"Don't you know, don't you know that you're beautiful"
It was silent, with most people inside spending the Sunday night with family or friends, treasuring those last hours of the weekend before they had to go back to the daily hell of school or work. Not Frankie though, who was walking all alone down the sidewalk, wrapped in his black pea coat, singing along to the songs he knew by heart, trying to keep his hopes up until he was home, trying to keep his timid mind from worrying about the fact that he was walking down Himmel Street, the worst street in the entire town, if not the whole country. Every time the street was on the news, which was a lot, it was never for something good. Drugs, rape, domestic violence calls, something was always happening on Himmel street. And it surely didn't live to it's name, Himmel, german for 'heaven', the exact opposite of what it really was. Sadly, it was the only way Frankie knew to get home from his friend's party, and he couldn't dare ask and wait for a ride after how badly he had embarrassed himself. Just thinking back to it caused his heart to ache and tears to swell up again.
"I think I'm gay
and I like you
Frankie could tell, the look of shock on his friend's face, the confusion of not knowing whether to be disgusted or throw him out the door. It was like a bullet to his chest. He had to get away from it, fast.
I have to go"
And he did. He got up, got his coat, and ran. As soon as he was outside, he began to run, almost as fast as the tears that ran down his face, the humiliation of being rejected at a party by the one person he always trusted. He sobbed as he ran, leaving his friend and all the laughing people behind.
He didn't stop running till he was on the street, Himmel Street, where the noise of the party, everyone enjoying the company of one another, was far behind him, not even audible to his ears. He than slowed down, back to a walking pace and began heading for home.
He than came to the worst part of the walk that scared him the most, the walk down the small, no name street, if not an alley, that connected Himmel street to Helvetti road, which than went to main street, than to the street Frankie's house was on. How he longed to be home, to just collapse into bed and cry himself to sleep, or tell his mom, so his aching wouldn't be locked inside all to himself.
Frankie slowly took in a deep breath, gathering all his courage, and turned, beginning his walk down the alley, looking straight ahead, thinking of his warm home, trying to ignore the fear in his heart.
It was than he felt the feeling of a hand, large and rough, grab the back of his coat, and pull him into the dark crevice between to run down buildings, causing him to let out an involuntary yelp. In a matter of seconds he felt a hard surface against his back. Than he noticed the knife, the glistening blade pressed against his neck, not hard enough to cut him, but he knew not to move. Frankie than felt and heard the deep raspy breaths against his face. The putrid stench made him want to gag, to lose his lunch all over the cement, he wouldn't dare move a fraction of an inch with the blade tightly to his throat.
"I'll make this quick an easy! Give me all you got an I won't hurt you!"
"I-I don't h-have anything"
Frankie's voice came out in a whining stutter, full of terror. His eyes were wide, staring at the gruff face in front of him with the putrid breath that caused his stomach to churn.
"Don't lie to me, little brat! I want your money not your life! Make a move, I won't think twice though!"
Than a small fraction of hope came to Frankie. 'maybe if I scream, the cops that patrol here will come.' And that is just what he did. He screamed like he had never screamed before and never was going to again. That spark of hope was quickly slashed though by blade against his throat.
Quicker than what seemed humanely possible, a knee came to his ribs, causing him to fall to the ground, or as far as he could, before the hand not holding the blade held him in place by his throat, while the knife went to work, cutting in one swift movement from the corners of his lips that were wincing in pain, up the sides of his face, halfway to his ears, causing Frankie to scream louder, making the cuts rip farther. The hand than threw him to the ground, making more pain rip through his body. Faster than he could process, his attacker was on him, pinning him to the cold cement floor.
"I'll give you one last chance! Cough it up!"
Frankie laid on the ground, staring up at the man, too scared to move. In a matter of seconds, his life seemed to flash before his eyes. He thought about how badly he'd miss his parents, his family, all of his friends, even if they didn't accept him for who he was, he was going to miss all of them. He slowly started to reach into his pocket, feeling for his wallet. 'A little money is worth getting to live
to see everyone another day.'
He began to weakly try to pull his wallet out, struggling under the weight of the large adult male on top of him, knife once again against his throat, waiting for his dirty pay at the expense of the young teenager he was close to killing. Frankie moved his arm carefully, making sure his shoulder didn't touch his now mutilated cheek. He slowly raised his arm up, holding his wallet out to the man, shaking slightly, tears rolling down his face, burning as they hit the Glasgow smile cut onto his face.
The man took the wallet, and looked inside. Instead of getting off and leaving though, he glared down at the teenage boy underneath him.
"you little lying brat! You DID have money!"
And with that, the blade finished off the boy, slitting his throat.
