Author's note: Okay folks last week I took a break and wrote something that was intended to be funny. Most of you got that and I appreciate that. I warned you from the beginning that the story was written purely for laughs and was not intended to be taken seriously. I was shocked of course when there were still comments about realistic characters and motivations etc. But as usual was glad that so many people had so much to say about the story anyway. I guess it's only fair to warn you this time as well. Though once again this is only fiction, and none of these people actually exist, be warned this is a completely different type of story. There are very few if any laughs here. This is a very dark story, and though it's more serious, it's still fiction. These people don't exist. I made them all up while I was changing my oil and I plotted it while I was washing my car. See ya next week with another different type of story,
Edited by MikotheBaby
Detroit, the former jewel of the Midwest. It was more than sixty years since the war had summoned the US to help defend against an evil oppressor. But when it happened, Uncle Sam in turn called on Detroit. Plants that were accustomed to producing cars simply turned around overnight and started making tanks and airplanes. The country and indeed the world, was indebted to Detroit. People flocked there by the thousands during and after the war. The city's future seemed assured and bright. But somehow the dream died and it all went wrong. Jump forward into the early twenty-first century and the city is so mired in corruption that it seems to be only a caricature of its former self. Forget about Weiner and his text scandal. Kwame did it first and better. The city's former Mayor now sat in jail. When he was released he'd probably be going right back in on federal charges. His new replacement, a former NBA basketball star, is even less effective; having accomplished nothing during his term. The city is now puntuated mostly by burned out buildings and rampant crime.
Nowhere is the corruption more rampant than in the police force. Bribery, corruption, brutality, theft and laziness were so rampant that the FBI has been investigating the department for nearly a decade. The terrible thing about it is that there are thousands of good cops in Detroit. But a few bad apples had seemingly spoiled the whole fucking orchard.
I used to think that I was one of those good cops. The difference between a good cop and a bad one in a lot of cases, like mine, was coming down on the wrong side of a snap decision and letting emotion overrule judgment. I thought about that especially on days like today. Protect and serve hoorah. Anyway, that was the past; I had far more pressing concerns in the present. It seemed like just another shitty day in a shitty week in a shitty month ... You get the picture. God what I wouldn't give for a second chance.
You know how in the movies, the good guy usually gets the girl? Sometimes the bad guy gets the girl too. But real life is far more complicated than a movie and sometimes the girl ain't what you thought she'd be. I fucked up my life and my career out of lust for a woman who wasn't even mine and never will be. They always say, "you don't know what you've got til it's gone." Well I've got the twenty first century version of that old chestnut. "You don't know what you've got til it's yours." Now I'm stuck with the girl of my dreams, only ... Well you'll see.
The check for the man's meal was for eleven dollars and seventy five cents. He gave me a ten and two ones. Noticing his expensive watch and jewelry, the suit he was wearing and the briefcase he carried, I could tell he wasn't poor. I returned to his table and put a quarter down in front of him and walked away.
"Hey, I meant for you to keep the change," he said, yelling at me as I wiped down the next table. Apparently he wasn't satisfied with me ignoring him. He got up and came over to me. "Don't you want your tip?"
"A quarter isn't a tip," I said. "It's an insult. Keep it."
"God damned uppity waiters," he mumbled. "Why don't you go to school and do something with your fucking life instead of working these minimum wage jobs and then complaining about it."
That was it. It had all been wasted. A year off the job and ten fucking months of therapy were about to go down the fucking drain. I stood up and looked down at him, my six foot four inch, two hundred forty pound frame dwarfing him. "I have a degree asshole," I said. "It's in criminal justice. Until a year ago I was a detective on the police force. I made a mistake, I..."
I turned away from him. I think we were both relieved. He, that I hadn't beat the shit out of him, and me because I had managed to regain control over my temper. In the old days, I'd have cleaned his clock and then made him swallow that quarter. Perhaps the therapy hadn't been a waste of time after all.
I walked away from him. Adrenalin flooded my system and my hands still clutched trying to form fists. It was a proud moment for me. I had walked away from him. I went into the back room and grabbed my jacket. "I'm out of here Manny," I yelled in the general direction of the office.
"Where are you going?" he asked. Manny besides being my boss and the owner of the restaurant was a friend. "Your ride isn't even here to pick you up." I pointed at the calendar and he noticed the date for the first time.
"My God, I'm sorry," he said. "It seems like it only happened yesterday. It's hard to believe that it's been a year already."
