The Girl Most Likely To ... - Part 31

The Girl Most Likely To ... - Part 31
by Barbara Lynn Terry

Chapter 1 - The girls visit Janice.

The next morning while Naomi slept, Renée said she was going over to the home and visit with the girls. Her mother said she would drive her, but Renée said she would rather walk. In city blocks, the home was only about six blocks from the house, eight if you counted door to door. Gloria Richards told her daughter to dress warm because the temperature was three below zero. Renée got out her snowsuit, her down thick winter coat, her thick mittens, her faux fur lined boots and her scarf. If you have ever lived in a northern state in the winter, you know you had to dress warm or else you would could contract hypothermia. After putting everything on, including her ear muffs, pull over knit hat and tying her parka in place, Renée put on her thick mittens and her mother opened the door for her. Renée then left for the home. It didn't take her long to get to the home, because she walked briskly to keep warm. As she walked in the front door of the home, Sharon Hardesty ran to her and hugged her.

"My gawd sis, you are freezing. Did you walk here?" All Renée could do was nod. "Are you crazy, or something? It is below zero out there."

Sharon helped Renée off with her winter things, and then Renée went in the living room and sat by one of the heaters.

"Renée, I know you don't live that far from here, but next time have someone drive you when it is this cold or colder outside. I don't need you getting pneumonia on us."

"All right, sis, I promise. I will have someone drive me. I came over to see my sisters." That got her hugs even from Jack Olsen and Jan as well as the girls."

"Have you heard how Janice is doing?"

"No, not since Sunday when I went there to see how she was doing. She was still in the coma and unresponsive. I am going with her mother, my mother and dad, and I think Eve and Naomi will come, too."

"I think we should all go and see her. She may be in a coma, but we can still visit."

"That is a wonderful idea, Darlene. I will have the bus pulled up in a bit, and we can all go. Renée, you can ride with us to get there, and you can call your mother from the office and tell her."

"Thank you, Jan. I had better call her now, then."

Renée called her mother and told her she was riding to the hospital to see Janice with the girls. She said she would meet her and the others there. Her mother said that was fine, and wanted to know how frozen she was when she got to the home.

"Mom, Sharon yelled at me and told me to be driven the next time I want to come here."

Renée's mother said she suspected as much, but still wanted to know how frozen she was after getting there.

"Mom, I was like a human popcicle. I was pretty frozen."

Renée's mother said she would meet her at the hospital and that Janice mother should already be there.

When they all got to the hospital only a few of the girls were allowed in at a time. Shaiya Peyton was already there and talking to Janice in tearful words.

"Jan, honey, it's mommy, sweetheart. I want you to come home. I promise, I really promise I will listen to you. I will let you go on sleepovers with your girl friends. Please, sweetie, please wake up. I...I'm...please honey." Shaiya looked up to see Sharon, Darlene and Renée standing by the foot of the bed. "Honey, your sisters are here to see you. Please wake up so you can see them." Shaiya Peyton looked up at Sharon Hardesty and just shrugged her shoulders while shaking her head. Sharon moved to Janice' side.

"Hey sis, it's Sharon. Hey, look girlfriend, I have nobody to say 'stifle it' to. It is really boring around the house without you. Rachel and all the other sisters are here too, but they will only allow a few of us in at a time, because of the room being not big enough." Sharon took Janice' hand in hers and just held it between her hands. "Sis, please come back to us. I know you feel safe and peaceful in the resting, but I promise you this; we will not allow anybody to ever hurt you again. Not ever. Jan, please wake up. All right, be stubborn. We have to do our chores while you just lay around sleeping. I wish I could sleep as peaceful as that."

Janice did not move, and Sharon looked at Shaiya Peyton, Darlene and Renée and just shrugged her shoulders.

"Janice, it's Darlene. Hey, we need a fourth for canasta. Girl, you are the girl when it comes to playing canasta. We can't get anybody else to play with us. By the way, sis, we are not opening our Christmas presents until you come back and open yours, too." Just then, Darlene felt someone squeeze her hand. She saw it was Janice. "Sis, if you can hear me, squeeze my hand, again." Nothing happened.

