I feel like all I've been doing lately is attending funerals. Most of the time it's to the funerals of victims -whose cases I'm currently investigating. This time however, it was someone I knew. Although we despised each other, seeing her gray, wax-like body resting on sea of purple irises on display like some ancient relic was too much for me to bare. "Where is the fiery Brit?" I muttered under my breath. "She's with God now." Jake's somber voice startled me. "For Christ sake Jake, when did you sneak in?" I quickly darted my eyes back and forth to make sure that no one was looking at us. "Jake, I need you to do something for me. Do you remember the address of the hospital where Ada was supposed to be kept?" Jake gave me a quick nod without changing his forward gaze. "I need you to go through their medical records and figure out when Ada went missing."

Jake let out a long sigh. "Boss. I hate to tell you this but I think this case is getting to you too. Now I don't usually mess with your game but heck I'm down right worried. You are talking just like Helen over there before she kicked the bucket." He paused and turned so that he was looking directly at my face. With a stern look he said to me slowly: "Boss. Ada never disappeared. There is no criminal case. It was an accident at the Hospital. A new nurse on staff mixed up the medications and gave Ada too much Lithium. She died. I've seen the body and the autopsy report matched the accounts from the Hospital. So there are no murders."

I was stunned.

I took a deep breath. Exhaled. And replied: "All right. Assuming that I'm simply hallucinating, tell me about the Sharlet case. The prostitute with the connection to Ada, who was clutching a lighter initialed D.H. in her hand when she died?" I held my breath. Part of me didn't want to hear the answer.

"Well Boss, Sharlet O.D. on heroine and threw herself out of a 10 story hotel window into the sea. Her last customer was a Doctor named Dorian Hensly. D. H., the lighter was his and he was the one that called the..." "What about her friend? The one who said she got a phone call from Sharlet?" I didn't let Jake finish; I could feel his confidence in me slipping away. "Boss. Seriously. You need to go home and rest. I'm really worried..." "Just answer the God damn question!" My raised voice pierced through the somber silence of the room. Everyone in the room turned and stared at me. "Okay, calm down! Boss." Jake put a hand on my shoulder and began to escort me out of the room. As we walked he said to me: "I'm not going to lie to you. I was there with You were at the seaside crime scene. You looked at the body and then for the next 10 minutes just stood there staring out into space." "At first I thought you were thinking. But when I tried to call you, you wouldn't budge. Someone else tried to talk to you and you still didn't move. We had to take you to the hospital. They said everything about you was normal but you didn't seem to respond... By the way what day is today?"

His sudden question confused me at first but then a date suddenly came to mind, as clear as rain: "It's Saturday the 14th of October." Jake sighed and whispered to me softly: "No Boss. It's actually the 28th of November. You've been out of it for over a month. A week ago you finally came back. Don't you remember anything?"

No.

I have only the memories that makes sense to me.

That's because you have forgotten.

An eerie girl's voice filled my mind. I suddenly lurched forward causing Jake to lose balance and two of us began to fall...

"What have I forgotten!" I screamed.

That you are dead.

Her soft voice was the last I heard before darkness engulfed me.

What are we?

What is living? Death?

Are we alive now? Is this merely just a mirage?

I don't know. I am always in darkness.

I see but I cannot see.

The mirage that is life is only a fantasy.

Weather you are a killer, a policeman, a detective, a prostitute, a doctor or a lost little girl...

It doesn't matter. In the end. In the end we are all equal.

I simply want to see. With my own eyes, I want to see the real world...

"Ada... Happy Birthday!"

"Ada, I love so much Honey! I wish you can see me."

"Ada. Daddy bought you a new dress. You look so pretty!"

"Ada, did you know that today Dad got promoted? I wish I can take you out to dinner and celebrate!"

"Ada. Dad's friend Ed is here to see you. Can you say hi?"

"Ada. Dad just met the most amazing women. Her name is Helen and she's from London!"

"Ada, did you know that Daddy just saved a young girl from drug over dose? Her name is Sharlet."

"Ada, it's a scary world out there where people hurt each other and cause so much sadness. I wish Daddy can stop them all."

"Ada. Your new Doctor is here! His name is Dr. Dorian Hensly. He thinks he will cure you one day! You don't know how happy I am honey. One day, you will see me! You will talk to me! I love you. With all my heart! Daddy loves you. Never forget that!"

"Looks like it was pretty quick. Three shots to the head!" "Shush Susan! The daughter is right here!" "Oh don't worry Jake. She can't her us. Poor thing... her Dad's dead and she will never even know he existed..."

I am always asleep.

I can never see.

Yet.

I am not dead.

I exist.

In Mara's Mirage.

The End.