**To start from the very beginning: From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas
The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas
Facing truths can be difficult; no matter how hard we try to push some away, the dark ones are sometimes the hardest to contain. Coming from the hospital, after Zarian called to set up the meeting, the ride over was tense. It remained that way even entering the apartment. Berrak, with Zarian by her side, sat facing her niece, Kristina. Her eyes were glistening from the held in tears. Kristina was leaning back as far as she could.
“So, you’re my aunt. Huh. Can’t say it’s nice to really meet you.”
“Kristina!” Rovas growled.
“Tina. Tina, not Kristina. Kristina is then.”
“Tina,” Berrak said, “I’m sure this isn’t easy for you. I only just found out about you; believe me, this is just unsettling for me as well. I am so angry at my brother for hiding you from me, us.”
“I’m not too fond of ‘dad’ myself. Only good thing out of all this was ‘Uncle’ Zarian here.” She half smiled a nod his way.
Berrak turned and looked at her husband at the use of his nickname. He shrugged. “She called me that after I told her my name, our connection. Not my doing.”
“It’s more natural. The ‘K’ is kinda harsh sounding.” She pointed to herself. “So, no more ‘Kris’, less harsh me. No more ‘Kha”, and the Inspector becomes…”
“Less harsh and easier to relate to,” Berrak nodded. “I’ve called him Zarian ever since our first date.”
An uncomfortable silence fell over all three of them. Berrak looked around the tiny apartment. Kristina…Tina, she would have to remember…had simply decorated in various shades of blue and white. It was calming, she thought.
Tina picked up her soda pop bottle, took a swig, and looked directly at Berrak. “OK; we’re here. You met me. What do you really want?”
Berrak was at first taken aback by her niece’s hostility, but that morphed into her own anger. She looked at Rovas. “I’d like a few moments alone with Tina, Zarian. Please.”
Rovas looked at both women: defiance radiating from one, the other determination. He got up from the table. “I’ll…take a look around outside. Make sure no one followed us.” He bent over, kissed Berrak’s cheek, and then patted Kristina on the shoulder as he made his way to the apartment door. It quietly snicked closed behind him.
“He’s a good man,” Tina said, anger abated. “I really haven’t met many good men, before. I’m…sorry.”
“Yes, he is a good man. A very good man. And, it’s all right. This is all so out of nowhere. All I really want is to get to know you. You’re family.” She stopped and tilted her head. “You do look like him a little. Your father, I mean. Nose area, eyes. Berk was stupid, what he did. He just…”
“Made a mistake?” Tina’s defiance was back up.
“No. You are not a mistake. He was a bit too self centered. As much as he wanted to protect his wife from any pain, from what Zarian told me, Berk was protecting himself much, much more. He was like that as a child. I had hoped that had changed when he got older. He cared about appearances.”
Tina nodded, turning away when some tears started to fall.
Berrak reached across and took Tina’s left hand in her right. Tina squeezed Berrak’s hand, closing her eyes, her head downcast. Khazarian called, telling Berrak he’d be in the coffee shop across the street. The two women talked, getting to know each other, breaking through barriers on one side while a bond was beginning to form for both.
Through Zarian help, and Gil’s, Tina managed to stay clean. She attended meetings, finished her GRE’s, and had been admitted to a community college. Sadly, her mother passed away a year ago. This brought a new set of tears-on both sides-as Tina related her teenage years, problems with her mother, barely acknowledging her father the few times he reached out to her.
This brought them to her drug use and turn to prostitution. Tina had little to say, except that she owed Lilly a debt for taking her off the streets. Tears flowed again, and Berrak sensed, in Tina’s reluctance to continue, that there was something more to be gleamed.
She got up and walked to the other side of the table, sitting next to Tina. She pulled her close; Tina’s head rested on her shoulder, which was getting slightly soggy.
“Tina, do you remember anything about that night?” she asked, as gently as she could.
Picking her head up and wiping away the tears with her left hand, she shook her head no. Yet, Berrak felt Tina’s whole body shaking.
“Tina, something has been bothering me. If the other girls and the madame were protecting you from this…deviant…When Zarian and Gil removed you from the house, they also moved the tea service to the kitchen. So many things they did wrong by the law, for you.
The thing is, the tea service was also checked by the crime team. It had been wiped clean like the others, except for unknown prints: yours, I assume. If the others hid him from you, why was your tea service devoid of other prints?”
Tina started another flow of tears, bringing her legs up under her chin, her forehead on her knees. “I, I…couldn’t…I couldn’t tell…please. Stop. Please.” They both sat quietly, Berrak continuing to hold onto her niece.
“What couldn’t you tell? Your mother?” Tina shook her head. Berrak held back her own shudder. “Zarian?”
Berrak got up and walked to the window that was facing the street. She took out her cell phone.
“Zarian, come up…now. Yes, it’s important. I think our Tina has something she’d like to tell us.”
She watched as he came out of the coffee shop and walked across the road. Once he entered the building, she turned around and faced Tina. Her eyes were wide, swollen but dry. She blinked a few times, and looked up at Berrak.
“I saw the man who killed the others. I saw the man who was going to kill me.”
“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. As this has progressed, it’s become something more for me. I wasn’t planning to do such a connected story line, but it’s the way it has worded out for me. I hope you’ve been enjoying this, mistakes and all.
As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:
The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.
The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.