Past Mistakes

A once-trigger happy police officer faces the consequences of his actions and slowly drags his girlfriend into his mess.

Nadia had always thought her family would be pleased the day she brought a man to the house. They were thrilled when she called to ask if he could attend a family dinner. They were thrilled when she said they were ten minutes away. But seeing the man after her heart... It wasn't charming. Nadia was dating Daniel Johnson, the infamous police officer behind the death of a young black basketball high school star, Evans. Nadia didn't even need to say his name. Her family had seen Daniel's face all over the television, magazines, social media accounts... They knew everything about him, or like, they would say, "his entitled ass."

Daniel knew the introduction would be problematic because everyone had been trying to avoid him. Nadia had tried to convince him that everything would be okay. He was foolish to believe his black girlfriend's family would welcome him with open arms. The incident with Evans took place over six months ago. Daniel had noticed Evans' reckless driving and had thought to stop him. Evans was drunk and had a bottle of wine in his back seat. Evans was underage, 17 years old, and he smelt of alcohol. Daniel didn't think of arresting him. He thought about protecting him. But not everyone saw it like that.

Daniel had politely asked that Evans turn around so that handcuffs could be placed on him. He didn't shout, he didn't scream, just spoke with some authority. In Evans's mind, it seems as though Daniel was one of those trigger-happy police officers. Evans refused, and they got into a fight. In a desperate urge to protect himself, Daniel released a bullet. He was terrified and didn't open his eyes for a while. When he did, he saw a single shot aimed at Evans' neck. That did not help him in the black society's eyes.

Daniel could have quickly shot him in the leg or used a Taser, the safer option. But Daniel had aimed to kill instead of restraining. Daniel had tried to administer first aid, but Evans was already gone. Bystanders had taken video coverage of what had happened and surfaced it to the internet, which started the #JusticeforEvans# trend on social media. Daniel had faced the panel, told the world what had happened, and explained it in detail. He also failed by stating that he was nervous and acted impulsively. Social media went wild. They wanted to know why the police force would put less trained personnel on the field.

It was the year 2020, and it was bussing with protests and police brutality. The likes of George Floyd had died in the gruesome hands of policemen. The public demanded that Daniel be out of the force. Daniel agreed with them, and he wanted to be out of this space. They got their wish. After thorough investigations, Daniel turned in his police badge and lived off the radar for months. He met beautiful Nadia, who was a neighbor in his new apartment. She had administered first aid to him when some ruthless boys had jumped on him and given him a beating. Nadia knew Daniel's story but did not judge. She hated the situation but understood that Daniel had regrets and wanted to right his wrongs.

His beautiful heart and vulnerable self-caught her attention, and she fell. Her best friend, Vanessa, had tried to be supportive, to love Nadia's decision but couldn't. Vanessa had lost her husband and child to police brutality. A black officer had released bullets into her house and killed them. The memory was still fresh; Vanessa could still remember the head of the police shouting," Open fire." She remembered the bloody bodies of her family members. Vanessa would not be willing to stand by Nadia as she dated a man similar to her family's murderer.

Vanessa didn't trust anyone- a black police officer, a white officer, a Hispanic one. She believes that the badge they carried had caused them to act unruly. She wanted nothing to do with them. Daniel felt bad about the friendship breakup between Nadia and Vanessa. He hated that it was his fault and that nothing could mend their relationship unless Daniel was expunged from Nadia's life. After the family dinner, he knew history would repeat itself. Nadia's family did not have to hide their disgust. They openly spoke about their disdain for their daughter's match. Her father, Darrell, had refused to shake his hand. Her little sister, Bonnie, had said," Oh, so black men aren't good enough for you, and you had to get a white trash?" Her older brother, Darrell Jnr, had called Nadia aside to talk to her about it. He did not give his blessings for the relationship. Daniel felt a massive pang of hurt in his heart. The only person who wanted to make him feel welcome was Nadia's mother, Freda. The old woman had still tried to put on a smile for him. He knew that she also felt indifferent towards him but tried to hide it for the sake of her sweet daughter.

Daniel thought about Evans every day of his life. He thought about how the boy would have soared in his academic life, how the NBA would have been hungry for his skills on the court if his life was not cut short. He thought about that incident and whether it would have been better if he was killed. He had written to Evans' family to apologize and tried to donate, but everything he did or said was used against him. Past mistakes would never stop haunting him; they tormented him day and night, and the worst part is that he would never escape it. He would be known as the police officer who ended a young man's life. He would be known as the trigger-happy white cop.

And worse, the woman he loves would be the wife of the trigger-happy white cop and experience some problems and discrimination along the way. Soon, news hit the tabloids and gossip sites that the black people killer was trying to start a family with a black woman. Many comments, such as, "After killing one of us, he wants to enjoy the cake?" "Someone, please take that woman away from this killer before he does something crazy." "He will never succeed." "This woman is fake and an evil woman. How could she do this to her tribe? Doesn't she know that Evans could have been her little brother?

There were more comments like the latter for Nadia. Although she claimed it didn't move her and she didn't make time for the haters, it still hurt. His short conversation with Darrell Jnr opened his eyes to various things. The young man had said," If you love her, you'll let her go. She doesn't deserve to be criticized like that." Daniel loved Nadia, and he wouldn't let anything wrong happen to her. If he stayed with her, someone could hurt her... not just emotionally but also physically. He had two sleepless nights thinking about the decision to let go of Nadia. When it concluded, she had asked for a break in the relationship. He didn't even need to do anything. Nadia swore that it wasn't the end. She just needed a moment to breathe without the backlash. "I wouldn't blame you if you don't come back." He told her, and by the way she looked at him, he knew she wouldn't be back.

Past mistakes ruin your present and future. Not only would Daniel never move past the title of a racist police officer, but he would never meet a woman who would stand the fiery and judgmental society to stand by his side. Would he even let her?

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