(Disclaimer: Trust me, I'm glad they're not mine right now.)
(Note: Yeah. This one's darker than what I normally do. Just thought I'd warn you.)
How did I get here? Sitting across from her, seeing that haunted look in her eyes. The look that says she'd had enough. She's tired. Ready to quit.
How the hell was this allowed to happen to her? We see things that no human being should have to see. Things that stick with you, no matter how many times you try to drown them. Get rid of them. But are my co-workers so used to it, so blind that they didn't notice her falling apart?
How did they let her go this far? This one got to her. It was obvious from the beginning. But I was dragged into court, to testify in a string of emergency hearings for a case that was due to go to trial. Something had gone wrong in the legal process. I didn't see her for nearly a week.
And now that I'm seeing her, she's scaring the hell out of me. This is not the woman I know. Not even close. She's lost all composure; all control.
The precinct gossips have been saying it for years. They all believe – the ones that don't know her well enough – that she'll be the next 'victim' of an 'accident' while cleaning her gun. She'll be the next one to swallow a bullet. She'll let something get too close to her, get too attached to a case – and then another cop suicide will hit the papers.
But I know what they don't know. I know she believes suicide's the easy way out of this. That she's too strong to seriously think about it. That she's still got some of that stubborn pride in her.
She's falling apart in front of me, right now. And I'll be damned if I'll let this go any further. I won't sit back and watch it happen.
She's averted her eyes. She's now staring idly at the table between us, seeing nothing.
She doesn't even look up. She tried to throw me out, when I let myself in. A quick flash of my badge convinced her super to let me into her apartment.
I found her sitting here, staring at an unopened bottle of scotch. Something told me she hadn't been drinking. She probably was tempted, but the fear of turning into the mess her mother was is still with her.
"Giving me the silent treatment isn't going to make me go away, you know," I inform her. "All of my ex-wives tried it. I just don't know how to take a hint."
She makes a little sound in the back of her throat and glances at me, still carrying that haunted look in her face. Her lower lip quivers and she quickly sinks her teeth into it, trying to keep herself together. I hate that. Can't stand it that she seems to think she needs to keep it all in around people.
But, suddenly, her hand reaches for mine. I let her take it and she wraps her fingers around mine, squeezing relentlessly.
I didn't think I'd ever be here with her, like this. And now I am and I'm not sure how to help her. What I need to do to get her through this isn't clear. But I'll try. It's all I can do.
She hasn't relinquished her grip on my hand, as her body starts to shake with silent sobs. I return the squeeze, trying to reassure her, even though I don't know how.
I know how she got here. I know what caused it. But I just don't see how someone like her could be this miserable. How she could suffer like this is beyond me.
Olivia gets up, abruptly, pulling her hand free. I know what's going through her head right now. How could I possibly understand? How could I even want to be near her now?
She's looking out her living room window, her back to me when I step up behind her and wrap myself around her. "Liv?"
She doesn't answer, but instead holds my eyes in the reflection in the window.
"You know you're not gonna make me go away. I don't care how many times you try this."