Interview With A Detective
Mom would never cry in front of me, one thing she absolutely refused to do. She told me once that she was super strong, able to handle anything, and I remember believing her. To a point. I knew it was hard for Mom though, deep down I always knew. Even though she never cried in front of me and I have never seen her do it openly, I could see how sad she was. I think it was her eyes that showed it all, not because they would sometimes get all glossy if she looked at a picture of her and Dad together a long, long, long time ago, but you could just see the sadness in her.
That was another thing Dad once said. Sometimes looks just say it all.
It's been a while since Dad died, I think I was only three but I still have a good memory of it all. I remember Mom being really upset when the police came to our house. I think that was the only time I truly saw Mom cry and because I really didn't know what was going on I cried too. Ever since then, it's just been me and Mom and Grandpa's old Detective Agency. After Dad died, Mom decided to move into her old home since Grandpa chose to go live with Grandma to give Mom her 'space'. I love where I currently live but sometimes I kind of miss that old house, it was big and beautiful and I had a huge yard to play in. I remember a lot from back then, or at least I try to.
Especially, if it has anything to do with my Dad.
But really, the only things that I can clearly remember about my Dad when I was little is his smell from when I use to sleep on his stomach as he read his books, the way he would pick me up and flip me upside down by my ankles to make me laugh, being carried on his back, and his voice from when he would talk to me or sneak into my room late at night when he came home from work just to wish me goodnight before he went to bed. Remembering those things is what I had left of Dad and for me it was what made my Dad.
Mom did tell me once that even if people were gone it didn't mean they were gone in our hearts and minds. So I guess for me, Dad kind of lived on inside my heart and memories.
I just wish I had more of Dad to live on inside my heart.
Funny thing is out of it all, I never knew that through someone else….that wish could actually come to be.
April 3, Monday
There were only certain periods in the year would I see Mom in her 'down' times. It was only four times during the year: Dad's birthday, the day Dad 'came back to her', the day Dad proposed to her (that's a funny story actually), and Mom and Dad's Anniversary. It was the month of April and exactly one month and one day before my Dad's birthday. Mom said he would have been twenty seven if he were here with us on May fourth. So in other words, it was exactly one month and a day away from seeing Mom in her down period and we would be taking another trip to Osaka to get Mom's head clear and not dwelling on the past.
It sometimes kind of made me mad, Mom being like this. More than anything I wanted Mom to be truly happy and not just living and getting by. It's been five years and of course it was hard at first, I remember it was so hard Aunt Sonoko would stay with us sometimes and Aunt Kazuha would visit for a while as well to check on Mom. But five years is five years, one thousand eight hundred and twenty five days! Mom needed to move on. Every time I would tell her that she would give me this weird mixture of a look where she would smile but she still had that sad expression in her eyes and say-
"Rei-chan, even though your Dad is gone, he isn't gone from my heart. You may not understand it now, but your Dad and I have always had this special connection. A connection so special I could always feel when something bad has happened to him and it was the same for him because whenever I was in trouble he was the first to know and be there to rescue me. When I can no longer feel your Dad within me that will be the day I will decide if I should move on. But I still today, I still feel your Dad within me and I just can't give up on him that easily."
Well, Mom was right, I didn't understand. I knew it wasn't entirely fair to be mad at her for that but more so at my Dad who left us both. I loved my Dad but that didn't mean I wasn't angry at him or forgave him. Because of Dad, Mom had these 'down' times and it was because of Dad that I would catch Mom late at night watching the news as if she was about to cry or staring at our old photos. Most of all, it was because of Dad that I had to be strong for Mom and never show her I was hurting too when I was.
It was because of Dad I secretly did feel damaged, like a little piece of me was wounded or unfilled, because I longed for him. But no one needed to know that, especially Mom because it would just bring her more grief.
At least, I had school to keep my mind off of all that rubbish.
"Hey Mom, I'm home!"
I smiled in excitement seeing Mom's reaction when she poked her head from the kitchen upon hearing the door open and seeing me. She rushed to take off her apron, smiling brightly all the while, to come bustling into the living room to pull me into a tight hug.
"Welcome home Rei-chan! How was your first day at school as a third year?"
