Not this time
No matter how often you've seen something, no matter the
detailed knowledge you have about everything.
Nothing can ever prepare you for when it actually happens.
It really shouldn't have come as such a surprise to me.
I'd seen him falling often enough in my mind, the fall always being heralded by the screeching sound of metal painfully scraping against metal. I had seen him being gunned down by a hail of bullets and hitting the ground under a shower of broken glass many times before. Right here, in our own police garage where he was supposed to be safe.
And I couldn't stop it. I'd known all that would happen before and I couldn't
do anything to protect my partner. With all my power there was nothing I could
do to keep him safe on this fateful day. I would only be able to helplessly
watch and let it happen.
The sad truth is that I'd also known that beforehand as well.
Still, I wasn't prepared for what I would feel when it actually happened. I never am.
I stood there watching it happen in real time, paralyzed by fear and shock,
barely able to breathe. My chest constricted painfully and my heart felt like
somebody had grabbed inside me with a ice cold hand and crushed it. Nothing
could have prepared me for that, not even my cursed knowledge.
Just like I had before, I now heard the scraping noise that would be the beginning
of the end, that fake police car hitting the parked one. And I heard the machine
gun starting to spit out its deadly bullets.
I know I'd shouted for Starsky to get down, take cover but I'd known the same time that it would be useless. He'd be hit no matter what I could have done to prevent it. It wouldn't have changed anything on that day.
It never did.
Nothing I'd ever tried those times before had changed what had been about to
happen. I always failed.
But I still had to try even if it once again would be useless.
I took cover myself behind the car though I didn't need to. I knew it wouldn't be me who'd get hurt but my partner instead.
I had seen the events of this day before, seen it in my mind in such vivid colors, seen everything played out exactly like it was happening now in front of me. It shocked me to the core to see it live right before my very own eyes and the same time it didn't.
I knew everything that would happen, the only thing I didn't know was like every time whether Starsky would live or not. Whether I'd lost him forever this time or if I'd been spared once more that particular pain. If that had been postponed to another day for me.
I curse this wretched gift I have for bringing me such pain, again and again.
I'm now running towards him, see him laying down on the floor, amongst all the shards of glass from the shattered windows of his beloved car, in his own blood. Once again I'm frozen to the spot at this sight.
Before it has only been my vision, now it's all real. My worst nightmare has today become my reality.
I rush over to him and I feel a slight surge of relief wash over me at the slow fall and rise of his chest. Or did I just imagine it, just wishful thinking that it might not have been the final death for him? I fall down to my knees, I have to touch him to make me truly believe.
Starsky's still alive, his blood now on my hands but I can feel his pulse. It is still there under my fingers, weak but there and that's what counts for me. Starsky's going to live.
I thought I'd lost him countless times before and I didn't.
I didn't lose him this time either.
But I know that one day I won't be that lucky and I also know that I will be seeing it in my mind's eye before it'll happen.
It is my blessing to know before and my curse to have to see it twice.