I left the restaurant and walked halfway down the block to the bus station. The bus was of course full of the teeming refuge of society. Everyone in the city who couldn't afford a car or a taxi crammed into one vehicle. My sheer size prevented most of the predators on the bus from even considering me as a target. Out of common sense and a finely tuned sense of survival they'd wait for easier prey.
Lass than ten minutes after I got on the bus, I got off. I walked through the Cemetery's gates and made my way to a plot near the rear. I knelt in front of the new headstone and picked a few weeds. Suddenly near the cemetery's entrance I heard a menacing low pitched growl. The sound caused me to turn towards its source. I was amazed. Except for pictures on the internet I'd never seen one of those. I didn't even realize that they had made any except for the prototypes.
It was a very special car and probably nearly priceless. The Italian designer, Giugiaro, had designed a concept of the next generation Mustang for Ford in 06. Ford seemingly abandoned the concept as being too futuristic, especially coming on the heels of their very successful retro redesign on the previous year's model. People in the know had noticed recently though that the concept drawing for the 2014 Mustang looked surprisingly similar to the Giugiaro Design.
Who the hell could have bought one? Since the car wasn't being produced, that one had to be one of the prototypes. It was probably a one of a kind vehicle. The car stopped in the section I was standing in. The door opened and I heard a snippet of one of those popular kid's songs playing. Some girl was singing about wanting to "Freak the freak out."
Then things got weird as "He," got out of the car. He walked around to the other side and opened the passenger door. God damn it, she'd become even more beautiful over the past year. Her auburn hair tumbled over her shoulders in soft waves. He had to help her out of the car, which was weird because she'd always seemed to be so fit and full of vitality.
Then he crossed back to the car's trunk and retrieved a huge bouquet of flowers. Naturally he'd think of everything. It became very obvious to me then that they were coming here for the same reason that I had. This was probably going to be awkward. But I should have expected it. I thought back to the first time I'd seen him. It had been about a year and a half ago. Back when I was still a cop.
My partner and I had been in one of the yuppie neighborhoods on the Upper East Side. We got there to discover that there was an argument going on over a fucking parking spot. We told the two guys to act like adults and drove off. Who needed to park at one a.m. anyway? Don't these people have jobs to wake up for?
When we got back in our car we heard a call for a domestic violence case that was only a couple of blocks away from us. Some woman was pounding on an apartment door or something. We told the dispatcher that we were in the neighborhood and would handle it.
My name is John Fogerty. I'd been a detective for six years at the time and I thought a good one. I was about to be proven wrong. My partner Les Stevenson was older. He was only a year away from retirement and had seen it all. I actually sometimes thought that he was bored with the job. Nothing fired him up any more.
Anyway we walked up six flights of fucking stairs because the elevator in the building wasn't working. Just before my heart gave out we got to the floor.
"I have to do more cardio," I said wheezing heavily.
"For what?" laughed Les. Before he could hit me with the punch line of his quip, we heard her. She was kicking at the door and screaming like an angry cat.
"Come out here God damn it," she screamed. I took one look at her and my heart just melted. My training and education left my brain, exiting through my ass and out the window. She was short, maybe 5'1" with short brown hair. She was also built on a very petite frame. Her curves were there but they weren't overstated. She had tiny breasts and delicate features. She was also very pregnant.
"You don't even have the guts to face me after what you're doing," she snapped. "How could you do this to me? Why do you have to fucking hurt me all the time?"
I looked at her face and saw red. She was sporting a shiner that made it look like she'd tried to box Tyson in his prime. Who the hell would hit a pregnant woman? I couldn't believe the level some of these assholes stooped to. I went to the door and gently moved her out of the way. Then I pounded on the door myself.
"Detroit Police, open up." I said loudly.
A bored voice from inside told me he was on his way. He cracked the door and looked out at me. He really looked bored, as if none of this applied to him, or like he had something better to get back to.
"Open the door now," I said flashing my badge. His slightly longish hair was tousled and he was only wearing a pair of pants. No socks no shoes, and as he opened the door the raw smell of sex wafted into the hallway. No wonder he didn't have time for us.
"You abandon me and hurt me and now I find you here fucking some tramp," screamed the woman in the hall. "Where is she?"
A tall well built woman appeared behind him. Her auburn hair and startlingly green eyes nearly hypnotized me.
