Riding down the elevator Evelyn wiped tears from her eyes as she left her husband alone in the hands of strangers. Sighing at least her dad was here. He would look out for him. She knew he was right, she needed to be home to comfort her boys. They needed her. How was she going to tell them daddy wasn’t coming home? That daddy was hurt doing his job.
The officer standing beside her smiled “it’s not easy being the wife of a cop. It’s everyone’s nightmare they hope will never happen.”
Nodding Evelyn asked “are you married?”
“I was until she couldn’t take it anymore,” he sighed wistfully. “It’s not an easy life and it takes a strong person to endure the pressure.”
“Well I’ve found taking one day at a time helps. Today is awful but tomorrow will be better and the day Shon opens his eyes will be wonderful.” Evelyn smiled for the first time in several hours. Shon will wake up and the boys will see their father again. This was the attitude she needed to have when she spoke with the boys. They would know their daddy was going to be ok if she was ok.
“Thank you for the ride,” she told the officer when they drove up to her house.
“No problem,” he replied “if you need anything don’t hesitate to call.”
Nodding Evelyn turned towards the house bracing herself before going inside. After dismissing the babysitter, Evelyn gathered the boys around her trying to find the right words.
“Mama,” Robbie placed his hand on her knee “where’s daddy?” Terrell looked towards his brother than at Evelyn nodding.
Hugging them close “daddy was hurt.”
Robbie’s eyes grew large “daddy alright?”
Blinking back tears Evelyn took a deep breath telling herself to keep it together. “Daddy’s in the hospital where the doctors will make him all better.” The two little boys nodded “he’s going to be alright but he needs lots of rest.”
“Is he sleeping?” Robbie asked in a serious tone.
“That’s right honey,” Evelyn agreed “he has to stay there until the doctors have made him well so that he can come home.”
“I want dada now,” Terrell piped in lip quivering.
Evelyn wished there was something she could do or say to take the fear and tears away. “Daddy has to be where he can get better. You want daddy to feel better right?” Terrell nodded his head. “Alright then we’ll just have to be brave until daddy comes home. Think you can do that?”
Looking at her Robbie stated firmly “yes mama.” Terrell only nodded as tears slid from his eyes. Evelyn put them in their playpen and watched while Robbie wrapped his arms around his little brother. That one gesture brought tears to Evelyn’s eyes as she saw so much of Shon in him. She hoped he had the chance to grow up knowing what a good, kind-hearted man his father was, is she corrected herself.
Going downstairs Evelyn didn’t know what to do with herself. She cleaned what didn’t need to be cleaned taking the dishes from the cupboards and cleaning out the fridge. Trying to keep her hands busy while her mind raced was proving a daunting task. Winding down she sat on the couch flipping through channels. She skipped any news channels not wanting to listen to reporters talking about the attempt on Shon’s life.
Her phone rang loud in the still house. Jumping she grabbed her phone with trembling fingers “Dad! Is Shon awake?” holding her breath as she eagerly waited to hear what she longed to hear. Silence was her only answer. “Hello?” she inquired “Dad is that you?” again only silence. “Who is this?” she shouted into the phone dropping it on the couch.
Running to the window she looked outside. A feeling of uneasiness coming over her as she made sure the door was locked. Heart pounding she went upstairs to put the boys to bed. Terrell went down easy but Robbie sensed her uneasiness “Mama what’s wrong?” Smiling she hugged her son “mama’s just missing daddy.”
“Me too,” Robbie hugged her back kissing her cheek as she held him.
Somewhat comforted Evelyn put him in his crib. Turning off the light she sighed ‘now what was she going to do?’ The night loomed long and for once she regretted not needing to sleep so that the night could pass quickly.
She changed clothes deciding to run off her excess energy on the treadmill. As she ran the phone call from earlier replayed itself in her mind. Who would call and not talk? Could it be related to Shon’s hit and run incident? Was it a prank from some bored teenager? Some random idiot cashing in on someone else’s misfortune? Running faster , pushing herself harder in the vain hope she could out run her thoughts.
The ringing of her phone broke her stride. Breathing heavy she grabbed the phone from the desk “hello.”
“Did I catch you at a bad time?” Evelyn breathed a sigh of relief as she recognized her father’s voice. “Dad I was running on the treadmill.”
“Keeping yourself busy,” William’s voice carried understanding in it.
“You could say that,” Evelyn said wiping sweat from her forehead. “Has something changed? Is Shon awake?” she asked needing to know.
