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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2046122-The-Artist
Rated: E · Non-fiction · Friendship · #2046122
An NYPD Detective reminisces about a long lost friend she was searching for and finds.

The door opened and revealed the face of her longtime friend. Her eyes still amber and green as they always had been, short hereditary silver hair tinted with black in hopes to calm the color. Shifting her weight and looking me over, smiling leaning on the door. She still looked like the teenage heartthrob she always had been. Though then she may have been more social than now.

She motioned her head towards the door and like so many times in the past walked in. I still felt bad maybe that's why I came and not why I thought I did. Finally she spoke, "You don't have to be so quiet." I couldn't help it and glanced at her hands.

Scorched and scarred, that's what made me so uneasy. It took away her future in life and I caused it...all of it. She was great at so many things drawing, writing, just great with her hands in general until...until I took it all away.

Burns were once third degree, took away her dexterity, nerve damage to the worst, some of her tendons had been ripped and ruptured, the burns in general made her hands terrible at what she did best. She didn't lose them though, keeping her hands was her hope she wanted to keep them and try to do what she did best, draw. The first few weeks that her wounds had healed over were some of the worst. Her nails grew back in just a few weeks and once that happened she ripped through the wall paint and the wood. She left after that, went out on her own I didn't see her for four years after that. She just fell off the map then I found her.

I went to a place called Seattle somewhere in Washington State. Finding some information on a person named 'Shawna Terri' which the only reason I suspected was for the simple reason of this person hadn't existed until four years ago. Even then with every reason to doubt I trusted that this was my friend.

When I knocked on the door I was not met with a person I recognized but rather a man much taller than me. When I asked him who he was he said his name was Julius, never giving me a last name in the process. I asked for someone by the name I had researched and found that she had not lived her for a year and a half. My trail had gotten cold already.

I knew she wanted to be found, she was leaving bread crumbs for me everywhere. She knew how smart I was because she literally trained me to be who I was now. I was a detective for the NYPD at the moment, during these years being a low paid detective I would never have imagined that I could be a hirer ranking one like now. I had always come home to our little establishment to see her doing something interesting. Either she had been working on writing, typing something up, drawing, designing, painting or talking to the ceiling like a crazy woman. She probably was crazy which is why she was so...psychologically intelligent.

She had always been like that, even when we were going to college with each other. When we met it was when I had gone to State for my major. At the time I did not know what I was going to do.

The day I met her I had been walking the halls as per usual when lunch came around. Once I had my growling cat fight with the server I sat down at a table alone. I started working on my...well I'm not quite sure what I was working on other than numbers that made no sense to me. I was nose deep in the equations and numbers that I didn't notice a tall female walk past me and into the courtyard by the cafeteria. I also apparently didn't notice three males following said girl into the courtyard. Then again it was only until the last one nocked some of my papers to floor did I notice anything.

I started to growl at him like the angry hot-head I was until I saw the other two sitting around a tall female with silver-white hair. She was not old in any way shape or form but seemed somewhat wise like grandmothers and fathers.

The female was in fact very beautiful as far as this places standards went and she in fact knew this very well. The three males that flocked around her I did not know but knew one that had been in my English class with me. The girl I didn't even know existed until now. I stood up and walked out into the courtyard for some unknown reason and sat down in the many chairs and tables that were never used.

The three males were around her like flies to be honest and at the time I did not know that they were doing this on purpose rather than love-struck puppies. One sat down next to her at the table and began eating his subway sandwich smiling, the other went to another table and lay down, and the last simple ate his food without any reaction what so ever. Once the female had noticed that each was squared away she glanced back at the cafeteria and noticed no one was looking. I really never understood what she did next.

The silver haired girl jumped from the table and ran across the courtyard like a mad-man. She laughed and lay down in the grass and looked at the clouds. It took her a while to notice my existence. When she did it was somewhat adorable.

She jumped at the sight of me and looked like she was about to bolt. Surprisingly for some odd and unexplained reason, she didn't. The female stared at me and I stared right back into strange and wild eyes. She had made a customary greeting and told me her name as I did my own. Even then I had mystified at such a name as the one she gave me, Tyrel. She told me that her friends called her Beast which at the time I never understood completely. She looked nothing like a beast, so why call her as such. It was in time that I came to understand the nickname.

The days that followed I came to know Tyrel or Beast a little more and more. The reason she was at this college was as most would say to get their major and be on with their life but she phrased it a bit differently. She referred to coming here as becoming a somewhat useful and more loved part of society. Mostly she reminded me of someone that had way too much going around in their head to focus on one topic at a time.

