The bullet missed me by an inch. I had to make it look close, or else they might all try to interrogate me some more. I was willing to answer the detective’s questions, but only because of how she’d made me feel all this time. It was clear to me that she was off my case, and someone else would be taking over, especially after her accidental misfire.
I peered up at her with my head tilted downward. I wanted to keep my head down in case the rest of the officers were watching. She stared back at me, unaffected by the shot. I figured she believed me now.
My minions remained still and didn’t utter a word. They obeyed my original command and watched from their respective corners. They both had smiles on their faces, enjoying the altercation. Jealousy’s shoulders repeatedly bounced from his laughter.
“Sir, are you alright?” a male voice asked. It shook me from my collective observation of the room and penetrated my ears as if my head were submerged underwater. The man repeated the question, and the sound rose with a gradual increase as if I’d pulled my head from the water.
“I believe so,” I answered.
“Were you hit?” he asked, scanning my head and neck for injuries.
“No,” I answered, staring at the detective.
“Get her out of here!” he shouted. A few uniformed police officers entered the room and escorted her out. The man shut the door behind them and turned to look at me. “You’re a head case, no doubt about that, but she shouldn’t have shot at you,” he said.
“It wasn’t the first time I’ve had a gun pointed at me, and I’m sure it won’t be the last,” I joked.
“You’re awfully calm for someone who almost had their head blown off,” he said.
“Would it make you feel better if I were a horrified mess? Panicking and shaking from the ordeal?” I asked.
“It would be more human,” he replied.
“We both know I’m not,” I said, grinning. “So why play the charade?”
I enjoyed being myself. For far too long, I had behaved in a manner that I thought would get me the admiration I desired from those closest to me. It was clear to me now, that any admiration I would have received would have been false. But I knew there would be consequences for my actions and honesty.
“You are by far the weirdest individual I’ve crossed paths with,” the man added. “You’re a good-looking guy. You dress nice and appear to have everything together, but yet here you are, claiming to be some God.”
“What do my looks and the way I dress have anything to do with my claims?”
“Have you ever seen a psychopath or someone who’s out of their mind?” I shook my head. “Well, let’s just say they aren’t the most polished turd in the toilet bowl.”
“All I did was answer the detective’s questions,” I said, changing the subject. “She wanted honesty, and so I gave it to her. I was happy to do so based on our time together.”
“I’m glad you brought that up because I’m wondering what happened between you two on this little trip away,” he replied. “She explained that there was a car accident that should have killed, or at least injured, you both. Yet, there were no injuries to either of you. You don’t appear to have a scratch on you.”
“I got lucky,” I said.
“Did you?” he asked. “I heard you were thrown from the car. There’s no way you could escape that without a scratch.”
“What are you doing?” I asked, showing him how irritated I was at his questions. I didn’t understand what he was trying to accomplish. Did he want me to repeat myself and my godly claims? That didn’t make any sense to me.
“Asking you questions,” he mocked.
“I get that, but you’re asking me similar things to what the detective just got finished asking me before she almost blew my head off,” I replied. “I know you were listening in, so it’s unclear why you would poke at me to reveal the same answers.”
“What game are you playing?” he snapped. “What are you trying to pull?”
“I’m not playing a game, and I’m not trying to pull anything,” I answered.
The man glared at me from across the table. He sized me up, and I knew he was trying to make me feel uncomfortable. This type of tactic probably worked on mortal criminals but not a god like me. I was losing my patience, and I could feel the hate boil inside of me.
“Just give in, Dinlas,” Hatred said, chewing on her lower lip. “You gave into it once before—”
And look at what happened as a result of that decision.
“You’re getting nowhere with this guy, Din,” Jealousy added. “I’m with her on this. You should just do what you ultimately want to do so we can leave this place and get back on the road.”
The man caught me staring at my minions. He snapped his fingers loudly. “She warned me you would do that,” he said.
“What do you want from me?” I asked in a stern tone. I wanted him to know I meant business, and I wouldn’t be intimidated by his feeble attempts to make me feel inferior.
“Let’s just cut through all the bull,” he said, leaning forward. “I know there’s something to you, and I can see you’re different from the normal riff-raff we get in here. I know you’re going to stick to this god crap, so I’m going to get to the brass tax. I think you’re running some type of operation, whether it’s drugs, trafficking, or something else. I think you want that girl for whatever you’re running. So, how about you come clean and fill me in on that, and I’ll agree to go easy on you.”
“Don’t play dumb with me!” he yelled. “She called to report you chasing her.”
I had been so caught up in my mixed emotions about the detective that I had forgotten about her. I didn’t have any more interest in her at the moment. I knew our paths would eventually cross again, and when they did, I would make the most of my opportunity.
Anything I would say wouldn’t matter. This man had made up his mind about me and already assumed he knew what I was up to or what I was involved in.
“I hate to break it to you, but she lied to you all,” I said. “The fact is that we know each other, and she’s involved in the same business as I am. She just wears a mask that’s better suited for mortal eyes. Her innocence tugs at your heartstrings while my exterior threatens your comfort and confident resolve.”
The man jumped from his seat, grabbed my collar, and attempted to push me backward in my chair. I didn’t budge. I looked up, smiled, and winked at him. This angered him more. He snarled and threw his body weight at me. My chair wiggled, but I remained seated.
“Does everyone at this precinct struggle with self-control?” I mocked. “Because I don’t give you what you want to hear, you resort to violence and intimidation?”
His hatred soared, and I felt the euphoric surge within me. I savored the taste it gave me as I watched Hatred soak it in. She laughed hysterically as she buckled to the floor. The surge in power made the fluorescent lights flicker, interrupting the man’s assault on me.
“There’s more to your story, and your whole god complex is a cover for something else,” he said. “I know you’ve been on the road. I wonder what I may find when I go digging into your travels and your past.”
I took a deep breath, looking up at him. “You do whatever you feel you have to,” I said. “But I warn you, I don’t plan on staying here long.”