Chief called back. Said that Lizzie's dad hasn't been anywhere near here in a long time. After his probation was done (nowhere near long enough as it should have been) he moved out west and hasn't even made an attempt to check in with his daughter. Not much of a surprise; he didn't care before, he's not going to care now.
By now I'm sure you're all sick of hearing about her dad. I'm not a huge fan, as it has been blatantly obvious to see. But that kind of thing gets me mad, and for it to happen to Lizzie of all people...it's just...
Listen- Lizzie's mom died when she was two. Suicide. I'm guessing she had spent too much time living with the bastard and couldn't stand another minute of it. There weren't any other relatives living nearby, so that meant that Mr. Armeen was left to take of Lizzie all by himself.
Personally, I'm amazed she's still alive.
It wasn't just physical abuse. It was mental. Emotional. Whenever she tried to pick herself up, he would tear her down. She didn't ride a two-wheeled bike until she was thirteen because of the things her dad was saying to her. She never tried out for plays or did sports or anything like that because she had it in her head that she “wasn't good enough”. He would call her every discouraging thing in the book: “no good”, “worthless”, “useless”, all that shit. It got to a point where she barely functioned.
Yeah, I know: Lizzie, not working excessively, not bubbly and not an annoying ray of sunshine? Perish the thought.
And of course, she saw the back of his hand a few times. Armeen was unemployed due to a disability on the work site, so they got by on welfare and Lizzie working since she turned twelve. As such, he would loaf around the majority of the day and expect her to do the housework and chores, and if they weren't done the way HE wanted it, guess who had to pay for it. Dishes not clean enough? Back of his hand. Trash not thrown out? One smack with the belt, IF she was lucky. Most nights she wasn't.
And the drinking. Because what story would an abusive father be without drinking, right? Not much, and not every night, but when he did drink, God help her if she was near him or got him angry. She wore more make-up just to cover black eyes, bruises, and split lips than she did to make herself look good.
By the time she was in college, though, she began to pick herself up. She made some friends, she participated in the Criminal Justice club, and eventually completed her major in CJ. She got into the academy, working two jobs to pay for it, and eventually made her way to the detective department, the greatest achievement she had accomplished so far in her life.
Her deadbeat dad didn't even bother showing up to her own ceremony.
She made a name for herself, got friendly with a lot of the detectives working there, became legendary for putting everything she had into every case she worked. If she proved herself there, then it made up for all the years of shithole abuse, she figured. She wanted to be the best, for once in her life. She wanted to be in control.
Cut to a few years later, when I joined the department. I was your typical rookie from the city; cocky, arrogant, thinking I had the answers to everything. Of course, I'm STILL like that, the only difference being that I really DO have the answers to everything. But boy, was I one gung-ho motherfucker. I believe Eric used to call me “Billy the Kid”, because talk was that I would probably shoot first, be a detective later. This was before I had made a reputation for myself, so all I could really do was talk big and make empty promises to rough up anyone who was talking about me behind my back.
They put me with Lizzie coming right into the office. And I have to say, I HATED it at first. I didn't know her, she didn't know me, she's a workaholic, I wanted to get out onto the streets and play Savior. We fought all the time, the kinds of fights like the one we had a few weeks ago. I swear to God, I must've requested a different partner at least three times those first couple of months. I could not stand that girl. Sure, she was hot in her own “I'm-six-years-older-than-you-but-I-act-like-I'm-seven” kind of way, but after two days- two freaking days- of working the desk with her, I was ready to kill myself. She was the most schizophrenic woman ever- works to the death, yet still acts like a child. She still does, though that's the part I love about her now instead of hate about her.
I don't think I could ever forget the night I met her dad. It was one of those nights that redefines everything you think you know about a person. Up until this point, I knew nothing about her family life, or even her personal life, and then afterwards, everything changed.
I had been working with her for about five months, and we had kind of lightened up on each other. Kind of. We had gone out with a couple of the guys from work, and then she was driving me home when her phone rings. It's her dad; he's waiting up on her. She talks to him for a couple of minutes, and I could tell this was not the conversation a parent and child should be having, but I kept my tongue bitten for once as she hung up and told me we were making a pit stop.
So she goes in, and I'm sitting in her car, waiting for her to get back. I must have been in there for fifteen, twenty minutes, and I start to get impatient and I'm about to call her when all of a sudden I hear a loud shout and something crashing against the wall. There's more yelling, and before I know it, I'm out of the car and bursting into the house, with my gun drawn, just as I hear a loud smack!
The sight in the kitchen was one that was burned into my mind. Lizzie was on the ground, her hand over her already stinging-red cheek, her nose trickling some blood, while her drunk-as-a-skunk father stood over, his fists balled. The breaking sound was a beer bottle being chucked against the wall. He took a step towards her, and that was the first time I ever saw her cringe in fear, and the sight of that just...something hit me deep inside.
That was the first time since I was a kid that I completely lost it. I tossed my gun to the side- why satisfy my rage with a gun?- and grabbed Armeen's arm, twisted him around, and punched him right in the face. I could pretty much feel his nose break against my knuckles as he fell backwards. Before he could retaliate I practically jumped on him, slammed his head against the counter twice, then just proceeded to beat the shit out of it, just like I did to Conaghan. Punch here, kick there, throw him against the wall at one point. I could barely comprehend anything, me punching him, Lizzie screaming for me to stop, Armeen trying to fight back but having no luck whatsoever and I just kept...wailing on him until Lizzie finally grabbed my arm and pulled me off of him.
That snapped me out of it. I just looked at the bloody hulk that was her father on the ground, the blood on my knuckles, and the stunned look on her face to know that I had blacked out for the first time in a long time. That was the start of my reputation; guys at the office knew that I really COULD kick their asses, and the talking behind my back ceased.
Mr. Armeen got five years probation and a restraining order stating that he could not come within fifty yards of his daughter. Like I mentioned above, he had moved out of state, and except for one or two drunken phone calls, he rarely ever pays her much attention. Not that she minds it. In fact, it was like freeing her from enslavement.
As for the two of us, I took her home after the cops took her dad away, and we talked. Really talked. And from that point on, we were pretty much always together. We worked together, hung out, went to restaurants and movies on our days off. I learned what she liked and didn't like and little ways to cheer her up, and she knew what ticked me off and how to defuse me if she felt I was going to get out of control. After a few months, the sex started up; we were wasted the first time and did it for fun, the second time was sober and just to experiment, and from there it was as regular as going to the store for food. But at the office, we were just Zeke and Lizzie, a mismatched pair, but a really good working force.
Rule Number One of our job: You always protect your partner, no matter what. I designated myself her “savior” since that night, and I've been doing a damn good job of it so far. I'm not about to let her down now.
She'd probably kill me if I posted this, but hey, she gave me the blog to get everything out, so here I go. Besides, you probably already figured most of this out for yourselves, so what's the harm in the full story.
Nothing else has really changed. I'm trying to ease up on the questions. I know her; she'll tell me when she wants to. I'm going to go and pop a movie in for her. Maybe that'll calm her down a little.
May post again tomorrow. Not sure yet. Stay tuned.