I HAVE AN ETERNITY AHEAD OF ME
(Intermittent Waves Recorded from the Transformed Heart of a Woman)
AUNTIE YONNY: CRIME SCENE (continued)
From where he was standing, Hal strained to see around the police officers and forensic investigators to get a glimpse of the bodies, but, he couldn’t. Pictures were being taken from all angles and everyone was being very careful not to disturb anything around the crime scene.
The detective with the Lieutenant received a call, then, she said something to him. They both turned around glaring somewhat perturbed at Hal. They began making their way towards him.
Hal wondered what he had done and who could have possibly been on the other end of that call. Was he going to be arrested? He stood there feeling like a trapped fox with no where to go because the hounds had cornered him in. The female detective was the first to speak.
“I got a call that a reporter from The Daily is upstairs at the reception desk asking for you. She says her name is Rachel.”
Hal swallowed and stared at them with a sheepish look.
“I didn’t call her. I mean, we were on the phone when everything happened.”
From the looks on their faces, Hal knew they weren’t buying his story. He knew he had to improvise.
” Look, honestly, I didn’t tell her about any of this. We were on the phone…talking about… She’s my girlfriend. We were making a date, when the alarm went off. Someone from the paper must have called her.”
The Lieutenant told the detective who they called Franky (probably short for Francine) that he’d take care of the situation and to give him an update in ten minutes.
Hal started to follow the Lieutenant up the stairwell to the first floor, really feeling the pain in his foot, as he took each step. After the first set of steps, he felt pain in his leg.
“Hamilton, Lieutenant Hamilton.”
“You see, Lieutenant, Rachel was my boss at The Daily, but before she became my boss, we dated. Now that she’s no longer my boss, I’m trying to give it another go and, well, I don’t want her to be worried about me.
“I don’t intend to tell her a thing. I expect you to do the same. If she wants a story, she’ll have to dig like the other reporters. If you care about her, you’ll keep her out of this mess.”
Hal wondered what the Lieutenant already knew about the case.
“Alright, just give me some time to talk to her and let her know that I’m okay. I won’t tell her anything. I promise.”
“I’ll be watching the two of you and listening.”
The cut must have been deeper than he thought. He’d washed it off and wrapped his foot in some gauze. However, pressing down on it gave him excruciating pain. When they entered the lobby, Hal was wincing and limping.
Lieutenant Hamilton looked at him suspiciously.
“Do you know what you stepped on?”
“No, it was too dark and I slipped and fell. Did anyone find anything on the floor?”
The detective didn’t answer.
“You better get that looked at.”
Hal looked over at the reception desk. The receptionist was frantically answering one call after another. Standing in front of her were two uniformed police officers surrounding a woman, who could only be Rachel. Hal limped over to rescue her as fast as he could.
“Hal! There you are! I’ve been trying to explain to these officers that I’m here to see you and not on official business. They were trying to kick me out!”
Without thinking, Hal grabbed Rachel in his arms and kissed her. She was a sight for sore eyes and his heart had been longing to see and touch her. As they parted, she looked at him somewhat shocked at his greeting.
“Its alright officers, she’s just worried about me. I’ll see that she leaves soon. We just need to talk for a minute.”
“Hal? What happened to your foot? Where have you been? What’s going on? I thought you said everything was alright, then, I get a call from Duke at The Daily telling me that all hell is breaking loose at this hospital and I’d better get here quick.”
“I can’t tell you much, Rachel. Just that I’m okay. Lieutenant Hamilton over there will have my head if I say any more. Look, I know we had talked about seeing each other, but, as you can see, I’ve got a lot going on. Maybe when things die down, we can get together. Okay?
Rachel looked back at the Lieutenant, who kept an eye on them while talking to the officers.
Hal knew that Rachel was no amateur. She could tell by the smoke how big the fire was and this fire was big. Hal just prayed that she didn’t start snooping around. He’d never forgive himself if something happened to Rachel. He held her hand tightly as he escorted her to the door.She was leaving, but looking around as she went.
“Please Rachel,” he thought, “please, turn off your reporter radar and just leave. Don’t you know how much I love you and don’t want to hurt you, or see you hurt, or…?” Hal fought to get the worst that could happen out of his head.
Rachel felt totally confused by Hal’s behavior. He was practically dragging her out of the door. She didn’t want to leave, especially now, seeing that he was injured and not knowing why. She had excellent instincts when it came to investigating a story. She was afraid for Hal. Something wasn’t right at this hospital, in a big way. She would respect his wishes for now and stay away from him, but, that wasn’t going to stop her from digging in to this story and laying it out in the open. She’d make some calls as soon as she got to the The Daily.
Outside of the door, once again, Hal wrapped her in his arms and passionately kissed her, but, this time, as she kissed him back, the feelings were mutual.