Identity Reveal 

Detective Richardson leaned back in his Lazy Boy and stared at the ceiling fan directly over his head in his study. He took a long drag off his cigar, blowing the smoke out slowly as he thought about his encounter with Ms. Shelia at the station. He chuckled to himself as he remembered her remark in regard to Smooth being a “son of a bitch.” 

She was a woman who didn’t mind saying exactly what was on her mind. he liked that kind of woman. A woman who wasn’t imitated by his badge, blackness, and stature in height. And to top it off she was a black beauty too. But forget that! I don’t have time for any woman right now. Richardson took another long drag off his cigar, watching the tip of it glow red. That’s what Shelia was, red hot!

There went those thoughts in his head again. Thoughts that always got him in trouble when he didn’t focus on the case at hand. The last time he got caught up personally in a case, he ended up having to defend himself to his boss when the lady claimed he used her to arrest her nephew, June Bug, for murder. It was true, but, still, he kind of liked the lady. Of course, he had to stop seeing her, and she didn’t want to see him anymore anyway, so it all worked out for the good. And he did solve the case. 

Richardson’s thoughts were interrupted by the phone ringing. He thought about ignoring it but decided to take the call.

“Yeah, Richardson here.”

“Mr. Richardson, this is Judge Washington.” 

The sharp tone of the judge’s voice caused Richardson to sit up in attention and put out his cigar with his free hand. 

“Yes, Judge Washington.”

“Are you busy?”

“No, Judge Washington. How can I help you? But first let me give you my condolences for the loss of your son. I want you to know I’m doing everything in my power to find his killer.”

“Yes, I’m counting on you to do just that, find his killer.” The Judge’s voice changed, sounded tired, and sad. 

Washington was known as a stern judge who worked her way to the top to be one of the leading female Black attorneys in the city. She became a judge in her early forties and was now in her early sixties. She was widowed at age fifty-five and her only son, Booker T, as she called him, was also her only child. She herself was an only child and both her parents had died a year apart when she was in her early twenties. The insurance money she received paid for her law degree. She was a hard worker, a judge that was known for not tolerating any shenanigans in her courtroom. Lawyers feared her and when they saw her name on the court docket for their cases they would double-check their facts, evidence and witnesses to ensure they had all of their "ducks in a row" before the trial. Richardson had been in her court on several occasions to testify against people he had arrested and experienced firsthand her no nonsense approach to questioning. She stifled a sigh before continuing.

“Richardson, the word in your precinct is that you are the best at your job.”

“Thank you Judge.”

“I didn’t say you were the best. I said the word of others is that you are the best.” Washington’s tone went back to being sharp.

“Yes, you’re correct.”

“I hope that you will prove them true.”

“I’ll do my best, as always.”

“What have you found out so far?”

“We are still in the preliminary stages. However, we have several leads that we are investigating.”

“I would like to be kept abreast of any developments as you find them. Will this be a problem?”

“I don’t anticipate one Ma’am." 

“Good.  Then we are on the same page.”

“What page is that your honor?”

“That you will do your best to find the killer of my son and report to me any leads on the case as they develop.”

“That is the plan.”

“Good day.”

“Good day to you also Judge, I...”

The Judge had hung up before Richardson could finish his sentence. Richardson hung up the phone, picked up his cigar, relit it and leaned back into his Lazy Boy. He could see that this case was going to be quite different. Different indeed. It was easy to put off ordinary citizens while you worked a case. Not so easy when the citizen is a judge.