Part One: Before
It was a new day, a normal day. Cairo Smith, a long-time and loved banker, ran downstairs and grabbed a piece of toast off his wife’s plate.
“Don’t be cheeky,” she smiled.
“Sorry, I’m in a rush again. Early meeting,” he replied.
“Well make sure you get back early, cooking a nice meal tonight,”
“Yeah I won’t be late,”
He kissed his daughter, Kayla on the forehead, and flew through the door.
Cairo loved his job at his local bank and loved his family life even more. He was in a good place, physically, mentally and finacially. Everything was perfectly perfect in his eyes. When he arrived at work, he was rushed to his meeting, and had no time to text his wife like he did every day.
“No worries, I’ll see her at dinner,” he told himself.
The end of the working day was vast approaching, and all Cairo could think about was what he was having for dinner. As soon as the clock hit six, he began packing up and headed to the door.
“Wait! Mr Smith, can you just go over this for a moment please? Just so I know everything’s okay before I send it off,” asked a colleague.
“Sandy I’d love to but I have to go. Can’t you ask David?”
“David’s already gone and I need to send it off tomorrow. It won’t take long, please Mr Smith,” she begged.
Cairo knew he would end up being late for dinner like he usually was, and to make it worse he hadn’t text his wife earlier, but he liked everything to run smoothly at work, and with that, he and Sandy sat down.
“Alright let’s make this quick,” he sighed.
It was over two hours later when Cairo arrived home to find his front door cracked open slightly. As he slowly entered, he looked around but saw no one.
“Catherine! Kayla!” he shouted, with no reply.
As the worry began to sleep through his veins, he stormed through the kitchen and into the dining room. Nothing was disrupted, but he knew something was wrong. He knew Catherine’s routine like the back of his hand and that meant she should have been home with Kayla. Cairo walks upstairs slowly, fearing what he might be walking into.
“Catherine! Kayla!” he continued to shout.
He walks into their bedrooms which are both empty and still neat.
Where are they? he asked himself.
That’s when he pushed his bathroom door open to find his wife and daughter both bound, and leaning over the bath. Cairo edges closer, with tears filling his eyes, and notices the bullet holes in the back of their heads. He ran out the bathroom, vomitting intensely. He couldn’t comprehend what he had seen or why it had happened, but what he did know is that they were dead.
“What sick bastard could have done something like this? Shoot my little girl,” he cried as he staggered down the stairs.
His heart had been ripped out of his chest. He thought about rushing out earlier. Not being able to say a real goodbye to them and now he had come in to find them murdered. As a unit, he and his family were loved. He had no idea who would have wanted to harm them, or if it was a message for him. They took his wife and daughter because he wasn’t home. Cairo’s mind was racing with morbid thoughts that made him sink deeper. He struggled to call the police.
“My…my wife has been shot. My daughter…they’re dead,” he stuttered down the phone.
“Where are you located sir?”
“I don’t know what happened, I just found them dead in the bathroom,” cried Cairo.
He was so disorientated that he didn’t understand what they operator needed from him at that point in time.
“Sir I understand, but I need you to tell me where you’re located so I can send help,”
“7 Chamberlain House. What do I do now?”
“First, you need to calm down sir, then go and wait outside. Assistance is on its way,” replied the operator.
Cairo wasted no time running outside and taking a deep breath of fresh air. He needed to compose himself, but everytime he tried, all he could see was the blood. He sat on ther grass and began drowing in memories. Why didn’t he come home earier? He was always putting work first and he thought this had to be his punishment. At the corner of his eye he caught a glimpse of movement beside his house. He couldn’t make out who it was but he knew it was a man. As he stood up he could see the man more clearly, and noticed his blood stained hands, amateaurishly cleaned, and his hair matted with sweat. Cairo knew he was lookingg at the man responsible for the grisly scene inside his home, but with his tears still falling, his vision was distorted.
“Hey, what are you doing? Did you do this?” shouted Cairo frantically.
The man was startled, and looked directly in the eyes of Cairo. They recognised each other instantly. The man staring back was an old neighbourhood menace called Ranger. He had attempted to touch Catherine inappropriately in the past when she was on her way home one evening, and after Cairo hit the roof, Ranger just vanished. Maybe that’s why he came back and did this, maybe that’s what he wanted Cairo to feel. Cairo marched towards Ranger, ready to squeeze the life out of the pathetic man, but was intercepted by a police officer.
“Sir, we need to ask you a few questions. Come this way please,”
“No you need to be asking him questions,” pointed Cairo. “Look he’s fucking getting away,” he shouted as Ranger disappeared in the distance.
“Sir, please calm down,” said the officer.
It was no use. He was gone and his family were still dead. Cairo was not about to let it go that easily. Whatever it took, and no matter how long, he wanted to find him before the police did.