William’s smile carried over into his voice as he answered “he’s been opening and shutting his eyes for the last couple of hours. It’ll be soon. I know you want to be here when shon wakes up. If you want we can trade places. I’ll go there and watch the kids so you can come here.”
“That works for me,” Evelyn said “Do I have time to shower?”
“Don’t see why not?” William laughed softly “the officer will wait for you.”
Running to shower and change from her sweaty clothes. Evelyn forgot all about the disturbing call from earlier. Taking care to look extra nice for when Shon woke up Evelyn smiled at her reflection. Once again thankful for not requiring any sleep.
She was ready when her dad arrived. “You look exhausted,” she hugged him “why don’t you lie down for a while?” She showed him the bedroom “the boys are upstairs in bed. They should be ok for another 2-3 hours. Get some rest.”
“I will, thank you sweetheart,” William kissed her and nudged her out the door. Yawning William decided to forget the shower in favor of sleep.
Evelyn could hardly contain her excitement over shon waking up. She wanted to be the first thing Shon saw when he opened his eyes. Walking swiftly from the elevator towards Shon room she noticed several officers standing watch in the hall. Smiling at them as she passed she hesitated outside Shon’s room before she pushed the door open.
A woman with blond hair in a nurses uniform was standing beside Shon’s bed. Evelyn didn’t think anything of it asking “is he alright?”
The woman ignored her as she adjusted something on the IV drip. Evelyn wasn’t sure what alerted her but she suddenly felt the nurse shouldn’t be there and Shon was in danger. Turning on her heel she exited the room calling over the nearest officer “there’s a strange woman dressed as a nurse in my husband’s room.”
Instantly alert the officer cracked the door open, nodding he radioed to his partner. Another officer escorted Evelyn down the hall as officers surrounded the door to Shon’s room. The woman gave up without a fight. Smugly she smiled at Evelyn as she was led past her towards the elevator. Heart quickening Evelyn raced back to Shon’s room arriving as he coded. Doctors and nurses ran into the room pushing her aside. Squeezed against the wall she watched horrified as they worked to get Shon’s heart beating again.
Windi paced her cell muttering to herself “why haven’t I been released yet? It’s never taken this long before. Did something go wrong?” She smirked as the officer approached the cell “it’s about time,” she growled.
“You have a visitor,” he smirked in return. She had no choice but to follow, her eyes darting from corner to corner as she entered the interrogation room. Her eyes widened as they came to rest on the man, her boss and she knew she wasn’t getting out of there.
“Sit,” the man gestured towards the empty chair.
Swallowing hard she complied looking towards her executioner.
“You failed me for the last time,” his tone soft but menacing “I don’t accept failure.”
Failed? Windi stammered “but … but I …. I gave him the drug. He should be dead.”
Shaking his head “first you failed to eliminate the target on the first attempt.” Looking coldly at her “very sloppy work. Then you failed to allow enough time for the drug to work. The doctors were able to revive him. The wife can identify you. The cops who apprehended you can identify you.” Staring directly at her his eyes smoldering “this is unacceptable.”
“Get me out of here and I’ll dispose of all the witnesses,” she tried to keep the desperation from effecting her voice.
The man shook his head “there are too many to make that a viable option. At this point it would be simpler to eliminate the liability.”
“Me,”she uttered defeated. She always knew this was how it would end.
“You,” he affirmed nodding. “It would be easy to arrange an accident except for the fact your cell is monitored. No one is allowed to see you except for certain individuals that I have no control over. I was able to arrange this little meeting only because they are busy at the moment.” Sighing he continued “I would like nothing more than to be done with you but I never get my hands dirty when there’s another way.” Stopping to let his words sink in “they want information and your their access to it. I need to ensure your silence and punish your failure.” Waving his hand towards the officer standing in the corner “this will have to do …. for now.”
The officer brought his phone and played a video. She watched in horror the final moments of her husband knowing that it should have been her. Blinking hard she refused to show weakness in front of him.
He stood up “next time it will be your children.” Laughing he walked to the door “there is no place they can hide that I will not find them. Remember the moment you decide to talk you sign their death warrant.” He opened the door and walked out.
The last thing she heard was his laughter as the door closed behind him. She glared at the officer, obviously the inside man who would know the moment she decided to talk. Her children would only be safe as long her mouth stayed shut. She closed her eyes and images of her husband flashed before her.