Tyrel spoke to me a lot and sometimes told me stories about when she was young and in high school. She spoke of multiple people she called 'associates' instead of friends but I think she had good reason. I told her some interesting tales about where I had come from as well and she listened intently. She could piece them down like building blocks like some sort of psychologist could but that wasn't even her major. Sure she took psychology but she didn't really focus on it or even try.

I was given a taste at what it was like to be around someone like her. It felt good to be close to someone as acentric and intelligent as her. I once asked why I never saw her in any of my classes other than Computer Learning Skills. She had shrugged and stated that most of classes she was taking were for the Arts and basics, along with some Business Skills and computer things that I could never pronounce correctly. I learned that she was quite the person.

The next semester Tyrel had conned me into playing something she called 'fun'. It was called Soccer. She had played the semester before and decided she needed another person on the team with her. Being that I could kick fairly well I made it on. Boy was that a mistake. I didn't like running, I hated it will all my heart but of course I could not refuse the white-silver haired female running beside me. She wasn't terribly fast but she was a 'beast' on the field.

She took a position I had never really understood, she had taken something that pretty much ran alongside the person with the ball and protected them from any harm. That seemed somewhat stupid in my mind, but as time went on even this made sense. When I managed to play the first game I had also managed to hit a goal and then I managed to get kicked in my already dying back. The medic or apparently something trainer had checked me she pronounced me unfit to play. Tyrel had a sad look in her eye as she clapped my shoulder with a warm smile. Not that long after I had never been more terrified in my life.

Tyrel had been doing what she was supposed which was guarding or whatever she was doing when out of nowhere someone just bailed. I'm not quite sure what came first the blow or what she hit. The female was gigantic and practically hit my beast off the field and into the bleachers. I don't know who was there first, me or the medics.

Once Tyrel had been off to the hospital I had followed in my car. When they got done with their check of any broken bones they pronounced that she only had two cracked ribs and multiple bruises. I don't think she was very happy about being kept in a bed either.

She was not happy when she woke up in the morning. I hadn't really known her dislike for hospitals until she was in one. Believe me the day she could go she left. The next day I saw her at the college she was holding herself like nothing had ever happened. Of course I was skeptical on how well she was healing but didn't really seem too concerned about it. Tyrel assured me that she was feeling as good as new I not better than before and of course I believed her.

After only a couple weeks she was showing no signs of being injured in the first place. Tyrel looked as though she had made a full recovery that was almost inhumanly possible, I envied her. She had showed up to watch soccer practice every time and watched the plays intently before going home, but not without a chat with me.

I always enjoyed her company; she was a good companion even when silence stretched between us. It was simply just the fact of the other being there in their presence. One night she came over to my apartment when I mentioned that I hadn't even unpacked even though I had been living there for about six months. Being the oddest friend I ever had and being it a Friday night she decided that she needed to help me unpack and sleep over.

The night was something I hadn't expected; we had unpacked multiple things from my boxes and bags but managed to end up playing random video games before bed. At least what I though was bed time? It was about four to five in the morning when I got up to a noise I had never heard before and immediately was frightened. I was about to nudged the body next to me on the floor when I noticed that it was no longer there. Being panicked girl at the moment I was about to flip out, as I reached for my cell. I saw movement out of the corner of my eye.

I whipped around without thinking and looked directly at Tyrel who gave me a blank stare from the sliding glass windows. I heaved a sigh and looked at the time, it was only four fifty in the morning and already she had woken up to the chime of the moon setting. I fell back into a dark and dreamless slumber until about eight thirty. When I got up I saw Tyrel leaning against the counter with a cup of some sort of warm drink in her hand. I got up and got dressed in a manner I knew well. As I approached the kitchen I saw that Tyrel was dressed as well except not in her usual attire.

Beast was dressed in apparently spaghetti strapped tank-top and yoga pants. I think she had been out running this morning because of this but I never really got a straight answer that day. After about three to four minutes of staring I made my coffee and watched some morning TV along with some cartoons on the side. Once we got off our lazy bums we unpacked and organized everything in that apartment until it looked like I had lived there forever. Tyrel smiled and clapped her hands when we were done before saying we needed to eat. I suggested we go eat out but Tyrel disagreed, she explained that if we were going to eat we were going to eat at her place.

I had never been to her apartment or where-ever she lived before and frankly I didn't even know which side of town she lived on. I had suggested we simply eat here and save the gas mileage but of course Beast said otherwise. She suggested we take her car and I grudgingly complied. You see Tyrel is what you might call a clam driver, she doesn't drive slowly but she drives with patience. Me on the other hand I'm a hot-headed nut job when I get behind the wheel. So when we got behind some slow traffic I was a red faced lunatic in a cab.

