb.
“I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!” I screamed, “I’m going back to work, I can’t be here every day. I’m going to lose it!!”
So that’s exactly what I did. After dealing with Ryder – and that jerk of a neighbor – I phoned up Mr. Hemming and told him I wanted to come back. He was very surprised to say the least, considering my conditions, but he accepted the offer and told me he would see me bright and early the next morning. Yeah, well, there is nothing ever bright about my mornings. I change diapers, feed a screaming baby and then take pain meds to kill my migraine headache.
I made an agreement with Mrs. Peterson that she would come over my house from 7:00 am – 6:30 pm while I was at work. I told her how much I would pay and such, although she told me not to worry about paying for right now, that she would just watch him to help me out. It’s 6 days a week, which is a lot to ask, but… I’m glad she agreed to it. I really need some time away from that apartment. I love my son, I honestly do, but I can’t do my job and wait on him hand and foot. Just taking care of a baby alone is a job in itself!
I arrived at work about 10 minutes before I was supposed to clock-in. Mr. Hemming was waiting in the middle of the hall when I rounded the corner on the first floor. I was a bit taken back to find him just standing there like that. He’s usually in his office all day unless there is a meeting or he has to go to court.
He smirked, “It’s nice to see you again Noah. It sure has been awhile, hasn’t it?”
I nodded, “Yes it has been, sir. It’s good to be back.”
We continued to stand there, just staring at one another. Okay this is getting awkward.
“Is there anything else you needed, sir?” I questioned.
“Yeah there is.” he sighed, “Noah, I know you’ve been messing around with that Bridgeport Serial killer case. Listen, you need to stop getting yourself involved with cases like that. That case is only being held by our firm until further notice. They have a few suspects but they’re not even sure if any of them did it! There is still so much to be solved first before that case can be taken to court.”
I stuttered, “But S-sir! I know that I can help solve this case! I have a-“
He held up his hand, “No, I don’t want to hear it. You need to do the job you were hired for Noah. Stop trying to solve cases, leave that to the professionals. I don’t want you playing cop anymore!”
I lowered my head, “Yes sir.”
“Now I don’t want to sound harsh, because I know you’re going through a lot but,” he pointed to my office, “Get to work.”
I’d like to say I listened to my boss and forgot I was ever involved with that case, but I didn’t. This case isn’t just some random thing to me, it’s personal. That man took the life of a woman right in front of my eyes and he almost took mine as well. I’m not just going to sit around and let him continue to kill people and kidnap women! I know that I can solve this thing, I don’t care what I have to do; even if I have to go over my bosses head.
After my boss was out of view, I quickly made my way into Mike’s office. He looked up at me from his computer screen and let out a loud groan. Well, it’s nice to see him too…
“Hey Mike.” I started, “You remember when I called you a few months ago and asked you to get that information for me? Well I really need it now. I need to know how many cases PIN pops up in that involve murder and I need to know how many weapons, if any, were opened up by that company.”
He sighed, “Noah, I heard what Mr. Hemming just said to you. He doesn’t want you messing with this case. I’m not about to give you that information. I could get in serious trouble.”
I looked at him puzzled, “Why would you get in trouble? Just give me the information, Mike! People are dying all the time by this man; innocent girls are missing! I swear to you that I can help with this case if I just have the right information!”
He threw his hands up, “Dang it Noah! If you think you know so much about this case, then go take it to the freaking police! I’m not getting involved with this!”
I rubbed my temples, “Then give me your access code. Let me find the information myself.”
“LIKE HECK I WILL!” he shouted, “See and you wonder why Mr. Hemming never gave you permission to the case database like that. He knows how you are.”
I growled, “No, he never gave me one because you’re in charge of that! I have a different department with a different job, you moron!”
He snickered, not looking up from his computer, “Yeah and you talking to me like this isn’t going to make me give it to you any sooner.”
I sighed, “Give me the code and I’ll do your paperwork for a month.”
He slammed a stack of folders on his desk, “Here’s my paperwork. The code is H774-ICB2-MLOP. Got that?”
“What the heck!? I’m not a super human, write it down!” I grumbled.
He rolled his eyes and then jotted it down on the top folder, “There are you happy?” he chuckled, “Good luck with your search. God knows you need it.”
