It was July 23rd, 1996, the summer before heading into fifth grade. The sun was shining and Krissy and I had just finished riding our bikes around Scout Lake. As we stopped on the dock, we rested our bikes on the railing. We picked up some stones and skipped them across the water. It was always a contest to see who could get the most skips, and of course she always won. Krissy’s brown eyes sparkled as we began to plan the rest of summer vacation. Life was good! There was nothing to worry about, no homework and the rest of the summer to run around and play. I said, “One more skip and let’s race home!” Krissy turned to laugh as her eyes squinted, and the freckles on her face danced in the sunlight. “I win again!” Krissy stated as I watched the rock skip four times. I then turned to her and said, “Yeah, you may have beaten me, but you know I’ll win on the bike.” I then ran towards my bike, picked it up and pedaled as fast as I my legs would let me. I could hear Krissy’s laughter behind me as we rode to her apartment a few blocks away. I jumped off the bike and raised my hand in the air as if I had just won the Olympics. Krissy followed shortly after as we fell with laughter to the ground. We both lied on the grass and looked up to the blue sky. I then turned to her and said, “I’m hungry!” Krissy then said that her mom would be coming home from work and they were planning on grilling out.
I walked into the apartment and observed a male in the house. Krissy walked passed me and said, “That is Kevin, my mom’s new boyfriend, he just moved in.” Krissy then rolled her eyes and walked into the room. I looked at him, and could not help but notice a teardrop tattoo on his left eye, and some black tattoos on his arm. They were ugly and it looked like they were not done in great taste. It looked like someone had taken a black marker and scribbled on his arm. He had brown hair and the darkest brown eyes I had ever seen. He seemed creepy to me and I was naïve to the fact of what those tattoos had meant. I then continued to follow Krissy into her room wondering what she thought of him. He was in the kitchen preparing the food that was to be consumed. We went into her room and she closed the door. Krissy then turned on some music, and played TLC, “Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls.” We both lied on the bed and closed are eyes, as Krissy sang along to the words. There was a knock on the door and her mother said the food was ready. We ran down the stairs out the back door and sat at the picnic table. Outside the neighborhood kids were yelling and screaming. Krissy and I sat next to each other as Kevin and her mom served us. I quietly said, “Thank you.” We ate in silence as I watched Kevin take a drag off his cigarette and take a sip out of his Miller Lite can.
After we finished eating, I told Krissy I had to go home. Krissy smiled and then said, “You should spend the night. We can pull an all-nighter!” I then called my mom and asked if I could stay overnight. My mom said she did not feel comfortable with me staying over there since she did not know Krissy parents that well. I begged and pleaded and eventually she caved in. I turned to Krissy and high-fived her. We spent the rest of the night watching TV, talking about school, and eating ice cream. We eventually fell asleep and woke up the next morning.
The next morning, July 24th, 1996, when I awoke Krissy’s mom had already left for work. I peeked into her mom’s room and I could hear Kevin snoring. I told Krissy that I needed to go home because I had basketball camp. Krissy walked into the room and woke Kevin up. Kevin staggered out of bed and I observed that his shirt was off. I remember thinking in disgust that this was one hairy man. Kevin put on a white t-shirt and then drove me home. I stepped out of the maroon vehicle, waved goodbye to Krissy and said I would call her later. Krissy smiled back with her brown eyes sparkling and said, “I had a great time, talk to you later!” I then proceeded to skip into my house and got ready for basketball camp.
After basketball my family came to pick me up and we went out to Culvers for dinner. I came home around 7:00P.M. and I noticed the red light on the answering machine flickering on and off. I always loved to push the button to hear the messages that were waiting for us. I pressed the button and a familiar voice was heard. It was my other best friend’s Mom on the answering machine. A rushed tone was heard as she said, “You need to call me something has happened to Krissy.” I remember my mind was racing and thinking to myself, she won the lottery!
My mom called and as I was standing next to her. I heard my mom say, “Oh No.” My mom then went into her room and closed the door. I heard hushed whispering as I could not hear what was said. My mom walked out, her face was white and pale. She gently said to me, “Krissy is dead, she was killed by Kevin.” At this point my head was spinning, this was not real, and “I just saw her this morning. Kevin just dropped me off at my house.” These thoughts were running through my head. Streams of tears fell down on my face as I ran to my mom and took her embrace. My mom turned on the news and all I could see was the brown apartment, yellow tape all over, squad cars with lights flashing, and all I could think about were Krissy’s sparkling eyes. Breaking news came on as the police had arrested the suspect, Kevin. The news indicated that Kevin had sexually assaulted Krissy and strangled her. Krissy was found in the closet by her younger sister Kelly. I flipped the T.V. off and my mom drove me over to Anna’s house where we sat on the curb outside. We talked of Krissy and what had happened. I looked up to the sky and saw a flash of light and knew that it was her. She was looking down at me; I looked at the sky longer and smiled. I know she was going to be with me forever.
The red and blue flashing lights, the distant sounds of sirens in the background. Today and every day I put on my blue uniform. My job is to serve and protect my community and the people that live in it. I am here to serve justice where justice is needed. From the moment, I saw that flashing light on that warm July 24th night; I knew what I was going to do with the rest of my life. That night lives with me every day. For the police were able to catch Kevin and put him away forever. I am in this job because I want to be able to connect with victims of crimes and put people away like Kevin. It is now apparent to me what those tattoos meant as it is a cultural ritual for people who have been in jail. As I put my badge on and walked out the door, I looked to the sky and saw those sparkling brown eyes.