When we got there I looked more similar to a tomato than a human but I was there. When I got out of her...Jeep...I think. I looked over the place we were at. I had never been in this area before and realized that it was quite beautiful and filled with people. Tyrel waved me along as I followed her into the building. We went to the top floor and arrived at a fairly large apartment. It was gorgeous, I don't know how large it was but I loved it. Apparently she had hook ups with some people who used to live here and managed to snag it before anyone else could get it. Everything seemed either designer or hand crafted in my mind's eye but she stated that some of it was just simply a job done.

I wanted to live here at some point and just steal it away from the world and eventually we would both live here for some time. As I reached the kitchen I realized that Tyrel was not only an acentric artist, soccer player and psychologist she was a fairly good cook. Well, she was no master chef but she could make a mean burger and fries. Of course the female claimed that it was the only thing she really knew how to make without burning and murdering it but I really didn't believe her that much.

Tyrel and I shared two more years of college togethor before we both graduated and went out into the world. For about six months I barely had any contact with my friend and felt almost completely alone without her beside me. It was a couple more weeks until I decided what I wanted to do. Her ability to psychologically train people was uncanny and I started to use this to my advantage. Of course I didn't immediately get to be a detective of course but I managed to worm my way up with a little help.

For the first time in so long I called Tyrel, she didn't answer for about three days until I got her finally on her cell. She sounded a little tired but at the same time happy to hear my voice. We talked on the phone for three and a half hours. I felt like a giddy teenager again telling her about how I got the job at the NYPD. Of course it was more of an internship rather than an actual job but she believed in me. I had asked her if she had a job yet or not and being Tyrel she played with me for a while before telling. She had actually gotten a job two months ago or rather a free-lancer kind of job that is. She had worked as a free-lance artist for quite some time although she refused to show me her studio at any point in time. She did computer graphics for multiple companies with her own team that actually was the three males I had seen when I first met her. I had also noticed that night that she was working on some stories. I always loved the way she told her own life stories and couldn't wait to read the one she was working on. Tyrel was just doing what she loved and managing every step of the way.

I had visited many a time during our parted ways and even brought her along on a trip to see my family. Like me they found her personality addicting and loving. When we left my mother had even given her a kiss before leaving. Although Tyrel seemed extremely happy when there, on the way back was another story entirely. Tyrel had calmed quite significantly in the past hour I had been driving which wasn't like her at all. At the rest stop I finally confronted her and learned an important lesson, all great artists have something grave underneath.

I truly would never have guessed that Tyrel never really had parents. She stated that day that her parents had left her when she was very young. She didn't really state how young she was when they left but she was old enough to remember. For about half a year she did what should could to live alone in that house even going to school of her own accord every day until summer. It wasn't meant to be; social services came along and took her into the foster care system which I knew was very corrupt. I didn't pry any further as I listened to the sad story I could only rap my arms around her and sniffle while she held strong.

After that I pretty much lived at Tyrel's house during the afternoon and mornings before work. She helped with cases a lot and pretty much was my unofficial consultant during those times. Then again when wasn't I consulting her? It was after eight months that I was approached for the job of being a detective and I accepted with great pleasure. It took a great amount of getting used to but I managed to get around my new office space. Two weeks after someone managed to tail me to work and beat me to my own office. I'll tell you who but I think you can guess.

I was about to say something about how she should be at work rather than here but that's the thing with freelancers they don't really have a schedule. As I looked out the window that day I noticed that a lot of male officers were looking in at both of us. Mostly Tyrel but what can you do about her, she's eye candy.

That day I was unfortunate enough to have a visit from our head chief of staff or so. Tyrel managed and I say barely managed to maintain her nonchalant attitude towards him. Being that he was somewhat agree able he let Tyrel stay for the day seeing as though she had helped headway in the case I was working. That case would change the course of my life forever.

The case itself was about a pyro technician that had been burning buildings in the area lately killing only a few people but enough to grab our attention. Supposedly other people were working on the case as well but I had digital copies and had already cracked the last case I was given therefor I needed something to do.

I didn't think when I told Tyrel that she could come along on an adventure with me. I didn't think when I went into that building that I would find anything much less a bomb. Tyrel found it first and tried to disarm it by disconnecting the explosives attached to it, but it was too late. The bomb went off and everything in my line of vision went white before turning to darkness.

I woke up in a white room five days later to the commissioner sitting in a chair close to me. "You cracked the case...we got him." Those words echoed in my mind as I frantically looked around for any sign of Tyrel. His tone became darker and more serious as he spoke of my friend. He said that she was indeed alive but not terribly well. Her hands had been mainly caught in the blast as she was trying to defend herself from it. I asked if I could see her and he shook his head as I finally registered the damage I had taken as well. I had multiple lacerations all over my body, two broken ribs and one fractured one, my arm was sore from falling and my hearing was still iffy. It took three weeks in a hospital to get out of it. Now I understood why Tyrel didn't like them very much.

