Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Badges And Burdens

“How did you expect them to react? You blew their only kid’s head clean off…by mistake. I think that’s what really pissed them off was telling them that. Boy, sometimes I wonder how you managed to survive this long on the job? I really do.”

Jacobs rounded on his partner, his expression twisted by emotions. “What the hell are you talking about? I came here to lay this to rest…give them…myself some closure. How, exactly, did I screw-up?”

Shaking his head from side to side, Rizzo grinned, “Wow, you really just don’t get it, do you? Okay, let me break this down for you. Mr. and Mrs. Ortiz, KNOW you didn’t shoot their son on purpose ‘cause cops don’t, as a general practice, just go around shooting 9-year-old boys. So, coming here to tell them it was an accident is pretty freakin’ pointless. They know it was an accident…they don’t care. They know you don’t deserve to be punished for an accident…they don’t care. They know you’ll probably never see another kid running around playing without this all coming back up on you and you know what? They…don’t…care.” 

“At the end of the day, what they do care about is this: their son is dead. He won’t get to play football or go to prom or to college…ever. He won’t get a job and a wife and a house and all that kinda stuff…ever. And you know why he won’t get to do any of that stuff, partner? Oh, yeah…I remember now. It’s because you pulled a rookie move and turned the kid’s head into hamburger meat. Is it starting to make sense to you now?”

“So, what do they…do you…want from me, Rizzo?” Jacobs whisper was scarcely audible.

“What does the Ortiz family want? I have no clue what, if anything, will ever make this right with them. But, I’ll tell you what I want. I want you to get in the car so we can drive to that burger joint off Sepulveda. It’s BOGO Friday, remember? The world always looks better with a quart of grease coursing through your veins. I’ll drive ‘cause you look like shit, okay?”

They drove, in silence, for some time before Jacobs spoke, “I don’t think I can do this anymore. I…I think it’s time for me to pack it in. Didn’t they always tell us, at the academy, we’d know when to call it quits?”

“Yep, they certainly did. So you wanna turn your stuff in before or after we eat? Personnel is probably closing up early anyway on Friday. Yeah, we’ll eat first.”

Seeing Jacobs stunned look from the corner of his eye, Rizzo sighed, “Look, I’m not gonna blow sunshine up your ass. If you’re used up, you are. I’ll miss you…maybe a little. But, yeah, I guess it’s time too.”

Unexpectedly, he turned the car around. “Y’know what? I’m not so hungry after all. If we hurry, we can still catch Personnel before they take off for the weekend.”

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