To Break A Heart


colby_icon.gif coren2_icon.gif

Scene Title To Break A Heart
Synopsis Coren chooses to be the one to take Colby in to identify the body of her wife.
Date August 3, 2009

NYPD: The Morgue

Although he didn't investigate it himself, when Coren heard about the death of Ariel Martinez, he couldn't help but offer himself up to escort the victim's wife to the morgue to identify the body. While he never had the luxury of doing so for his own wife, who had died in his arms back in 1978, he imagines that the horror and grief is much the same — emotions that most people can only scarecly comprehend. He also understands the need for silence, although that does make the walk through the cold corridors more awkward than they already area. It is only once they are in the observation room that Coren speaks. "Are you ready?" he asks quietly. The medical examiner is ready to remove the sheet from the body on Coren's command, allowing only the face to be seen from the observation screen.

It's not real. It's not real. It won't be Ariel in there. Colby's gaze is empty, even if her mind is busy with the task of denial, as she follows robotically at Coren's side. She blinks, most obviously snapping back to the present as the fellow officer addresses her. No verbal answer, just a nod, and her dark gaze aligns with the screen.

The medical examiner, watching the booth from down below sees Coren's nod and draws back the sheet with such delicacy that the sheet may as well have been a veil. Coren's gaze goes to the floor, sorrow in his eyes. He's ready to grab onto Colby with the grief he expects her to start showing. This is where almost all of the relative of victims he has known break down and start sobbing away.

Silece. Statuesque. Colby reaches out towards nothing, fingers dancing on empty air, and then it hits her. Her wife, her anchor to life, the mother to be of their unadopted child. Her thoughts begin to spin like a roulette wheel - the black of sorrow and the red of rage. She turns and cracks her fist into the cinder of the concrete walls , the snap the only sound to break the woeful quiet before she sinks to her knees, her shoulder shaking in silent sobs.

An efforts to break her from her little huddle would be pushed away from a long while, until the degrees of black give more and more to red…

She wipes her eyes with the heel of her hand before pulling her glasses down to cover her swollen eyes, remaining as she is knelt upon the floor. "I want to go in there," she offers, her voice course despite the silent nature of her shed tears, strained with the tangle of thoughts and emotions looped up inside.
There's shock and then there's something else entirely — it masquerades as shock. Coren has seen it before. Sometimes he thinks he's seen it all, having been in the law enforcement game for thirty-one years. There is a curt nod as he reaches a hand down for Colby to take to help her off the floor, even though he suspects she will not accept it. "You may think you're alone in this, but I do have some insight into what you're feeling right now. Shortly after my first wife and I got married, she was shot to death at the diner she worked at. She died in my arms. We'd been together for five years." His eyes flicker with tears as he looks down upon Colby. "You never forget," he says. "But it does get easier…. believe it or not."

He was right - she doesn't take his hand. Instead she presses her palms to her thighs and heaves herself from the floor with obvious effort - somewhere her body knew it would be right to stay down, to cry, and to grieve. She stuffs her hands in her jean pockets to keep from fidgeting - she'll find the bruises where her fingers press later, for now she's oblivious to the pain.

"I'm sorry for your loss." It's the plainly practiced reply of an officer. Then there is a little crack, however, a splinter of hope and personality from behind the Latina's strong shield. "How… how did you deal with it?" Her gaze slips back to the viewing screen and a tear sneaks out from beneath the bottom of her dark shades.

It's a robotic reply, to boot. Always has been. Coren never uses that line. He's known from day one, back in 1978, that it's a bad line. It offers nothing to the grieving survivors of violence. Nothing. He reaches an arm behind Colby, though he does not guide her with it, but instead directs his other hand towards the stairwell that leads down into the morgue. "I joined the police service. I pale to think of what may have happened if I ever caught up with the bastard who killed Jessica, but I know that she would never have wanted me to do anything to him I might regret." He chooses his words carefully. "Vengeance only makes the emptiness worse. Our loved ones who have passed … they don't want us to mourn their deaths, but to celebrate their life. It's our duty to them, our respect for them, to move on and live life the way they wanted us to live."

Colby stands a moment longer, as hesitant to stoop down the stairwell and take a place beside her lover's body as she is eager to do just that. She watches Coren a moment longer, searching his eyes for honesty, rather than the thought that his words are a hollow warning to keep her from straying from a legal path. She sighs and tucks her chin down before slipping down the hall. "Joining the police force is a replacement for vengeance in its own way…" Her words trail off, leaving the remainder of her thoughts unspoken before she descends the stair and into the cold morgue to view the vessel that once held the soul, love, and life of Ariel Martinez.

His eyes show nothing but honesty. They also show the guilt he still feels, because frankly, going into law enforcement was not even remotely close to what he and Jessica had planned for. "I know it is," Coren confirms. There's more he could say, but he does not. While he follows to the bottom of the stairwell, he remains outside of the morgue to give Colby some time alone. The medical examiner also leaves. Coren will stand watch, and he can only pray that the poor woman not make his mistake.

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