Shuttered Pt. 4

Community General –

“It’s you!” She said softly.

“Yes, remember we met this morning?”

“No, no, the men…last night…they said your name…Marcus Kennedy…they…”

Sylvia was drowsy from the influence of pain medication. She watched him pull the syringe from his pocket slowly inching his way toward her bed.

“Now, now just relax…you won’t feel a thing.”

Hondo, Deacon and Chris rushed through the hospital heading to the third floor where Sylvia Sanchez was a patient.  Hicks had already notified the hospital administrator that they were coming and why.  The elevator was much too slow so like a well-oiled machine, the three fluidly took the steps focused and aware that time was of the essence.

“What are you doing?” She asked struggling against the medication cursing through her system.

The nurse had left only moments before giving her pain medication that had begun to lull her to sleep.  Now she was defenseless in the presence of a man that in some strange way was responsible for her being here.  She fumbled for the call button but before she could reach it, the doctor knocked it from her reach.

“I can’t afford any witnesses. You and your father weren’t supposed to be home; I heard you talking the night before when your mother passed away.”

“Please don’t do this!”

“Don’t move!”

Before Dr. Kennedy could react Hondo, Deacon and Chris had pushed the door open and entered the room, guns drawn.

“I’m busy gentlemen!”

“Move away from her! NOW!” Hondo demanded.

“He’s going to kill me! Please help me!” Sylvia murmured.

“It’s going to be fine.” Deacon began.  “The good doctor is going to put that syringe down and come with us, right Doc?”

“I can’t; I have work here!”

“Put the syringe down and step away! I won’t repeat myself, doc.” Hondo assured.

This time it was Chris who took a step closer renewing her grip on her gun.  The medical staff outside were now standing around in shock at what they were witnessing. He had been one of their most promising, most reliable doctors and now he was being talked down by SWAT.  After a few seconds that felt more like hours, Dr. Marcus Kennedy did as he was commanded.

Chris rushed to the side of an emotional Sylvia Sanchez while Deacon holstered his gun and quickly cuffed the doctor and lead him past Hondo and out of the room past the others who for a moment had suspended what they’d committed themselves to do; healing the sick a thankless job but done with all that was in them nonetheless.  The pandemic had pushed them all to their limits; some more than others and perhaps, Dr. Kennedy had some how lost his way long ago.

It was a quiet ride back to headquarters.  Hondo couldn’t help but think of his mother.  He’d seen the sorrow on Sylvia Sanchez’s face. She’d lost her mother and father in less than two days.  Her mother had been one of the heroes; coming out of retirement walking back into the unknown to battle the virus that was taking people out at an unbelievable rate.  Then her father wanting to spend a night in the home he’d shared with his wife for over thirty years, only to be killed by thieves wanting to take advantage of the grief and the loss of others.

SWAT Headquarters – Evening –

Dr. Marcus Kennedy was more than forthcoming with the names of his accomplices, unwilling to bear the burden of his master plan alone.  Jericho Garner and Luis “Breaker” Calderon were both arrested during their failed attempt to leave town.  Now, the two men were in custody and pointing the finger at Dr. Kennedy for convincing them to participate in his scheme. He’d promised them that there was no way they’d get caught but he was wrong and now they all would spend the rest of their lives in jail.

It had been a long day just like the day before and so after saying goodbye to his team Hondo headed to his car.  Just before starting his engine he called his mother. He waited for her to answer while failing miserably to push away the thoughts of worst-case scenarios.  He thought of the Sanchez family and how the young woman must feel to have lost both of her parents both directly and indirectly from the Corona virus.

“Hey Baby.”

 “Hey Ma; sorry I haven’t called sooner but…”

“Shush! I know you’re busy. You sound tired.”

“Yeah, I am tired.”

She heard something in his voice. He was bothered and she heard past his attempt to sound as if he were fine.

“Is that all?”

“Yeah, that’s all.”

“Uh-humm, okay. Well, I got my results back.”

“And?”

Home of Hondo Harrelson –

 Daniel had been waiting for her call all day.  He was worried about her, but he’d been warned by his son not to bother her and assured by Charice that she was fine. Still, he wanted to hear her voice before he called it a night. As if on cue, his phone rang; it was Charice.

“I was just thinking about you.”

“Oh, you were, were you?”

 “Yeah…so how are you feeling?”

“Better. I got my results.”

 “And?”

Hondo pulled his tired body through the door; the house was quiet and unlike the night before there was no one up making coffee or watching television.  Dropping his bag near the door he walked down the long hallway toward his bedroom.  Halfway he heard voices from his father’s room.  He could tell who he was talking to without being told.  The smoothness and lightness of his voice was a dead giveaway that the older man was talking to his ex-wife, his mother.  He stood motionless in front of his father’s door.

“Come on woman, don’t keep me waiting? What did the doctors say?”

“I don’t have the virus! He says I’m just run down, and I have a bad cold; maybe the flu.”

Daniel breathed a sigh of relief; he had been dreading bad news all day.

“Well, good, good…I was hoping for the best.”

“Why if I didn’t know better, I’d think you were worried about me, Old Man!”

Hondo shook his head still baffled as to why his mother would give this man the time of day.  Even though he had taken his father in, he still held the past against him, and he worried that his mother was setting herself up for another heartbreak; one that he was sure she wouldn’t survive again.

Hondo continued down the hall to his room. He didn’t want to hear any more he wasn’t ready to hear any more or even imagine a reconciliation between his parents.  There was a time long ago when he was a young boy that the thought of his father coming back was all he dreamed about but he was a grown man now and he’d taken on many of the responsibilities that his father had walked away from.  He felt the anger rising up now, the same anger he felt long ago when as the years passed, he had to admit that his father had no plans to return home to them.

Hondo was riddled with conflicting emotions of love and anger, disappointment and pain; he couldn’t deny the real truth that he’d still do anything for his father, and he wanted him to be happy and healthy. Hondo had to admit that the little boy in him was happy that his father had finally come home where he belonged.

He also feared for his mother. She’d been broken in a million pieces when his father left them. Despite her pain she’d picked up the pieces and raised him and his sister alone.  He’d never seen her date or do anything for herself she was focused on her family determined to make their lives work. But late at night when they were supposed to be asleep, he’d hear the crying from her room behind the closed door her questions of why still rung in his ears.  His mother had raised him and his sister to not settle and to not allow anyone to make them doubt themselves and so here he was, strong and alone dedicated to the principles his mother had taught him and he wondered if what he had learned from both of his parents had done him any good in the end.

 

“The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence; the past is a place of learning, not a place of living.”- Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

THE END