I HAVE AN ETERNITY AHEAD OF ME
(Intermittent Waves Recorded From The Transformed Heart Of A Woman)
AUNTIE YONNY: PEACE, LOVE, AND JUSTICE FOR ALL
It didn’t take long for the police to arrive, seeing that one of their own had been murdered. Any implications within that statement should be taken and filed within the heart to awaken the mind; as criticism is not always to be taken as a dirty word, but, as a challenge to man to bury his pride, to better himself, and the mechanisms within society to make them work justly and equally for all. As this statement applies to our story, it is included to continue describing the systemic corruption that had replaced the code of ethics and justice within this city’s justice system, due to men and women like Derek Graves.
Rachel had once written an article on political corruption, calling it “The Hidden Trickle-Down Economy of America.” She had made her mark in journalism through a series of articles on the subject. Those articles had gotten the attention of the editor from The Daily and landed her a job. Rachel made quite an eye-opening statement in comparing corruption to actual currency and the strategy of using it to steer the economy in a different direction, but, like other Trickle-Down methods, the corruption that reaches and effects the bottom is also meant to benefit the rich, as it keeps them poor, still wanting, in need, and in bondage.
Rachel contrasted her life then to her life now and was forced to realize her naivety. There was no comparison between researching corruption and scandal and actually living within it. In some ways you are a victim and in other ways you are complicit. As a reporter, she would have been among the first to sound the alarm, but, this was her life, now. It isn’t so easy to put one’s life on display before the world, when one’s life is filled with sorted facts of sin, corruption, and deception. Finding herself in the midst of political corruption and scandal seemed unreal to her. However, it did have the makings of a book on the best-seller list.
She had been trying to stay awake for Hal’s return, or, to at least find out what was keeping him so long, but, she must have dosed off for a while, for when she awoke, she had missed the baby’s feeding. Her breast were still sore from trying to get used to nursing David, but, she didn’t want to give up. She put on her slippers to go to the nursery, hoping that he hadn’t already been fed. When she opened the door, she was surprised to see a hospital security guard sitting beside the door, instead of Ricardo.
“Oh! You surprised me! Wh-where is Ricardo?”
“I’m sorry ma’am. You were asleep when he left. When I came up here, there was a minister in the room. Said his name was Fitz…something…”
“Fitzgerald? Pastor Allen was here and I slept through it? Wow…I must have been tired.”
“New moms need all the sleep that they can get, ma’am.”
“Yes, but, I missed feeding my baby. I’m going to go down to the nursery to…”
“You don’t have to do that, ma’am. The nurses will feed him.”
“I know, but, uh…I’m breastfeeding.”
“Well, if you insist, but, I’ll have to go with you, ma’am.”
“Uhhhh okay…if you insist.”
“I’m sorry, but, it’s my duty, ma’am. Allow me to introduce myself, I’m Joe and I’ve been with hospital security for twenty-five years; seen a lot of things happen. Most certainly have…
Joe paused a moment and shook his head disconcertingly.
“Yes, ma’am, I’ve seen a lot. Started working here straight out of the military. I saw some action there, too. Do you need a wheelchair or a hand walking down the hallway, ma’am?”
“No thank you, Joe. I believe I can walk on my own.”
“Well, just lean on me if you start feeling a little woozy. I’ve seen women just keel right on over unexpectedly. You’re talking to them one second and then, the next second, they’re flat down on the floor. Some of them hit the floor pretty hard, too. I wouldn’t want that to happen to you.
Ya know, having a baby takes all the strength out of you. Me and my wife, we had four and after each birth she’d get a little woozy. Then, her mother would offer to come stay with us until the wooziness went away, but, she would always stay longer. You don’t forget things like that. No, siree, you don’t forget.
Rachel wasn’t sure if he meant the wooziness or the mother-in-law, but, she decided that it was best not to ask.
When she reached the nurse’s station in the nursery ward, two nurses were having a conversation, so, she waited. However, during the conversation she heard them say something about the Agumanu baby and mentioned a nice woman who came to help take care of her. Rachel couldn’t help but to interrupt.
“Excuse me, but, I overheard you say something about the Agumanu baby.”
“I’m sorry ma’am, we’re not at liberty to divulge patient information.”
“Well, you’re standing right in front of me talking where I can hear everything.”
The two nurses looked at one another and it was clear to see that they were very irritated, but, convicted. The security guard shrugged his shoulders and lowered his head, shaking it, as if to say that Rachel had made a point, but, he’d rather stay out of it. The nurse who had just spoken, put on her best smile.
“Is there something I can help you with?
Hal woke up on an examination table in pain. The arm in which the Russians had jabbed him with a needle was swollen with a big knot on it, but, the other arm felt like it had been used for a pin cushion. He felt it and found that it, too, had been bandaged.
He turned his head and Wendell was walking towards him. Suddenly filled with fear, not knowing Wendell’s intentions he tried to get up to flee. Wendell’s massive arm and hand held him back.