"Sir, do you know this woman?" I asked pointing at the tiny one in the hall. At that point I was already half in love with her so what he said wouldn't have mattered at all. I had already made up my mind how this was going to go down.
"Yeah," he said. "I guess technically she's kind of my wife." That was all it took. I yanked the door open and grabbed him.
"Hands behind your head dirt bag," I snapped. "You're under arrest for assault and battery. If I get enough evidence I'll probably add domestic violence to that. It carries a much stiffer penalty you asshole." I pulled his hands behind his back and snapped the cuffs on him. Les was looking at me like I was nuts.
I wanted to put this guy away for a long time, more than that, I really wanted to beat the fuck out of him. I hated him for what he'd done to her. I guess what I really wanted to do was to protect her and impress her. I don't know what I was thinking or what a pretty twenty something girl would want with a balding over forty cop, but I didn't care.
I called for a black and white; I don't know why the hell we still called them that. Patrol unit would have been more correct. In Detroit there were black patrol cars with gold trim and there were white patrol cars with blue trim. There were no black and whites. They were mostly Crown Victorias with a few Chargers thrown in.
Anyway I called for a patrol car to help us transport them. We have rules against transporting the Perps and the Vic's together, especially in clear cut cases of domestic violence. The slimy bastard would probably have threatened her or tried to intimidate her on the way to the station. By the time we got there she'd be singing a completely different tune. She'd swear it was all a misunderstanding and we should let him go.
I wasn't having any of that. This woman didn't deserve to be abused and humiliated. What kind of man gets his wife pregnant and then beats her and then leaves her. Then to make matters worse he starts fucking some other woman. I hated this bastard. And the other woman, maybe she didn't have that unnatural glow or raw sexuality of the pregnant girl, but she was eerily beautiful and seemingly intelligent. Why would she be fucking some scumbag while his wife pounded on the door? Didn't these women have any fucking self respect? Sure he was a good looking guy but God Damn there had to be limits.
The red head had simply taken one look at the wife's face and shook her head. Then she'd leaned over and kissed the guy like he was just going off to work. She told him she'd have a lawyer waiting for him. Then she calmly asked Les which precinct we were working out of.
Les and I transported the woman, while the asshole rode in the black and white. To add to his discomfort we'd transported him just like he came to the fucking door. No shirt, no shoes and probably no underwear. It got pretty cold in those interrogation rooms. I hope the bastard froze to death.
I think Les noticed that I constantly turned around to look at the woman on the ride down to the station. I couldn't fucking help it. She was so fragile, so tiny and so fucking beautiful. Why would anyone ever hurt her? I just couldn't imagine any man in his right mind being able to harm her. That bastard was going to pay. For every indignity, and injury he had visited on her he'd suffer. I was determined to make sure of that.
Once we got to the station I started to follow her into an interrogation room, but Les held me back. I think he was worried about me making a fool out of myself with her. "I'll handle her, cowboy," he said. I think I looked hurt. "It's for your own good. Something is just wrong here. Go get yourself some coffee or write up our preliminary report."
Fuck that I thought. Okay, if I can't interview her, there's no reason I can't interview the scumbag. I had him moved from a standard interrogation room into one of the rooms we reserve for serial killers and multiple murderers. The desk sergeant looked at me as if I was crazy, but he didn't question me.
I walked in and found the asshole sitting on a concrete block on the floor with his hands chained to the floor by heavy chains. An extremely bright light was focused on him. A lot of people thought the lights were to sweat out information from suspects or to make them uncomfortable. Actually we needed the room to be very bright so the darkness of the small viewing room behind the one-way mirrors meant that no one could see into it from this room.
"So asshole, you like beating on women," I began.
"I don't know what you're talking about," he said calmly. "Maybe you have me confused with someone else."
My anger went up a notch. I hated the smug bastard even more. How could he sit there playing innocent when we had all of the evidence already? He'd even admitted to being married to her. And we'd heard her talking about him hurting her when we walked in on them.
"How could you hit a pregnant woman, you bastard," I was yelling now. I saw the lights flashing that meant for me to either calm down or let someone else finish up with the guy. I got a hold of my temper, or so I thought.
"I just don't get it," I said. "Even after the way you treat her, she obviously still loves you. She tracked you down and wanted to fight a clearly bigger woman for you while she was pregnant. What kind of animal are you?"
"Jeezus, if you like her that much you can probably fuck her yourself," he said. "Do you want me to hook you up?"