Over the course of those three weeks I had not even texted, called or seen Tyrel at all. I was actually wondering if she was still alive or not to be honest. I didn't like having her out of my reach much less out of my sight for too long. Once I got out of that hospital I headed straight for her apartment.

When I got there I noticed that he lights were indeed off and no one seemed to be home at all. Though I knew for a fact that she probably was home, luckily I had a spare key otherwise I would not have been able to get in there.

The door creaked open upon my arrival and I looked around for any sign of her being here. Her keys and phone were on the table when I walked in so she had to be here. As I walked around the apartment I noticed that things were knocked over and some simple put out of sight. I became increasingly worried. I had searched every room except one, the room I was not supposed to go into at any point in time. Her studio, as the white painted door was opened I immediately saw a person sitting in the center of all the drawings and paintings that brought me to awe. Tyrel sat and stared at the ground, she didn't look alive anymore and I wasn't sure if she wanted to be anymore.

She didn't acknowledge my presence when I walked into the room and marveled at her work nor did she even care. As I managed to tear my focus away from everything I knelt down to eye level with my friend, she didn't respond at all. As I looked her over I barely saw any damage done to her body other than her hands. I felt guilt and bile rise in my throat as I looked at them. The wounds were barely healing and the places that had were scarring terribly. I knew just by the way they looked that they were third degree burns, Tyrel looked devastated. The nerve damage done would hinder her work and drive her insane more than anything. As I looked into her eyes, they seemed for the first time in forever, empty.

I never saw Tyrel again. The day I had come back to her apartment I noted that the walls were torn from her newly grown nails. Her paintings and artwork remained in a stagnant room without anyone to look upon their beauty. The apartment that she lived in for so long was still being paid for and never emptied of any of its contents. The account that was paying the landlord was automatic and untraceable. She didn't want to be found, she wanted to hide where ever until the end of days, but I wasn't going to let that happen, not on my watch.

So here I am driving a car across the country on vacation days that I had managed to bribe from my commissioner and out of pity got them. Last I checked I had driven and flew a total of forty eight hours and still had not found were Tyrel had been hiding. There were multiple leads in places but I could never connect the dots. It was only on a plane trip home that I noticed the bread crumbs Tyrel was leaving for me.

It was true that I had not pursued Tyrel until the fourth year of her disappearance but I had hoped during that time frame that I would just find her sitting at my table drawing a sketch for a client. None of my dreams ever came true among those lonely days. None of her other friends had heard from her aside from Mason her oldest friend who had told me that she took to his place for a day and then left without another word. He had even stated she seemed a bit too far gone to even hold a conversation with.

Even as this information reached my ears I understood or at least I thought I did. That moment when I sat on that plane looking over what I had found was when I completely understood. She didn't want to be seen for some time, she needed space and the only way for someone like Tyrel to do that would be to run away. I knew that there had to be a reason behind the apartment being paid every month. That was because she was planning on coming back, but I needed to see Tyrel and she needed me whether she liked it or not.

So I found her after following the bread crumbs she had left for me. I followed them all the way to a state called West Virginia where she took up residence under a name I had never heard before. Jane Winston, I didn't understand the name at all but at the moment I really didn't care I just needed to see her.

The door opened and revealed the face of her longtime friend. Her eyes still amber and green as they always had been, short hereditary silver hair tinted with black in hopes to calm the color. Shifting her weight and looking me over, smiling leaning on the door. She still looked like the heartthrob she always had been. Though then she may have been more social than now.

She motioned her head towards the door and like so many times in the past walked in. I still felt bad maybe that's why I came and not why I thought I did. Finally she spoke, "You don't have to be so quiet." I couldn't help it and glanced at her hands.

Scorched and scarred, that's what made me so uneasy. It took away her future in life and I caused it...all of it. She was great at so many things drawing, writing, just great with her hands in general until...until I took it all away.

I felt the guilt rise in my chest and everything comes crashing down as I looked at her. She smiled with such happiness as if nothing had ever happened. I never burned her hands and she had never left for four years without contact. The tears fell to the floor as I stumbled to her shoulder where her scarred hand fell on the back of my head lovingly. "I missed you." I whimpered in a pitiful tone.

"I know," she whispered into my ear as we both lowered to the floor as I cried upon her sharp shoulder. Happiness was something I needed right now and Tyrel or Jane or whoever she was could make me happy; she could take away the rain with the flick of her hand.

...FIN...

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