Things to do in Freehold

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Chapter Seventy-eight:

Patrick Mackenzie (Early morning of September 14, 1994)

“Is your friend going to be okay?” I asked, walking up to Carlos as he watched the ambulance drive away.

“Yeah, I think in time he will be,” Carlos responded, before turning to me then crouching down beside me. “Thanks to you.”

“What are you talking about? My dad was the one who stopped the bleeding?”

“True, but if it weren’t for you hitting Ace over the head with that wrench, I’d be dead and so would Sammy,” he half-smiled at me, resting his hand on my shoulder. “You were brave today, Pat, and for that, I’ll be forever grateful.”

I bowed my head and grinned. “So what are you gonna do now?” I lifted my chin up at him.

“That’s a good question, Little Man,” he laughed, standing back up. “I guess I should get started on that resume. And you, you should get some rest. It’s been a long night.”

“Goodbye, Carlos,” I said to him as he began walking over to his truck.

“See you around, Kid,” he replied, turning his head ever so slightly, yet still continuing towards his vehicle. Halfway there, though, he was stopped by an officer.

“Excuse me, sir, but we would like you to answer a few questions before you leave,” I heard her say to him.

“Right, of course. Well, um, ask away,” he sighed, before turning his head to look at me one last time.

“Hey, Pat, you ready to go, Bud,” Pops asked, walking up behind me.

“Do you think he’s gonna be okay?” I continued staring at Carlos as he talked with the one cop.

“Yeah, he’ll be fine. I’ll even make sure he has a good lawyer if need be,” Pops explained, throwing his arm over my shoulder and playfully messing my hair up. “The question is: are you gonna be okay? I know its been a rough couple of days for you.”

“Yeah, I think I’ll be okay. I just need some sleep.”

A policeman offered to take Pops and I home, while Ma and Jake were driven to the hospital to get their head injuries checked out. On the way, the officer continued asking Pops more questions regarding the night we had. I didn’t listen to much of the conversation due to be half-asleep with my head on Pop’s shoulder. As tired as I was, though, I still couldn’t quite bring myself to sleeping. The road was too bumpy, too distracting. Also, the early morning air was far too cold for my liking. At one point, I crossed my arms, sticking my hands in my blazer to warm them. As I was doing such, I felt something in my inner pocket: Mrs. Russo’s diary entry. I almost completely forgot about this.

“What’s that?” Pops asked as soon as he noticed me examining the papers. Without saying a word, I handed them over to him. It took only a matter of seconds to get a reaction from him. “Where did you get this?”

“What’s going on back there?” The policeman glanced back at through the rearview mirror.

“It’s a diary entry from Amy Russo,” Pops explained, folding the papers and sticking them through one of the holes of the stationary window.

At the stoplight, the cop grabbed them and began unfolding each one. “A diary entry, huh? You know I always did about those women and their daughters, about their lives, their personalities, and why anyone would want to hurt them. Sometimes even the best detective work won’t give you the full story.”

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