That was the straw that broke the very thin strings that held my temper in. Before I knew it I had leaped across the room and punched him in the face as hard as I could. Surprisingly he just looked up at me. He didn't appear angry or pissed off at all. His face was still calm. His expression seemed to say, "I've had worse and survived. Nothing you can do will affect me." That made me even more pissed so I punched him again and again until his face was bleeding and three other officers including my captain had run into the room to pull me off of him. They sent me home and told me that I was on suspension pending review.
I was pissed. Why was I being suspended for trying to get a clearly guilty suspect to confess? I'd done worse without reprisal. Hell most of the cops in the precinct had done far worse than what I'd just done and generally nothing happened. Then I started thinking, maybe this perp was connected to someone important.
If he was some politician's kid or some rich guy's son I might be in a bit of trouble but nothing that wouldn't blow over. The thing was that in my mind I just couldn't let go of the image of that angel with the blackened eye. Every time I closed my eyes I saw the image of that asshole raising his fist and slamming it into her beautiful face and I just wanted to hurt him badly.
As I left the building, I looked up and saw a beautiful Red Mustang GT pulling into the parking lot. I was muscle car crazy. I always had been so I couldn't help scrutinizing the car and its driver. The car was amazing. It had an after-market exhaust system that made its exhaust note low and powerful. There had obviously been some work done on the engine as well.
It also had chrome deep dish Bullitt rims, chrome mirror covers and a front splitter. The standard rear spoiler had been replaced by one that sat higher. All in all someone had put in some wrench time to make the car unique. As the door opened, I groaned. The asshole's new sweetie got out of the car.
Back at the scene, I really hadn't gotten the best look at her. I knew that she was pretty. But as she approached me I could see that I had understated it. She was tall, maybe 5' 7" or 5' 8". She had long beautiful red hair. Her hair was wavy and thick and fell in soft waves around her shoulders. It kind of reminded me of a lion's mane. Her eyes as she took off her giant sunglasses were very green and very expressive.
Her lips curled up at the ends naturally giving me the impression that it didn't take much to make her smile. She had just a few freckles dotting her cheeks. She was slender with just a hint of cleavage showing. But if you followed the contours of her top you could tell that she was rather full busted. She just wasn't advertising it. Her legs were long and tapering and her walk was very interesting without over doing it.
She was the girl next door personified, with a touch of supermodel thrown in for good measure. The contrast between her and my dream girl couldn't be more obvious. The only similarity between the two of them was the fact that they were both slender. The other woman was shorter by nearly a foot. Her hair was very short. Her eyes were more piercing. Her breasts were smaller and her ass rounder.
Whereas the other woman perhaps due to her being pregnant exuded an animal sexuality, this one just didn't put off that vibe. But she was clearly sexual as evidenced by the fact that the entire apartment she'd been in with that asshole just reeked of recent sex. The odor had been so powerful that it had spilled out in the hallway when the door opened. I was sure that this woman could get wild if aroused but that it would take much more to tip her in that direction.
"Hello Detective," she smiled as she passed.
"Did you get this whole thing straightened out?" she asked. "It wasn't what you thought was it?"
My heart started to clutch at her words. She didn't seem to be drunk, drugged or under any kind of spell. In fact she sounded very clear, very confident and very intelligent. There was something different about the way she spoke from the way the other woman did.
My detective's training finally kicked in and I pinpointed it as I looked at her. There it was again, that clear readiness to smile, and the expression on her face. The confidence and the matter of fact way she delivered her words gave them the weight of truth.
The other girl's words had been all over the place and they'd been full of something different. They were more full of emotion, which did in a lot of cases tend to skew facts. Before I could even answer my heart started beating faster.
By the time I got home I had calmed down some. I went through my fridge and grabbed a Corona and sat down in front of the idiot box. If they wanted to pay me to sit on my ass and watch the Tigers lose, who was I to argue?
The first beer was joined by several others and before I knew it, I was out cold on my threadbare couch. Okay my apartment wasn't neat, it wasn't even clean. The place could definitely have used a woman's touch. Come to think of it there were a few places on my body that could use a woman's touch as well.
Speak of the devil. My phone started ringing bringing me out of my alcohol induced slumber. Hopefully it was one of my FWB girls, because I could really use some pussy. I hoped it was Mary Panofsky, those Hamtramck Polish girls had to be experienced to be believed.
