REMEMBRANCE OF BLOOD

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Chapter 15 – What was I doing there?

Kay stood under the shower, watching the water flowing into the drain, it was stained with Michael’s blood. She stood under the shower just allowing the water to take away the pain from this night which refused to end. She felt her eyes, which were wet and it wasn’t from the shower. She was crying, her eyes were streaming tears and she had no control over them. ‘Michael, Michael’, she kept saying that name over and over again in her mind. She watched his blood mixed with the water from the shower in her feet. Kay couldn’t understand how she had so much of his blood on her body and clothes, but she remembered how she had dragged him from the side of the road into her car, ‘What was I doing there’?

The morning finally broke through and the strange night ended. Ethel walked wearily up the stairs of her church, a place she had abandoned after her Rebecca had taken residence at the city’s hospital. Ethel sat at the back of the congregation, unnoticed as she looked around at the normal crowd there every Sunday morning. Ethel looked up and spoke, it was a quiet conversation, with the One to whom she had not spoken with for many weeks.

‘I have come to ask you to have me back. I had nothing but anger after my daughter had her life ruined and You watched. I lost my faith because I was tired of picking myself up after seeing my family bleed again and again. I don’t want to lose my only son, I don’t want to be punished by losing him. I ask you to forgive me because I have nowhere to go. I love my son. I love him more than anyone I have ever loved. I need him to be with me because without him, I will die’.

Ethel cried loudly as people from the congregation rushed to her side, she fell forward and was held by members of the Church who would come to her with their problems and woes. Ethel lost control as she visualized her son dead, Michael no longer by her side but then she remembered Rebecca, that poor girl had no idea of what had happened to her brother. Ethel stood up as she pushed the people away, ‘I have to go back to the hospital, please can someone take me there’. ‘I will take you’, Hans took Ethel’s hand and slowly walked her out of the church where people were looking on astonished and in shock. Many of them hadn’t heard what happened to Michael the night before, yet it was a town that was well acquainted with news of death.

Hans said very little to Ethel as he slowly walked her towards Becky’s room, he didn’t tell her that Michael was now in ICU, and had a better chance of recovery than was the case a few hours ago. Michael was critical but stable. Dr Rogers approached Ethel ‘Mrs Martyn, I didn’t know where you had gone so I sent Mr Mansell to find you. Michael is still critical but he has a chance of making it’. Ethel looked up, ‘He’s going to be okay’?

‘Next forty eight hours are crucial but Mrs Martyn, I have seen a miracle. He pulled through, he’s a strong kid’.

Ethel looked towards Becky’s room, ‘Does my daughter know’?

‘No she doesn’t, I think it’s best that you tell her when you think it’s right’. Ethel turned to face Hans, ‘thank you Mr Mansell for coming to get me’. ‘Please, Mrs Martyn no need to thank me, Michael will be fine, I know it’. Hans walked back as Ethel entered her daughter’s room wiping away her tears and preparing to put her brave face back on, a face which had become more and more worn.

Emily heard voices as she came down the stairs. It was Vincent and his father, not uncommon when the senior Cunningham was in town. He would not stay with his son but would be there in the early morning and their voices would be the first thing Emily would hear as she came down the stairs. Emily made her way to the kitchen when she heard a name ‘Martyn’. ‘They’ve caused nothing but trouble for us, if the Feds get involved in this we got trouble’. Reginald spoke in his familiar irate tone.

‘They won’t, we’ll deal with his’,

‘How’?

There was a short silence, ‘The Martyn kid being shot got nothing to do with us’.

’But how will it look to the Feds though, it seems we are always shooting holes in the ‘Martyns’.

Emily stood by the door and she panicked as those words came out of Reginald’s mouth, she thought of Michael, it had to be him. She opened the door and both Vincent and Reginald stopped to look at her. This was a first time in itself that her entering the room had an effect on her husband and his father. ‘What happened’? Emily’s words came out even before her mind could be engaged in the thought of what she was saying, it was almost like she was driving a car without even starting the engine. Reginald looked at his son, expecting him to answer. ‘This is police business’! Vincent glared at Emily with disdain as he spoke, he had a look of embarrassment having to explain something to his wife while his father was present. Vincent tried to be everything his father was, obnoxious, self-centered and chauvinistic. He did not have to answer to his wife, ever!

