Does any innocent child ever look up to the stars and wish to become a killer one day?
Do they read about prosecuted murderers in the newspaper and hail them as their heroes?
Valora never did this. She had respectable heroes, one’s who changed the world with their brilliant ideas and made the most magnificent masterpieces using the art of science. She had the perfect uprising, loving and caring parents who taught her the difference between right and wrong, and the value of hard work.
She studied harder than all of her classmates, being dedicated to becoming the best version of herself that she could be. She even put the focus on helping others in her valedictorian speech at her med school graduation
All of the stars in Valora’s life had aligned just right. She had everything she needed to become the perfect person, a hero who could do no wrong. She had everything she needed to change the world, just as she had always dreamed of doing.
If it was all perfect, then why did it all go wrong?
She tried as hard as humanly possible to forget the ungodly act she committed, but there is no better reminder than the feeling of cold metal around her wrists. They rang out as she did her walk of shame out of her hospital unit. The sound attracting all those who had previously looked up to her.
The ride to the police station was silent. There was a conversation between the two offices and chatter coming from the car radio, but it was nothing but hum in her ear. The only thing she could focus on was her tears running thicker than the blood that coated her hands.
She had failed to be perfect. Her crown had shattered, and now she was nothing more than dust. As soon as they brought her to the interrogation room, she knew what her plan was going to be. Valora would confess to her crime and plead guilty to the jury before accepting her fate as a prisoner.
But that wasn’t how things were going to turn out. She was no longer perfect, so why would anything else she did be perfect, either?
An hour into the silence, the door opened to reveal two new faces. There weren’t detectives as Valora expected—wearing grim faces while drinking mediocre coffee—but instead entering the room were two women who were dressed to impress.
The first woman to enter was a pale, short little thing, the glasses on her face almost covering the bags under her eyes. She stumbled into the room, placing a briefcase on the table before taking a seat across Valora. This stranger was attractive, but she was nothing compared to the next woman to enter the room.
She strutted in with a king’s confidence, wearing the beauty of the night as if it were a gown explicitly made for her. Her eyes glimmered and struck Valora hard, a quick sensation ran through her body as she immediately became intrigued by these two new strangers.
“I already know the whole story, so don’t even bother lying to me,” The black woman stated while unloading the briefcase the other woman brought in. “I want the entire story from beginning to end, skip the boring stuff but keep the facts. We have much to do and don’t need any more delays.”
“Beg my pardon, but who are you?” Valora asked, feeling quite timid under the stares of both strangers.
“Amira and Dixa, legal defence,” The black woman pointed to herself than to the small white girl, their choice of clothes finally making sense.
“I didn’t ask for legal counsel.”
“That man you killed didn’t ask to die, but yet here we are.” Amira’s face told Valora she wasn’t playing any games, but even if they were, Valora had no doubt that she would win. “Now, please stop wasting my time. Start with your name, education and occupation.” Valora wanted nothing more than to crawl into a hole and die, but the glare Amira gave her forced the words out of her throat.
“Valora Mour, I have a Ph.D. in toxicology, and I work as an ER doctor at the Red Rose Hospital.” Amira nodded while Dixa seemed to be cross-checking information on a paper with a chart on it.
“On what day did you meet Michael Romariz and his son Sam Romariz?”
“September 16th.” Her voice started to waver, but Valora didn’t want to show any more weakness. Something told her that Amira was the kind of person to slap adults who sob at problems they caused themselves.
“What caused him to come into the ER?” Amira asked, clicking her elegant long gel nails along the counter, mimicking the sound of a countdown. Valora starting picking at the skin on her arms, her nerves getting the best of her.
“He had the symptoms of Appendicitis, he went into surgery that same day. I was the lead doctor while he was in the ER. He was one of the hospital’s biggest investors, so he was put on high priority.” Amira and Dixa shared a quick glance and nod before getting back in Valora’s face.
“When did you first notice that Sam was being abused by his father?”
“I noticed a lot of bruises on his arms and legs, along with a limp that he couldn’t explain with a plausible story.” Amira tilted her head, urging Valora to continue. She struggled through a deep breath before telling the rest of her sin. “I used one of our social worker’s accounts to look up his family history and saw the father had won full custody of Sam. After I questioned him more, he confessed to the abuse and asked for my help to get him back to his mother.”
“Did you attempt to get support from your fellow co-workers.” Valora shook her head with more tears trying to push through.
“They were too scared to mess with such a big investor.”
“What did you do after no one was willing to help you get this young boy out of his situation?” Valora’s heart started to race while Amira only gained a more intense stare.
“Michael was prescribed fentanyl to relieve pain after the surgery so he could sleep through the pain. I changed his prescription to be more lethal, so when he went to bed..” Valora wanted to continue, but she felt her breath catch in her throat.
“He wouldn’t wake up,” Dixa spoke for the first time, finishing what Valora couldn’t say. She just nodded while her tears finally broke through. Amira poked her hand into her bosom and produced a handkerchief to which Valora covered in tears and snot.
“You did the deal, and the aftermath has already taken place.” Amira stated, sliding her a news article covering Michael’s death and the reunion of Sam and his mother, the biggest smile painted on both of their lips. It was beautiful. “I’m going to ask you a question, and I only want to hear yes or no. Would you do it again?”
“Yes,” Valora whispered without a moment of hesitation.
“That’s exactly what I want to hear,” Amira smiled while placing another set of documents in front of Valora, this time they contained different pieces of ID, all with her face on it but instead having the name ‘Elsa Salour’.
“What is this?” Valora asked, a slight sniffle in her voice.
“You have two choices here. You can risk it with the court and be sent away to jail to rot for the rest of your life, or you can join us and actually do something worthwhile.” Amira offered while Dixa nodded, her smile being stiff and sweet.
“Who exactly are you?” Valora felt terrible for having to ask again, but the last answer she received gave her nothing more than names to stick to two faces. Amira slipped a card out of her pocket and handed it to Valora. She had to read it over a couple of times for the words to sink in.
“The Peace Lily Spa, a place where all your problems disappear!”
“You work at a spa? I thought you were lawyers?” Valora questioned the two women, never having felt more confused in her life. “Why do you care about me?” Amira scoffed as she snatched the card back.
“As the card says, we make problems disappear, and you made quite a big problem disappear. I have been looking for someone new to join the Peace Lily team, and your qualifications line up perfectly.”
“You want a doctor to massage people? I don’t know how to massage.” Amira’s face dropped as she leaned in, getting as close to her ear as humanly possible.
“I want a toxicologist who knows her way around drugs and poison to help deal with our client’s problems.” Amira pulled back with a smile on her lips instead, as Valora understood what was happening.
“How many of you are there?” Valora asked in a whisper, Amira’s smile now growing.
“Sixteen, all with different skills. Daxi, here is our forensic psychologist while I am a lawyer.” Valora nodded, looking back down at all the pieces of a fake ID.
“Can you make all of this just go away?” Valora gestured vaguely to the room they were sitting in, but Amira seemed to get her point.
“Consider it done. Now, do we have a deal?” Amina stretched out her hand, calling out for Valora to submit. She contemplated the decision, thinking back to her aspirations as a child. She wanted to be the perfect girl, to change the world for the better.
Maybe this was what she was meant to do. Play her part as a killer, to help those who need it most. Change the lives of more who suffered in silence the same way Sam did. Valora beamed as she embraced the hand, accepting the deal.
It wasn’t ideal, but she went for it anyways. In no way was it all perfect, but it was a perfect way to change the world, and that’s just what she needed.