I looked at the caller ID as I reached for the phone. Oh Shit, it was the precinct. They never called you back in from a suspension in the middle of the night. That meant they had to have broken the case and I'd been right. Either that or they needed me for something else.
Well the vacation had been brief but at least I got to see part of a good baseball game. I wonder whether or not the Tigers had held on to win. They'd been ahead when I fell asleep.
"Fogerty," I growled into the phone.
"Fogerty, get your ass back down here, now. And make sure you bring your shield and your service piece," said my Captain.
"On my way sir," I snapped. His voice had sounded upset but business like. I wondered what was going on.
I cruised back down to the precinct shaking my head at the number of hookers on the street already even though it was just after dusk. Half of the hookers out there weren't even actually women, but hey, if someone wants to pay for it someone was going to do it.
My first inkling that I might be in trouble came when I pulled into the parking lot and got out of my car. I saw another detective, Darren Hood leaving the building and asked him if the Tigers had won or not. Darren was a big baseball fan and had his cell phone configured so he could actually watch games on it. He also got up to the minute updates on it during games.
It wasn't just the fact that Darren walked by me without answering my question. It was the way he looked at me. Cops have a way of looking at people that is just different from the way other people do. We look at victims one way, ordinary citizens anther way and we have our own way of looking at suspects.
The way Hood looked at me was beyond any of those. He looked at me the way we look at people who are convicted of the worst crimes imaginable. He looked at me as if I was no better than all of the other pieces of shit we arrest and wish they'd never see the light of day again.
I noticed that I got that look frequently on my trip through the building. Every time I entered an area, all of the talking stopped and no one would meet my eyes, but everyone stared at me. What the hell had I done?
I knocked on the Captain's door and waited until he told me to come in.
"Fogerty, what the hell were you thinking?" he yelled. "Do you even know how bad this is?"
"Captain, all I was trying to do was to get some information out of a no account wife beater. I've seen you do the same thing lots of times," I snapped back.
"Did you ever actually hear the woman say that he beat her?" he asked.
"Well she has a black eye," I said. "And she said that he had hurt her."
"You really fucked up, Fogerty," he said.
He stepped out from behind his desk and gestured for me to follow him. We went into one of the interrogation rooms. I was ready to face the suspect. I was sure the bastard was going to cry police brutality or some other stupid complaint.
No one seemed to care about the woman he had brutalized, only that his rights had been abused. I still believed in my actions. I noticed that there were several other officers including my partner Les in the room already and that there were large video screens there. Oh boy, I thought. I'll get to see myself beat the shit out of that asshole.
A man wearing one of those three thousand dollar suits that only lawyers and politicians can afford was talking to Les as I entered the room and sat down.
"So the woman never actually claimed that her husband had been the one who hit her?" he asked Les.
"No," said Les. "But when we arrived on the scene, she was very upset and was screaming at the man inside the apartment about his abandoning her and hurting her so we assumed that..."
"You assumed," snapped the man. "I thought that as a detective your job is to investigate, to find evidence and to solve crimes. I wasn't aware that making assumptions was part of that process. Did you have to take classes in assumption?"
"It's different out in the field," snapped Les. "Sometimes you have to go with your gut feeling. It's a hell of a lot easier sitting here behind a desk and making decisions after the fact, on what correct conduct and protocol are. You don't have the hairs on the back of your neck standing up as you knock on a fucking door because you don't know whether there's a little old lady afraid for her life behind it, or a 6 foot 280 lb behemoth hopped up on PCP who wants to take yours."
"Let's look at this situation from a different perspective," said the man. "You said that there were some weird things going on in the case. What did you mean by that?"
"I meant that from the start everything was fucked up," said Les. "The situation read like a typical domestic case, but it just seemed weird. I've been to more of these than you can count, but it just seemed weird."
"How so?" asked the man.
"Well for one thing, the woman was the one beating on the door and trying to get to the man inside. When he came to the door, he was just too calm. He gave the impression that he hadn't done anything wrong. More than that he acted as if we should have been taking the woman in," said Les.
"So how did you handle it?" asked the man.
"I didn't handle it," said Les. "John pulled the man out into the hallway and cuffed him. He called for transport for the man because in domestic cases we don't transport the spouses together. It's against protocol."
"When you got to the station, what happened?" asked the man.
