Secret of the Family Tree: Digging Up Old Roots

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Chapter 24: Time Does Heal Wounds

Dr. Julius Raymond, a recent addition to Clarkstown’s Elm General Hospital, stood by Zen’s bedside in the emergency room. The strikingly handsome doctor with ebony skin and black eyes read over the chart before explaining Zen’s condition to Samantha’s parents.

“He has a slight concussion, bruised ribs, and I put three stitches in his bottom lip. The bone socket around his left eye is intact, but he will have one heck of a shiner for a while.”

“Yes doctor…but…will I ever surf again,” Zen asked hoarsely, half in a daze from the pain medication. His question drew chuckles from those standing around him, which included the Kitchets, who joined Anna and Craig to listen to Zen’s prognosis.

“I can safely say you will surf again young man,” Dr. Raymond laughed. “Other than that, I am recommending he stay overnight. I understand he was unconscious for a while. I want to keep him under close observation.”

“I wazzz… just takin a nap,” Zen slurred his words.

“I think that would be wise, Doctor,” Anna agreed, as she tenderly rubbed Zen’s arm.

“I will stay with him tonight,” Craig offered.

“No dear, you go home with Anna and Samantha. I will stay,” said Bess.

Pulling back the privacy curtains around Zen’s bed, a nurse entered wheeling Samantha in to join the rest of her family.

“Here she is,” the nurse said, handing Dr. Raymond a folder. “The Radiologist notes are inside.”

While Dr. Raymond looked over her chart, Samantha glanced around the room, noticing the worried looks cast in her direction. Zen lay with his eyes closed obviously sleeping, with his mouth open. Aunt Sam is gonna kill me when she hears about what happened and sees her son’s face! She focused on her mom, and immediately her heart sank. Her mom learned all the horrible details of Ameara and Nanna’s death when Samantha relayed the confessions of Ms. Emily and Kenneth to Chief Bevin. Her mom hasn’t spoken a word about it, yet.

“You’ve sustained a pretty good hit to the side of your face young lady,” Dr. Raymond said.

“But I feel fine.” Samantha got up out of the wheelchair. “Really I do.” Actually, she felt sick to her stomach from the whole experience. All she wanted to do was go home, soak up to her neck in a hot tub of water, and cry until she couldn’t cry anymore.

Gently placing his hands on Samantha’s shoulders, Craig said, “Why don’t we let the doctor tell us how you’re doing.”

“I think it’s safe for her to go home this evening. Just make sure to keep an eye on her tonight. Does your family have a local doctor that can do a follow-up examination of Samantha and Alexzender?”

“No, we don’t,” Anna answered.

Removing a card from his pocket, Dr. Raymond handed it to Craig, “I have an office in the village of Hearthshire. Call and make an appointment. I’d like to see them in the next couple of days.”

As soon as Dr. Raymond left, Chief Bevin stuck his head in, gesturing to Anna and Craig. “Can I speak with you both?”

Samantha peeked through the curtain and saw her parents huddled with Chief Bevin, and heard Peter Lin’s name.

“Young Miss, you were told not to leave the house.”

Turning, she found Kitchet staring at her.“I’m so sorry,” Samantha apologized, as tears welled up in her eyes. “I was worried about Mom.”

“You have got to understand precautions are put in place for everyone’s safety,” Kitchet said firmly.

“You both could have died!” Bess said, removing her handkerchief from her pocket, and dabbing away Samantha’s tears that now flowed freely. “Luckily, the tree folk tracked your movements. That’s how your parents were able to alert Chief Bevin. Of course, we had to lie, telling the police it was us who witnessed the two of you being put into the car by those…those people!”

Kitchet took Samantha by her hands, quietly telling her, “When we lost Ameara and Nanna we were all devastated, completely devastated. So, when you and Zen went missing, all…all I could think of was how I had failed Innis, and how we had lost more of our children.”

Samantha laid her head against Kitchet’s shoulder, promising him, “I’ll never do that again. I swear my detective days are over.”

Kitchet patted her on the back, “That’s all I wanted to hear.”

“Mr. Lin is out of surgery,” Anna said, walking in carrying a backpack. “The bullet hit him in his left shoulder, causing no long lasting damage. The doctors are amazed at how his body is rapidly recovering.”

“That’s good news,” Bess said, giving her a hug. Then taking a step back, Bess looked her in the eyes. “How are you, Anna?

Samantha watched her mom lower her eyes and shake her head, indicating she was fine.

“We never meant to hide the truth of Ameara and Nanna’s death,” Kitchet said, staring down at his feet. “It’s just that, your father, we all, wanted to give both you and Sam time to heal after losing your mother at such a young age.”

“I don’t blame you and Bess one bit, Kitchet.” Anna pulled Samantha to her, planting a kiss on her bruised cheek. “And I certainly don’t blame Dad. He was correct in not telling Sam and me. Knowing exactly how Mom and Grandmother died wouldn’t have changed the fact that they were gone.”

Samantha squeezed her mom tightly, as she sighed heavily. She was relieved to hear her mom’s words, but it still didn’t change the fact in her mind that she hadn’t been honest with her, from the beginning.

“I just can’t believe it!” Craig said, stepping back through the curtain. He plopped himself in a chair and continued to rant. “I was just talking with Chief Bevin and he told me this librarian and her son even killed a police detective, and all for what reason, does anybody know? It’s just crazy!” Standing up again, he announced, “I’ll tell you this, I’m forever grateful to Mr. Lin for taking that bullet.”

“Speaking of Peter Lin,” Anna said, “he gave the nurse his backpack, telling them to make sure I looked inside. This is what I found.” She handed Kitchet a book that closely resembled Muaura’s book. It had the same crescent moon, stars and sphere etched into the leather cover. “How can this be, I thought there was only one copy?”

“Oh, I completely forgot!” Samantha said. “Mr. Lin is related to us, somehow.”

“Huh, related to the Fairlands?” Kitchet inspected the book, and as he did, his eyes widened. “There were actually two copies of Muaura’s book. One copy that stayed in the Fairland home, the one you have Anna. The other belonged to Muaura’s son, Elphiam, who relocated with his wife to France a long ago. We lost contact with a descendent of this line, and we all assumed this book was lost forever, like him,” Kitchet explained, looking over at Bess.

“Would that lost family members name be Raoul Pépin? This is the name Mr. Lin told the nurse when he gave her this.” Anna dangled between her fingers Peter Lin’s geode pendant that Samantha saw him wearing earlier that day.

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