I picked up a double-double with onion at the In and Out drive through. It wasn’t for me, but for my partner, Nora. She had caught the wrong end of a four-inch knife thrown by one of our friendly neighborhood juveniles.
Nora was a great partner. She had the personality of an angry pit bull, the body of an Olympic swimmer, and the smarts of a Cal Poly senior. She transferred to LA from the Bronx or someplace back East.
Another turn and my car was at the hospital. I nodded at the officer in charge and tucked the grease soaked bag under my jacket.
Never say we cops don’t look after our own. I tossed the bag to Nora who was sitting up in the bed, with one arm bandaged. “One double-double as ordered.”
“Did ya put an onion on it? I wanna smell ripe when the chaplain comes.” She peeked into the bag. “How about some coffee, the dishwater they give us here wouldn’t stain a sheet.”
“Of course. Onion and coffee. I set a steaming cup on her table. “DA says we won’t have to testify cause Big Louie copped a plea.” I was referring to a case we were following.
“Under yer coat ya got anything else?”
“Take a look.” I pulled back my jacket. "Unlike Louie, I have nothing to hide."
“Phooey, I was hoping for a Snickers bar.”
“Right back.” I left the room and headed down the hall. The canteen was a quick elevator ride away, so I made my purchase and was on my way back when my cell vibrated. Technically, cell phones aren’t allowed in the hospital. But, the rule is largely ignored; besides we cops have privilege.
“Oh, sir, cell phones need to be switched off before entering the elevator.” A candy striper was standing next to me with that, “I caught ya,” look.
“Ma’am,” I opened my jacket to reveal my badge.
“Pardon me,” she blushed, “I didn’t know.” She seemed a bit frightened
“Today’s yer lucky day,” I joked, “No arrests of young women today.” I laughed and tried and calm her.
Things always have a habit of going wrong around me. I noticed a tear running down the young woman’s face.
“Hey, I was just kidding. I didn’t mean to upset you.” She turned her head away from me.
“It’s just,” full tears were falling, “that my boyfriend just went to jail, and it’s really not his fault, it was mine.”
“So, what’s all this? Your boyfriend is in jail because of you?” She got my curiosity working.
“So, far, it looks like he will probably go to prison or something cause he stabbed a cop.”
“Wow. That’s some story. Let me get this straight, your boyfriend stabbed a cop for you?” I tried to find a logical answer.
“Every time I think about it, I know I could have prevented it.” She slumped in the elevator car.
“End this thing for me. What happened exactly?” Bits of pieces of the story were so fragmented I needed a roadmap to find the answers.
“Kippy, my boyfriend and I were sitting on the corner carving a cross into a piece of wood. I said something stupid, like ‘bet you can’t hit that pole with yer knife.’ So, he picked it up and threw it at the light pole just as this cop got out of her car and stepped up on the curb. The knife hit her arm.”
All the pieces came together. “Did you tell the officer what happened?”
“Mister, we ran, but she caught Kippy almost before he took a step.”
“Essentially, then, you got away, and Kippy got nabbed?”
“No, not really, I stopped but she was only interested in Kippy.”
After the candy striper finished I realized what was happening. My partner Nora would have to hear this story.
“Mama told me that since the officer didn’t tell me to stop, I didn’t have to.”
Eminent action was necessary. “I want you to meet my partner, Nora, she’s the one Kippy hit; and tell her this story. I think we can make some arrangements for Kippy.”
“Nora is her name? Oh, I have a card in my apron from Kippy to whoever the officer is he hit. I’ll write her name on the envelope. Do you think she will pray with me?”
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