You just got back from a day of shopping and are heading towards your car when you notice a small crowd forming at the side of the road. You park and join the circle as the people start whispering about something in the middle of the street. You see a man in a yellow hazard vest directing traffic and a police officer holding an umbrella over a man’s head.
You don’t know it yet, but you’re about to witness a crime scene – the aftermath of a fatal shooting.
Minutes earlier, you were having a conversation about the best way to cook up a big fish dish with your friends. You had just bought your first lobster in months and were looking to make the most of it. Maybe cook it rare and serve it on a bed of rice, with a light wine and some crayfish tails.
Now, you’re at the crime scene and the air is thick with anxiety and adrenaline. Your stomach start to rumble as you think about what has happened. The quiet neighborhood was turned into a battlefield, and your curiosity about what has happened is pushed to the edge. What will you find out?
The man in the vest tells you not to touch anything and directs you to wait for the police to arrive. You look at the ground and notice a small dark spot on the sidewalk. That’s when you see it – a glint of metal underneath the yellow plastic. It’s a gunshot wound. Just like that, your day turns into night. A man has been killed right in front of you, and there’s no way for you to know that yet.
The man in the yellow hazard vest asks you to wait with him while he calls the police. One of your friends is already dialing 911 on your phone, while another is trying to calm your nerves and prevent you from hyperventilating. You take a few breaths and try to compose yourself. You feel awful – numb, actually – and have trouble understanding what is going on. You watch the police officer pull over the shooter’s car and begin to search it. As you stand there, numb, you hear sirens in the background. A police officer comes up to you and tells you that the man you just saw got shot and that you’re going to identify him from a police lineup.
You’re lead to a room in a local police station where you meet with a detective. He’s polite but firm, directing you to take a good look at the lineup and tell him what you remember about the man who was shot. You don’t know it yet, but you’re going to have to account for what you saw that day. It had been a busy day, and you’re just trying to piece things together. You tell the detective that you know the victim, but you don’t know much about him – other than that he used to work for the school board and that he always seemed kind and happy.
After you identify the man in the lineup as the victim, a woman in a pink jacket approaches you. She’s the detective’s secretary and is going through your statement. You follow her to her desk and sit there, waiting for the detective to call you back. You’re asked to leave your contact information, and she gives you a card with an email address and a telephone number on it. You’ll need that later, you think, as you wait for the police to call you back. Maybe this whole thing will be over soon, you think, wondering if the victim will live or die based on the evidence you provide. You’ll never know, but at least you’ll have the chance to get back home safely.
Even though the man in the lineup looks nothing like the victim, you still have to identify him. You don’t know it yet, but you just witnessed a crime and have to provide the police with as much information as possible. Stand your ground but don’t provoke the suspect. If something happens and you’re not in a safe place, fight for your life. Even if the person looks nothing like the shooter, he could be another gunman who shows up to finish the job. Or, it could be a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes, even cops. This is a dangerous situation, and you don’t know if the person you just saw is going to come back and try to kill you or not. Mistakes happen – just be careful.
What If I Don’t Remember Anything?
It’s been almost a year since the incident, and now you’re finally free to go home. You’re not sure if you’ll ever feel safe again, even though you live in a nice city. One day, you’re driving down the street and notice a young woman in a white dress crossing in front of you. You think it’s beautiful and pull over to watch her walk towards a white picket fence. She climbs the fence and stands there, looking back at you with an inviting smile. You get out of your car and approach her, wondering what she wants. She takes your hand and leads you to a garden that is overflowing with vegetables and flowers. You smell freshly baked bread as she turns to you and asks, “Would you like to join me for lunch?” The invitation is simple but somehow feels complete. Yes, you would like to join her for lunch. This is when you know you’re meant to be together – the two of you – and that everything is going to be alright. You live happily ever after.
You don’t know it yet, but that was the first time you’d seen that bright light at the end of a dark tunnel. That was when everything changed – for the better, as it usually does. You and your fiancée get ready for your first official date night as a couple. You’ve been dating for a few months, and everything has gone smoothly. You pull up to a red light and see a man in a white lab coat bending over a microscope, studying a slide. As you watch him through the window, you think it’s an interesting setup – a doctor who also happens to be a biologist studies animals. It’s a combination you’ve never seen before, but it certainly makes sense. You’ve met his friends and family, and they seem like a really good fit for each other. You are both intelligent, like-minded people who want the same things in life. It’s time to give it a shot and see what happens. You feel nervous but excited as you get out of the car and approach the door. You’re not sure what to expect, but it feels like the perfect end to a perfect day – a day you’ll remember for the rest of your life.