Here’s the thing…
Every time I close my eyes, I see something different.
I’d like to think the cinema of my dreams is playing a double feature but it’s a bit like a comedy cartoon night on Fox.
But these dreams are nothing to laugh about.
Once again there’s a new installment of an old feature, and we’re back on the treasure hunt.
Back at the hospital with Boggs
Nadia dropped me off at the hospital where Boggs had been taken. She offered to come in with me, but I said Boggs might not be too receptive to any Cossatinos given the circumstances of where we found him, adding I was not trying to be disrespectful until I found out what happened.
It was still possible he had ended up on the beach after being dealt with by her father, brother, or some of their gang. I could have expressed myself better because there was no mistaking that look she gave me.
Coming on top of the admission she almost forced out of me, about trust, I got the impression that the rapport we had built up was slipping away, much like sand through fingers.
Watching her drive off, I wondered if that might be the last time we spoke. It was, I had come to the conclusion on the way back from the beach, a relationship fraught with many problems, in my case, being with a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, and in hers, well, I was not sure what her expectations were.
If only she wasn’t a Cossatino.
I went in the main entrance, asked at the admissions counter where Boggs was, giving my name, and stated the fact I was his best friend. I was expecting to be told the only visitors could be direct relatives.
It elicited a phone call which on any other occasion I might have dismissed as hospital protocol, but in this instance, and the grave expression on the admission clerk’s face told me this was different.
When she hung up the phone she told me to sit, someone would come to get me. Several minutes later the Sheriff came out of the doors leading into the emergency department.
It looked serious if the sheriff was involved. I was hoping Boggs had not succumbed to his injuries, even after the medics has said his survival prospects were good.
“Sam. I was hoping you would come to see Boggs.”
“How is he?”
“Uncooperative to the extent of truculent.”
“He’s awake then.”
“Aside from exposure, and a thorough shaking up, there’s little wrong with him a night or two won’t fix. But, there’s a small problem with the Cossatinos. They claim he stole a document from their residence, and they want to charge him with trespassing and theft. He had nothing with him when they brought him here.”
“Maybe they were chasing him and he hid it somewhere.”
“Maybe, but he’s not talking. Perhaps you could persuade him to tell you because we need a statement, or I’ll have to charge him, pending an investigation.”
“I’m not exactly his best friend at the moment.”
“Because of Nadia?”
News traveled fast in this town, or was it like the sheriff once told me another time I’d got into trouble, nothing happened in his town that he didn’t know about. Or my mother told him to tell me she was bad news, which was the most likely scenario.
“She is not the sort of girl you want to be with. You know as well as I do what the Cossatinos are like, and that’s all of them, Sam, without exception.”
My mother had spoken to him because those were her words. The sheriff had to be more diplomatic.
“What happened to cutting people some slack? Have you considered she might be different?”
“She has a file, Sam.”
It was all he needed to say. I wanted to believe her, but discounting all the rumors and stories I’d heard about her was not going to justify overlooking the obvious.
“Message received and understood. Is Boggs up to taking visitors?”
“Yes. Follow me.”
We went through the doors leading to the emergency department, down a corridor where ambulance patients in various stages of distress were lined up waiting to be processed, it was a busy night. At the end, we turned right where there were several rooms, one of which had a policeman standing outside.
A nod from the sheriff and the policeman opened the door and I went in. The sheriff didn’t follow me.
Boggs was almost sitting up, staring out the window, until the door closed when he turned to see who had come into the room. When he saw me, he turned back to the window.
Then I noticed a girl sitting in the chair beside the bed, almost obscured from view. It took a moment to recognize her, Charlene, the sheriff’s daughter.
What was she doing here?
© Charles Heath 2020-2022