Since Rosanda was no professional, I gave her very little respect. Even so I reran some of the surveillance tape from inside the apartment to be sure she had stayed put while waiting. It appeared that she had. So I walked in pretty much unconcerned.
“You wanted to talk to me?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said. “First of all let me say I forgive you,” she said with a straight face.
“How nice of you and why exactly do you think I need your forgiveness?” I asked. I have a feeling that she was wired and probably broadcasting. Technology had gotten that good. She was probably piggybacking on my wifi feed.
“You killed my friends,” she said.
“I think this interview is over and for the record, I killed none of your friends. Eve would you show this young lady out.”
“I’m not wired, If you like I will get naked for you.” she said. “Besides I’m the one who needs to talk, you just need to listen.” By the time she finished her remarks Eve was behind her and ready to show her to the door with no regard for her comfort or safety I expected.
“Hold off a second Eve,” I said. “Let her say what is on her mind. As long as she does it quickly.”
“I know you think I was in on the kidnapping. I also know that if you implicate me, then you also implicate yourself, so we are at a standoff. My fear is not that you will testify at any trial I might have. My fear is that you or one of your people will kill me, if there is no trial. So I am here seeking advice.”
“First of all I don’t have any people. My friends have no interest in you I’m sure. Our only interest was in seeing that little girl get home safely. Everything else was secondary. The police accomplished that so we have no dog in the fight.”
“Then all is forgiven,” she said.
“Since you say you were not part of the plan is there anything to forgive?” I asked. The word game was tedious.
“I suppose not,” she said.
“Now Eve you can show her out,” I said. Eve walked her to the rear door.
When she had gone I picked up the laptop from the kitchen table and wrote, “SWEEP” on it. Eve nodded. She walked from place to place in the apartment listening I suppose. In the end she returned to join me at the kitchen table. “Nothing,” she said.
“She missed a chance to bug me. I’m surprised she, or Blevins or whoever is pulling her strings didn’t think of it.” I said.
“Most likely she really has no one pulling her strings. She most likely just wanted to clear this up, so she can run far and fast.” Eve said.
“If she is smart that is what she will do. Someone will kill her, if she stays and it won’t be us.” I said to put that matter to rest. I had no interest in the nanny.
“God I would love a nap, but I don’t have time before the meeting with Kate,” I said. “I do have time to get out of this fucking vest.” I said that as I stripped right in the living room. I stripped in front of the huge street level windows. It would have been illegal probably, if the glass wasn’t tinted almost to the point of being black. The Kevlar vest lay in a heap on the one big chair in front of the window. I chose to replace the same thick tee shirt I wore to the gun buy.
“I don’t think I need that thing to discuss real estate. It will be nice when I can throw that in the trash.” I said.
“Will that day ever really come?” Eve asked.
“One can dream,” I said as an answer. “I can’t nap but I can watch that TV show from last night. The one with the monsters disguised as humans trolling the earth.”
“I know the one you mean I’ll cue it up if you like?” Eve suggested.
“You do that and I will fix a glass of Diet Coke,” I suggested. “You should be finished first.”
“Not really dear I made a couple of bottle of that disgustingly vile concoction for you. It’s in the frig. It’s the ones with the red labels.” she said.
“God, you have been playing Suzie homemaker haven’t you.” I said. To make the disgusting concoction, one had to mix cherry syrup with diet coke, then reseal the bottle. Of course these days one first had to make the cherry syrup. That’s why she made two bottles at the same time. First she would have had to mix the cherry drink powder with a little water. Then she would have added half the mixture to a two litter bottle of diet coke. It was a lot of trouble. but I had decided that I was worth some trouble a long time before.
The cherry diet coke, and Helen’s homemade potato chips were a great combination. It was a great combination while I watched a show that was more light hearted than the current zombie craze that was going around. A bunch of zombies walking around, well lumbering around really, didn’t do anything for me. I think the fairytale villains of the show I watched were more dangerous, since they could actually move fast enough to catch you, if you ran.
The sun was still in the sky when I headed off to see Kate. In the dead of winter it might be hanging low but not so on that August evening. I decided to just walk across the street. I looked both ways then stepped into the street in the middle of the block. Yes I was jay walking, but I had no idea that the penalty for Jay walking was death. If I had I might not have done it.
Yes I got to the double yellow lines, when I just stumbled and the lights went out.
When I opened my eyes and saw the large florescent light grid over my bed, I thought, not again. I knew that I was in a hospital and doped up. I tried to turn my head to see the IV pole just to see what I was on. I realized that I had no control over my muscles. I tried them all and found that nothing moved. I panicked.
