a tale of an old hero part six
"Hi Tony. We are coming to you via live cam at the Marion Bus station where there has an apparant shooting. Here comes the Sheriff... Let's see if we can get any details."
The parking lot full of people, ambulances and firetrucks made Mr. Johnson very nervous. He watched anxiously as they brought out three gurneys. One of which was covered completely in a white sheet. He shoved the old truck into first geer as he kept the ambulances in his line of site heading towards the county hospital. Swallowing hard, his hands grasped on the wheel, saying a tiny prayer to his maker.... starting with, "God, I know it has been a long time since we last spoke... but...."
A man in a hunter's green jacket and jeans with his arm in a sling was accompanied by two other officers and placed into a forth ambulance. The Sheriff hopped in.
"Tell me what happened, John. Weren't you instructed to wait?"
"Well, we had enough man power, at least that is what Sam said. The longer we would have waited the more dangerous this situation would have become."
The sheriff removed his glasses and feigned cleaning them, sighing. "This is going to be a really bad thanksgiving for someone's family, John. Tell me what happened."
"Sir. I am really not sure. The plan was for me to cover the old lady and Sam to apprehend the perp. But it did not quite turn out that way. After the fire alarm was set and people started to evacuate, the old woman stood up turning towards the guy who had his hand in his pocket.
"I heard her say, "An old hag? Couldn't you think of something better than that?"
"The man actually laughed and reached to grab her arm."
"The old lady brought her cane up and hit him on the side of the head, saying, "If you think I would accompany the likes of you anywhere, you are crazy." The man rolled and pulled out his gun and fired. The old lady came down with a swing to his arm, but got hit and fell. I lept to cover her and that left Sam struggling with the gunman. I heard another gunshot and Sam fell off of him. As i righted myself, the man now held the gun to my head. "I just took out your partner, and now it is your turn." Then I heard another shot and watched the man fall. As I turned around I saw the old lady dropping my gun, and fall back from a sitting position."
"So you did not shoot the suspect."
"No, sir. But how did that old lady know how to shoot my gun? She was so frail looking."
The greyed hair sherriff gave a slight smile.
"Because, you were in the presence of none other than, Mrs. Gwendolyn Jones. She retired from the force over twenty years ago."
"Surely, not. Not the one with her name on all our marks man awards."
Jennifer stared out at the window. Memories came flooding back. Her mom was a cop, her father a professor. She was only eighteen when her dad passed.
Gwen startled, asked, "Dad, you mean my grandma on Mom's side is still alive?"
"Yup. Where do you think you got your name?"
"I... I was named after mom's mom?"
"Yup. and Alex after her dad."
"No buts, your mom and your grandma had a little fight, that's all, and now, god willing, they can make it up."
"Enough, Tom." Jenn managed to say. Quiet filled the car as the miles sped away.
"Yes, this is Dr. Saim." As the man was watching his two little girls gently playing with the two kittens proudly named Miss Kitty and Diamond, Oh well, he thought to himself.
"What? Shot? You need my records? I will be right there." As he tossed the old notebook onto his desk, grabbing his coat and car keys, he yelled to his wife, "Hon, I will be back in a bit, I have an emergency at the hospital." how in god's name could that old woman get shot?
Mr. Johnson sat, numb, on the bench inside of the emergency room. How could this be happening?
The sheriff and rookie came iin and were immediately escorted back to the victims. Mr. Johnson heard the nurse report to them that the officer was holding his own, but the old lady was in critical condition. The suspect was doa.
God, please. was all Mr. Johnson could think.
Time passed slowly. Mr. Johnson saw a tall dark haired doctor come up to the desk.
"Um, I am Dr. Saim. Mrs. Jones is my patient."
Then about an hour later, a family of four hurriedly came to the desk inquiring about Mrs. Gwendolyn Jones. Gwendolyn? what a lovely name, thought Mr. Johnson.
They were told to take seats and soon Mr. Johnson was surrounded by two thirtyish adults and two teens. He glanced at the woman. He smiled. She was the spitting image of Gwen, as he now came to think of Miss Jones. "You must be her daughter."
The woman tensed. "Um, I don't know you."
"Ah, but I know you. Your mother and I have been friends for ten years now. and try as you might, you look just like her."
Jenn now narrowed her eyes at this old guy with grey and silver hair thinned over the top.
"Hi, I am Gwen. I am named after my grandma."
"Oh, Hi. I am Mr. Lawrence Johnson. My friends call me Larry."
"So like you are my granny's boyfriend?"
The man now blushed under the florescent lighting of the waiting area.
"Hi, My name is Tom Sanderson. The son-in-law."
"Tom?" Jenn whispered. "Do you think mom will forgive me?"
"Forgive you? For what?"
"For being such a coward that I would not let dad go. For leaving before I could say by to him? For ignoring her all these years?"
"Yup. you are her spitting image."
"I don't remember speaking to you, Mr. Johnson."
"Well, Missy, aren't you the cactus type... all prickly. Your mom was at the bus station to go to your house to see you and your family. I bet she was feeling the same way.."
Clearing his throat, Tom asked, "Want to go get some coffee, Mr. Johnson?"
Gwen elbowed her brother. "We will go with you dad."
Jenn sat on the chairs alone. Tears held back over the years suddenly came sliding down like a rain storm. Dr. Saim approached the lone woman.
"Um, I hear you are Mrs. Jones' daughter?"
"Yes. How... How is she?"
"She is holding her own now. The bullet passed thru her right side and caught her lung. She has a tube in her chest to make sure that it stays inflated. She is a very lucky woman."
Jenn just nodded and then looked at a handkerchief the man was holding.
"What kind of doctor are you?"
"Um, well, I specialize in gerentology. I cover your mom's apartment building."
"Your mother has taught me many things over the last ten years."
"Really?" As she blew her nose into the cloth.
"Yes. One thing she taught me was to never be to prideful to learn something. And the other is to fight for those most important to you. That is why she was at the bus station... she was going to see her family."
It was now Thanksgiving day, one year later. Two people walked along the quiet cemetary and sat on a bench watching the squirrels and chipmunks running around collecting food for the winter.
"Naw. I just want to thank George here for taking such good care of you all those years."
"Yeah. and I bet he wants to thank you for taking care of me for the rest."