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Heidi took a cab home from the hospital. Despite the excitement she felt, she fell asleep on the trip. When she arrived home, she was surprised to find that her house, despite the fact that it had been the site of violence and death the night before, looked pretty much the way it always did.
When she reached the front door, she found a note stuck under the brass door knocker. She took it off, and read it:
Some of the kids in my first period class were talking about what happened, and were worried about you. That led to a discussion of what we might be able to do to help. I called to talk with you, but a police officer answered and said you’d gone to the hospital. He said they were almost finished, but the place was a mess.
Well, one thing led to another, and a bunch of kids and I came over, with the principal’s permission, of course, and got things straightened up. Hope we did OK.
Lois was Lois Tillman, a teacher at the high school, and a close friend of Heidi’s. Heidi began to cry after she finished reading the note. So many people were being so nice to her. She never knew that many people cared about her. She let herself in the house, went upstairs, peeled her clothes off, and got into the shower. Maybe a long, hot shower would help wash away the memories of what had happened to her.
“I think that’s about it,” Detective Lieutenant Louis Feldman told Tim. Lieutenant Feldman and his partner, Sergeant Amos Grigsby, were the department’s two homicide investigators. Their expertise–even if it was somewhat limited because Jamestown didn’t have many homicides–in investigating deaths meant they also investigated all officer-involved shootings.
“Yeah,” Grigsby said. “We listened to the dispatch tapes, interviewed Sergeant Dawson, and all the other officers at the scene. Looks to me like it was a righteous shoot. Damn righteous. You did a damn good job Jackman.”
The massive black detective shook his head. “Dawson’s got to be one of the luckiest bastards in the world,” he said. “If he hadn’t tripped, he’d be a hurting unit. We found the slug in the fence behind where he was standing when the guy shot at him. Woulda got him right between the eyes.”
“Damn!” Tim said.
“Amos is right about this being a righteous shooting,” Lieutenant Feldman said. “You’re on administrative leave, with pay, pending completion of our investigation,” he continued. “That’s department policy. But as far as I’m concerned, this interview with you wraps the investigation up. The Prosecuting Attorney will review our report, but I wouldn’t worry, kid. You done good. Damn good. How you doing about shooting a guy?”
“I hadn’t really thought about it,” Tim said. “Other than that I was glad I got him and not the other way around.”
“Good,” Feldman said. “Look, I had to shoot casino oyna a guy after I was on the job about three years. Really fucked up my life for a while. Last year, I went down to the FBI Academy and learned a bunch of stuff about what can happen to you after you’re involved in a shooting. Here…” He reached into his briefcase and brought out a sheaf of papers. “Read this, all of it. I’ll stop by and talk to you again in a couple of days to see how you’re doing.”
“Thanks, Lieutenant,” Tim said.
Heidi got out of the shower, dried herself off, and did her hair. Then she went back to her bedroom. After pondering what to wear for a long time, she finally settled on a soft-looking blue fleece sweatshirt and black checked leggings. It was a comfortable outfit and, since she planned to be sitting in the hospital with Tim, the outfit would be fine.
She donned some underwear, then sat down at her dressing table to apply her makeup. She looked at herself in the mirror, then a horrible thought occurred to her. “Tim…Tim could have been the one who was killed!” she thought. “If…if he had, I’d have never…”
She began to sob. After a while, she got herself under control, finished doing her makeup, and got dressed. She checked herself in the mirror one last time, then headed for the hospital.
Tim’s parents came back after Lieutenant Feldman and Sgt. Grigsby left. They chatted a while, then Tim’s father, antsy about being cooped up in the hospital room, stood up. “I’m hungry, I’m going down to the coffee shop,” he said.
“I’ll stay here,” Tim’s mother said. “I’m not hungry.”
“Be back in a while, son,” Mr. Jackman said, then he left the room.
“That woman,” Tim’s mother said the minute her husband was out of the room, “Mrs. Tate. What’s going on with the two of you?”
“I don’t know what you mean, Mom,” Tim said. In truth, nothing was going on. Something had been going on, but that was years ago, and he didn’t think his mother needed to know about that.
His mother gave him the exasperated look she so often did when she knew he wasn’t telling her everything. “Timothy, I’m your mother,” she said. “But I’m also a woman. I saw the way she was looking at you and I heard the way she talked to you. And I…I saw the way you were looking at her. Is…is there something going on between the two of you?”
“Mom, I haven’t seen Mrs. Tate since I graduated,” Tim said. “First time I saw since then her was when they were taking me to the ambulance after the shooting.”
His mother shook her head. “Timothy, I don’t think you’re being totally honest with me,” she said. “There’s something between the two of you. I can feel it.”
Tim sighed. His mother wasn’t going to let up on this. And she’d find out sooner or later, anyhow, so… He took a deep breath, as deep as he could considering canlı casino how sore his chest was. “Look, Mom,” he said, “I…I had a wicked crush on Heidi…Mrs. Tate…when I was in school, OK? I thought I was over it, but maybe I’m not. I think what you saw and heard from her was gratitude.”
“Maybe,” his mother said pensively. “Maybe that’s all it was, but I’m not so sure. She looks young, but she’s quite a bit older than you, isn’t she?”
