You stand and look at the work piled on your desk and know that at the end of the day the pile would not only not likely be any smaller, but twice as big. But, the smirk on your face also tells another story, one that said in just twelve short hours none of this would be any of your responsibility anymore. Last day in homicide, and it feels good.
As yours fellow detectives walk in for what will be your last shift among the mighty members of the 3rd district (highest clearance rate in the city don't you know), you take a deep inhale and slowly exhale as you prepare to catch up on your paperwork that has been dogging you now for this whole last month since your transfer went through. Go through it did.
And it is at that moment that you realize the reason you are leaving the homicide division is not because, as you fooled yourself into thinking, because of the mountains of paperwork on your desk, but because you just can't deal with it anymore. Can't deal with the suspects, who for the most part seem to be completely cold blooded and unable to be rehabilitated. Can't deal with the victims, who as the years go on, seem to be younger and younger. Can't deal with yourself at night when you can't close a case and at least put a victim's mother and father's mind to rest about their offspring.
Offspring. That's what you called them to separate yourself from the case. Make sure you had a clear, uncompromised view of the investigation. But at the end of the day it was someone's son or daughter, and as was the job, these things just couldn't be solved sometimes. These were now the cases that made it hard for you to wake up, face the day, and come to work to do your job. A job, that by all accounts, many people think, many people say, you were born to do.
You open the first file on his desk gingerly, knowing the picture of an eighteen year old girl with a bullet hole through the center of her skull awaited you. You would still never get over what it feels like to walk upon one of these bodies, knowing you are the deciding factor between someone going punished and someone going free for this horrible crime. You read your notes slowly to try and determine which pile this folder would go on. You stare at the photo, the blond hair lying dead inside the chalk outline around her body, wondering what kind of future was cut short by whoever committed this atrocity. Could it have been a future senator or representative? Was it a future president lying dead in the picture in her college sweatshirt and faded blue jeans.
You don't know, but you do know it wasn't your responsibility after today. You close the file and throw it on a pile marked "dead-enders".
It is at this point that you are to go get your last horrible cup of homicide department coffee. But what stops you, what happens next, will completely change the course of your day and your outlook on life.
Your phone rings.