Mom was energized, in the least to say, ever since I began school. She was thrilled for me to get out there to make friends and grow up to be big, strong, and smarter than ever. To expand my mind and broaden my perspectives, she would say. Just like Dad. Even though, I secretly had a goal to be smarter than Dad ever was when he was a kid. Maybe that's another thing from the inside that drove me to excellence in my studies. I wanted to be better than Dad to make Mom proud.
Mom was even more wound up about me starting school this year since I was being put into advanced placement. It was a big thing, I guess, and sure I was happy but I think Mom was more excited about it than I was. To me it just meant more loads of work to take home. Not the kind of things I liked.
"What's for dinner tonight, Mom?" I asked, my arms loosening around her waist as I pulled my face away from her stomach where I would purposely bury my head in to inhale her scent. She always smelled so nice, like vanilla, or flowers, something sweet that calmed me down when I was upset or sad. I looked up at her as she removed the one hand that held the back of my head to pull me close to her to tap her finger against her chin.
She looked quizzical for a moment "Hmmmm…." And then looked back down at me and winked "That's a surprise!"
I arched an eyebrow at this, a quality Mom said I must have perfected from Dad on my own, and looked at her suspiciously "I see…."
Mom laughed and ran one hand hair through my hair to smooth any flyaways. My hair had a tendency to getting unruly sometimes, another quality from Dad with my slightly tousled dark chestnut brown hair I inherited from him. My hair right now was about down to my shoulders but I had a goal to get my hair as long as Mom's which went down almost to the end of her back! She said she only goes for trims but it took her since her childhood to get her hair that long. So which is why I refused to get my hair cut short like all my other friends do.
"Ne, Rei-chan. I think it's time for homework, don't you? "
I groaned, I should have seen that one coming. Every time I come home from school, Mom was on me to either do my homework or piano lessons before I did anything else. I was so dead beat and the last thing I wanted to focus on was my multiplication and division work. Mom laughed again at my reaction and let her hand rest on my head.
"But! Since it was your first day I will allow this once for you to watch a couple minutes of television before you do any work since you look so 'dead' from school. But after dinner it's back to the grind!"
I silently looked up to the ceiling thanking Kami for this while holding a fist up in victory before looking at Mom and nodding my head.
I went to turn on the tv and tossed my back pack on top of the center table in the living room before finally flopping down on one of the floor cushions while Mom went back into the kitchen. I was wiped out, even if it was the first day of school, but my Sensei already decided to give us our first big assignment- a "welcome back kind of thing". Yeah, no thank you Sensei…
Mom came out with a tray of drinks and snacks for the both of us setting it on the center table and took a seat next to me before pulling me from the floor cushions and onto her lap.
"Rei-chan! What's with you, sleepy already?" Mom smiled as I twisted around in her lap to turn my head up at her, scowling at the question.
"Mom." I started flatly " I don't think you have any idea what my new teacher is putting me through already. Home work on the first day of school! And not any kind of ordinary work, oh no, but a project!" I groaned, sliding down from my mother's stomach I leaned against to where I dramatically played dead, my arms splayed out and my face looking up towards the ceiling.
"I can go ahead and kiss my life goodbye!" I moaned, waving my hand in the air as if I could already see my social life slipping away from me. Floating higher and higher into the ceiling, my dreams of going on adventures with my friends and sleepovers, and then poof! All gone, disappeared into thin air, all due to the burdens of third year of primary school!
Mom giggled at my theatrics, strumming her fingers through my hair, first with my bangs and then with lengths of my hair, combing her fingers gently through untangling any knots. I loved it when she did that. Mom said once too, so did my Dad, it comforted him like it did to me. I sighed in content ready to fall asleep right there in her lap, my sight decreasing as my eyelids began to droop over as she played with my hair when she stopped and tilted my chin up waking me.
"Since we're kissing your life goodbye does that means were also kissing goodbye the delicious curry I made for you tonight?"
"Wha-NO!" I immediately replied rolling off her lap and sitting up. Mom didn't make my favorite curry often and it was usually on special occasions so there was no way I was kissing that meal goodbye.
"I want curry!" I about squealed in delight and slapped a hand over my mouth when my voice got embarrassingly high pitched. It only happened when I got really excited and I felt stupid when it happened without my control.
