A novel by Karen Lockhart
Copyright© 2017 Karen Lockhart
Pete was wonderful, he soon had three sobbing women under control; by that I mean breathing normally, and actually holding a conversation!
“At the risk of starting the tears flowing again, can you tell me what happened this morning?” he asked.
The three of us looked at each other, then Ellen and Wendy started at the same time. Pete looked at Ellen, winked, and asked Wendy to start.
After drawing a deep breath, Wendy slowly started to tell what occurred from her point of reference. I filled in things she didn't remember, and after fifteen minutes or so, Pete was given the whole story.
He looked at Ellen who nodded and said that was it, except she really unloaded on Tina's behavior. Since Ellen stayed with her the longest, she was the most upset.
The look on Pete's face was both angry, and at the same time, sorrowful. He took a second then said: “The woman who was hit while walking her dog, died this morning at about 9am. I spoke with her family; they were so thankful you three were there, and asked if Wendy wanted, she could keep the little poodle. They live in apartments that don't allow pets, and hated the thought of giving her to a pound for possible adoption.”
At this, Wendy burst into tears again, but happy tears, I think. She picked the poodle up and hugged her while walking back and forth.
Before Pete left, he said the crooked Swampscott cop was being investigated by the IRS, and would be lucky to keep his shoes. After the IRS was done, the DA would indict him and a trial and prison were in his future.
We realized we hadn't eaten; what with the mornings events I guess it was expected. I asked the other two if scrambled eggs, toast and strips of thick bacon sounded good. I received a unanimous vote, so out came a dozen eggs, a splash of milk, and my secret ingredient, two pinches of sugar!
We spent the rest of the day moping around the condo, Wendy playing computer games, me reading, and Ellen trying to get interested in the Boston College football game against Syracuse.
The cell phone in my purse started ringing. It had to be Kevin! He had been stuck in the traffic on Route 1, and was unable to reach the barn for his lesson. After an hour, he contacted Cathy and found out what had happened. Wisely he decided not to call me right away.
I rehashed what had happened, but talked about Tina's performance, which Cathy left out. In the background, I could hear Billy's voice. Kevin finally asked if Wendy was there, saying his nephew looked ready to chew his arm off.
I finally laughed that day! Calling Wendy to the phone, I told her 'Lover Boy' wanted to speak with her.
After I handed over the phone, Ellen grabbed my arm and turned me facing the television. The six O'clock news was coming on, leading in with the fatal accident that morning. I felt breathing on the back of my neck; turning around, Wendy was still on the phone with Billy, but now paying attention to the news and leaning on my shoulder.
Well, our lives had to go on, but I feared that down the road, we'd be called as witnesses to the vehicular homicide that I was sure Tina was being charged with.
I was starting to feel the beginnings of hunger pangs, so I got out the makings of salami and cheese sandwiches, and opened up two cans of Campbell's chicken noodle soup.
The following day was Sunday; we could sleep late. I thought of going out for a leisurely breakfast before the Patriots versus Baltimore game came on.
With all the excitement, and tears we were exhausted and went to bed. Wendy asked if I had room for her, she just couldn't sleep alone that night.
~ ooOoo ~
We left the condo at ten o'clock next morning, and headed out to search for breakfast. All our favorites had closed over the years, leaving us with a longer drive.
Luckily, we arrived just before the church crowd at the International House of Pancakes in Danvers. Wendy would have been happy at Mickey D's! We got home in time to hear the pre-game show and Ellen and I dug out our 'for information only' cards. So far we were winning; Oklahoma State had romped over TCU, winning by thirty-one points, Boston College had scored two more touchdowns than Syracuse.
Now we needed the Dallas Cowboys to beat the NY Jets by fourteen, and the local entry to defeat the Ravens with the score totaling more then forty-two points. Wow, I sound like a gambler! I can see how sports gambling gets to be addictive.
These bets made the football games more interesting, with the three of us hanging on each report of the Jets Cowboys game. By half-time, the Patriots were cruising, having scored thirty points by the half. And at the half-way point, the Cowboys were winning by twenty-eight points.
By 4:30 Ellen and I were dancing, our teams won! Of course, we were rooting for the Patriots, and they won forty-two to twelve, scoring the total number by themselves. The Jets only scored a field goal, losing thirty-six to three. you never saw two women so happy to win ten dollars.
It was decided to only risk half our winnings each time. That way when we lost, we still had some winnings to bet with.
Supper was ham and Swiss cheese on Pumpernickel with Campbell’s tomato and rice soup. After watching “The Good Wife” we went to bed. This time, I slept alone!
At work the next day, we discussed driver's education classes for Wendy. It was decided Ellen and I would pay for her lessons, but Wendy would get a job, paying us back. That got Wendy asking what kind of job, wishing for one at a beauty salon. Now that got Ellen and I interested! There was a salon just up the street where we had our hair cut and styled.
Wendy said the last time she was there, the owner, Toni asked if she had a job yet. When Wendy said she didn't, Toni said they needed someone to sweep and replenish the stations with new sanitized combs and shears. Well, this was great, Wendy could walk back and forth without a car, the salon was diagonally across from the driveway to our condo.
Upon hearing Ellen and I saying this, Wendy started pouting, saying. “Now I don't get a car. You guys aren't going to gyp me are you?”
Ellen tried calming her down, “No, no, we mean you can start right away and by the time you have a learner's permit, you can pat Ginny and I back for driver's ed classes. This also allows you to pay for our increase in the fee for our Auto Insurance. A new driver pays more, no matter how old they are.”
Reassured, Wendy went back to her laptop looking at sites for driving schools.
“Ginny, when Pete called me yesterday, he said State Troopers don't give road tests any more, and haven't for over four years. The Registry now uses civilians for the exams and road tests.
When the coffee truck showed up, we almost ran to turn in our gambling cards, after a little joking by the driver saying that a couple of girls won, but the rugged men all lost.
Ellen and I got four more cards, thinking that picking four games on four cards was wiser than betting on more games on one card. I must admit, every time we heard sirens, we flinched, as if we were going to be arrested for playing these cards!
After coffee, I took Wendy driving again. She was becoming quite proficient, allowing me to relax. On the way back, Wendy started yelling,
“There he is! The guy that killed the woman walking her dog! He just went in that nightclub by the Junior College, didn't you see him? I'm sure it was him, Aunt Ginny.”
As soon as I entered the office, I told Ellen, and she called Pete Smith. It was a short call, but I overheard Ellen say Fran's Place.
Pete arrived in twenty minutes, but had called the Lynn police who had three cruisers around the nightclub. Twenty minutes? Where did Pete hide, around the corner?
Six Lynn police officers followed by Pete entered by the doors, hoping Morales was still inside. No such luck! Pete said he showed photos to the bartender who picked the right photo, and said the guy was looking for a job. This was the second place that catered to gays, with a floor show that Morales was connected to. I wondered, was he dressing as a drag queen? I decided I must tell Pete my idea. Or tell Ru Paul!
To be continued.
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