March 13, 2006.

The day started out like any other.

It was a typical day in the summer, where the sun would be up in the cloudless sky shinning mercilessly upon the sweating people beneath. Among these people was a teenage boy named Erik. Erik had a younger sister named Rica, who was restless and always got herself into troubles. Erik's father, who was a cab driver, never did have the time to look after the both of them as he was rather obsessed with money and beer. Erik's mother, who was once a fine artist, died when Rica was six. The cause of death: asthma.

Erik never liked his home, so did Rica. But one good thing about their family was that they had never been too poor and their father would never beat them - well - the truth is just he never bothered to care for them. Yet one bad thing was that their father would never ever give a penny for his children's education.
Study is shit; working is something. You wanna study? You pay it yourself. He would always say.
And so they did.

Other than the little but enough money from their grandmother, seventeen-year-old Erik got himself a job in a local bar - just a small dirty one - and worked as a kitchen boy. Or more like, the "dish-washing kid". Anyhow, he was well paid.
Rica did some jobs too as she turned twelve, but she was born to get into troubles. And soon the locals knew of her fame in this and Rica was always fired before being hired.

And so on this typical summer day, Erik went to work as usual. Little did he know though, when he should walk down the pavement and turn left into the empty back alley, his life would change forever.

A middle-aged man in a nice suit was standing on the steps leading to a backdoor. His hands were causally placed in his trousers' pockets. Erik stared at the man with curious eyes as he walked passed him, but perhaps, a bit too long.

"What are you looking at, kid?" the man asked with an unfriendly tone.
"Nothing, sir..." Erik was rather surprised at the man's question.

Erik turned his face and continued his walk, when a powerful hand suddenly grabbed his shoulder and forced him to turn back.
"Just where are you going, kid?" The man squinted.
"To work...?"
"In this alley?" he questioned.
"It's a shortcut. I walk here every day!"
And the man took a deep breath as if he was about to shout. But before he could make a sound, gunshots were being heard.

The man's face twisted in agony in front of Erik and instantly he knew the man was being shot. Per instinct Erik ran, ran like mad down the alley where the sun was forever shinny above his head. Then, he made a stop around the corner as the sound of the shooting seemed to dim. He crouched and hid among the large cartons. Panting ever so hardly, sweat streaming down his forehead wet his brows. Erik thought he was safe then. But as he turned and prepared to leave and continue his normal life, the man in nice suit was surprisingly sitting beside him.
"SHIT!" Erik exclaimed and instantly the man's bloody hands went to cover his mouth.
"Sshussh..." the man said with a horsy voice.

But Erik's eyes were wide in terror as he felt the blood of the man dripping from his hand into his mouth and down his throat. The taste of it was simply terrifying.
Nevertheless the man took notice of it all. Seconds later the sounds of the shooting guns were gone, and the man released his grip.

For an unknown second they stared at each other, though nothing seemed to pass between them then. When suddenly a "BANG!" rang up the entire alley and with his very own eyes Erik saw a hole appeared in the middle of the man's forehand, blood slowly oozing from it.
"Kid." The man's last words perhaps, and he took out a bulky manila envelop beneath his jacket. "Deliver this..." And he dropped forward, dead on the spot.

Erik could not even think clearly when the shooting began again, making a hole on the carton next to him. Quickly sprung to his feet Erik ran, the manila envelop was being grabbed tightly in his hand.
Soon enough, his was back in the main street. The shooting stopped a great distance before Erik had mingled himself with the crowd.
Perhaps, the shooters were not trying to get themselves any attentions after all.

Erik sighed in relief, then finally took a good look at the parcel-like thing. A name and address were typed in the middle. Some big company in downtown it seemed, with the name of the receiver as Neneca Bouette. There was a name card stapled at the envelope's seal:

WEHELPDETECTIVE AGENCY

Jonathan Ilwan
detective/consultant