"Janice, please, if you can hear me. It's Darlene. Please squeeze my hand, again." Nothing happened, and Darlene looked at Janice' mother, with a sad look. "Janice, Naomi brought your mother all the way from Belaire to see you. She wants so much to tell you she is sorry for placing you in the home. Jan, please girlfriend, you have to wake up."

Darlene started crying, and then there was a hand patting and caressing Darlene's hair. Darlene looked to see Janice eyes open and a smile on her face.

"Sis, are you awake. You can actually see me?!?" There was no response. This time Darlene was confused, as was everybody else. Renée had gone to get the nurse. When the nurse came in and saw Janice' eyes open and the smile on her face, but got no response to being touched, she told everybody there what was going on.

"It is not uncommon that some of those in comas will look like they are awake, but they aren't."

"But she even caressed my hair, though."

"That may have been an automatic reaction to your crying. I will note in her chart what I saw and what you have told me. I am sure Dr. Garcia will want to talk to all of you." The nurse left to put this in Janice' chart.

Janice rolled over on her side, and started talking in her sleep.

"Mommy, why won't you listen to me? I want to ask you something. Mommy?"

"I'm here, baby, I'm here. You can ask me anything you want and I will listen and answer you."

"Mommy, why is it so dark? I can't see anything. Did the lights go out?"

"Yes, baby, the lights went out. I'm looking for the breaker box, now."

"Mommy? Mommy? Mommy, where are you?"

"Oh baby, I am right here. you stay here while mommy fixes the lights."

While Shaiya held Janice' left hand, Renée held Janice' right hand.

"Hey sis, it's Renée. My mom and Rachel's mom is coming to see you, too. Evie said she would be by this morning because it is her day off. Hey, Jan, wanna go in town and do a little retail therapy? Just you and me? We can get a burger a fries, too. Jan, I wish you would talk to me, because when you don't talk to me, I think maybe you don't like me." Janice not only opened her eyes, but looked around the room.

"Why is everybody staring at me?" Sharon ran to get the nurse.

"Hi baby," Shaiya Peyton said to Janice with a smile.

"Mo...mom!"

"Yes, sweetie. Naomi came and got me yesterday and brought me up here. Janice, you will never have to worry about me never being there for you again. Naomi is going to help me get you home. Would you like that, honey?"

"Oh mom! If only you knew how many times a day I had wished that very thing. Naomi must be an angel, because every time she sets out to help someone, she sprinkles them with Naomi dust and everything turns out for the better. Mom? I'm hungry."

All the girls were allowed in the room for a few moments. There was room enough for the nurse to come through. The nurse looked at Janice and saw she was sitting up and alert.

"I will call room service and have them bring you something. What would you like?"

"A burger, fries, and a soda pop. Make that a double cheeseburger; I'm hungry. Mom, do we have to live in Belaire?"

"Why do you ask, sweetie?"

"Because I have become close friends with all the girls at the home, and with Renée, Naomi and Rachel. I was just wondering if we could move and live here in Pine Meadows county. This is a really nice place, mom. All the people in town know us by our first names, and when we are in town by ourselves, they make sure we are looked after. Mom, do you know what 'it takes a village', means?"

"Yes, dear, I certainly do."

"Well, that is how it is done here. Everybody looks after us and the other children that live in Pine Meadows county, too. They make sure if there are any strangers in town, that they keep a close watch. I feel very safe walking down the street here, mom. I don't feel that safety in Belaire."

"Well, tell you what, sweetie. I will talk to Naomi and we will see about getting a house here. You know, though, that I can only afford to rent, right now." The nurse over heard and volunteered a little advice.

"There are several places here in Pine Meadows county that the owners will rent to own. It will cost you about five hundred dollars a month for maybe six or seven years, but then the house is yours."

"Well, I will see what I can do. Who is the girl that Naomi brought to the home. She mentioned something about bringing a girl up here from Forest City."

"Well, mom, we can't really give anybody the names of the girls in the home. But, just to let you know, this girl is really messed up right now, and needs all the help she can get both from us and from the staff. I cannot give you her name because I am a sister and sisters don't betray each other."

Shaiya was nodding her head in appreciation of the support that Janice was showing to another girl. Shaiya did not know that Rachel was transgender, and Renée didn't say anything, either.