Mom laughed even harder, she loved hearing me get excited like that. She said I would squeal like that as a baby too when I was really happy. I laughed too, not because it was funny but because I was glad to see I made Mom really laugh. I always thought she looked so pretty when she laughed openly, like nothing was holding her back.
"Okay, okay. I guess this means we continue on with our lives and have some delicious curry and-"
Mom held her finger up to tap me on the nose and wink "-a very special dessert, lemon pie squares!"
Was it my birthday? This night just keeps getting better and better and I jumped to my feet to wring my arms around Mom's neck to hug her.
"You're awesome, Mom!"
"Mhhhmm!", Mom squeezed me tighter into her and then pulled away to grab my shoulders and kiss my forehead before standing up to brush herself off and walk back into the kitchen.
Mom paused and turned to me as I went to turn off the tv, pointing at me and then to the center table where my back pack was "Go wash up and put away your things so we can eat, okay?"
"Yes mam!" I was already ahead of her after shutting off the television running down the hall with my backpack on to my room that used to be Mom's old room when she was younger.
The walls in my room were pink and my bed sheets and comforter were purple with a big stuffed basketball pillow at the head of the bed. I loved playing basketball, something you could say that was my knack in the family. Dad had soccer, being the captain of his high school team and if he didn't choose to go into the police force as a detective Mom said he could have been an international star. Mom had karate, being the captain of her high school and collegiate team while winning many conference titles. Me? Well, heh, I was point guard and the captain of my junior squad. Mom even had me go to basketball clinics during my school year breaks which I loved because I got tons better with new skills up my sleeves! Watch out in another four years I will be queen of the court of junior high!
But not only did I do basketball, Mom as the lead Sensei and director of her own dojo had me specially trained in Karate for self protection. I did try soccer when I was waaaay younger, but I sucked. I didn't like to suck at things, so I kind of left soccer alone. Sorry, Dad. Grandpa started teaching me Judo at age five, Uncle Heiji had me start learning Kendo with his son about two years ago, and Aunt Kazuha started teaching me Aikido one year ago when I turned seven . A birthday present, kind of. Not only that, Professor Agasa gave me some cool 'toys' to use only in emergencies and Ai-neesan told me to just tell her when someone was bothering me and she would make them disappear with her own 'science'.
I guess you could say my family wanted to make sure I was well rounded in all things and kept as safe as possible. Sometimes they went a little overboard….
Also in my room there was a special area of my wall that was covered with old and new pictures. Pictures plastered everywhere of me with my family from when I was a baby to a toddler and pictures of Mom and I during vacations and other various things. I had pictures with Grandma Yukiko when she 'kidnapped' me last year and to take me to New York, which was so cool. Mom followed along because she didn't feel 'comfortable' with me being in a city that big and dangerous. Mom didn't feel comfortable with me being alone anywhere in risky areas. Almost everything was risky to her, need you know, and her lame excuse is because I'm her baby. I don't think Mom has realized yet that I can handle myself fairly well with knowledge in a bajillion different things in the martial arts and Professor Agasa's 'safety' toys that I had to keep secret because he said Mom probably wouldn't like the idea of me having things like pepper spray in the form of everyday strawberry flavored lip balm. Oh and of course my brain, I was pretty much a genius if I say so myself. I schemed my way out of many tight times strategically, like when I broke a stack of dishes on accident I blamed it on super natural powers of child like ghost in the house…..to my surprise and good favor, Mom bought it.
I was practically lethal.
Plus the other thing I had was-
"Holmes!" I half shrieked, noticing a large lump in my bed moving and then ripping off the covers by shaking his black and brown head where his large pointy ear came to surface in my vision until he pounced on me sending me backwards into the carpet floor.
I had Holmes, our large German Shepherd who would kill anyone that tried to lay a finger on my Mom or I. Dad got him when I was a baby so we basically grew up together.
Holmes was one of my best friends.
"What did I tell you about getting in my bed?", I lectured pushing his muzzle away from my face as he pushed to wipe his slippery, drool infested, tongue all over my face.
"You're not listening!" I laughed as he shook out of my grasp and drowned my face in saliva, his paws resting on my shoulders as he dominated over me. "So disgusting!"