I glared at him, “Oh yeah? What’s that supposed to mean?”
He laughed, “Oh. Nothing. Have a nice day.”
I really hate this guy now. He never used to be like this until I started talking about this case! Idiot.
It’s funny how people are totally against something until you offer them a bribe. He could have easily helped me out with this, but he’s such a dick that he waited until I brought up an offer. I don’t really care though; this case was worth the sacrifice.
I typed in his code and then started my search for information. I honestly thought I’d be here for days trying to find what I needed but they had a handy little search bar in the database to narrow down what you needed to find. I wish I had all of this in my department! All we do is file cases and send out reports of the cases we filed. It’s such a boring and repetitive job. Mike gets to scan through details and such. I need a promotion…
I searched through the different cases for at least 2 hours. I went through details about other murder/kidnapping cases and PIN popped up in at least 5 of them. I knew it; I knew there was something fishy going on with that firm. Why would they be doing this though? What is their motive behind any of this? It’s all SO confusing! The company itself had no specific weapons opened up, which I found as a kind of road block. If only there was some way I could get my bullet tested without bringing it to the police. God knows that they’ll just throw it somewhere and forget about it. Why would they listen to some random guy with an old bullet anyways?
It was during my search that I suddenly heard a knock at my door and then someone came in. OH CRAP!
I quickly closed the program and jumped up from my chair.
Harley walked in and stared directly at me. She didn’t even say anything for at least a minute.
She sighed, “You got a letter from PIN again.”
I nodded my head, “Thanks Harley.”
That place was always sending me crap because of the time I tried to work there when I first moved to Bridgeport. I sided against it when I heard how evil the boss was. It’s really annoying that 5 years have passed and they’re still persistent on getting me to work there.
She slammed the letter down on my desk and then quickly left my office. Things between Harley and I have been really… weird. Ever since she found out that I was going to be a dad, she’s been a jerk to me. It’s not like I care though, I thank GOD she leaves me alone now.
I just stood there staring at the letter. I was about to reach for it so I could throw it out, but something made me stop. Wait a minute…
NID? No wait, NIP? Oh my god…
It was then that Riley’s voice rang through my head.
“That same day just had to be the same day that “Nip” came into my life. I have no idea if that was his real name or not…”
Oh that’s clever. Just take the company you work for, flip the initials, and make it your fraud name. So wait, the man that shot me and the man that tortured Riley are working together?! Now it makes sense as to why the shooter is kidnapping women!! He’s giving them to “Nip” so he can auction them off to rich men! He’s letting innocent girls get raped for money! THAT JERK!!
The questions are: Who is Nip and who is going to believe me? I can’t just say “Well I flipped the name of the company so I’m sure it’s them.” I only believe it because I believe Riley. It’s just not enough evidence to go on though.
I said this was personal before, but it’s nothing compared to how I feel now. That man hurt MY WIFE!
Over the next couple of days I worked my butt off trying to figure out all the details on this case AND do my job. I didn’t want Mr. Hemming to get suspicious if my work load started to pile up, yet I’m in the office every day. I’m doing this without his knowledge and I know that if he finds out I’ll risk getting fired.
It was a Saturday afternoon and also my day off. I had just lain Ryder down for his nap and then quickly went outside to take out the trash. I didn’t think I needed to have Mrs. Peterson watch him because I was only coming right back up the elevator. I guess, just as quick as that though, something can happen because when I stepped out of the elevator my apartment door was swung open. I know for a FACT that I closed AND locked it.
“Oh god, MY BABY!” I shouted, rushing into my apartment.
I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw her sitting on my couch with MY son! What the heck is she doing here?! Why does she have my baby??
“S-stacey??” I gasped, “Did-… Did you BREAK into my HOUSE?!”
“Shhhh…” she smirked, looking up at me, “I’m trying to calm the baby down. I got here and the poor thing was screaming his lungs out!”
I clenched my fist, “Probably because you scared the crap out of him by busting in my DOOR!”
“Now-now, Noah. There is no need for that language around such innocent ears.” she laughed.
“Would you like to explain to me why you’re here?!” I growled, ”And give me my son! What is WRONG with you?!”