Emily understood her husband’s look and left the room, but she was terrified at the thought of Michael being dead. She went into the kitchen and slumped onto the chair, her legs felt numb. Emily thought of that morning, when she woke up and found her father sitting at the edge of her bed. He was dressed as though he was ready for work but he wasn’t going anywhere. Emily sat up on her bed with the blanket covering her, he spoke slowly explaining to Emily that ‘it was an accident’. She could hear it in his voice, but he couldn’t say the name ‘Gabriel’. Emily didn’t believe it, she kept calling Gabriel’s number even after her father managed to tell her that he was missing but was presumed dead. She didn’t believe it, he was alive because if he wasn’t then she would know, something inside her would have changed. Today Emily had no idea. Has Michael gone? Could he have been killed like his brother? She kept asking herself because she didn’t want to ask Ethel, the lady she had spent hours with the night before, could she have lost everything in that ‘strange night’?

‘Ajay, I am not coming back, not yet’. Kay spoke in a subdued voice, she was still tired as she sat on the bed. Ajay Durrani, sounded distraught after hearing what had happened and more so due to Kay’s decision, ‘What are you going to do by staying there’? ‘I can’t leave’. ‘Look Kay, you don’t need to be there, just give your statement and come back. I know you must be shocked that’s why you need to be here with friends’. Kay never thought about Ajay or anyone else she knew as being ‘friends’, she had no friends.

‘I can’t just leave him’.

‘Why? Kay, you saved his life and there’s nothing more you can do’.

‘Ajay, I need to find out what happened’. Ajay was angry, he knew that there was nothing he could say to change Kay’s mind, this in itself made him frustrated, ‘WE HAVE A DEADLINE’.

‘I know, I will get the story over to you by Wednesday’.

‘No Kay, I need you back. What happened to Michael Martyn has no connection to what you went to investigate, your work is done. YOU HAVE TO COME BACK’! Kay had never heard Ajay so angry, ‘I resign’.

Kay disconnected her phone. She looked down at the bed and felt tears in her eyes. She didn’t mean that, Kay loved her job, it’s all she had. But for some reason she felt freaked out by what happened, it’s not even the fact that Michael was so badly hurt, the man she had spent her evening with may not make it. She didn’t understand why she had become involved and why she felt something for him. Kay kept thinking about how she went to sleep, even though it was strange the way Michael spoke about meeting his friend. He seemed edgy, almost scared of going to that barn at close to midnight. Something woke her up, she remembered going to sleep and then suddenly she was awake. It was almost like when she was a kid after her mother died, she would keep waking up in the middle of the night, going into her father’s room, crying ‘Mommy called me’, she would weep in her father’s arms and she felt like doing the same again. ‘What was I doing there’? It was crazy, she changed her clothes at ‘1am’ in the morning and drove out to Linnal Lane. Kay was an investigator, she had to know what happened, more so because the abyss seemed darker and darker the more she stared into it.

Emily had driven to the hospital not knowing what happened. This is something her father never let her do when Gabe went missing. She wanted to go to Gabe’s house but was forbidden to go anywhere near the ‘Martyns’. When she did manage to sneak out, she had the door slammed in her face. The ‘ICU’ was deserted except for a couple of cops who sat outside the main ward. ‘Mrs Sheriff’, they said acknowledging Emily as she walked up, ‘What are you guys doing here’? An officer stood up ‘We’ve been assigned to be here so when Mr Martyn wakes up we can take his statement…… If he wakes up’. Emily couldn’t see Michael and no-one was permitted to go further than the main doors of the ward. She couldn’t imagine Michael being dead, much like Gabe, who was still out there in her own mind. It was strange because Emily always believed she had accepted her father’s death, her mother getting married and moving away and Gabe not being here anymore. But deep down she wanted to believe in something, another truth hidden below the reality. She saw Ethel walking wearily to her. Emily had spent hours with Ethel the night before, she had seen things in this elderly lady which she never saw in her before. Ethel had a wisdom, she was strong and Emily had felt an admiration for her, when she would visit the Martyn home as a child, she never noticed much about Ethel other than she was an elder lady and she was Gabe’s mother. Now she respected Ethel for surviving so much, but today and even greater test awaited her. Emily had lay awake for a long time and thought about whether she would be as graceful as Ethel when she got to that age, that’s if she got to that age? Because Emily’s shiny friend at home was always there, waiting for her.

‘Hugh’s been killed’, Ethel spoke quietly as two officers sat close by.

‘My …. God’. Emily buried her face in her hands,

‘Who killed him’?

‘I don’t know, the cops say nothing at all except that Hugh was found dead outside the barn. A mile away from where that reporter woman found Michael’. Emily looked up, ‘Which woman’?

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