Chapter 16: .big/boys/don&t/cry
The rehab centre was about an hour from Scott’s apartment. We passed the centre of town with all the skyscrapers and other tall houses. When I was young I always wanted to live in the penthouse of one of the skyscrapers. My dad tried to scare me, saying there was no way of getting out if it started burning. I still didn’t care. I wanted to live in one of those houses, among the clouds. Now, I wasn’t so sure anymore. I knew it would be hard to get out if it started burning. Only last year a skyscraper started burning. The people in the penthouse got out all right, but the people from the middle-flats lost their lives because their smoke detector had died some days before. It was quite the event. Nothing happened in this town, and when one of the safe and brand new skyscrapers started burning, it was all over the news. The building company were effectively lynched for it.
The rehab centre was grand and glorious, outside one of the big hospitals. There were bushes cut into shapes and window cleaners hanging on the façade.
A nurse met us outside.
“Scott Winchester with the police department,” he said, showing his badge. “You have a witness here. We would like to talk to him. Thomas Oxford I believe his name was.”484Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ0n7FNAO1Kp
“Yes, that’s right. Follow me.” Scott nodded.
“Are you also an officer?” the nurse, Ellen Andrews her nametag said, asked me.
“I’m a witness, just like Thomas. I’m sorry, I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Onila Jenkins.”
“Oh, you’re the daughter of Dr. Jenkins? He was just here with some paper work.” He worked at the hospital the rehabilitation centre was connected to. It was called Sanderson’s Memorial Hospital, after Randy Sanderson, the first doctor in the city. Apparently he donated a lot of money to get this hospital built, and he also died here. There was a big statue of him by the main entrance of the hospital. I remembered this because of his large moustache that probably was the home of more germs than you could imagine.
“How has Mr. Oxford been?” Scott asked. It sounded like he was genuinely interested, not just making small-talk.
“Oh, it’s been up and down. With many of these addicts it’s hard to get any sort of communication through. He's in shape to talk.” The nurse sounded proud of him, though something in her voice made me worry.
“Good. We’re just going to ask him a few questions. You can stay in the room with us. If we’re straining him too much, feel free to interrupt us. We don’t want to stall his development:”
“I’m sure it’ll be fine,” she said. We stepped into a lift. She pressed number seven and the doors closed.
“You know this place is haunted?” the nurse started. I could feel Scott rolling his eyes behind me.484Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡJ2FtuvQciT
“What makes you say that?”
“At night, this lift will go up and down with no one in it.”
“Don’t scare the girl,” Scott said.
“Sorry, but it’s true. This lift is haunted.”
I looked at Scott and snickered. This nurse was obviously crazy for believing this place was haunted. If I were an angry poltergeist, I wouldn't haunt a hospital. I would probably go to my parent’s house and scare my dad while he was having sex with one of his assistants.
“I’m not easily scared,” I lied.
“See, the girl can speak for herself.” I liked this nurse, even though she was as mad as a box of frogs.
The lift stopped and we were on the seventh floor. She led us down a pretty narrow hallway. I wondered how they got stretchers with people down this hallway, that’s how narrow it was.
She knocked on door number fourteen. We could hear a meek voice answer.
“C’mon in,” the voice said. We entered to see a thin man lying strapped to the bed. It was definitely the same man that was in the petrol station. The druggie. They had shaved his head. Now I only saw black stubbles of hair. His beard was gone. They must’ve thought it wasn’t all that practical to have it.
“I just woke up,” he said and wiped the drool from his chin. Thomas had a yellowish colour. He looked extremely sickly. His eyes were even further into his skull.
“Hi, my name is Scott Winchester, I work for the police department. And this is…”
“Onila Jenkins, yeah I know,” Thomas said.
“How did you know?”
“There ain’t nothing in this town I don’t know,” he explained. “I know what you’re here to ask about. I ain’t sayin’ nothing.”
“Didn’t you call us to give your statement?” Scott asked. He was confused.
“I called to tell you I weren’t gonna say shite.”
Scott got some paper out of his pocket. He started scribbling what the druggie said.
“You know, resisting to aid a police investigation is punishable.”
“I know that, sir.”
“Did you know John Bashor?”
“I did. Not a close friend exactly, but I had been at his place a couple of times.” I looked at Scott. There was some kind of drug ring going on in the basement in 45 Sundrive.
“I thought you weren’t going to say shite?” Scott mimicked.
“Changed my mind,” he said and moved to spit in a bucket on the floor.
“Why were you at the petrol station that night?”
“I needed money, God forgive me. They were paying me a lot for it.”
“That, my dear officer, I can’t tell you.” Scott looked absolutely helpless. He was only getting half-answers out of this man.
“Did you walk all the way to the station?”
“They dropped me off a mile away from it. They were coming to pick me up after I’d done my job.”
“And what was your job?”
“Telling you that would mean a fate worse than death. They would know that I told you.”
“Who are they?” I asked. I needed to know. Was it the same “they” as Derrick talked about?
“Onila, dear. Grab me a piece of paper,” the druggie said. I did what he told me to do. He was shaking as he wrote something on the small paper. Then he handed it over to me.
I read it.
