The gun holster on my belt thumped against my thigh as I raced back home from a long day at work, hoping to beat the thundering storm just beginning to appear behind me.
I fumbled through the mess of my key ring, and jammed the correct key in my lock.
“C’mon, c’mon…” I whispered while I twisted the doorknob. Thunder roared in the distance, as I slammed the door closed behind me.
I undid my shorts and slid them down my legs after pulling off the heavy belt. I pulled on some pajama bottoms and a white t-shirt, after my uniform tank top was off.
My clothes were thrown in the wash, my belt hooked on the hat rack as usual, and a fresh cup of water was chugged down.
I was startled by a loud ringing sound, only to find it to be my cell phone.
“Yes?” I spoke loudly into the phone, finishing my last swallow of water.
“Hey, Eileen, how’s it going? How was work?”
I smiled. That was the sweet voice of Owen, my boyfriend. We had been together for at least two months now, we had met a few years ago in college and had recently reconnected.
“Not bad, not bad.” I replied. “Nothing new yet, but we figured out who stole those three pizza delivery bikes.”
“Donnie, the owner of the Chinese restaurant near my neighborhood. Apparently he had the delivery idea first and didn’t want people going for pizza instead of Chinese food.”
“Oh, wow.” There was silence for a minute or two, I don’t know what was racing through his mind, but there was only one thing in mine: him.
Owen asked me out in college, but I was dating somebody else, Andrew. Somehow, the three of us all moved to the same town, well, not really, the college is in our town. Anyway, Andrew and I had a falling out when I got my job as a detective at a police station. I was put in a position above him, so he got mad, and I decided I didn’t want to deal with him any more.
Then I had a lonely month, just me living in my house by myself. At the time I was thinking me and Andy were going to get married, start a family, considering we were together for such a long time.
I couldn’t take the loneliness, so I decided to ask out Owen. He happily said yes, and we’ve been together ever since.
“Hello?” Owen interrupted my thoughts.
“Yes, sorry, I’m here.”
“Do you want to spend the night?”
My heart skipped a beat at the question. I had been waiting for him to ask this, but the one night he did I couldn’t make it.
“I’m so sorry,” I replied. “I really need sleep. I worked overtime today and you know I need to get up early. And look, it’s already-” I peered at the clock, “10:19.”
“It’s okay, don’t worry about it.” He said. “We can do it another time, right?”
“Oh, yeah! One day I don’t have to work late.”
Another awkward moment of silence. Had I hurt his feelings? 10:19 PM wasn’t really late for me, but I figured we could go to dinner or something like that beforehand.
This was the first time he had asked this, and of course I had to reject him. Of course..
“Oh, well,” he began, “I better go. Becky’s coughing up something in the kitchen.” Becky was his cat. I don’t know what type, honestly, all cats look the same to me, besides color. Usually I was pretty great with animals, but not with Becky. That cat hated me.
Whenever I walked into Owen’s house, Becky would run upstairs.
Owen’s downstairs bathroom was always broken; either the water is brown, or the toilet is clogged, or the shower is making funny noises. That meant I had to go to the upstairs bathroom.
The upstairs bathroom has Becky’s litter box in it, so usually I hold my urge to pee. Every once in a while I couldn’t, though, so I had to use it. There were only a few times where Becky was in there when I went in there, but they were awful.
When I was on the toilet, I would start to hear these purring noises and meows. I would then ignore them, and proceed to finish using the bathroom. Then Becky would jump out when I flushed the toilet and hiss at me. I had a couple of scars on my legs from the places she scratched me. We have a hate-hate relationship.
“Oh, well, have fun with that,” I said to Owen’s comment.
With a laugh, he responded, “Yeah, sure, okay. Goodnight Eileen. Love you.”
“Love you too.” I said, hanging up the phone.
I stayed up for a little while longer to watch TV, then went to bed.
I woke up at around 7:00 AM the next morning, when usually that’s when I leave for work. I scrambled around in the kitchen but gave up on making breakfast; there were sometimes bagels and coffee for everyone.
I rinsed out my mouth and popped in a mint, knowing there was no time to brush my teeth. My uniform was taken out of the dryer and put on, then my shoes and belt were acquired. I was ready, even if I hadn’t done a good job.
Halfway through my speedwalk/run to work while I was finger-brushing my tangly hair, I realized I had forgotten to use the restroom before leaving the house.
I could hold it until I got to work, so as soon as I reached the building, I hurried to the bathroom and locked myself in one of the stalls.
My tight uniform shorts and underwear were taken off and I relieved myself on the bathroom. Unfortunately, I had almost not made it. There was a small wet spot on my panties, but none of it had shown through my dark shorts.
I washed my hands and left the bathroom, heart racing, hoping nobody would notice. My eyes kept wandering down to my shorts to see if anything had leaked through, but nothing had. Nothing would. I just couldn’t get this through my head.
“Hey Eileen, you look tense…-er than usual.” Andrew teased, greeting me outside the ladies bathroom.
“What are you doing you doing at the women’s bathroom anyway?” I asked, not really wanting to make conversation. Ever since the breakup, he had been nothing but rude to me.
“Well, actually, I was on my to the coffee station because somebody brought donuts, but you happened to get in my way.”
“Somebody brought donuts?”
“Yeah, and you should go eat one. You look tired.”
“I just… I didn’t have enough time this morning.” I mumbled.
“Well, you definitely can pull the homeless look off.”
“What does that even mean? I’m in uniform. Just like you.” I retorted, getting sick of his comments. I didn’t know how I could’ve dated him, or anybody else, for that matter.
He just winked and left for the donuts and coffee. I probably would’ve followed, but there were too many people and I didn’t want him talking to me anymore.
I looked down at my shorts again, making sure that there wasn’t a stain from my almost not making it to the bathroom. There wasn’t. Maybe I just couldn’t see it. So many worries ran through my mind, but I didn’t have time to sort them when my boss came and said,
“Eileen, we’ve got a new case.”