Don’t worry, detective training school wasn’t as irksome as police academy! Quite the contrary, actually! For the first time in a long time, I felt like I learned something valuable, and I enjoyed learning some new skills. I had a better feeling about this route! Thank goodness! It would have drove me crazy if I had to go to a drudgery of a class while working full time at a job that irritated me! When I came home at night, my husband would have a glass of wine and some freshly cooked dinner waiting for me so I could vent about my day, and then we’d go have some boring sex. After coming home from detective training school, however, I didn’t have a lot to complain about. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t think of much to say at all because I got so exhausted from work and school that I pretty much just wanted to eat and go to bed. And by go to bed, I mean sleep. It’s not like his love-making required a lot of effort, but I barely had the energy needed to drive home! He seemed to miss our old routine, but I assured him that things would be different after graduation. He didn’t seem totally convinced, but I shrugged it off. I wasn’t about to quit just to go back to doing that! As time went on, he stopped waiting for me. I’d get fast food or a microwave meal and get my own wine. It hurt a little at first to eat alone, but after a while, it became more relaxing to have some me time. Did you know that chicken nuggets and rosé are amazing together? I hardly saw Ben until it was time for graduation, which I made him promise to attend. He seemed relieved that detective school had come to an end, but it made me a little sad. I could only hope that real detective experience mirrored my school training!
I stood at the back of the line because my last name placed me there (they had us receive our certification in alphabetic order). When I graduated from police academy, I wore my new police uniform. Since we didn’t have a uniform to wear during our shifts as detectives, we all donned a more traditional cap and gown. I felt so proud to reach this point, but I got a little nervous for my turn. Just like in high school, I had jitters about tripping on stage or dropping my certification, and I got more and more anxious as the couple dozen people went ahead of me. Finally, the presenter called out, “Shannon Vidette!” I took a deep breath and walked onto the stage. As everyone clapped for me, I kept thinking don’t fall, don’t fall, don’t fall! I reached the presenter unscathed, and my heart fluttered as I received my certification! As the audience applauded, I grinned and glanced out to where my husband sat. To my surprise, he wasn’t even looking at me! His eyes were glued to his cellphone, and his gaze remained fixed there as we closed out the ceremony. I could hardly concentrate on it. I just felt so hurt that he had no interest in one of the most significant moments of my life!
I never really got a good answer from Ben about his behavior that night. He just kept apologizing and claimed he got distracted by an emergency email at work. I found that hard to believe since he just worked at a pet supply store! I mean, he didn’t sell actual animals there, so what could happen there that would warrant immediate communication outside of working hours? Despite my suspicions, I decided to let go of the matter. I figured that me being gone all day probably made him detach from me a little, but I thought I could make up for it now that I had extra time again. We both lived out our lives pretty separately still, so I thought that perhaps it would just take some time for him to forgive me.
On my last day at the police force, I didn’t get a goodbye party. In fact, I hardly got a goodbye at all! A few people said a quick so long and good luck, and my chief reminded me to turn in my squad car keys, but that was about it. As I walked out of there, it felt a bit strange. I spent twenty-six years dreaming about becoming a police officer, so I never pictured myself in a scenario where I coudlnt’ wait to get out of there, and yet there I was doing exactly that! I reminded myself that I wanted to help my community, especially with constant attacks from the Fay Folks, and I could do that more in my new role. Police work involved more of a reaction to crime while detectives were more proactive about solving it. Like, if I arrested a Fay for harassing someone, my involvement in the case would stop as soon as he or she arrived at the station. With detective work, I could delve in deeper about their motives and future plans. I couldn’t wait to get started! As I stood outside of my old post after such a banal farewell, I thought good riddance! I walked away with the confidence that I had done the right thing!
On my first day as a detective, I stood near the entrance of my new headquarters feeling somewhat apprehensive. After the disappointment of my graduation and the total fiasco of my time as a police officer, I knew better than to get my hopes up. Despite all that, I had an intuitive notion that today would go well, and after all of the stress I had been through recently, I ardently hoped for a good day! I got told that a trainer would meet me outside at nine o’clock, and I came fifteen minutes early just in case. As I stood waiting, I wondered if my trainer would arrive late, and suddenly I wished I brought a book or something to occupy my time as I waited.
