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March 29, 2018 3:06 am  #1

A Tough Case

This story is based on episode 6x12 of the tv show Medium. There are mentions of rape and suicide, but no explicit details. Hope you guys enjoy!

“Back so soon?” The secretary smiles at Allison. “You just solved a case today.”

“I know, but I have information regarding something different. Is the district attorney in?” Allison asks the secretary.    
“Um,” the secretary pauses, obviously feeling awkward. “He left about ten minutes ago and didn’t say where he was going.”

Allison had a dream again--this time about a child stranded in the desert. Being such an intuitive medium, she knew that the little boy would only last a day or two in the Arizona heat. She needs to tell someone right away. She already tried Detective Scanlon’s number, but he hadn’t answered. Allison takes out her phone and calls District Attorney Devalos’s number.    

Both the secretary and Allison turn their heads as they hear a ringing coming from Devalos’s office. Dang it. Allison hangs up, and the ringing stops.     

“Well,” the secretary spoke up. “He isn’t very far. Maybe he’s in a conference room or something.”    

“That’s true,” Allison murmurs, walking in the direction of the conference rooms. She peeks her head into all of the rooms, disturbing a few conferences. She apologizes each time.    

Where else could he be? Allison checks the copy room and the break room, but there’s no sign of DA Devalos. She realizes she’s just going to have to keep calling Detective Scanlon and Devalos until either one of them picks up.    

With a sigh of defeat, she takes the elevator down to the first floor and is about to walk out of the building when she passes by a storage closet door. It’s open a crack. Out of curiosity, she opens the door.    

It’s almost pitch black in the closet, but Allison sees a figure near the back of the room. She hears a sniffle and a shaky sigh. She turns on the light. Devalos is leaning against some storage shelves. He straightens up quickly and wipes his eyes, shielding his face from Allison.

Immediately, Allison knows what this is about. The case they just barely finished today was about Arianna--Devalos’s daughter. She committed suicide some time back. The man who raped her had gotten out of prison, found out that Devalos was the reason why he had gone to prison for so long, and was going to rape and kill another girl. That is, unless Devalos admitted to fudging the case, thus losing his job as district attorney. Everything was a mess at first, but it was settled in the end--the man was murdered by some gang members. Still, the case couldn’t have been easy for Devalos.

Allison approaches him slowly. “Sir? Are you okay?”

Devalos continues hiding his face. “Yeah, yeah. Um,” he faces Allison finally. His face is red and tear-stained. “No. I’m not okay.”

Allison waits, not knowing what to say.

“It’s been… A tough case for me. I guess that’s obvious, since it was about Arianna.” Devalos speaks slowly, staring straight ahead. Allison watches as his eyes fill up with more tears. He ducks his head and puts a hand over his eyes. “I’m sorry,” he whispers, voice quavering.

Allison feels a rush of empathy for Devalos. She puts a hand on his shoulder. “Don’t be,” she says.

They stand there for a minute or two, neither person speaking. Allison respectfully doesn’t stare at Devalos, choosing instead to direct her gaze at the floor. She keeps her hand on his shoulder. She can feel him shaking with silent sobs.

Devalos keeps his hand over his eyes and stifles the sobs that wrack his body. It’s humiliating enough to cry at work without having Allison there, seeing his breakdown. He might be able to pull himself together enough to stop crying, but something about Allison’s hand on his shoulder makes him cry even harder. Maybe it’s because she knows why Arianna ended her life--why he failed as a father. Maybe it’s because he kept the reason for Arianna’s death away from his wife for so many years. Either way, all he knows is that he cannot stop crying. The tears just keep coming.

Allison knows that she should feel awkward right now, comforting her crying boss in a storage closet, but it feels natural. She can only imagine the burden Devalos has been carrying for all these years.

She waits until Devalos’s shoulder stops shaking and there’s only the occasional sniffle. She looks up and removes her hand from his shoulder. Devalos drops his own hand. His eyes are glossy, and he begins to wipe his face on his shirt sleeve.

“Here,” Allison pulls a tissue from her purse.

“Thank you.” Devalos takes the tissue and continues wiping his face.

They’re silent for a moment.

“I’m sorry about all this,” Devalos meets Allison’s gaze, then looks away.

“It’s okay,” Allison says softly.

They simultaneously walk to the door of the closet.

Devalos stops, sighs, and rolls his shoulders. “I need to go home and tell my wife everything. I appreciate your support… Thank you.” He manages a small smile. Allison smiles back.

“Goodbye, sir,” she says.

“Goodbye, Allison.”

They exit the storage closet and part ways.  

Still, by the clock's revolution each hour,
I dissolve into tears about ev'ry half hour.

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