The Billboard Sign

At my workplace, We are in the process of software transition, which we use for the electronic medical record. No one likes any type of change at first, but it’s a world of innovation and competition, so everyone accepts this sweet pain without any choice or alternative. Everyone had taken a mandatory class before the start date. There was no exception for me to skip the class, so I went to this IT class. I made a mistake choosing the time and day of the class. I supposed to work night shift that day, so I decided to take an afternoon class. I thought it would take a few hours, but I had learned in 20 minutes. There were still three hours before starting my night shift. I didn’t want to go home, so I thought I’d have lunch somewhere. All my colleagues were still in class, so I decided to have lunch alone.

It’s been almost two years since I had dined out. Every week, I went to eat out with my kids. It was also our quality time when we had sat together and shared our thoughts and stories. I was not lucky enough to eat dinner with my family every day. My eldest son loves steaks, and the girl loves Italian. I like going to Red Lobster. Who doesn’t love eating Red Lobster’s biscuits? Life has changed now. Those days are gone now. I wonder if those days will ever come back?
Having lunch alone made me feel very strange. I said to myself, “You need to learn to work alone.” So, I got some courage and started driving towards the restaurant. I came across to see a billboard sign while was driving on Harlem Ave. I felt some trembling inside me after reading the sign. “Helpmetogetfree. Call if you have any info”. Further was written that there was a murder between Harlem and Grand Ave in May 1999. Matthew was arrested for a crime, which he did not commit. Help us catch the real killer, so if anyone knows, Call. “
Suddenly, I saw crossing street sign, “Grand Ave”. I was exactly on the crime site. I felt a cold in my spine after reading the billboard. It looks like the cold case is still open, and someone has been fighting for justice since 1999. I deal with patients who get wounded with lethal bullets every day. In Chicago, This year alone, more people died from gunshot wounds than from the Covid-19.

In Chicago, not only you get a food or drink drive thru, but you can also get a free gun shot wound which cops refer as, “drive by or drive thru shooting”. Billboard sign has brought some different thoughts in my mind. Is an innocent person still behind bars? Who is fighting for him? Is he really innocent? Is he paying for somebody else’s sins? The symbol seems legal; Otherwise, it has been taken down. Matthew’s picture is also on the board. In the picture, he looks very young. It seems the picture had been taken around 1999.

The crime took place in 1999. But I felt I was in a place of crime. I was constantly thinking about this cold case while having my lunch a few miles from the cold crime scene. It is still on my mind. It was not a business advisement, lost or stolen vehicle or Amber alert. This Billboard sign is unique and is on the exact location where the offense was happened in 1999. Two people are still waiting for justice. The killer is still roaming around free or selling drugs or killing others. Was it personal revenge or the crime of gangster? This is a unsolved mystery. Both the victim and Matthew are awaiting justice. Somebody really cares about Matthew, who is still keeping the case warm and open. The victim is not named on the board. Thus I think the voice for justice is for Matthew. I think to talk with the local deputy about this case. Just being curious.

One thought on “The Billboard Sign

  1. That is a disturbing sign. Praying for justice for all.

    I don’t like eating alone, either. I used to have to do it a lot because I travelled for work so much. I usually took a book.


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