" I see you found Holmes, hm? I wondered what all the noise was about."
Holmes and I froze as I looked up from the floor, my eyes rolling up to see Mom now changed into a pair of blue jeans and a casual t shirt and out of her business uniform she was in earlier leaning against my door frame. Mom's other job was that she helped run Grandma's law agency business so she always had to look professional with her blazers, blouses, dress pants, skirts, and a closet full of heels that I would sometimes sneak on and wear around the house as practice.
"Uh, yeah….he was in my bed!"
"See why I tell you to close your door before you leave? It's a good thing he didn't make a mess." Mom said as she ushered Holmes off me and out of the room so I could stand up.
I playfully turned my nose in the air and threw my hands on my hips like I was high and mighty "Keh! Like the dog would even dare tamper with the room of Kudou Rei! He knows his demise would be quick if he even tried ruining it!"
Mom rolled her eyes walking up behind me to start pushing me out of the room "Hai, hai….whatever you say almighty Rei. Right now, you definitely need to clean up before you go near the food." Mom leaned down to sniff me and wrinkled her nose "You smell like dog!"
"Now…" Mom took a sip from her glass of water and set down her spoon beside her plate as I continued to eat, shifting my eyes up at her. "You said you were given a project from your Sensei today? "
Oh yeah. That thing.
I took in another spoonful or curry and rice and swallowed before replying "It's a research project." I reached for my cup of juice and took a couple sips.
"Oh?" Mom seemed interested now " Science? History? Japanese?"
I hesitated wondering if it was a good idea bringing this up right now since the mood has been really nice since I got home. It's not like I could avoid it now by the way Mom was playing twenty questions about school at dinner.
"Well….I guess you call it a history project. I kind of have to do an interview and research about someone from my family lineage…."
Mom's eyebrows rose as she set down her cup and folded her hands together on the table. " I see! Who were you thinking of doing since I am guessing this is over our deceased relatives?"
I casted my eyes down away from Mom's and to my plate of food where I began to poke and prod at my left over rice. I really didn't want to go there tonight but…
"I was kind of thinking of researching about Dad."
I didn't look up right away but allowed the moment of silence to settle in, afraid what Mom's reaction would be. I finally forced myself to look back up at Mom and instead of finding her upset like I expected she was smiling softly.
"Why's that, Rei-chan?"
I felt my cheeks become red as I tried to figure out the best way to explain it to her if there was a good way of explaining it from my standing point. "Well, because you tell me a lot at times I am like Dad more than I know…."
My cheeks bloomed more red as Mom nodded her head continuing me on, her smile unwavering but growing " ….and well I just would like to know for myself how much we are alike! You said he was really cool, smart, caring, and cocky. I want to find a sense of him for myself and gain my own opinions by trying to really know his past! I feel in ways that if I found out for myself it will really help me know Dad better!"
Mom sighed happily and leaned backwards from the table we sat at with her arms stretched behind her holding her weight up. "I should have seen this coming from you!"
I crawled around the table to where I could clamber into her lap again looking up at her, making sure she really was okay about this.
"You should've?" I asked her watching her eyes flutter down to me, one hand reaching around to rest on the back of my head where her fingers could comb through my hair again.
"Mmmmhhhmmm." Mom smiled, looking into my eyes as if she was searching for something in them. That's another thing Mom would do, look into my eyes intently. She said she always wondered where I got my eyes from since they were more of a bright cerulean blue than the dark purple to blue Mom and Dad had. Mom said it went well with the dark contrast of my dark brown hair and one of the many attractive aspects about me.
"Your father would have been delighted with this idea!" Mom laughed genuinely thinking about it. " He was always an attention hog, that man was. But…"
Mom's expression changed slightly as of thinking back on to something else "He was also very eccentric sometimes. Your father ever since he was young would involve himself in dangerous cases that meant sometimes he had to keep things to himself to protect others…."
I listened to Mom carefully, wondering what she meant by the way she talked about Dad being secretive for others. "Do you mean Dad was…like a spy or something?" I asked innocently that sent Mom doubled over laughing so hard her body shook against mine.