She placed Ryder on the couch and then stood up. I nearly had a heart attack as I watched my son squirm around, nearly falling off the couch once or twice.
“I’ve just come to give you a message is all. I figured since you weren’t home, I’d just wait until you got back. I noticed that your baby was here, so I knew you couldn’t be far.”
My eyes were still glued on Ryder but I asked, “What message?”
“The message is to tell you to shut up and to stop getting involved where you don’t belong. I know you’ve been snooping around in my company’s business and I won’t allow it. Well, not just me.”
I glared at her, “How did you even know that?”
She smirked, “Well did you honestly think you could do something like that and it wouldn’t leak out? We have people all over the place Noah. If anyone is trying to ruin our company, then we’ll find out.”
I shook my head, “I’m not trying to ruin your company! I’m just trying to find out which one of you morons is Nip!”
She gasped at that name. Oh, did I hit a nerve?
“I’m only going to say this once, so listen to me good. You stay the heck away from our company! If I even hear a single word of the continuous of this case, you’ll be sorry. Also, don’t even think about trying to involve the police in this. You won’t get very far before our people have it shut down. If I even see the presence of a cop in our building, you’ll wish you had never been born.” she laughed, “Besides, what do you have besides a simple code name anyways? You’re such an idiot.”
“I have more than you know.” I snapped back. CRAP, why’d I say that?!
“Well then…” she continued, walking towards me, “Maybe this will change the tone of your voice.”
She shoved an envelope against my chest and then headed towards the door.
“Continue this investigation and see if she doesn’t die first…” she laughed, “Well, have a nice day!”
What does that mean?!
After she had left, I slowly opened up the envelope she had given me. Inside was a small picture of a girl. I held the picture in my hand, just staring at it. No, there is no way! It just doesn’t make any sense! I mean she would have had to been-
When she said that she was going to kill a girl, I immediately thought about one of the ones they kidnapped. I didn’t think she meant an innocent little baby; which just happens to look a lot like me…
I just can’t believe it. After all this time, she’s had my daughter and never even told me! She kept her a secret from me this entire time. Now she’s threatening to kill her if I continue this investigation! What kind of twisted witch is this woman?! Who the heck is Nip and why are they protecting him so much? All of this is just too much for me to handle! Before I was just trying to help put this man behind bars – or shot dead, whatever works – but now that my family’s life is in danger… I just can’t do this alone anymore. It’s getting too risky.
I was so over-whelmed in thought that I almost forgot about my son still lying on the couch! If he wouldn’t have started crying, then I probably would have forgotten he was even there!
I rushed over to him and scooped him into my arms, “Shhhh… it’s okay Ry; Daddy’s here.”
After I had settled Ryder down and put him in his bed, I decided that I needed to make a phone call. Like I said before, this case is just getting too risky. I’m not only afraid for my son, but I’m now afraid for my daughter’s life as well! I’m so glad that I decided to push forward and keep investigating this case; otherwise I would have never known that I had another baby- My little Samantha. Well, I’m assuming that’s her name because the picture said Sam…
The phone rang for a second until a woman’s voice picked up.
“Hello?” my mother asked.
“Hey mom, it’s Noah.” I sighed, “I have to ask you about something…”
She sighed, “Noah what happened?”
“I’ll explain later.” I continued, “I really need you to answer something for me.”
“Alright, what is it?”
I took in a deep breath, “If I needed to get in contact with the twins, how would I do that?”
Her voice grew worried, “Noah, what the crap happened?! Why do you need your brother and sister?”
“Mom? I have a daughter… and I think she’s in danger.”
Thanks for reading!! Okay, so if this makes no sense, then let me explain. So Noah finally found out a clue to bring him deeper into this case. He realized that “NIP” and “PIN” are the same thing – or by the same company. Whoever hurt Riley, is also working at PIN. Also the man who SHOT Noah is working for Nip(the man who hurt Riley). There is some shady things going on and since Noah is trying to crack the case, people over at PIN are starting to hear about it from a mole. Basically Noah can’t do this alone anymore because his son and now DAUGHTER are in danger. He has to bring in someone outside of the law of Bridgeport- His twin brother and sister. Who just happen to be working for the government as agents…
I hope this makes sense! Once again, my apologies… I really don’t feel very well