Sunday, October 10, 2010

First Night

I would be lying if I told you that I was looking forward to writing this post.
It's hard to reveal all this about myself and my life and yet it's an important piece of my story and my psyche; and it's all about coming full circle.

Caveat aside, Roc had one full day of Precinct Orientation at the actual precinct after New Year's Eve, and then he was out on the street. His first night he was placed with what I will loosely refer to as a "training officer"---a guy that had about six months on the job, so don't believe the TV hype---they don't actually put you with some lovable-but-tough veteran cop for your first night on the street, at least not in SoB.

We had said we would text each other as much as possible as we tried to come up with a plan to keep us connected. Keep something in mind as you're reading: I really can't call my husband at work. I don't know if the NYPD has an official policy on this or not, but what I do know is that I don't want to get him in trouble, or leave him in an unsafe position. He calls me when he can; otherwise we text...when we can.
My plan for that first night was to keep myself busy. I had some housecleaning to do, and I had plans to go to the mall. I initially tried to hang out with friends, but that didn't work out, so I was on my own. It was okay. I was excited for some retail therapy. Then I figured I would head home and hang with the pup, a hot cup of tea and one eye on the clock. His shift at the time was 6pm-2am.

The first few hours passed uneventfully. I would jump every time the phone rang, then lunge for it like a teenager with a rabid crush. Not him. Okay. Other people calling to see how I was holding up. Nice. Lt. Mo left a message about calling if I needed to talk. Very nice.
I headed out to the mall at some point, and of course while I was at the mall, Roc decided to call me. The mall's reception was sketchy, so I ended up walking in the dead center, trying to keep the signal.
"HI! How's it going?!" I'm sure I was shouting; I know I was flushed. I could see small children moving away from me out of the corner of my eye.
"Oh my God, it is popping off over here. Holy Shit! We already had a gun run. I've been doing verticals wouldn't believe the shit that's going on down here. The guy I'm with said it's a busy night, but...HOLY SHIT!" He seemed out of breath, but excited, and in awe of all that he was experiencing.
"OH MY GOD, Roc, be careful." I was pacing in the middle of the mall now; my stomach roiling. My heart started beating triple-time and I found myself about to start crying.
"I am. I will. I gotta go." With that, he clicked off and left me standing in my fears.
I exited the mall rather quickly and got into my car to head home. I started crying then, knowing that I knew more than he did. You see, I used to be the girl on the other end of the phone, calling the police for help. I knew what evil people were capable of...and I wanted him safe, no matter what. I dialed Lt. Mo's wife's phone. When I heard her voice, I collapsed into tears.
"Jasmine, I am just so scared...I know what he's in for...these people don't care...they're all on drugs, all of them, and I can't..." I broke into sobs as I navigated the car home. At some point she handed the phone to Mo.
"This is why I said you should call me." He was patient and kind, listening to my fragmented retelling of a story I knew all too well.

I was sleeping when I heard the first shouts from downstairs. YOU BASTARD! She screamed and then I heard something crash. I heard some scuffling, then my name being shouted, and crying. I hung at the top of the stairs, afraid to go down and afraid to move. My name again, then: Call the Police! I ran into my room and dialed the police. This was not the first time. It was the first time I had to deal with the horrible aftermath however; a broken fireplace poker when I ventured downstairs the next morning, and then the fact that I was grounded for three weeks for making that call. Because family business is private, and what goes on behind closed doors is nobody's business but ours. My mother had married a prince and I was left to pay the price.

I finally arrived home, and I somehow calmed down. Mo was a great friend; he assured me of many things, reiterating to me that there were 40,000 police officers in the NYPD, and most nights, all 40,000 of them went home safe. He urged me to call if I needed him again. I assured him I would.

I made the tea and cuddled with the dog while I waited for Roc to come home that night. I cried some more, and I prayed that we would both get through this unscathed. I felt the presence of God in my life that night; an opportunity to heal things long buried, and a knowing, strong and sure, that my life had come full circle.


  1. The first night is rough. I did not sleep that night...and I cuddled with my dog too. Thanks for sharing.


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