"Well I'd had time to think about it on the way down there and it was starting not to add up," said Les. "All the way down there the woman had just been blubbering about how much she loved the guy. I realized that we didn't know shit about the situation and I thought that Fogerty had maybe misread it. We probably should have gotten more evidence or at least a statement from each of them before we took anyone into custody. At that point we hadn't charged anyone with anything."
"When we got to the station I wanted more information so I told John that I'd interview the woman because he seemed to be concentrating on her too much. He wasn't asking her any questions, and he didn't actually ask the guy any questions either. He was just shooting from the hip. John is a very compassionate guy. He always looks out to defend the underdog. It's just his way."
"So I told John that I'd question the woman and he should fill out our preliminary report. I figured that he'd be able to put down the reasons he felt it was necessary to take them into custody because I hadn't seen any. I thought that after that we'd interview the guy and give him a chance to respond to the woman's claims. I had no idea that he'd do what he did."
"What was so different about what he did?" asked the man.
"Well not having seen it I can't tell you," said Les. "But from what I've heard, the man hadn't been charged with anything, but John had him put into one of the special interrogation rooms and chained to the floor. I've also heard that he struck the man several times before being pulled off of him."
The man looked around the room and finally saw me. He made a rolling motion with his hand and the technician started rolling the video tape of my interview session with the suspect.
I asked questions and the man answered. He got a bit too smug with me and I popped him a couple of times. We'd all seen worse. But all of the men in the room were grimacing and staring at me like I'd taken a shit in a nun's mouth.
"Detective Fogerty," he came over in front of me. "While we've awaited your arrival, we've spoken to your partner. Oh, I'm Harrison Stanton, District attorney for this region. I'm just trying to put together evidence before we decided whether or not to prosecute," he said.
"Good that bastard deserves to be locked up for what he did no matter how much money or power his family has," I snapped. "Too often people with influence get a different set of rules than all the rest of the populace does."
"Tommy Marston's family has no money or influence," said Stanton. "His only living relative is his father who is a retired auto worker."
"So let's throw the book at the fucker," I snapped.
"Detective Fogerty, the person we're considering prosecuting is you," he said.
Suddenly my chest got tight and I was having trouble breathing. I thought he said they were thinking about prosecuting me. That never happened to a cop. The most I should be looking at for hitting a suspect should be a six month suspension without pay. That was usually what happened if you accidentally killed a perp. What the fuck were they talking about.
"Have you ever heard of Tommy Marston before today?" he asked.
"Honestly no," I said.
"That's amazing for a person who's supposed to be a detective," he said. He held up a copy of a newspaper showing a soldier who'd come back from Iraq as a hero for doing something over there. I vaguely remembered the story. The Mayor had given him the key to the city or one of those useless ceremonial honors. My heart was beating even faster.
"Tommy was injured badly in the war," said Stanton. "But serving his country over there wasn't enough. He returned home to become a paramedic. He works in some of the worst neighborhoods in the city..."
"So fucking what!" I snapped. "So he used to be a hero. That doesn't give him the right to beat the fuck out of a pregnant woman!"
"Detective, or should I say citizen, because as of this moment you are no longer a detective, you are not even a cop anymore. You don't know what you're talking about."
He made the rolling motion with his hands again and the video tape started playing. It showed a normal interview room. Les was there and Tommy Marston was there. They'd bandage up his face. There was another man there as well. This one I recognized. It was Jerry Felger a very famous lawyer.
"Tommy, I'm really sorry about what happened to you," said Les. "We'd just like to get to the bottom of this whole thing. Before we concentrate on what happened to you with Detective Fogerty, who is being disciplined, can we talk about the situation with you and your ex wife?"
"Well, you shouldn't be too hard on the other detective," said Tommy. "I think he just misread the situation with Melinda and went with his gut reaction. She does that to people."
I couldn't believe the asshole was trying to defend me. Even with his face all swollen and bandaged he still had that expression of total calm like he was walking on fucking sunshine. He wasn't even pissed.
"Should I start at the beginning?" asked Tommy. Before Les could say anything, the door opened and the redhead came in. She took one look at his face and went over to him cooing and kissing on him. She looked around the room and she was pissed. I got the feeling she was looking for me. That was the first time I saw either one of those two, angry.
"Please," said Les, "start at the beginning."
"As long as I can remember, I was crazy about Melinda," began Tommy. "Our families were relatively poor so we didn't have a lot of opportunities growing up. When I got out of high school, I enlisted in the service. I thought that with all of the benefits you get as a soldier, I could go to college when my tour was over so Mel and I could have a shot at a good life. She was against it from the start. She worried that I'd get hurt or killed. She always told me that she didn't think she could live without me.