"Silly child!" Mom reached up to her eyes to wipe away her tears, her breathing in hitches now from laughing so much. "No, absolutely not. It's so funny to even imagine! Your father did not go into the spy business, he was too geeky for that!"
I grinned, "Yeah, and that's one trait I didn't pick up from him!"
Mom started laughing again " You are right about that!" She then nuzzled her face into mine making me squeal with laughter.
"You have all the coolness you need from me and just by being who you are!"
It was Sunday and there was absolutely, completely, zip, zero, nada, nothing to do. Of all the days, my friends were busy with something or with their families and I was stuck in the agency re-reading my old books. At the moment I was entertaining myself with one of the 'Queen of Crimes' or Agatha Christie's books-Death on the Nile. I always preferred reading novels written by female mystery writers or female PIs for the reason just because Doyle and Rampo wrote about great male PIs which were widely acclaimed, I believed women could do it just as well or better. This made Mom laugh and told me I should go spend some time with Inspector Satou because she had the similar beliefs as me.
"Holmes…you're making my feet hot. Move!"
I glared at Holmes, whom without my permission jumped on my bed and made himself comfortable by laying his big body across my short legs and feet looked up at me groggily. That dog could be so lazy at times and he always chose to be like that on my bed or on me! But this is what we did sometimes on Sunday mornings and afternoons. I would lay in my bed reading and he would lay on me until Mom would come in and make me clean, go run errands with her, or at least do something 'productive'. Even though Mom liked to be out and about, there were usually a couple times in the week where we would just snuggle up against each other and read our favorite books or have our lazy times. But, today Mom went to go run a couple errands including having to go see Grandma for a bit at the law agency to help her with something. She invited me to come but I politely declined because I felt I could better my time reading and not just being bored in Grandma's office.
I groaned again about to push Holmes off of me because he wasn't budging even when I started moving my feet up and down when my phone started buzzing. Picking up my orange cased phone ( I asked orange on purpose because it reminded me of a basketball) I flipped it open to see I had a message from Mom.
'Rei-chan! Looks like I'm going to be a little late than originally planned. Instead of being holed up reading all day in your room why don't you go to Agasa's and play? I'll pick you up when I'm done. Love you X X X'
I glared at the text message and sighed closing my phone shut. "Fine! But all he is going to do is make me do his dumb quizzes and riddles! They are so boring!" I mumbled to myself as I removed my legs from under Holmes and hopped down from my bed. Stuffing my cellphone in the back pocket of my jeans I headed towards the door with Holmes following me and slid on my sneakers. While I was tying up my laces Holmes looked at me and whimpered as if he was pleading to take me with him.
"That wont work on me Holmes. You cant come! You know how the professor feels about animals in his lab."
Holmes barked in response but I ignored him and before shutting the door while leaving I looked at Holmes howling at me and smiled sadly "Sorry! But I'm leaving now so be good Holmes! You can go sleep in my bed!"
"Professor?" I called opening the front door to crack to check if anyone was home and waited a few moments and when not hearing a reply I just walked in. Professor usually left his door unlocked so he never really minded when I waltzed in to my own choosing.
I doubled over to start untying my shoes after shutting the door behind me when I noticed a large shadow slowly grow and loom over me. I thought it was Agasa until I heard his voice which was completely different than Agasa's own voice. It wasn't as old and rusty but smooth but it almost sounded as if he was on edge about something.
"Can I help you?"
Not even able to finish untying my other shoe, I slowly looked up to see who was this stranger and was met with dark emerald blue eyes questioning me. The first thing I noticed about this guy was definitely his eyes, they were sharp, unwavering, and they studied me very closely as my eyes landed on his when I looked up at him. The next thing I noticed about him was how tall he was-which was super tall. Well at least he was a good couples inches to a foot taller than my Mom and because I was so short and the way Mom would tower over me I felt this guy was incredibly tall. He had dark brown hair which was kind of unruly but it looked nice in a weird way. Like Mom said about me, the dark contrast if his hair went well with his eyes. He wore on his face a thick pair of black framed glasses that were slightly angled funny like they have been broken before and not properly adjusted. He was kind of young too, like in his late teens or early twenties but it could be the way he was dressed in a blazer and dress pants that made him seem older.
