Harwood was not surprised when he got the call from the station the very next day. By the sound of Scout Sargeant’s voice, and the fact she had called him herself to come by that afternoon Harwood knew her investigation of his past was done and she knew exactly who he was.
That day as he walked into the station both Dudley and Goodwin were seated at their desks and as he walked in Dudley came straight at him and shook his hand.
“Well you should have told us straight away you are some kind of superstar out there in the real world.” He said and Harwood only smiled politely.
“Was. No I am retired.”
“Talent does not retire.” Dudley said knowingly. “Come with me. You know the way…” He said and they went once more to Scout’s office.
“Well Mr. Clay I must say I am very impressed by your work. When you said you were a sculptor it wasn’t exactly what I had pictured… You didn’t say…”
“I chose not to say anything.” Harwood interrupted her.
“Well in any case I, and the whole department are really thankful you want to do this for us…”
“It would be my pleasure.” Harwood said. “I do want to give back to this community.” Scout nodded. “But also I have one small request…. I would like you to keep this a secret. The truth about who I am.”
“Well you are using your real name… It is not hard for people to piece together….”
“I know it is not hard I just don’t want to give them any reason to see me as anything other than an old man, a neighbour, just another resident of their lovely city…” He said with a smile.
“Okay I understand.” Scout said firmly. “I promise no one from the department will say a word.”
“Thank you.” Harwood said softly. He knew she would be good on her word. There was something about Scout Sargeant that elicited honor and trust. Her face however got darker and he felt there was something else she wanted to say. Of course her investigation would lead to something other then his successes and fame, she was with the police after all.
“And regarding the reasons you had for leaving Twinbrook…” She said very carefully.
“I left because I wanted to focus on my art.” Harwood said flatly. Scout was silent for a moment, her dark blue eyes focused intently on Harwood’s but then she nodded and he knew she understood. There were some things better left in the past, and just not talked about…
“Lets get started then.” She said getting up slowly.
All three of them, Dudley ,Goodwin and Scout followed Harwood to a basement where he noticed they had set up a room for him to work in, all together with sculpting station and all the tools he might need. The room was old, and smelled of neglect but someone had bothered to fix it up a bit, clean the dust and scare off the rats.
Harwood went around it, checking the tools and supplies they got. It was all pretty basic stuff, he would need to get a thing or two from home but it was good start. He was satisfied, and eager to start.
Dudley handed him a printed out witness statement and told him he could have everything he needed just to call. He tapped him on the shoulder and have him a wide and friendly smile. Harwood found it hard not to like this man.
“I can stay here with you if you like.” Goodwin said as Dudley was about to leave. “You know, keep you company.” He added when Harwood didn’t say anything. The truth was Harwood usually disappeared to the world whenever he was working, especially on something as challenging as this but he could see the eagerness in the young man’s voice. It puzzled him a bit, the man didn’t seem like a slacker, but if his boss wasn’t going to object why would he. Goodwin smiled when he told him it was okay. In that moment he looked better then Harwood had ever seen him.
“This suits me.” Goodwin said when they were alone at last. “This basement. Upstairs there is too much light, it is giving me a headache…” Harwood nodded but his mind was already on it’s way out of this room….
He read the witness description over and over again until he could picture the man described there when he closed his eyes as clearly as he was standing right there in front of him. He started with clay. Goodwin watched him with awe as he molded it with his hands. Sculpting had always been more than a job for Harwood, it was his calling. Every sculpture he had ever made was a part of him, part of his soul that he let free in the world. So when he worked he had to become one with whatever material he was using for his sculpting. The piece had to be a part of him so he could give it life…
It scared him a bit at first the fact that this process would lead him to create a bond with this criminal…. A dangerous suspect… But whilst he was reading the description realization struck him, even this suspect was a man. A young, troubled man who was lead to a wrong path… But still he was a person, somebody’s child, friend, lover… He was just like anyone of them, somewhere deep inside… He was just a sim after all…
And maybe creating this sculpture would help the police catch him and in turn give him a chance for rehabilitation, a new life, some peace… That was what Harwood was thinking as he let his hands be lead by his tools to create the figure that had taken shape inside of his mind.
He was sure he would finish that very first day but the shape was tricky, Harwood really struggled to give it the right form. And then he realized clay just wouldn’t cut it. So the next day he brought his chainsaw and ice it was. But there were also his old and tired bones that insisted on breaks Harwood’s head just didn’t. But in turned out not to be that bad down in the police station. Harwood really got to know all the employees, he learned how Dudley was taking night classes in forensics and how starting and taking over the station’s forensics department was his ultimate goal, he learned that Goodwin had a child on the way, a little boy, and he also learned Scout had a husband in the army. And in turn he told them tales of his life from before, about traveling, art shows, fame and fortune….
It took him tree days to finish, and the third day he din’t want to go home until he was done. Scout left, it was her anniversary and she was having dinner with her husband at the bistro downtown but Dudley and Goodwin both stayed and waited with Harwood.
“Done!” Harwood exclaimed and got away from the finished statue holding his lower back that had ached him for hours. Both Dudley and Goodwin were visibly amazed with Harwood’s work. Dudley let out an impressed whistle as he circled the statue and Goodwin nodded approvingly, until he suddenly froze that is. It was just for one fleeting moment as he saw the face of the man in the statue. When he noticed Harwood looking at him he put on a forced smile.
“Great work.” He said. “Boss will be pleased.” Even his voice sounded strange, a bit too eager. Harwood didn’t know what to make of it…
“She sure would.” Dudley added. “Thank you Harwood, for all your help. I hope we run into each other again.” He said shaking Harwood’s hands. By now Harwood was used to his strong grip.
“Not the best thing to hear from a police officer…” He said making Dudley laugh and even Goodwin smiled.
Harwood was really pleased with himself as he walked outside.. He had no idea it was dark already, being down in the basement all day. He breathed in the fresh air and smiled. It had been so good to have a project again. He should really thank Emi for drawing his attention to this.
He got his phone out of his pocket and dialed her number straight away.
“Hello?” She said in a weird voice.
“Emi! It’s me Harwood! I have some great news…”
“Harwood? It’s nearly midnight. I was asleep.” She said coldly.
“Really? I must have lost track of time, I was a bit busy with…”
“I don’t care.” She interrupted him again. “You were so busy you haven’t called me for three days? I was worried. I event went by your house to check if you are okay…”
“I am sorry Emerald.” Harwood said softly.
“Whatever. I don’t care about that either. I though we are friends… I am going back to bed.” She said and hung up. Harwood closed his eyes sadly. The exhaustion was catching up to him and he headed home feeling bad…. He hoped Emerald would forgive him eventually…