Click on the network link as you open the browser.
Go to the people tag.
Click on the third link on the page.
“What’s Ex-Fortify?” Scott asked. Thomas made a gesture like he was zipping his mouth shut. Scott tried for a while longer, but eventually he had to give up. The nurse followed us out of the room.
“He's had kidney failure. Unless we find a donor, he will probably die. There isn’t much hope for him because of his excessive drug use.” The nurse uttered. She was almost choked up.
“Since his injuries are pretty much self inflicted, he won’t get the help he needs.”
“That’s horrible,” I said.
“That’s the way the system works,” a voice behind us said. I turned around to see two round eyes with small black irises. It was Darren. He had some other police officers behind him. They all looked like thugs with tattoos and piercings. I wondered if they were allowed to wear piercings to work. Obviously they were, or they were breaking protocol.
“We got the call in this morning, and we thought we’d check that you were doing your job,” Darren said with an evil smile.
“I can see you brought your girlfriend,” he said, while one of his thugs walked toward me. I backed away from him until my back hit the wall. The thug's blue irises danced across my face. The lingered on my lips for a while until they continued down my body. I honestly felt violated as his eyes stopped at my breasts and continued downwards. He licked his lips.
“Maybe I’ll pay you a visit tonight, Winchester. Your little slut is staying with you, right?” The thug said. I looked up to Darren, who to my surprise, looked like he was going to hit the thug.
“Please, Darren. Don’t do anything you’ll regret.” The thug continued on his way towards me. Darren grabbed his the thug's, but the other thug shook him off. I got into fight mode.
“Don’t come any closer?” I warned.
“What will you do?”
“I’ll call security,” the nurse said.
“We are security ma’am. We’re the fucking law," Darren said, not wanting any more trouble.
“Get away from me,” I said as I felt the thug's breath on me. I kicked him in the groin. He screamed out in agony as I kicked again. Darren held the other thug in stranglehold.
“Fuck you, creep,” I shouted. Scott had to drag me away from the crying man.
“You shouldn’t have done that!” the thug screamed after us. “You’ll fucking regret it!” Darren looked like he was about the burst with embarrassment.
“Let’s drive home. We have work to do.”
As soon as we got into the car, I started bawling. I had probably ruined Scott’s entire career. He tried to make me feel better, but nothing worked.
“I’m so sorry Scott,” I wept. He stroked my back and looked out of the windscreen.
“Don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll be all right.”
“No it won’t be. Did you see his eyes? Pure evil!”
“I know, I know. It doesn’t matter. My superior knows better than to believe that bastard.”
We started driving to Scott’s place. Halfway there he realised he’s forgotten some paperwork at the station.
“Is it alright if we turn back to go to the station. I forgot some paperwork there.” I nodded and wiped my eyes.
I wanted to wait in the car, but Scott was still unsure about leaving me alone. I argued, telling him I was a grown woman, capable of taking care of myself.
“Please come. I don’t want that man to get you. I couldn’t live with myself knowing I could have done something to prevent it from happening.” This small speech led me to follow him out. He seemed happy with himself for managing to get me out of the car.
We entered the station. Almost all the officers were in the back rooms, working on the case. He was quite happy to see that they were doing their job instead of just hanging around, drinking coffee and gossiping. We met Chrissie on our way in. Chrissie was a beautiful twenty-two year old. I knew her age because she was born in the same year as Chris. She had long auburn hair, big brown eyes and suntanned skin.
“How are Jason and Herbert doing?” Scott asked.
“They say they’re making progress, only I don’t see it.” She smiled, showing off her commercial worthy white teeth. “Did you go to see the junky?”
“Yeah, he didn’t have a lot of information to give us, unfortunately.”
“How are you holding up, Onila? I heard of the break-ins,” she sounded sincerely worried about my well-being.
“It was a scary experience,” I admitted.
“Are you staying at home?”
“She’s staying with me,” Scott said firmly.
“How did Chris react to that?” Now she was just as snoopy as I was.
“We’re taking a break,” I lied. Well, it wasn’t entirely a lie. I had thought of it for a while. Taking a break from the relationship to focus on figuring out what I really want in life. Scott immediately came to mind, but I shook it off.
“Well, good luck with everything. I’m out to look at 45 Sundrive. Apparently everything is smashed.”
“How weird,” Scott said uninterested. She frowned but politely said farewell and left.
“Old news gets so dreary,” Scott said.
“We only found the smashed equipment yesterday.”
He shrugged and walked to his desk. He froze as he saw the small envelope with the yellow seal.
“Dog shite, this can’t be happening,” he grabbed the envelope and tore it open. I saw his eyes scan the letter many times. “This isn’t real.” He was crying. I grabbed the letter out of his hands.
To: Scott Winchester
You are hereby discharged from the investigation. The investigation will be led by Darren Treble, who has proven to be an excellent officer. You will return to duty as when the investigation is over. If you are asked to come to court, you will oblige.
That day I drove him home without a driver’s license. He didn’t even care. I put him in bed as we got home, and kissed his forehead.
“At one point you realise the police can’t do shite to help you,” he said before I closed the door. ns 18.104.22.168da2