Gloria, Ruth, Carl, Zach and Cathie had come to visit Janice. They were pleasantly surprised to see Janice awake, and eating. Of coure, anybody who has been in a hospital wants to know when they can leave. Janice is no exception.

"It's boring here. When can I go back home?"

"Well, young lady," Dr. Nita said, coming in to the room. "We want to make sure you are not going to have a relapse. I would like you to stay another two or three days, just to make sure."

"There's nothing to do here," Janice, stated with a pout.

"Yes, I agree, but it is a hospital. Our job is to make sure you are well before you leave. If I discharge you now, and something goes wrong after you leave, I could be in trouble. So I want to make sure you are well before you leave and you will not have a relapse.

"With all the visitors you have, I am sure you can find something that is not boring to do."

"Yeah, like gossip about doctors," Janice said facetiously. Everybody giggled, including Dr. Nita.

"It is good that you have a sense of humor, Janice. Some people in the hospital just lie there and expect the nurses to know what they are thinking. If the nurse doesn't come in their room every five seconds, they are pressing the nurses button. Since you have these visitors here, I am going to go and take care of my other patients. I notice the entire house came to see you. I will want to talk to all the girls in the conference room at the end of the hallway before they leave, except for you. I will tell what I told them after they leave."

"All right." Dr. Nita left, and Janice talked with her mother.

"Mom, did you mean what you said? You know, about taking me home again?"

"Yes, sweetie, I meant every word of it. Naomi said she is going to help me get you home and maybe help me find a house here. I'm staying at the Pine Meadows hotel, and will be there ..."

"Excuse me, Shaiya, but you will move in to our house, until we can get you one of your own. I have a spare room we were going to use as a sewing room, but I think you need it more."

"Naomi, I will never get used to you helping me or Janice. I have never seen anybody wearing a badge help people like you do Naomi."

"It's a flaw in my character, Shaiya. I treat people the way I would want people to treat me, no matter how they treat me. When I graduated from high school, I was lucky. Alameda County helped me by paying my tuition through college, and the department I worked for helped me too, by finding me a place to live. I bought the house they found for me, and have lived there for seven years. So, when I see people need help, and I can help them, then that's what I do.

"Yes, I wear a uniform and a badge, I use a 9mm Glock and I have handcuffs. But that doesn't mean I can act like a big shot and lord my job over others, like some officers do. I take my job very seriously because it is 'enforcing' the law, not making up my own just to satisfy some kind of ego. Even when I make an arrest, I make sure the suspect is treated fairly and not physically or verbally abused. If a suspect does become violent, my martial arts training comes in handy, because I can make sure I can stop him or her from hurting anyone, including themselves.

"Shaiya, when I first met your daughter, she was very antagonistic towards me, until she found out that what I said about helping is true. The girls at the home are a sisterhood, helping each other with each other's problems. They even made me and Renée honorary sisters. They help each other by listening, by soothing the other girl in a hug, or suggesting some other type of therapy like going in to town for a little retail therapy, or maybe a movie, or any number of sundry things to cheer someone up. They even have impromptu group therapy meetings right in the house with each other."

"That is amazing, Naomi. Jan, honey, I will promise you now, in front of Naomi and everybody, that I will never abandon you again. I will listen to you and help you as much as I can. I want you to come home with me, and we will see exactly what we can do. We will share a room at Naomi's, until I can get us a house of our own."

I didn't tell you what Shaiya Peyton did for a living. She runs her own internet business and has several clients that are repeat customers.

"Shaiya, I will ask around, too, to see if there are any houses for rent to own. A lot of the houses around here are rent to own. So I will see what I can do to help."

"Naomi, I am continually amazed by how much you help. All the police and sheriff departments, country wide, could learn a lot from you."

"Yes, they could, but Shaiya, there are a lot of officers out there that become officers because they want the authority to 'bust heads'. A lot of them do just that."

"Yes, I know. In Belaire, it is a common thing to see a police officer beating up a suspect. I think it is just terrible that they actually get away with it."

"All right, I have to leave. Renée will you stay with Mrs. Peyton, please, and show her the way to the house?"

"Yes, Naomi." The nurse came in the room.

"Naomi, there is a call for a Jan from the home."

"That's me," Jan said moving toward the nurse.

"A Ms. Wells needs to speak with you."

