A novel by Karen Lockhart
Copyright© 2016 Karen Lockhart
The knocking became more insistent. We three girls just looked at each other, remembering that night when Vinny forced his way into the condo.
Pete put his hand on the butt of his service pistol and opened the door. He immediately relaxed and opened the door fully, saying ”Well, Sargent you tracked me down, this had better be good.
“Oh, forgive me girls, (There's that word again!) I don't know if you remember Sargent Shriver, he's working for me on the Morales case.”
We nodded to the Sargent, who smiled back.
“Sargent, this had better be worth not being assigned to the Martha's Vineyard office.”
“Captain, you told me to find you, wherever you were if something broke. Plymouth police have found a body on the beach that fits the description of Morales' friend.”
Pete looked at us. “I have to go, this may be the break we've been looking for.”
He walked over to Ellen, gave her a kiss and promised to call her. With that, he followed the Sargent down the steps to his cruiser, and roared off down the street.
Tina looked over to me and asked, “Was that cop's name Sargent Shriver?”
I giggled, “I've been holding that in. Does the Kennedy Family have their own police force?”
With that Ellen exploded into laughter, “Just imagine the ribbing that Sargent must take.”
“It could be worse, I said, “His name could have been Schultz. Can you imagine, “Sargent did you find out where Morales is?”
“Nothing, I know nothing!”
The three of us broke up. Tears running down her cheeks, Tina said ”I think I just peed myself, thanks!”
Once everything quietened down, Ellen looked towards me then over to Tina. “Tina, you never said why you're here.”
“Sorry, I thought I saw my father in a Dunkin Donuts shop in Lynn last night.”
With a gasp, I turned to Ellen and exclaimed, “See, that spook you said I was seeing, really
was Tina's father. I wasn't being paranoid!”
“Ginny calm down, you didn't see Vincent Morales, and neither did Tina, your minds are playing tricks on you.”
Ellen sat down beside me on the sofa and put her arm around my shoulder. “Honey, just think about it, if Morales was still alive, Lynn is the last place he'd hide.”
“Tina said she saw her father too, though!” I protested.
Tina started crying, “I know I saw him, he was going into the Dunkin Donuts on the Lynnway. It was Daddy, I'm sure of it.”
Ellen made a frustrated sigh. “Tina, I'm going to say to you what I've been saying to Ginny for a while, there's somebody in the huge Hispanic population of Lynn that looks a lot like your father.”
“Did you two hear what Sargent Schultz said to Peter?”
“Ellen,” I laughed, “you mean Sargent Shriver, don't you?”
“Schultz or Shriver, Pete was told a body washed ashore in Plymouth, and it probably was your father's friend.
“Pete? Isn't that the State Trooper in charge of the investigation? What was he doing here?”
I couldn't help it, I teased Ellen.
“Haven't you heard? Captain Pete Smith is Ellen's boy friend. One good look at her, and he fell panting at her feet. He's been inseparable from her ever since. Tonight, Kevin and I had a date, so we took pity on Ellen and invited her and her police escort to join us.”
Gosh, do I enjoy giving Ellen the prod once in awhile.
“Isn't that a little awkward, being so close to the cops?” Tina asked.
“Tina, Ellen and I weren't raised thinking the police were evil, and someone to be avoided, and you have to admit, that is one hunk of a guy.”
“My father was a gangster before I was born, so you can understand what I was told about the police,” Tina said. “They were either crooked, you know, on the take and owned by my father, or the police were the bad guys trying to put Daddy in jail.”
At this, Ellen and I exchanged a quick glance, before she spoke. “That's a terrible way to live, in fear of the police, even though you did nothing wrong. Ginny and I have run into crooked cops, but for most of the police, they are who you go to for help.”
I then added my 5 cents worth. “You know, firemen are looked at differently from police. When firemen interact with you they're there to help; you know, your cat's stuck in a tree, you have a fire and they show up in these huge special trucks with flashing lights everywhere.
“When you have contact with police however, it's a negative thing, you've been speeding or went through a stop sign, and they are there. You've been robbed, or hurt by a family member, or they are asking questions about a felony of some sort. Police usually see the worst side of people too, so their attitude is often brisk when dealing with people.”
Tina smiled, “Police carry guns and night sticks, firemen carry ladders and hoses.”
“Tina,” Ellen asked, “We never asked what brought you to our door tonight.”
“I got very lonely in that big empty house in Andover, and to be honest, a little scared living there by myself. I tried calling here several times, but no one was home, not even the answering machine picked up, so I decided to go to my apartment. I saw your lights and a bunch of cars, and decided to come by.”
“Oh honey, I didn't mean we didn't want you to drop by, you are always welcome,” Ellen told her.
“Do you want to stay here tonight? We'd love the company. I can just imagine how spooky that big old house is.”
Tina started to tear up, so I sat beside her and gave her a hug. “Come on let's get you a pillow and an Afghan for the couch. You are staying here tonight, no arguments now.”
You could see the relief in her whole body posture;, for the first time since she came in, Tina relaxed.
We got busy with the normal stuff you do when company is staying over night. It was like a adult sleep-over party with white wine instead of diet soda.
Ellen got pillows, while I got an extra blanket and grabbed the Afghan from the wing chair. Ellen even found a night gown and pajamas that would fit her.
Ellen and I went to our rooms and changed into Pjs, then the bathroom to remove our war paint, you know our make-up!
I got three glasses, while Ellen opened a bottle of white German wine; it tastes fruitier, at least to me.
We tuned on the big television and turned off most of the lights. Pretty soon the topics of our dates came up, with Tina asking the most questions about our guys. Kevin she knew, but Pete was the unknown man.
A second bottle was opened, and the level of giggles increased also. Soon I was fishing around the kitchen for a third bottle.
Once the cork was pulled and the wine poured, we got a little foolish. At the request of the others, I'll say no more.
The sun came up bringing birds chirping and pounding headaches for three young ladies, sprawled across living room furniture.
Soon there was a race for the bathroom so we could pee. Ellen was too slow and had to do a little dance before relief.
Of course, that got Tina and I giggling again. I think we were still a little tipsy from the wine the previous night, 'previous night', I mean early that morning!
While I was making coffee, the phone rang. I looked at the clock on the stove, it was only 7 o'clock. Hmm, o'clock. Does this mean this term came from Ireland were the rest of the O' something live.
Anyway, the caller ID said all zeros, that was odd.
“Hello”, I said, expecting a telemarketer.
“Ginny, good morning”, said a voice. It took me a second to realize it was Pete Smith.
“Is Ellen awake yet,” he asked. Ellen grabbed the phone from me and acted like a teenager.
Nice to see, but a little unnerving none the less.
Tina and I drank our coffee in silence, both of us nursing a hangover.
Ellen finally hung up and said, “You'll never guess what Pete just told me.”
To Be Continued
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