Frankie screamed, making the Glasgow smile larger, as the pain shot through his neck. He could feel the warm blood running down the sides of his neck onto the pavement and his jacket. He felt the weight of the man slowly lift off of him, leaving him laying on the ground. He than watched as the man took the money from his wallet, dropping the empty, faded leather to the ground, now holding only a student I.D. card that had a picture of what Frankie would always say was the worst day ever, never knowing he would end up where he was now, and a picture of him and his parents. How they looked so happy. He thought of how blissfully unaware they were of what had just happened to their son, having no clue that he was now laying on the ground of an alley way, with a slit throat and mutilated face, watching as his killer walked away, back onto the sidewalks of Himmel street, where he would probably walk free for a long time. Frankie watched as the man's shadow disappear into the light.
Taking his last final breaths, he stared up at the stars, and closed his eyes, tears rolling down his face, grin etched into his face. And there he died, in the alley way between heaven and hell.
Dylan sighed, still thinking of last night, of Frankie's opening up. He had reacted terribly to it, and Frankie probably hated him now. No, he was probably laying in bed crying, unable to get his mind off of it.
Dylan felt terrible, guilt coursing through his body. He had to apologize, at least show that he still cared about Frankie, even if he didn't feel exactly the same towards him. All these thoughts continued racing through his head as he walked down Himmel street, and turned onto the no name alley, getting ready to walk onto Helvetti. He was so lost in his though, he barely noticed the blood when he passed one of the small alley ways between two old, run down buildings. But he did notice, he saw the droplets of blood that slowly turned into a trail leading into the alley. Than when he looked, he saw the clearly definable outline of a body, laying on the pavement, staring up at the sky.
Eyes wide, he slowly walked towards the crumpled body. He slowly began to make out the features. First the brown hair, than the pale skin, than the clothes covered in blood. Than finally the most gruesome feature of all, the face with the Glasgow smile and the slit throat, both covered in blood. When Dylan finally saw the face, he nearly fell back onto the ground. He covered his mouth, eyes wide in shock.
"Fr-Frankie?" Dylan finally asked, gaining control of himself. He stood, staring at the mutilated body of his best friend, who should have been at home in bed, where he was heading. He was supposed to be alive, sad and heartbroken, but not dead. But there he was, laying cold on the pavement, covered in blood, unnoticed to anyone that walked past except for Dylan. 'th-this can't be r-real'. Dylan couldn't believe what was in front of him. Before he knew, he was on his knees, shaking the body.
"Fr-Frankie! Come on, wake up!"
But the body didn't get up or stir, it stayed right where it was, as lifeless bodies usually do. Dylan still couldn't accept the fact that his best friend was dead though. He tried to shake the body more, yelling louder, anything, but still nothing, it was no use, the life was gone. Than he screamed. He didn't know why he screamed, but he did. He screamed in shock and sadness and just not being able to accept that his best friend was actually dead. He blamed himself, had he been more caring, perhaps Frankie would have made it home safely, escaped the grasp of the murderer. But he didn't. Dylan didn't care as much as he should have, and now his friend was dead. He continued to scream.
A cop patrolling the area heard the screams. It wasn't his shift to patrol the area, but he was there, to make up for missing his shift last night. It set in the pit of his stomach that he had missed his shift. He just couldn't bear to leave his sickened child and wife alone all night. He had to push that aside now though, for it was his job to help the person eliciting the screams.
He drove quickly, sirens blaring, bracing himself for the worse. Having worked in patrolling the area, he had seen almost everything he though. Shooting, domestic violence calls, people getting hit by cars, even drug trafficking and prostitution. He drove as fast as was legally possible for the cops, hoping to get to the person before the screams were silenced. He finally turned onto Himmel, and pulled his car to the curb, turning it off and getting out, walking towards the alley, where the screams echoed from.
When the cop turned into the small alley way though, he was not expecting what was awaiting him though. He quickly called back-up, than walked toward Dylan, still shaking the body on the ground and screaming, hoping that this was all a dream and he could wake up soon and go to Frankie and tell him how sorry he was. But it wasn't, it was all a reality. The cop walked to Dylan, careful not to startle him.
"what happened here?"
Dylan looked over at the cop, tears rolling down his face. "I-I don't know. I-I was walking and I saw blood on the sidewalk, a-and so I came down to see what was down here and saw him
The cop felt his heart crack a little. He was experiencing the one thing he hated about his job, seeing someone's heart ache with the loss of someone close. He'd seen it so many times, and it still cracked the wall around his heart that he tried to have while he worked. He wasn't supposed to show emotion so strongly, yet he could never help it. And it crushed him more seeing that the deceased wasn't even an adult yet. The body was of nothing more but a teenager, probably didn't even have his license yet.
"did you know him?"
he was my best friend
he was at my house last night
just came out to being gay last night
I was kind of rude
and it hurt him, so he ran off
I-I was going to his house to apologize and I found him here
"I'm very sorry for your loss
can you answer a few questions for me?
The cop began to ask questions about Frankie and where he could contact his parents. As he was nicely interrogating Dylan, back-up police officers began to show up, investigating every inch of the small alley, making sure nothing evidential was left behind.
After many hours of investigating, Dylan began the walk back home, still in shock at the fact that one mistake on his part lead to the untimely loss of his once closest friend, while the cop finally went back to his office, knowing that the part he dreaded the most of all was coming up, calling the parents and telling them about the loss of their son.
