“I haven’t heard.” But I decided I had the right to know. Taking the bull by the horns, as it were, I called Captain Monroe’s office.
“The Captain is busy right now,” her assistant said. “But I promise I’ll give her the message. She’ll get back to you at her earliest opportunity.”
“Thank you. Much appreciated.”
“If more people helped out like you did, there would be less trouble.”
“Isn’t that called vigilantes?” I teased.
“Only if that’s the intent,” she countered. Smart woman.
Captain Monroe called back much sooner than I’d anticipated. Since it wasn’t during a rush, I poured myself a coffee as I answered.
“What can I do for you, Keir?”
“I was wondering what was going on with Ray the Hostage Taker.”
“For starters, his name isn’t Ray. Oddly enough, when Miss Tynan called him Bob, she was right. His name is Robert Erlinger from Detroit.”
“Why was he there?”
“We’re still worming that out of him. He keeps saying that no one was supposed to be there, and doesn’t go past that.”
“Has he lawyered up?”
“He saw a public defender, but we got stuck in the weekend limbo. A lot of the judges don’t sit the bench on Friday, so we had to wait until today. He’s on the late afternoon docket. Judge Honoria Walker at four.”
“I hope she throws the book at him. Really hard.”
“Yeah, she’s little but feisty. Why the interest?”
“He hit the woman I love, scared a lot of people, and bruised my knuckles with his face. I want to make sure he’s not going to get out on bail, and come looking.”
“He’s up on multiple counts of kidnapping, and armed robbery, he’s not going to go anywhere. He also has a thick jacket, and skipped out on bail a few months ago. I can pretty well guarantee he won’t get out. Should the unthinkable happen, I’ll call you.”
“Thank you, Captain.”
“Call me Lizbette. I think you’ve earned the right.” She cleared her throat softly. “I was terribly sorry to hear about your sister. I’ve met her at some functions, from time to time. My husband is a lawyer in the same firm as her husband. I really liked her honesty. You could always count on Dionne to speak her mind. No matter what was on it.”
“Thank you. I have to call the hospital, and find out when they’re going to release her.”
“Please let me know when the Mass will be. I’ll gladly organize the police escort for you.”
“I don’t want to put you out, ma’am.”
“Not putting me out. I would be pleased and honored to do that for her. I considered her a friend.”
Suddenly, I wanted to cry again. I mumbled thanks, finding the words catching in my throat.
Around four, Hannah and Jake appeared, holding hands. The last of the school crowd had tapered off and I was prepping for the after work bunch. Jake and Hannah came into the truck with me, locking the door behind them. I served coffee and pie. We stood around, eating together. It was then I realized I hadn’t eaten lunch. I made us each a Cuban sandwich, which we took out to a table to eat.
“How was the appointment?”
“It went well. Little change up in meds, but nothing major. Reducing a couple, upping another. But the good news is, I might be able to drive again, soon.”
“That would be cool. You could take that road trip you were telling me about. Driving Route 66.”
“Yeah. I’m trying to talk Hannah into going with me.”
“I think that sounds like a great idea. I wish I could get the time off and take a trip.” I haven’t had a vacation in so long, I’m not sure I remember how.
“We could all go together,” Hannah said. “You and Rowena, the two of us.”
“Something to think about,” I replied, smiling. I wasn’t sure how Jake felt about it, so I didn’t want to say yes. “Rowena may not be able to get the time off.”
“Oh, true. Well, ask her anyway.”
“Dinner at my house,” she announced. “Lou and I discussed menu. I wanted to pay him, but he won’t accept it.”
Hannah doesn’t live very far from me. I was pleased that Lou agreed to deliver.
“Six thirty. Then a few of us are going to go see Steven.”
“Good. Only a couple, though. He’s in a lot of pain, and the medicine makes him tired.”
“Of course. How is he? Emotionally?”
I couldn’t respond. Surely she knew that was a loaded question, and one not easily answered.
“What you’d expect, I’m sure,” she answered her own question. “Sorry. Very stupid to ask.”
They finally took off about the time that the evening rush started. Folks stopped by for coffee, but I’d told them at noon I didn’t have a daily special. Several of them bought pie to go, so that was nice. My tip jar was full again. Closing up, I put the cash in the safe and headed directly to the bank to make a deposit. I usually go home and get my car, but today I took the food truck, parking in the supermarket lot that’s adjacent to the bank. It’s built on an out parcel of the grocery store.
©2021 Dellani Oakes