By Shelley Debartolo Campos
1. Unfinished Murder
Heavy breathing, shakiness. His cold sweats were breaking through his ratched white dirt patched jacket. Ezekiel Suarez was at the house on Jutland Street. Whatever task he was given, he needed his income. He could feel his skin wanting to break through a burst of hot anxious sweat.
Using the wooden paddle, he swung the door open, a pistol in each hand.
‘’Hands up!’’ he screamed at the woman in her 40s, with brown ombre blonde highlighted hair and crystal blue eyes.
‘’Leave her alone! -’’
‘’Scream one more time..’’ he threatened, as he pointed the 2 pistols at her rather anguished face. She refused to surrender.
He stood not less than a foot from the toddler with messy, puffy pigtails of dark brown hair, in the stranger’s living room. “What a cutie… only if she could shut up!’’
He was running out of time.
‘’What did I say!?’’ said Ezekiel. He shot the 40 year old mother in the eye. He kicked the 4 year old in the head, passed out in the living room.
‘’She will love you, and at last there is silence…’’ Ezekiel said.
She dropped her plushie and he grabbed her legs.
Ezekiel stood in the basement he rented from his sidekick and professional research tracker, Serena.
‘’I have the kid… when are you picking her up?’’ asked Ezekiel.
‘’Tonight,’’ said Edmon Suarez.
2. The Past Of A Potential Future Victim?
January 14, 1979
Haru Lissorano was sick of living in Los Amates, Guatemala. Until the age of 18, her room had flipped over into an icky room of boxes full of messy written stacks of papers. All the papers explained her plan to flee the country to move to California for a better minimum wage and a chance to help out her dreadful, uncaring family in the coming years. She knew this way she’d be prepared to find real work and money that was worth her effort.
A new spoiled favourite: Lily, Haru’s very first sister, was born.
Haru had spent “valuable’’ time by looking at all the Toms shoes, robes and beaded bracelets she had owned, more than Haru did as a child.
Being the eldest, single girl in her family followed by 4 younger brothers able to do anything they wanted, she was forced to do the dishes, pick up water from the river for the basins, dispose of chamber pots, clean the outhouses, and worst of all, cook 3 meals for the family of 6. She’d often run off into the neighbourhood across the gravel, between wooden houses seeking help from her neighbours.
Nobody knew that such an unkept 18 year old mattress would cost her a new life at the moment her eyes shut. In 1981, two months before she had planned to leave for California, she awoke in the middle of the night, moths and night beetles flying over the roofless, wooden plank roof.
She felt like throwing up, after a violent dream:
Haru felt intoxicated. Her body curled up in a ball and she felt as if she had fallen down a staircase, fracturing the floor.
As the sick feeling eased, the landline next to her mattress on the gravel concrete ground rang. It was her grandma’s voice on the other line.
Her grandpa was suffering from a stroke. Both were in their cottage with five nurses trying to take care of him. Her grandparents on her mom’s side had always felt like her parents.
Haru went digging through the cardboard box that she hid from her parents, looking for the map to her grandparents’ cottage.
Haru knew she would have to be prepared for times like these when she had to become a form of personal support worker. There’s no way she’d let this slip to her uncaring mother and let her deal with him.
She couldn’t find it. She was traumatically tormented.
Her grandparents were the only two that helped her, like love notes spilled in ink as passion across sheets. All her life. They helped her with chores when her mother wasn’t there to berate her.
Her ears began ringing, she wanted to rip through the itchy puffed-sleeve dress her mom had made her. Her boney, skinny, scarred body felt light as a feather.
She collapsed onto the mattress. Her caffeine pills had run out.
The dreaming phase seemed like it didn’t want to end. Her grandma who had been fighting cancer all her life came to the doorstep to leave a good luck object for Haru – a rubi jewelled rosarie.
Each jewel represented a prayer. She wrote her last goodbyes.
“You didn’t scrub the floors yesterday, didn’t you?!’’
Haru’s dream was interrupted by her mom yelling in Spanish, holding a stick in her hand.
‘’If my suitcases are ready, I hope you and your four sons are ready to do all the trash I’ve been through, with nobody checking to see whether I was scared or hurt. You will miss me when I either look good, or do good, adios,’’ Haru replied.
Twenty-five year old Haru sat in the rented basement bedroom of her best friend, Sania’s mansion, where she looked at her souvenirs of Nathan Phillips Square. They were always there for each other since diapers. Fights here and there. She had violent flashbacks of the dream she had in 1981: where she had failed to find the map of her grandparents’ cottage to possibly save her grandpa’s life. She still wondered why her grandma had dropped off the rubi-jewelled rosary at her doorstep. What more prayers should she be making?
Haru had spent the past 5 years in California working endlessly to send money to her mom in Guatemala. Who else would have the money?
‘’If my parents are anxious over my money for their life support they can smoke upon the devil’s lettuce,’’ she thought angrily.
They needed help with their dairy product business at the farm next to the house Haru was raised in.
Just then at that moment, she saw the TV: witnesses complaining of gunshots, screaming, and a car descending down the road.
Haru left for a walk.
3. Speeding With Bloody Fingertips
Present day of crime, 1986.
As he was heading into his Lambo on Brookhaven Drive, Edmon Suarez was getting ready to collect his victim, Nora Amana.
Edmon drove onto Rake Road, where he found Ezekiel’s Lambo speeding at about 80 km in the distance. He dialed his cell number.
‘’Look at your side mirror!” said Edmon.