Jan went to the phone at the nurses desk and talked to Ms. Wells. All Jan said was, that they were on the way. She went back in the room to get the girls together so they could get back to the home. Renée stayed behind to help Janice' mother to find Naomi's house when they left the hospital. Jan and the girls left in the elevator and got on the bus as soon as they were outside.

They arrived at the home, and they saw a car parked in one of the parking spaces they didn't recognize. It had state plates on it, which meant it was an official car. Jan and the girls got off of the bus and went inside the house.

Chapter 2 - The assistant state's attorney general.

All the girls were told to go in the living room, and find a place to sit down. Some of the girls stood, and some sat on the floor.

"Good afternoon, ladies. My name is Mark Townsend and I am an assistant attorney general for this state. I am the one that will be prosecuting the cases that were filed against Dr. Arthur Reginald Poole, MD. I want you to know that twenty four hours after he gets back from his observation, he is going to have a hearing. This hearing is to inform him whether he will be committed indefinitely to the state hospital, or if he will stand trial. It all depends on what the doctors at the state hospital recommend in their report to the court.

"What I need to know from all of you is, who does not want to testify against Dr. Poole. A show of hands will be good." Nobody raised their hand.

"Mr. Townsend, my name is Rachel, I am thirteen years old. I want that perverted you know what to suffer for what he has done to everyone of us, except Joy. He is a grown man and a doctor, too. He should be the one people can trust to go to him as a healer. I don't know what is wrong with him, but he seems to like teenage girls, rather than women his own age." All the girls said "right on".

"Well, I had to be sure. There will be an assistant district attorney there assisting me. But, since the offenses took place on state property, it is my job to be there for you and prosecute the doctor for his criminal acts. I can assure you that juries will take what you say very seriously, because they know that with his years of service he may have molested other girls, now women, through the years. While he is still in the hospital, the district attorney's office and the state attorney general's office is investigating.

"If he has molested other girls that lived here, we will find them. The more witnesses we can get, the better our chance of putting him behind bars for the rest of his life. Molesting a child, sexually, in this state carries a ten year sentence. If he has raped a minor, it carries the same penalty as if he raped an adult woman." Just then Sharon Hardesty broke down sobbing.

"Young lady, are you all right?"

"No, Mr. Townsend, I am not all right. My name is Sharon Hardesty. That bastard raped me, and I am going to enjoy putting him in prison."

Mark Townsend and the girls were eerily silent at Sharon's revelation.

"All I can say is this. He comes back the middle of January, and the trial will begin one week after that, if the doctors say he is sane to stand trial. I am betting they will. Sharon, I am truly sorry for what he put you through. But, when we are done with him, he is going to know what being forced to do demeaning sexual things to another convict is like. We don't condone that kind of activity in prison, but we know it goes on.

"Is there any one of you, right now, that wants to add anything to their statement they gave to the state police?" Nobody said anything. "Very well, we will continue to investigate and when we are through, he will know that what he did was not a game. I do have a question, though. How do you like Dr. Garcia?"

"Mr. Townsend, I saw Dr. Garcia a couple of days ago, and she is really nice."

"Thank you, young lady, and you are, uhm..."

"Rachel, Mr. Townsend."

"Yes, thank you. I am sorry if I upset anyone, but we have to make these visits to be sure that the victims still want to proceed. Tell me something. How many here dream of doing something dastardly to the doctor?" All the girls raised their hands, including Jan and Jack Olsen. "Even the staff wants to do something bad to the doctor?"

"Mr. Townsend, my name is Jack Olsen. I am the house father here. When Rachel came back and I was told by Jan here what Rachel said the doctor had done, I wanted to hang him by his privates. But I called the state police, instead.

"Mr. Townsend, my name is Connie, and I think you should talk to Eve Reinhardt. She used to live here, too, and she works at the Pine Meadows Truck Stop. Dr. Poole has molested every one of us, except for Joy. He just seemingly didn't have time yet to get to her."

"All right, thank you, Connie. I will definitely talk to her. Is there anything else?" Nobody said anything. "All right, ladies, thank you for your time. Again, I am sorry if I upset anyone."

Mark Townsend left, and Sharon broke down even more. Rachel sat down next to her and hugged her, telling her it will be all right.

"We will put him away, sis, you'll see. He can't hurt us any more."



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