Joan Mudarris sat at her desk smoking a cigar, looking at a piece of paper. The paper read the names of three people: Steven Young, Preston Adams, and Carlos Ramirez. After, looking at the list for one last time she got her lighter and burned the list until it was no longer there…
…6 months earlier…
Joan Mudarris is a 23-year-old college graduate from Florida State University, born and raised in The Bronx, New York. Joan is a beautiful, educated woman who stands at five foot eight inches, long black curly hair, hazel eyes, and a body that made not only guys but girls turn their heads.
Joan was an incredible woman and well-liked by many of her peers. However, Joan had baggage, baggage that a close friend of hers thought was holding her back. Of course, Joan did not agree with that statement, but her best friend Simone thought otherwise. Joan knew she was okay she lived seven years of her life fine and enjoyable. The only time she would have what she considered a relapse is when she saw the people on her list.
The list was dangerous for her. The list contained 2.5 people she strongly disliked. You are probably wondering what the .5 was on her list. Well, the last person on her list she did not dislike, he never did her wrong he just did not know how to handle certain situations; therefore, half of Joan actively disliked him.
Yeah, you probably guessed it. The list was people, mainly guys, who Joan strongly disliked because she felt they did her wrong in the past. May sound crazy, but these men met a lot to Joan, Joan cared about all of them more than she ever thought she would.
Number 1 on the list was Steven Young. Steven Young was 21 years old and someone who Joan disliked more than anything. Every time, Joan saw a photo of Steven, heard his name, or even saw him she broke down. But when he saw him she broke down the worst. Her heart beats fast, her mood changes, and she gets upset. She wants to get over him fully, but she doesn’t know how. Unlike the other guys on her list, Steven is the only guy who will be in her life forever. Joan and Steven’s families were friends. And Joan was extremely close to Steven’s father. So losing contact with the family was never going to happen no matter what she did. Joan knew she could not just abandon them.
Number 2 was Preston Adams, he was also 23 years old and went to Florida State with Joan her freshman year. Even though Joan did not dislike Preston as much as Steven, she still disliked him. The few times she saw him after he left Florida she hated it and would always have to take a shot of whiskey to numb the pain. Joan is over Preston, but that does not mean that Joan has to like Preston.
Number 2.5 was Carlos Ramirez. Now Carlos was complicated because Joan truly disliked him, but at the same time Joan liked him as a person and would always be there for him regardless of the unfortunate situations that have transpired between them. Joan would purposely try to avoid seeing him at times. However, she still found moments when she missed him. The problem was she did not understand why.
Well, they were dead. All of them. Number 1, 2, and 2.5. They were dead.
How did that happen? Murder was the answer. Ironically, every person on that list, every person that Joan hated was dead.
The first crime scene was of Carlos Ramirez. Ramirez body was at a football field with a football by his head. By his body were the words “Ball is Life.” What did that mean? What was the killer getting at? Detective Jones had a lot of questions about this crime scene. He has seen his fair share of homicides but none like this. The murder was clean; there were non-physical bruises on Carlos. He was not shot, he was not stabbed, he was not choked. How the hell did he die wondered Detective Jones?
“Have we found any fingerprints yet?” asked Detective Jones.
“No, Detective.” answered the medical examiner.
“Have we found a weapon at least?” again asked Jones.
“No, Detective. We have not found anything, but what the killer has wanted us to find,” answered the M.E.
“Damn,” sighed Jones grabbing his head. The case just started, and he could already tell this was going to be a hard one.
Jones got into his car and called Detective Miles. He told Miles to make sure the guys got a list of all of Carlos Ramirez’s enemies, phone records, social media accounts, every and anything because he already knew this was going to be a case where most detectives lose sleep over.
Joan was back in her apartment after a night out with the girls. Every week they made sure they spent one night together to blow off some steam, and it was always, a different event every week. Joan had changed a lot in the past years and the first list she made about the guys who hurt her the most, were no longer relevant!
She had a new one.
Honestly, Joan thought she was done with the headaches and heartbreaks, but no one told her that is just the way life works. The older she became the pain intensified and she hated it. Her new list only had two people on it, but those two people were people who hurt her more than the other three guys combined. It changed her entire thought process on men as a whole.
The first list Joan made was in college and she grew up a lot since then and realize it was puppy lust and nothing really happened to her, which is why the list remained locked away. She never thought about it again after graduation.
When Joan got settled into her favorite oversized shirt and boxer shorts, she poured a glass of red wine and turned on the TV. The first thing she saw was about a murder that occurred on a football field. She was extremely interested, of course, she was a lawyer, but as she kept watching the news coverage she heard the name Carlos Ramirez and saw the photo the news station showed the audience of the victim.
She lost it.
Joan called Carlos over and over, hoping he would pick up and the news made a mistake. But, it never happened. That night, she cried herself to sleep.
Joan woke up with her pillow drenched in tears. She was hoping that yesterday was a horrible nightmare and not reality.
She could not believe it. Yes, Carlos was her best friend, and they fought sometimes. Their relationship was complicated, and sometimes she did not understand. But, she loved him so much and never thought he’d be gone so soon.
Joan tried calling his cell phone, again and again, no answer. Eventually, she walked into the kitchen and poured a glass of wine and turned on the news. There she saw it, Carlos’s picture beside his photo was the word murdered.
“How could this happen? Who would do such a thing? Why?” Those were all the questions running in Joan’s head. She prepared herself for a day she knew would be her worst.
Moments later, Joan opened her Facebook page, and the trending topic was Carlos. It was everywhere through out her timeline, on the news, there was no escaping it. She read only a couple of articles about the murder, not too many; it was her best friend. Eventually, people were starting writing on her page, giving condolences for her loss and more. She ignored them. She was not ready. All she knew was that the murderer needed to be brought to justice.
Joan wanted to help.