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Without further adieu, this is the first half o the first story in the book. It's about a cop whose life is changed forever in one second. It's called, "June 30th."
All I can say is be careful what you choose as a career. My name is Joan Mitchell, and my whole life I wanted to be a cop. I always thought it'd be cool. The uniform, the gun, THE POWER! The action in the movies makes the life of a cop look real exciting. Not only that, but you get to help people. You arrive at the scene of the worst moment in people's lives and you get to become their hero. But the sad part is...who gets to be YOUR hero?
I majored in business in college but obviously didn't go that route. I became a cop two years ago and well, initially it wasn't what I imagined. No high speed car chases, shoot-outs, raids, none of the stuff you see on TV. Nope. Just riding around in the squad car in circles and occasionally putting tickets on cars when the meter runs out. BORING. I did have a couple of exciting moments though. I got to break up some fights and domestic disputes, but that was nothing compared to the night that changed everything.
I worked second shift. I liked it because I don't have to wake up early and could have late nights. It was June 30. Last year. I woke up around noon and just did not want to go to work. You ever have that feeling of dread? Something told me to stay my butt in bed. I just had a bad feeling. But I ignored it and did my usual routine. I walked my dog, took my shower, put on my uniform, tied my hair into a bun, and went to work.
My shift partner was celebrating his anniversary with his wife so he didn't come to work that day, so I was riding alone. No biggie. I'd been on my own before a few times and didn't have any problems.
Other than pulling someone over and writing them a ticket, nothing interesting happened until I got a call about a suspicious car parked at an apartment. The lights were out, but the car was on. The caller was a woman who was afraid that her ex-husband was stalking her. She said the car did not belong to her ex-husband, but he had tried different tactics to spy on her. She wouldn't put anything past him.
I got to the scene and knocked on the window on the driver's seat. The window rolled down and there was a gentleman sitting there. The car smelled like smoke and it almost made me cough. The man didn't look the least bit intimidated or nervous. He had these big eyes. Even his eyeballs looked huge. He looked as if I disturbed him.
"Can I help you officer?"
"Officer Joan Mitchell. What are you doing sitting here?"
"Is it a crime to sit here? Am I being detained?"
"You will be if that's what you want. I'll ask again. What are you doing sitting here with the lights out and the car running?"
The man groaned like he was annoyed and said he was lost and waiting on his GPS signal to pick up. He said he didn't want to waste his car battery leaving the lights on. He claimed he was on his way to his brother's new house for a family barbecue. I asked for his license and registration. He had no priors, and I gave him instructions to get to his brother's house. He definitely was not the paranoid lady's ex-husband.
I drew my gun. "FREEZE, SCUMBAGS!!" I know in hindsight that calling them "scumbags" wasn't necessary but I was caught up in the moment. I called for backup on my radio and hurried over to the pizza guy. He was struggling to move and there was blood spurting from his mouth like a fountain. I crouched down to him. He was trying to talk to me. "I'm....I'm scared."
"Don't move! It'll be OK. I'll be right back," I told him and took off. He looked so frightened. I'll never get the image of his scared face out of my mind. As I ran off after the suspects, I heard him whisper, "Don't go." It turned out to be the last thing he'd ever say, and I felt horrible for abandoning him.
But my night was about to get worse. I stuck to the shadows with my gun drawn and checked the perimeters of the building. Suddenly I heard a woman's scream. I looked and saw one of the suspects struggling with a young woman near a running car. He was trying to steal her car but she was resisting.
I had my gun aimed right at the man. I was just about to yell "Freeze" when I was suddenly tackled from behind. As I went down, my finger slipped and pulled the trigger. I heard the shot ring out before I hit the ground with a big thud. I had been ambushed by the other suspect. He pounced on me and we struggled. Everything happened in slow motion. I remember him drawing his fist back for a punch and I knew what was coming but I couldn't do anything about it.
POW!!! Everything glazed over. I was losing consciousness but heard his partner yelling something like "Come on man! Let's go!" As the guy climbed off of me I had enough wits to grab his ankle and trip him. Down he went, and I immediately cuffed him while he was down. When I got up, I didn't see the other man and woman that were fighting near the car, but I did see a pool of blood and the shadow of a body laying on the other side of the car. I limped over and my heart sank. "No, no. Just no."
It was the woman laying on the ground. Her eyes were wide open staring right at me. I had accidentally shot her when I got tackled down. She had a look of shock on her face. And then it got worse...she was pregnant. Her belly was big. She had to be around 8 or 9 months.
I felt my eyes get wide and water up. Everything just froze right there. It felt like she was staring at me for 20 minutes. Then I felt a sharp pain in the side of my stomach that burned like fire. I went sprawling background and hit the ground. I panicked when I realized I had been shot. I was wearing a bulletproof vest, but I could feel the pain so well. I remember feeling that it didn't work.
I heard police sirens in the background. At first they were distant, then they started getting louder and louder. I touched the wound and looked at my hand. Blood. And lots of it. All over my fingers. This was it. I'm dying. I thought about my boyfriend....then my parents and my sister. What would they do without me? I had so many plans - marriage, children, vacations.. I had so much to look forward to, and now I was about to die. Gone forever. My eyes filled with tears and I struggled to breathe. As I faded out while looking at the night sky, I felt one of my supervisors, Sargent Edwards, trying to lift me up. "Stay with me, Joan!! Joan!! Can you hear me!!! Joan!!" His voice faded out more and more until I wasn't conscious anymore.