I didn’t have to wait long. A well dressed woman came out of the building, and she looked in the opposite direction from where I stood. “Excuse me!” I waved my hands to get her attention, which made me immediately feel dumb since all I saw was her platinum blonde hair and not her eyes. She heard my voice though, and when she turned around, her blue eyes sparkled as she smiled. She didn’t seem too much older than me, and the way she carried herself made me think she had a genial personality.
I could tell she had taken a moment to assess me too, and she seemed to have reached a favorable conclusion. “Are you Shannon Vidette?” I nodded. “Hi! Detective Sandra Nason!” She extended her hand, and I shook it. “I had a hunch you’d be early, I don’t know why! Come on in!” She re-entered the building, and I followed her inside.
When I walked in, I saw a couple rows of cubicles, and I heard a cacophony of keyboards clicking and voices talking on the phone. Sandra informed me, “This is the Bull Pen. All of our research and reports are conducted here. I’ll show you to your cubicle. If anyone doesn’t seem too busy, I’ll introduce you to them.”
As we walked through, I peeked into the cubicles and saw the occupants inside were already fast at work. One man reminded me of Officer Mazarine, so I asked Sandra, “What time do Officers Delbin and Mazarine get here? I heard they transferred to this unit.”
Sandra frowned and hesitated a bit before she answered, “Angelique had a mental breakdown a couple years ago. We don’t like to talk about it.”
“I don’t blame you!” I turned away feeling graceless for bringing that up. I briefly wondered what caused her to breakdown like that, but I didn’t dare to ask. I pretended that it had nothing to do with the job, and I cautiously broached a follow up, “And Officer Mazarine? I mean Dick.”
“I’ll take you to meet him at the end of your tour,” Sandra told me. “He’s been promoted to chief detective, and he goes by Richard now.”
I took a mental note of that as we arrived at the end of the row where an empty cubicle laid. Sandra let me know, “This will be your cubicle. Mine is over there on the other side. You’re in prime real estate! The break room is right behind you!” I turned around to see a small room with tables, chairs, a sink, a refrigerator, and a couple of vending machines. I watched as one detective used his wand to conjure some coffee from one of the machines into his cup. Sandra remarked, “You can decorate your cubicle however you like, just make sure there’s nothing too offensive on display!”
I agreed to those terms, “Got it!” At the same time, I realized I hadn’t even thought about what I’d decorate my space with. Off the top of my head, I couldn’t think of anything except for my work! Sandra motioned for me to follow her down a nearby hallway, so I decided to worry about that later and caught up with Sandra.
“On your right, you’ll see a supply room.” She pointed to a wooden door on the direction she had just indicated. “Over here is the bathrooms. These are all interrogation rooms. And that big office is Chief Mazarine’s!”
His door had been left open, and as I saw him gathering up some files, I got a bit of a shock to see that he had hardly aged at all! My inner child made me exclaim, “You’re Dick Mazarine!” I instantly regretted my poor choice of words. Sandra just said he went by Richard and introduced him as Chief Mazarine, so I had a couple of good options other than what came out! I worried that I might’ve offended him.
I did. He glared at me and snapped, “Don’t ever call me by that horrible name ever again!”
“Sorry!” I blushed furiously and then I tried to reassure him, “There’s nothing wrong with-.”
“I’m tired of the damn snickering!” Chief Mazarine bellowed. “I do something heroic, and everyone treats the headlines as a joke!” He reached into his desk drawer and pulled out some old newspaper articles. “Dick Comes Out Swinging, Dick Gets Tough, Dick Penetrates Deep…”
I tried to stifle my giggles, but after a while, I couldn’t help myself! Luckily, Sandra chortled a bit too. Chief Mazarine scowled as he tossed the articles back in the drawer and slammed it shut. I hastily apologized, “I’m so sorry, Sir! It won’t happen again!”
Sandra changed the subject, “We’re just here for her new hire paperwork.”
He became slightly less miffed as he responded, “Oh yes, I have them right here! Just read and sign each of them at the bottom.”
As I went through each one, I grew a bit concerned that my bad first impression would cost me in what kind of cases I’d get assigned to, but then I remembered that technically this wasn’t the first time we met. I decided not to bring up our encounter from my childhood though. I recalled him regarding me a bit coldly back then, so I didn’t think it would help my current situation to converse about it. After I handed him all of the signed papers, he filed them and hand me a manila folder. “Are you ready for your first case?”