Osiris Reyes, for much of his life, had felt like he didn’t belong where he was. His early years were filled with his parents fighting over nearly everything: food, money, drug use, having more children, him, etc. His earliest memory consisted of watching his own small hands peel at the paint on his closed room door while his father struck his mother on the other side, her sobs filling up the tiny hallway of their home in Unalaska, AK. It was the best attempt she could make at protecting him for being different; he wasn’t displaying the traits his father thought he had bestowed upon him quickly enough, such as cruelty, arrogance, and a deep-seated hatred for women. Despite that, his father never turned his attention on Osiris, preferring to pace often enough to wear tracks into the carpet and direct his rage at his wife.
When he turned 12, that changed—Osiris had never gotten exemplary grades, his attention too focused on his more creative hobbies and the atmosphere he had to return to every day at home, and when he failed a Geography quiz outright, he already knew what was coming. He obediently dropped his backpack by his father’s armchair, whose hands, clumsy with drink, rifled through the folders until he found what he was looking for. Very quietly, deceptively calm, he stood up, put his hand on Osiris’s shoulder, and stared at him. Osiris stared back, heart beating an uneven, staccato rhythm in his thin chest, until suddenly, a sharp pain exploded across the back of his head.
The next thing Osiris remembered was waking up in a hospital bed, neither of his parents by his side—instead, the only company he had was a detective, an older man with skin as dark as his and kind eyes. The man asked him some questions, and then told him the absolute truth: both his parents were dead. When his father hit him, his mother had been in the kitchen, getting dinner ready; with the open floor plan, she had seen his hand connect, had seen Osiris hit the floor, and had promptly crossed that distance and stabbed his father at least 13 times. After he had bled out, she calmly picked up the phone, called the police, and asked for an ambulance to take her son to the hospital. She had even tried to get in the back with the paramedics, who had told her that she needed to go with the police, and she could see her baby later.
Osiris sat in silence when the news was delivered to him, and asked only one question: what happened to him now? The detective was quiet for a moment, but informed him that he would be placed with a foster family, the Reyes, elsewhere in Unalaska. He described them as a married couple that owned their own small pharmacy in town, with a daughter older than him and a younger son. With the wound on the back of his head stitched up (never would he second-guess how much damage a ring could do), the detective turned him over to the social worker, who dropped him off at his new home. He didn’t have very many belongings, but his new foster family provided everything he had never had: warm, clean clothes, plenty of food, and love from every party.
Once in that environment, Osiris began to flourish just slightly; he was old enough to suffer from the effects of trauma, but had regular appointments with a child psychologist for that, and found that his brother and sister helped him navigate the new school perfectly fine. His grades began to improve, and though some kids felt the need to ask him inappropriately personal questions about if his mother was in jail or not for murdering his father, he was generally accepted among them—especially when he entered high school, promptly shot up 6 inches taller, and found out he had a knack for wrestling and playing baseball. Excelling in sports, as it turns out, was an easy way to blend in, and gain the acceptance, and attraction, of his peers. From then, Osiris found himself folded into the ranks of the high school hierarchy, and began to explore what that meant: partying, leaving late at night and returning early in the morning, and experimenting with marijuana. His foster parents, for their part, mostly let him do as he wish, only advising him to be careful and make sure he was spending with the right people. Osiris had quite the adventurous streak, now, and mostly ignored his parents’ words, intent on seeing how much he could do and get away with.
Then senior year came. On a Saturday morning like any other, his father was outside, trying to trim back the tree branches that were encroaching on their property from the west. One moment, he was reaching up, the next, he was on the ground, dead before his head hit the grass beneath him. Doctors said it was an aneurysm, a sudden clot that couldn’t have been prevented, no matter what kind of changes he made his lifestyle or what time the paramedics got there. Osiris grieved for this man unlike the strange relief he had felt after being informed of his biological father’s death, and realized that the partying he had done, his insistence on being out of the house all the time, had amounted to nothing. It didn’t matter. What mattered now was caring for the wife he had left behind.
Close to graduating, Osiris began searching out jobs. He was only 17, but it was easy to find odd jobs and get paid under the table. He was over 6 feet tall and broad-shouldered, and any hiring manager for a physically taxing job was happy to have him. First, it was construction, and then he moved to be a bouncer, finding that the job was easy as long as he paid attention. With the pharmacy still running, their family wasn’t exactly suffering, but he still gave every penny he got to his mother, helping buy groceries and fix up the house so his younger brother could be given the nice life he had been provided. Once he graduated, Osiris knew he couldn’t abandon his mother or his brother like that, so he applied to and began attending University of Alaska Southeast, in Juneau, AK. The choice in major was easy to make: Criminal Justice. All he had to do was remember the warm eyes of the detective that had stayed with him while he slept in the hospital and knew he wanted to provide the same.
