Reflecting on how the story is developing, there's a few things to point out so that you understand a bit more of my frame of reference and perspective.
1999 was pre cell phones. Oh, there were clunky, unreliable cell phones, and I had one. There was no cell phone service where we found Becky.
Working in different units, I didn't know Jane. I passed her in the hallway and we'd exchange hellos, but that was it. I didn't know what to expect from her, though I did expect a bit more self control considering that she was older and had many years of experience as a caseworker!
I had been a caseworker a little over a year, and though everyone in my unit was in the office that day the call came in, my supervisor picked me to go. I have no idea why. She was a by-the-book kind of supervisor and had years of experience, so she knew her stuff. Which doesn't explain why she sent me. I have a feeling it had to do with the fact that I'd tromp through the countryside without a thought, but the others wouldn't.
The thing that has kept me wondering all these years is how differently my reactions were compared to everyone else's. It wasn't until I started writing it out that I realized it was because I was in The Mode. When I'm in The Mode, I set myself up on my left shoulder, all my personal thoughts, feelings, as much of me as I can manage gets put up there to watch, to observe as the rest of me is wide open to empathize, relate, hear and understand as much as possible. In The Mode, I feel more of what the person I'm talking to is feeling than what I am. It's not until much later that I take myself down from my shoulder and process my own feelings. I was tuned into Becky and nothing else.
And that shook Becky up pretty good. I was not afraid of her size or her pushing into my personal space. I never backed up. I didn't react when she tested me further by pointing the gun at my chest. I told her the way it was, stayed real with her, and treated her like an equal. There wasn't much interaction between us, but a bond was forming. She trusted me.
Despite being in The Mode, I was repulsed by the father from the get-go, even before he opened his mouth to talk with that silky, suave voice of his. That's not something that usually happens with me, no matter what the circumstances. And for the life of me, I can't remember his first name! As far as I was concerned his role in what I would do with this case stopped at sperm donor.
I think I can relate to the writers of "24" now, as it's not difficult at all to fill up a lot of space with just one day's worth of happenings! Oh yes, there's more...
Thank you for reading!
Part I: The Call
Part II: The Girl
Part III: The Father
Part IV: Back at the Office