A half marathon in NYC is a logistical nightmare. Thousands of runners and thousands of spectators and thousands of rookie cops. 32 degrees out adds EMS and this day was going to fall apart fast. Bobbi was assigned as a rookie and a runner thanks to her boss who was always looking to show off his assets.
The crowd was happy, pumped up and so cold. A dry cold like the folks in Arizona called a dry heat. Bullshit. It was bitter.
Bobbi took a position mid pack radio and uniform displaying she was there to help. The running outfit brought lots of unwanted attention of the hit on kind. She went into her debutante mode and smiled her breathless, white smile. “Thank you for the lovely offer but I’m attached.” Her voice was sultry. She commented to an attractive stock broker running for a cause.
Bobbi waited for the gun and jogged off into the crowd. She spied fellow rookies in the heavy security as she continued the route watching and listening for any issues. Her radio continued a low sputter of falls and injuries but nothing major. She actually started to feel the burn of a good run when the sound tore through her.
A shriek enveloped her. Ice ran through her veins. This was blood curdling. Bobbi laser focused on the sound coming from an apartment on the sidelines. A window without a guard stood wide open. There hanging from the ledge was a small toddler. In the window stood a very large woman wielding a large carving knife. Bobbi cleared the channel and radioed for help. Help that if too loud, too slow, too anything would kill the baby. Bobbi pressed through the congregating crowd to further asses the building chaos. She was quickly joined by a small cadre. Officers began entering the area but the woman menacing in the window fixated on her.
“The devil is in my child. He is evil.” The woman yelled at Bobbi. Bobbi stared at her and considered her words. “What’s his name?” She called to the distraught mother. “Jedediah.” The crazed woman answered. “Ma’am that name means beloved by god.” Bobbi recalled the bit of name trivia. “He can’t be cursed by the devil.” Bobbi watched as the tow headed child looked like he was losing his fortitude. Bobbi maintained focus on the mom but spoke to the child. She glanced at the crowd and prayed help would come. And then it happened in slow motion. The little boy let go and started to fall. Slow motion the toddler fell through the cold air. Bobbi heard a scream. She quickly realized it was hers. And then a whoosh. The little boy was caught in the burly arms of two runners who stopped to see the commotion. Safe. And then the shot in the apartment. Mom charged at the arriving cops. Gone.
And there it was. Life changes in a heartbeat. It was over. One life saved. One life gone. Breath held was let go. Bobbi felt weary. Time for reports and statements on a marathon day.
Bobbi arrived home late. Her heart was heavy. She felt empty and alone. She missed Erik’s strong arms. She missed his love. She ached for the tender touch he could give her. She felt lost.