His time in college was mostly uneventful, and once he obtained his degree, he moved back home, immediately applying to the local police department and going through the training in order to be considered a certified officer. Though only 20 at the time of applying, he turned 21 by the time the exams started, and passed all the requirements easily. Once placed in the department, and trained, he thought he would be set for a long while—but it wasn’t to be. Three years on, and Osiris was starting to get an uneasy feeling. It seemed a lot of his fellow officers were keen to look the other way when dealing with individuals willing to line their pockets. On one such occasion, Osiris and a fellow officer responded to a domestic abuse case—the boyfriend had tried to hit the girlfriend’s dog with his car, narrowly missing both and ending up plowing through someone’s fence and onto their property. Osiris had been ready to cuff the guy and lock him up, but the older officer didn’t agree; instead, after a short conversation with the man, he clapped him on the shoulder and advised him to stay away from his girl, and that was that.
Once back at the station, Osiris asked him what had happened—why hadn’t the man been brought back for booking? The officer simply looked at him, and then reached into his back pocket, flashed a wad of bills, and asked Osiris if he wanted in. Shocked, Osiris immediately reported it to his superior; as it turned out, that was the wrong choice. The superior told him not to worry about it, and the next day, it was like the department had frozen over. Nobody looked at him, nobody talked to him, and seemingly random things started to go wrong. First, the drawers on his desk were glued shut. Then, one time, when he returned from a call, his computer was in the trash can next to his desk. It came to a head when his service pistol jammed at the firing range, shrapnel nearly taking off his right ear.
Osiris knew he had to leave. He spoke with his mother, who told him he should do what he felt was best; she would miss him, of course, but there was a whole world out there, and he shouldn’t restrict himself to a tiny town intent on making his life a living hell. Decision made, he began applying to different departments all over the country—and got a call back from sunny San Diego, CA, the department eagerly looking for officers that had worked in starkly different atmospheres than their own. With a heartfelt goodbye to his mother and the promise that he would visit, he moved south, stepping into the continental United States for the first time in his life. His previous experience as a patrol officer, plus the 2 years he put in at the San Diego office with a stellar record made him an excellent candidate to be a detective; Osiris quickly applied, and on the second time taking the exam, he passed, and was officially licensed to be a detective in the state of California.
Life unexpectedly slowed down after that. No longer having to walk the beat freed up his time for more investigating and spending more time outside of the office. But one of the times he was in, his life dramatically changed again. A woman draped in a glittering coat sat down across from him and asked him if he could help her. After saying he would do his best, she offered him $15,000 to catch her husband cheating on him. Rendered speechless, Osiris said nothing for a few minutes before he told her that adultery wasn’t a crime and he couldn’t take money for trailing the man she was married to. She would need a private investigator or something similar for that. Even though he hadn’t helped, she still thanked him, and went on her way—and that set the gears turning in Osiris’s head. That much money just to follow some guy around and find out if he was sleeping with a younger woman? How could he say no?
Once he hit 30, and he had done 9 years combined in law enforcement, Osiris changed track again; he went through all the necessary steps to become a private investigator in California, and then started getting his name out there. Putting it somewhere as innocuous as the newspaper got his client list started, and soon, Osiris was living a life of intrigue. Unfortunately, in a job like that, it’s hard to stay honest, and Osiris began to feel the effects of that. Private investigation was fun, but not many cases turned out the way he wanted, so it became a habit of his to push the envelope just a bit—that meant skirting the line between legal and illegal, and sometimes doing whatever it took to close a case. Pretending to have a drug habit to get some poor woman’s husband to snort a line of cocaine in front of him? Sure. Draping himself over a politician’s wife until she could barely keep her hands off him? Easy pickings. Not so suddenly, Osiris realized how easy it was to get the result he wanted, as by the time most people suspected, they already knew in their hearts that their greatest fears were true.
But San Diego and the nearby areas were starting to lose their appeal—he had lived on an island his whole life, and though it was in the much colder northern region, he still missed the peculiar drifting feeling brought on by being surrounded on all sides by water. So without a second thought, he used the considerable money he had saved up to move to Catalina Island, CA, buying a decently sized place in Ventura and moving in as fast as possible. He notified his mother of the move, and then began getting his name out there; despite the population being small, Osiris was sure there was quite the bustling underground he could find himself comfortably employed in.