Ezekiel noticed the red and blue lights in the back. ‘’Jeez, I need to get home!’’ he thought. His engine was roaring like firecrackers going off in his ear. “I’ll have to jump out.’’
He recklessly squeaked and swerved his car to the left passing the traffic light onto Russel Street. “Here goes nothing.’’
While keeping one hand on the wheel he lifted his left arm up and pushed open the window door on the ceiling of his Lambo. He flipped out of his car through the ceiling, landing in an open space of grass, where down the hill there was a pathway of bushes leading to a ditch between two apartment buildings.
His Lambo crashed. What a great distraction. As he entered the gangster ditch he hid behind a dumpster. The sirens were roaring a bit closer to his location.
‘’Someone’s coming,’’ Ezekiel shivered.
Haru was depositing money into a hispanic bank for her mother in Guatemala to collect. As she was walking alone, she thought a different route could make a great shortcut.
The sight of a dark aisle of thrown, moldy graffiti fences had filled her eye.
Snatched pieces of window and beer glass swirled in the burning night air.
‘’I have to get home!’’ she thought.
She ran past the dumpster as a flash of black whipped into her eyesight. She found herself on her knees, locked in that position. She saw blue and red lights about 10 metres in the corner of her eye. She heard running footsteps go past her.
Keychains jiggled, as he was holding a bat and a belt full of pistols. Who was the officer chasing? That’s when she saw his face: black dyed hair into grey highlights, blue eyes, that white, dirt patched jacket.
Holding the knife against her neck, Ezekiel Suarez said the words that hit at her, dropping her eyes wide open: ‘’You’re gonna do what I say…’’
4. Why Me?
“Do you think she’s okay? It’s been 2 hours, she’s never taken this long on walks,’’ Danila, the maid spieled.
“Ah, you know typical Haru loves procrastinating, maybe she was short on money?’’ said Sania.
He knew if she told the police, he’d be screwed.
“Let me out, freak! What am I here for!?’’
Haru’s puffy black perm was in a crispy texture of dried up blood. She found her foot attached to the chains. She looked behind and saw her: dark brown hair in pigtails, blue eyes, about 5 years old, pale skin, wearing a grey sweater. Her eye was bruised.
“You! How did you get here?’’ Haru whisper-yelled in curiosity.
Haru softly comforted the girl, calming down her tears.
“Guy.. Hit.. Me..’’ Nora whispered in fear.
The door swung open as dust flew into their faces. Both men walked in. “Give me her,’’ said Edmon Suarez.
His strict, sturdy face and body gave it all away. The mild wrinkles on his face and cold green eyes accompanied by his grey box dyed book bangs were like a slap in the face.
Nora backed away as Ezekiel ran over and repeatedly pulled her hair.
“Let me go! What did you do to my mom?!’’ Nora screeched, banging on the concrete wall.
Edmon Suarez handed over the $800 to Ezekiel as he dragged Nora by the neck and shoulders.
Her crying echoed in Haru’s head. It made her feel homesick.
‘’You use innocent people for this!?’’ Haru snapped at him.
Suddenly, she felt like that face was familiar.
‘’Do you want to die?’’ Ezekiel questioned. He stared at her. The gun looked familiar to Haru as well.
‘’…In the end I probably will.’’ Her voice descended to a quieter tone.
Ezekiel continued staring.
“If I put you in a different room, you better shut up.’’ As he went back to his office, something was off. “Dumbass! The deal was $800, he gave me $300!’’
Storming out of his office, he reached for it. He opened the outside front door as it banged against the wall, back and forth.
Ezekiel chased after Edmon’s car just as it was driving towards Oakville street.
He shot the bullet at both tires as the car came to a stop.
“Hello 911, I found Nora Amana.’’ Ezekiel smirked with a vengeful grin. “Dad finally learned his lesson,’’ he thought.
He stood behind the under-construction household next to him. He knew deep down that the spot he was in today was all because of his 1st gunshot, starting with animals in the forest back at the age of 12. His dad always kicked his back to make him more “manly and strong.’’
‘’Again,’’ his dad would say.
That word always hit him. At 16 he got the hang of it, having a nosy ignorant temper, mindlessly hurting everything around him became a hobby.
“What will he do to me, send me away like Nora?’’ Haru’s memory was becoming a whole mission.
5. Forgotten Diagnosis
Faint screams were dancing in the halls, echoing in Haru’s ears.
“When are we killing her?’’ Serena asked Ezekiel from outside the cell.
Haru’s cell door busted open.
“Why so sad?’’ Ezekiel walked in, staring her right in the eye.
‘’You do know the chance that the police find you is bigger now,’’ Haru stated.
“The fuck do you mean?’’
‘’You kidnapped the daughter of a famous person. Nora probably knows your face and location. Unless you have a good reason to keep me, me being here is making it worse,’’ she added.
‘’If I put you in a different room, will you shut up?’’
While Sania was driving back home after interviewing Nora at the hospital, she began having a flashback of when she and Haru were escaping California to Toronto, where they were stopped by a doctor at the border.
Sania at the time knew the best English.
“So what is it?” she asked.
“Your friend.. she’s not like everyone.. her mindset is different,” the doctor said.
“Isn’t that normal?”
“In her case it’s not. Something could trigger her mindset…it might affect her as she gets closer to 30.”
“Why are you telling me this, is it dangerous?”
“Very… her mindset could turn… criminal.”
“Ha, very funny. I don’t have time for this crap.”
“I’m warning you, as a doctor, but see for yourself.”