“Whoa! Not so fast! There’s just one more thing I need to do. It’s okay, Hal. I’m trying to help you.”
What is that thing and why is the needle so long?”
“This is something that you need and it must be administered intramuscular, deep within the muscle to be absorbed into the bloodstream and act quickly. We found traces of a drug inside of you that in high doses produces a drug induced coma in some people. The drug was taken off of the market because of multiple severe side effects, such as the blackout and fatigue you experienced, along with numerous reported accidental overdoses that resulted in comas and death. That the Russians even have the drug means that they obtained it illegally and it probably has reached its expiration date, making it even more of a risk.
Now, you can worry about me wanting to kill you, wait to see if the drug will kill you, or, trust me to save your life.”
Hal didn’t like any of the choices that he was given. Still, it was better to be safe, than sorry. Reluctantly, he surrendered his arm to Wendell and the long-needled syringe.
“OWW! You didn’t have to jab it! I told you that I’m sorry for what happened and what Zenobia and I had is over!”
“Yes, I wanted to make sure that you really know that and don’t forget it, so that you won’t have to be sorry, again.”
“Normally, I would thank the doctor, but, I don’t know which one you are, Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde.”
“I’m a little bit of both, Hal. Just remember that. But, I’m quite harmless, once you get to know me.”
Wendell gave a devious laugh that sent chills up Hal’s spine.
“Where am I and how did I get here? Who’s car was I in?
“Ricardo and I scraped you off of the street and threw you in the car. We found Martin, wounded, then, we brought the two of you back here to the hospital.
“What happened out there? Is everybody…is everybody…a-alive?”
“A lot of unpleasantness happened out there and a lot of people are dead. Among them were the police officer guarding Zenobia’s room and Hurley, whom, I had to kill before he shot Zenobia.”
“Zenobia?! He came here, again?!”
“Yes, he came to the hospital, hoping to take advantage of your men being ambushed and your being preoccupied. However, he hadn’t counted on me and Nigel being here. I entered Zenobia’s room just as he was about to pull the trigger. I tried to keep him alive, but, he wouldn’t stay down.”
“Is Zenobia alright and..and…”
“Yes, Zenobia is alright and from what I know, most of your men only had flesh wounds and two were severely wounded, but, they’re alive.”
“Rachel and the baby? Did Hurley…”
“No, Hurley never made it that far. I-I-I…killed him.”
“Thank you, Wendell. I mean…I know you didn’t want to be involved in all of this, but,…but…”
“It’s okay…Zenobia and Wendell are my family. The only family I have left. I can’t let anything happen to them.”
“I’m really sorry, Wendell. I’m sorry we got off to a bad start and I’m sorry for hurting Zenobia. I only want the best for her now. And, I can see that you’re a good man and that you really care about her.”
Wendell looked at Hal sternly, as if to correct him.
“I love her. I always have and I always will.”
“I know that now, Wendell. You’ve shown more love for Zenobia in this short time than I ever have. This is all my fault and now she’s…”
Hal hung his head and covered his eyes. Seeing his heartfelt remorse, Wendell was moved to have compassion and mercy.
“Now, she’s improving…and…congratulations you’re the father of a baby girl.”
Hal lifted his head and heaved a big sighed. He started to smile, but, when he looked at Wendell and the sad expression he was unable to hide, he decided to hold back the joy and excitement he felt inside.
“Do you think…do you think Nigel would mind if I went to see them?”
Hal was really asking Wendell’s permission, also, by testing the water and feeling out Wendell’s reaction to his question.
“No, I’m sure he won’t mind. Room 8190 in the South Wing. She’s been moved again for her protection and to get her out of the depressing crime scene. She was awake when Hurley tried to kill her and during the time he and I were fighting. She heard…she heard me take his life.”
Nigel entered the room and seeing Hal holding his arm and the horrified look upon his face, he scolded Wendell.
“Wendell are you scaring the patients, again? I told you, only once on Mondays and twice on Fridays. Now, today is…oh my…it’s Friday! You can scare him again, Wendell.”
Hal grabbed his shirt and stormed out of the room, as the two men enjoyed a laugh together, at his expense. Then, he started to laugh himself. He knew that he really liked Wendell and admired him. And Nigel? Who couldn’t like Nigel? He managed to be everything wrong and right and the same time, because he had heart, decency, and a strong sense of love for family and friends.
These two imperfect men had worked out a relationship between themselves that balanced their faults, which helped them to set their eyes upon Jesus and be perfected through Him, to stay in line with the Word of God. They needed one another like we all need one another, because, through our relationships, we learn how to walk in the Light, following Jesus.
Hal plotted and schemed in his mind, trying to think of some way to get Nigel and Wendell back for the shenanigans they had just pulled off in the exam room. Yes, he would get them back and show that three can play that game and in the process he would prove that…he was their friend.