She seems like any other office person; swift to answer my questions yet reserved to offer information.
"I'm here to see Detective M." I say in my most confident voice.
"Do you have an appointment?" she asks.
"No." I reply.
Her irritation is palatable through the Plexiglas that divides our rooms. I see her shuffling paperwork, sip a cup of a hot beverage, and then exit through a door which leads to a beige hallway.
I wait to see what the hallway holds.
"Sparking, can you hear me?" My unflappably patient therapist inquires.
"Yes. Yes, I can hear you." I have just come out of a seizure and am lying prostrate on her floor.
"Why do I keep having these seizures?" I inquire.
"It's like an electrical short in your nervous system. When things become too overwhelming, you short-circuit and begin to seize. It's part of the shock leaving your body. I know it feels bad, but, it is a sign of progress that your body is releasing it.
"I know where that house is," I say breathlessly. "I need to go to the police."
"Sparking, I support you and will corroborate what I can. But, I want you to be prepared for what you might encounter."
"I don't care. Nothing can be worse than what I've already lived through."
The beige door opens and two police officers emerge. One looks friendly and one looks official. I brace myself.
"Do you have an appointment with Detective M.?" the official one asks.
"No. He asked me to draw him a map to where a body is buried for a murder I witnessed. I thought I would come do it in person," I offer.
"I'm Detective T. Who did you see murdered?" He asks with a note of hostility in his voice.
"I am not sure what her name was, but I can describe her to you."
"When did this happen?" He squints his eyes and his brow furrows. I feel as if I am beginning to be interrogated in the lobby of the homicide office.
"About twenty-five years ago."
"Why are you coming forward now?" He steps forward with both hands on his hips peering down over his brows at me as if I am a suspect.
I can feel the room shrinking.
"Sparking, the amount of physical evidence alone that is required to prosecute a regular homicide, let alone one that happened a long time ago, is overwhelming," my therapist offers.
"I don't care. It's the right thing to do. I have to try."
"On the slim chance they do investigate, you, unfortunately, would make a horrible witness." She offers truthfully.
This information hits my windpipe and all I can offer is, "I know."
"I know we have gone over this several times, and I believe you have a lot of details to offer the police, but please understand that someone with your trauma and addiction history does not bode well for a jury - if it even gets that far." She is holding my interlaced hands, bouncing them up and down for effect as we sit across from one another. She is looking me in the eyes and I am looking at the floor wondering where my dignity is.
My eyes are stinging now as I fight back the tears, "I have to try."
She smiles, "I know. I know you do."
"I am coming forward now because I have recovered memories in therapy which detail a crime I witnessed. It is one of many," I say as confidently as I can.
"Who got murdered?" He shoots at me like a bullet.
"I don't know who it was; but I know who did it and where she is buried."
"Who did it?" He almost laughs.
"My father." I reply coolly.
The lobby erupts with his snort-like chuckle. The other officer, who had been invisible in the conversation, steps forward to offer a few kinder words. I can tell he is trying to overshadow the other officer's behavior.
"Mam, maybe what you need is to see a counselor. We have a resource center that offers free counseling to those who financially qualify. Let me get you the pamphlet." He crosses the lobby to a wiry rack holding colorful brochures.
I ignore him and wait for the other officer to regain his composure.
"Will you support me in doing this?" I ask my counselor shakily.
"Of course I will. I just want you to be prepared for what you are in for. I've gone through a couple of investigations and they are very stressful, and these investigations were nothing along the lines of the magnitude of what you've been through." Her smile is warm.
"I understand. I just have to try. Do you understand?" I ask meekly.
"Yes. Yes I understand."
"You are very welcome."
"You want us to believe that you saw your father murder someone, oh, yes, a girl, twenty-five years ago?" Before I can reply he says, "Every one of these cases turns out to be a daughter holding a grudge."
"All I can tell you is this is true. I have seen the memory over and over again in my mind with excruciating detail. I can tell you what she looks like, where she is buried, and who did it. I can tell you anything you want to know."
He stares at me while his shoulders still bounce up and down amused. "And why should we believe you over him? How do we know you're not here just to air old grievances? Why should we waste our time hunting down your personal vendetta?"
I take a deep breath, draw my shoulders back noticeably, and stand taller than I can ever remember being. My eyes lock with his in a momentary stand-off.
"Sir, this is my father. I can think of nothing more vindicating than to be wrong."
His shoulders deflate and his usual quick wit is stymied. After a moment, he taps the other officer's arm that is now back at his side and says, "Sgt. H. Please go get this woman a piece of paper." He continues to stare.
Sgt. H. flashes a small smile in my direction as he passes through the door. He shuffles down the hallway at a brisk pace.
Detective T. just keeps staring.
When Detective M. finally calls two days later, all he offers me is, "we will not launch a homicide investigation on a memory alone. I'm sorry."
I hang up the phone.