When I went off to basic, she cried the whole time. I told her that I loved her and there'd never be anyone else for me but her. I also told her that we were both young and that four years was a long time to wait. So as much as I loved her, I'd understand if she met someone while I was gone. But I begged her to be honest with me and let me know from the start and not just send me some "Dear John," letter after she was pregnant with someone else's kid. Or worse come home to find out that she'd been cheating on me from a bunch of my friends.
She laughed at me and told me I was crazy. More than likely I'd be over there under stress in life or death situations and I'd meet some woman with big tits and fall head over heels in lust with her, and she'd be left here at home worrying about me. Anyway the war went the way it did and I didn't make the whole tour."
Les interrupted him. "Why didn't you make the whole tour?" he asked.
"Well I got injured," he stood up and pulled his pants partially down. There was a long angry scar that went from one hip across his body, terminating just above his groin area. He sat back down.
"A team of enemy combatants exploded an IED at the gate to the base," he said. "There were big chunks of metal flying around everywhere and I wasn't fast enough to get out of the way. I got cut up pretty badly by one so they had to sew me up."
His lawyer interjected at that time. "Tommy didn't say that while bleeding profusely, he picked up a weapon and held off nearly forty enemy combatants and defended a lot of our troops who'd been injured in the explosion. He prevented the enemy combatants from over running the base and was given two military commendations the Bronze Star and of course a purple heart, for his bravery."
Oh shit, I thought. My ass is grass. I beat up a war hero.
"I came home," Tommy continued. "And Melinda was there. She stayed in the hospital with me and helped me through my recovery and everything. There was a lot of damage to my hip and I had to learn to walk all over again. There was also some damage to some of my other organs including my reproductive ones. I still have full function and our sex life was still great but some of my plumbing had been damaged and the doctors said that I might need a couple of very expensive operations if we were ever going to have kids. Even then we might have to go the in-vitro method."
"After that was explained to us, I decided to just take a few days off and think about our future. I told Melinda that having kids was one of the things we'd always dreamed of, so I'd understand if she needed to rethink our relationship. I didn't think it was fair to her to have to put up with changes in what she wanted because of something that had happened to me."
"That was the angriest I ever saw her. She slapped the shit out of me in front of the doctors and nurses. They were really surprised. I don't think they'd ever seen anyone strike a seriously injured patient before. But I guess they just didn't understand Mel and me. I loved that woman with every fiber of my being. Every thought I had about every action I took, was what it would mean for Mel and me. Her happiness was the most important thing in the world for me. And I guess that was when I found out that she felt the same way."
"Tommy Marston," she screamed. "You and I are together forever. No matter what. Nothing will ever separate us. If you had come home without your arms, I'd be your hands. If you had come home without your legs I'd push your wheelchair around. Sure I want to have kids, but I want to have YOUR kids and the doctors said we still can. So what's the problem?"
"The only way for you to get rid of me is for you to look me in the eye and say, "Melinda, I don't love you anymore and I want you out of my life." Other than that you're stuck with me."
"So, Mel and I finally got married when I was released from the hospital. We came home and I was supposed to be a hero, even though I just did my job. When I went over there, the first thing they drummed into us was that we had to protect each other like family. So when the bomb went off, I was the only person who was well enough off to protect us. So I just did what I had to do. Any one of the guys would have done the same thing."
"Anyway, I got the key to the city and some money and a bunch of other stuff. The coolest thing I got was that the guys at the plant my dad used to work at all got together with Ford's blessing and made me a car. I've loved Mustangs all my life and they made me one and presented it to me. That car means far more to me than any of the other things."
"Mel and I settled down into an idyllic life together. Our apartment was small and cramped and not in the best neighborhood but nowhere near the worst either. The important thing was that we could be together. I took some courses and became a paramedic. I was also going to school to go further in the medical profession. After spending the last couple of years hurting other people I thought that helping people was far better. I decided then and there not to ever try to hurt another person for the rest of my life."
"Being a paramedic is exciting, but also stressful. We're always trying to get a person stabilized enough to transport them to get real medical help. We do our best to keep people alive long enough to get to the hospital. I work three or four twelve hour shifts a week and I'm going to school full time. The money wasn't great but Mel and I were comfortable."