“Her eyes are open.” a male voice said. The voice came from outside my field of view.
“Ms Stone, can you hear me?” a second male voice asked.
“Yes,” a weak voice answered. A voice I wasn’t completely sure belonged to me.
“We have kept you in a coma for a month letting your body heal as much as it could. Now you are awake,” a third voice informed me.
“Is this as good as it is going to get?” I asked.
“We can talk about that after you rest,” he said.
“Bullshit, let get this over with. Is this as good as it is going to get for me?” I asked.
“Your body is what it is going to be I’m afraid. You were shot in the back at reasonably close range with a large caliber hand gun. Your spinal chord was damaged beyond repair,” a voice said.
“Then why the hell am I here. Didn’t anyone check to see if I had a living will?” I demanded.
“We checked your representative never tried to enforce it,” the voice said. “Someone has to demand it be enforced. Some people have a hard time letting loved ones go.”
“So I chose the wrong power of attorney,” I said.
“That’s not a decision for me to make,” the voice said. “You need to get some rest we will talk about later.”
I drifted off to sleep hoping that it was all some kind of nightmare. I have had them before. so I wasn’t too concerned.
The next time I woke up I went through it all in my mind before I opened my eyes. When I did Eve was looking down at me. “How could you let this happen?” I asked her.
“I couldn’t do anything Jennifer is your power of attorney and she said do what they could to save you. I left to see what I could do from the farm.,” she said in a whisper.
“Oh and what was that?’ I asked.
“I got your ass moved here for one thing. You have been checked and rechecked, there is nothing anyone can do to bring your movement back.” She was speaking quietly but without any emotion. She just couldn’t relate to me on that level. To her it was like talking to me just as I was before I stepped into that street.
“I am here to explain some things to you. The creator thought you might take it better from me.” Eve said.
“How about this, I know I’m in a company facility, how do I get the forever sleeping pill?” I asked.
“You couldn’t swallow it,” Eve said very logically.
“Then crush it up and put it in my IV,” I suggested.
“I think I should hold off on that until you explore all your options. If after you have talked to everyone, you still feel that way, I will see to it.” she replied quietly.
“Then bring on your death counselors,” I said.
“Well just be honest and be yourself Maxine. This is most important,” Eve said. “Maybe the most important interviews of your life.”
“I know Eve,” I said as convincingly as possible under the circumstances.
“Okay you just rest. It will begin soon. You need to stay awake for an hour or so to clear your head. Is there anything I can get you?” she asked.
“Jack and coke with lots of ice,” I suggested.
“Wet towel to suck on it is,” she said putting it to my lips. It was wonderful. My mind ran back over my life, while I waited for the shrink, who would determine my fate. He would decide if I was sane enough to choose to end my life. Release from the dungeon, which my body was sure to become, was the only thing on my mind.
I had gotten up to the memory of my dad in his mustard colored hunting outfit as he got in the old pickup truck. The drive from our mill village to the his hunting lodge was fifty mile but for him it was a different world. He had his escape from reality for a few days. I guess even then I envied him that, even if I didn’t know exactly how big a drag reality could be.
“Ms. Stone, I’m doctor Evans. I would ask how you are but I can see,” he said honestly. “I am sorry that we are meeting under these circumstances.”
“Thanks, could we get on with this. I am ready to move on,” I said.
“Move on?” he asked.
“You are my death counselor aren’t you?” I asked.
“In a way I guess I am. So tell me Maxine, you don’t mind if I call you Maxine do you?” he asked.
“Doc you can call me Macaroni, if it gets me out of this mess,” I informed him.
“Max we need to go over your file before we can make a decision. So, let’s begin. You are 42 years old is that true?” he asked.
“Yes it is,” I said.
“And you joined the Air Force right out of high school?” he asked.
“That is also true. Doc, how about I just admit that all the shit in your file is right and we move on to the real things you want to know.”
“They told me you were a control freak. That is a good thing,” he said.
“So what do you want to know,” I asked.
“Are all the men and women you killed listed in the file?” he asked.
“Probably not, and I probably don’t even know for sure who all they were. You are beginning to sound like Saint Peter. Is this the waiting room to heaven?”
“Not Likely,” he said. If you could wake up tomorrow and go back to your old life is there anything you would change?”
“I wouldn’t jay walk again,” I said. “I had no idea that it was a capitol offense in Aster.”
“Okay you need to rest,” he said making an adjustment to the IV.