“Ah…yeah, I guess so,” Tim said. “I…I don’t really know how old she is.” That wasn’t true. Tim knew exactly how old Heidi was, and when her birthday was, too. “So?”
“I guess it isn’t important,” his mother said. Then she peered at him carefully. “Or is it?”
Tim decided to be honest. “Look, Mom,” he said. “I…I gotta tell you. I…I think what I feel for Heidi is more than a crush. I…I guess I…I’m in love with her. I…I think I’ve been in love with her for a long time, maybe since school. But she’s not in love with me. Like I said, until last night, I hadn’t seen her in three years.”
Heidi arrived at the door to Tim’s room just as he was telling his mother he was in love with her. She was stunned to hear his admission, so stunned she couldn’t move. She remained in the hall, leaning against the wall, listening to Tim and his mother talk. “He…he said he’s in love with me!” she thought, her mind spinning. “My God! I…I don’t believe it! Tim’s still in love with me after all this time!”
“I see,” Mrs. Jackman said. “I thought so. And I think she cares deeply for you, too, son. At least that’s the way it looked to me. The looks she was giving you weren’t just looks of gratitude.”
“Mom, I think you’re wrong,” Tim said. He wanted very much to believe his mother was right, but was afraid to accept her assessment. “I…I don’t think she’s interested in me at all.”
Heidi stood in the hall, listening to the mother-son conversation. “Oh, Tim!” she thought. “You’re wrong. So wrong! I…I do love you. I do!” She felt tears, tears of joy, welling up in her eyes.
“Would that bother you?” Tim asked his mother. “If Heidi and I were in love, I mean.”
Mrs. Jackman sat on the hospital bed next to her son, thinking. “I…I guess not,” she said finally. “I love you, Timothy. All I’ve ever wanted was for you to be happy. You know I wasn’t thrilled when you decided to become a policeman, and now you know why. But it was what you wanted, and it made you happy. I can’t say that I wouldn’t like it a lot better if you had told me you were in love with a woman closer to your age than mine, but…” She shrugged. “Love isn’t something we can control, is it?” She laughed. “I mean, look at your father and me. There are times I could smack him upside the head with a cast-iron frying pan. But, as exasperating as he can be, I can’t help loving him.” kaçak casino Her eyes softened and she took Tim’s hand. “Does Heidi know you’re in love with her?”
Tim shook his head. “No. I…I don’t think so,” he said.
“You ought to tell her,” his mother said, squeezing his hand. “Soon. If you don’t, you’ll be sorry.” She smiled. “She is beautiful, and she seems nice…”
“She’s wonderful,” Tim said. “She really is.”
“Mrs. Tate!” Tim’s father said, startling Heidi. “Go on in. You don’t need to wait in the hall just because my wife’s in with Tim.”
Heidi had been about to leave, but any chance of doing that now was gone, she realized. Mr. Jackman had hold of her arm and was escorting her into Tim’s room.
“Look what I found out in the hall,” Mr. Jackman said as they walked into the room.
“Hi, Heidi,” Tim said. His face was very warm.
“Hello, Heidi,” Mrs. Jackman said. She noticed that her son was blushing and so was Heidi.
“Ah…hello, Mrs. Jackman,” Heidi said. “I…” She knew she was blushing, but she couldn’t stop herself.
“I’m starved,” Tim’s mother said, getting off the bed. She leaned over and kissed Tim. “You do what I told you, Timothy, and you do it now,” she said. “Do you hear me?”
“Ah, yeah, ah, sure, Mom,” Tim replied.
“I love you, Tim,” his mother said, squeezing his hand, then releasing it.
“I love you, too, Mom,” Tim replied.
Mr. Jackman stood there, looking puzzled. “Wait a minute, not fifteen minutes ago, you told me you weren’t hungry, now you’re starving?” he said. “I just barely got back from the dining room and now you…”
“I want something to eat,” his wife said. She took his arm and turned him toward the door. “Besides, we really should get home and unpack.”
“Ah…sure, ah…” Tim’s father stammered as his wife led him toward the door. “See you tomorrow, son. I love you.”
“I love you, too, Dad,” Tim called.
After Tim’s parents were gone, he and Heidi looked at each other. “I…ah…I…” Tim began.
“Tim, I…” Heidi said, at exactly the same time.
“Time to take your vital signs,” the nurse said, walking into the room.
“Everything’s looking good,” the nurse said when she finished. “The doctor says you can go home tomorrow.”
“That’s good news,” Tim said.
“Thought you’d like it,” the nurse said, smiling. “Well, I have to go. There are sick patients who need me.” She walked out.
Heidi moved next to the bed. Tim reached out his hand and she took hold of it and clutched it in both of hers. “Tim…I…”
“Heidi,” he said, “I’m in love with you. I need to tell you that. I’ve been in love with you ever since…”
“I love you, too, Tim,” Heidi told him. “I’ve been really stupid. I should never, ever, have let you go and, unless you tell me to go away, I’ll never leave you again. Ever!”
Tim pulled her down onto him and kissed her deeply. When the kiss ended, he gazed into her eyes. “If you ever try to leave me again, I’m going to put handcuffs on you,” he said.
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