For some reason with the way he was looking at me and especially when I was able to look him face on and how his eyes slowly expanded and his lips that were in a tight line slowly parted in an 'o' when we stood staring at each other, I became unusually bashful.
"Uh…H-hello. My name is Kudou Rei….I was looking for Professor Agasa?" I mumbled shyly as the weird guy continued staring at me like fish out of water. I was starting to get the creepy vibes from this weirdo.
"R-Rei?" He stuttered and I nodded my head in response.
"Yup, that would be my name." This guy was starting to throw me off by the way he was acting which did I say already was creepy?
I practically jumped out of my skin when he suddenly ran towards me and knelt on the ground grasping my shoulders. His face quickly changed from shock to pure delight as he looked me up and down and went back to looking at my face which I'm sure I was looking prettyyyyy scared right now.
"You have gotten so big!" he exclaimed proudly, his mouth stretched into a large grin "You resemble Ran so much when she was a kid!"
Big? My mother? Okay, I was this was officially in the zone of creepiness and I quickly took a step back away from his hold and threw an accusing finger in his face .
"Do I know you? And how do you know about my mother? You're awfully suspicious sir!"
He blinked a few times at my finger that was in his face before rocking back on his heels laughing. His laughter was surprisingly easy going and kind of made me happy to hear for some odd reason but as soon as he was done his grin was replaced with a confident smirk and his eyes grew even sharper.
"You may not know me well but I do know you. More than you know." He stood up as I continued to stare at him more confused than ever.
"Hmmm…." He cupped his chin with thumb and finger as if he was thinking, something my Mom said my Dad did a lot when he was in thought too. " I guess I am kind of like a relative of some sort you could say. My name is Edogawa Conan-"
He then knelt back down to my level and winked at me " A private detective at your service!"
Conan? I could have sworn hearing Mom mention that name once or twice before and sometimes when she and Uncle Heiji would talk. For some reason the way this guy would grin, smirk, laugh, and the way he would look at me it was all so familiar. Before I could ask any more questions Ai-neesan appeared behind Conan with her hands stuffed in the pockets of her lab coat. She looked sort of mad for some reason but her looks softened when she noticed me.
"Oh, hello there Rei-chan. I see you have met Edogawa-kun?"
I looked at Ai-neesan and then back at Conan who was still smiling at me as if he couldn't quit looking at me which was kind of weird. " Err…yeah. Um, Ai-neesan could you tell me where the Professor is?"
Involuntarily, Ai-neesan's eyes flickered from to Conan and then to her laboratory "He left early this morning to see a friend. Is there anything that I can help you with?"
I stuffed my hands in the back of my pockets feeling embarrassed by thinking I interrupted Ai-neesan's work. "Well, I…um…I wanted Professor Agasa to help me with this new research project. I am researching about my Dad and Mom said Agasa has known Dad since he was a baby…."
I noticed when I was explaining my project to Ai-neesan, Conan's eyes began to light up, as if he was getting excited or something. Ai-neesan thought about what I said for a moment and then smiled and kicked Conan in the butt making him shoot up from where he knelt and glare at her.
"You know Rei-chan…" she said smoothly, looking at Conan with eyes that almost seemed suspiciously scary "I feel like Edogawa-kun would be the perfect candidate to interview about Kudou-kun."
Conan twisted around as if to whisper something to Ai-neesan in a voice so low I couldn't hear but when she just nodded her head once he turned back to me grinning.
"Shall we do an interview?" he offered, motioning with a wave with his hand towards the living room. I looked at Ai-neesan unsure but when she smiled at me and nodded once I felt a little more comfortable about it all. I finished taking off my shoes and trailed behind Conan to the living room as Ai-neesan chuckled all the way back down to her laboratory.
I honestly was curious was this Conan guy had to say about my Dad…
Mmmm…I definitely like the idea of Shinichi and Ran having a daughter more than a son and this is my take through her view of what she would be like. This was part one of this two chaptered story and I hope you liked it and has captivated your interest to see where this is going to go. I know I have a habit with not finishing stories I start but I promise they will all get done, haha! In time. But this one should be complete soon. Hope you enjoyed and tell me what you thought through reviews because I am a review whore XD- Detcetivegirl2005