Taking a few deep, calming breaths, he finally called the number given to him by the kid. The answer tone rang for a while before a gentle voice came onto the phone.
"hello, I'm with the police department an-"
"oh thank god. Did you find him? Did you find my son?"
The cop felt more hurt in his heart hearing the worried voice of the boy's mother, anxiously hoping for the good news of her son being found safely. He felt terrible knowing that this was not the news the lady would be hearing.
"We have located his body. Your son was murdered last night on the street between Himmel and Helvetti. I am extremely sorry for your family's loss."
The line was quiet for a long time, before the sound of crying filled the cop's ear, finally pushing the cop over the edge. His heart finally shattered, and he could feel the silent tears creeping in his eyes.
The mother was in shock. H-How could he be dead? H-He was such a sweet boy? Wh-who would ever want to hurt him?. She sobbed, realizing that he wasn't going to be back, that he was gone. His room would be empty. She would no longer feel his warm hugs or comfort him when something happened that hurt him. She would never see his big smiles, or hear his cheerful 'I love you' before he left or went to bed. She wouldn't be able to go to his school performances of tell him how proud she was of him for all his accomplishments. She remembered how he never got a driving lesson from his dad or a cooking lesson from her. All that there was left were all the memories that had been made through time. But her life seemed to have been torn apart, along with her heart, the second she heard the cop on the other end of the line tell her the horrific news. She continued to sob over the loss of her only child, her baby.
The father overheard the sobbing from his wife, and came to the room to comfort her, gently hugging her from behind, already knowing what was on the other line, what had been told to his wife, who was now crumbling in his arms, yet still strong enough to still hold the phone to her ear.
"I'm very sorry for your family's loss", he repeated. "I'll give you time to accept this very saddening news." He and the mother said their goodbyes, than the cop hung up his phone, sat his head in his hands, and began to cry. He cried for the friend, losing someone so close to him, and being the one to first find the body, he cried for the family, now missing their only child, and he cried for the boy, so young, so unprepared for the real life, so not ready to lose his life. He cried for how cruel the world was, thinking that he could have possibly save the boy, had he gone to work the night he was supposed to. It was his fault that the boy was killed and the murderer had been able to walk away clean, without the guilt of stealing the youth and innocence and life of a young individual. And as the cop cried, he could feel his heart sitting shattered in his chest, full of sorrow and remorse for all the people, hurt by the loss of this one boy. One boy he could have saved.
The funeral was short, but just as sad. The seats of the room were filled by family members, all crying or with tears burning their eyes, still in shock over the death of the boy. His friends were all there as well, sitting together, holding back the tears, letting them burn their face, staring at the coffin that held the body of their dear friend, the youngest of the group. It wasn't going to be the same without him. In the very front seats sat the parents, the one friend closest to Frankie, Dylan, and a few other people very close to the boy, all trying to pick up the pieces of themselves, gather up just enough to walk up to the front and say words. Words about how good of a person he was, how much they missed him, old memories they shared that they will never forget, how Frankie will never be forgotten.
The police officer was the last to speak. The parents thought he should be able to say something since he is the one that told them about their son, and came when called by the friend who found the body. He was scared though, wandering if they'd still want him to be talking in the funeral if they knew about the truth, about how if he had went to work when he was supposed to, he could have possibly saved the boy, even caught the attacker.
He tried to push the emotions and thoughts out of his head though as it came his time to go up to the front to say his words, what he thought over this whole situation.
As the parents finished their tear filled words, the cop slowly walked up to the front of the room, standing in front of the podium, adjusting the microphone. He turned his head away, clearing his throat, and began speaking.
"I am very sorry for the loss. I did not know the boy, but I see how much it pains you all to be in this situation. When I found the body after getting called to the scene, I felt so terrible. I knew this was all my fault"
His eyes widened the last sentence left his lips. He paused for a second, guilt filling his body, weighing every body limb down. He couldn't have ran even if he wanted to. He could feel the eyes of everyone looking at him, the silent stares, burrowing into his being. He swore he could feel the hurt, shock, and from some, anger, coming off the people, coming straight at him. He had to explain. He took in another deep breath, and continued with his talking.
"I feel like this whole thing is my fault. The night of the murder was my route, I was supposed to be over in that area at the estimated time of his death. My son, he's only two, he was really sick, and so was my wife, and I felt terrible leaving them alone. I felt like they needed me. I didn't know that this would happen on the night I missed my route around. I am so sorry, I regret what happened and missing. I feel as though the blood is on my hands just as much as the killers, and I won't stop looking and investigating until he is found and put to justice, I swear on my life. I am so sorry"
And with tears in his eyes, he walked away from the podium, off the stage, down the aisle, and right out the door of the funeral home, leaving everyone sitting, staring at the podium, frozen in shock at the news they just received.
I will find that killer, and I will bring him to justice...I swear on my life...
As the cop walked to his cruiser, he made a promise to himself.