Chapter 37: Foiled
Bradley stretched in his bed and noticed a nurse was carrying a tray that held a bowl of soup, crackers, and a glass of orange juice.
“When am I getting my surgery?” he asked as the nurse brought the tray towards him.
“Soon,” she replied. She had kind brown eyes, flowing red hair, and freckles on each cheek. Bradley assumed she was only about 30 or a little older. The bully nodded at the nurse. He didn’t believe she really believed that.
The bullet had struck the lower part of his back making contact with the lumbar vertebrae, the part of the spine that controlled the leg muscles. He was going to get surgery done so the doctors could remove the bullet that had penetrated his spine. According to the doctors, it was very unlikely that he would be able to walk again. Bradley was very troubled with this news and it made him want to hurt Mike even more. But how were you supposed to beat up someone when you were in a wheelchair? Bradley had no idea, but he knew he’d figure some way to destroy Mike, maybe even cripple him too. He didn’t believe the nurse knew when his surgery would be. It seemed he had been put on a waiting list. It seemed that his surgery wasn’t urgent. For now, he had to just settle with a wheelchair and someone to be by his side whenever he went anywhere. He hated this treatment, but there was no way he could stand up on his own. His mother had come in yesterday telling him that Mike was sent to a group home called Smiley’s Home. Bradley was not delighted with the news, especially when his mother told him he was only receiving three months, but he tried not to express his feelings through his facial features.
He looked outside and saw that it was getting dark. The nurse had left and Bradley decided to go back to sleep. Maybe the next day he would wake up to find that he had the surgery and he could walk again. He fell asleep with that peaceful thought on his mind.When Cindy and Ian arrived at the police station, the woman at the front desk nodded at them.
“We’d like to speak to Officer Nathan,” Ian told the woman.
“Officer Nathan is very busy. Do you have a scheduled meeting?” Ian remembered that this was the same woman they had dealt with when he and Cindy wanted to know where Mike was. He didn’t even look into her misleading brown eyes.
“Yes,” he said.
Cindy looked at him, bewildered, but the woman didn’t see her. She just pressed a button on the dock of the phone beside her.
Officer Nathan’s voice cracked from the speaker.
“Officer, two people are here to see you.”
“Send them in.”
The woman turned towards Ian and Cindy.
“Just enter through the hall and his office is door number three.”
“Thank you,” said Ian. The two teenagers walked down the vast entranceway and into a carpeted hall. Soon they found the door marked, 3. The door was ajar and as they entered, they saw that Officer Nathan was seated at his desk.
“What can I do for you?” He took a sip of coffee from his white mug beside his desk.
“We’ve come here to say that Mike is innocent and should be let out of the group home. I mean, Mike shot Bradley because he felt that was the only way to stop him from threatening Cindy,” said Ian. The police officer smiled. Another officer was seated at the desk behind Officer Nathan and chuckled at Ian.
“Hey kid, this is none of your business. Go home and enjoy the rest of the night partying or whatever you teenagers do nowadays. Take your girlfriend out to dinner,” said the other officer. Officer Nathan didn’t say anything to defend them, just nodded, agreeing with him and took another sip of coffee. The teenagers didn’t know what to say.
“Exactly,” agreed Officer Nathan. “I’m sorry, I’d like to help, but the judge’s word is final.” Cindy didn’t find his argument very convincing as he escorted her and Ian out of his office and closed the door in their face.
“Rotten kids,” muttered the other officer. “Kids never understand the law these days.”
Officer Nathan nodded as his partner took another sip of coffee from his black mug.
Michael Roberts was asleep in his bed with one ripped curtain covering the window from the bright glow of the half moon outside. When he had arrived in his room, he had opened his duffle bag and started sorting various clothes into the drawers of a dresser. In about 20 minutes, everything was sorted including a toothbrush that was now lying on his nightstand close to his bed. When Charlie had arrived in his room, he was not pleased. In fact, he looked very close to throwing Mike out of the grimy window. Mike could see he was trying to remain calm when he said,
“Mike, maybe you didn’t know this, but when everyone who works here is done their chores, they report to me.”
“Oh, sorry,” said Mike trying to sound innocent.
“I don’t know how your mother teaches you but I ain’t your mother, O.K.? From now on, when you finish your chores you report to me, got it?”
“Yes, Charlie,” Mike blurted before he could help hiMs..elf.
Charlie ground his teeth as his face began to brighten scarlet. His dark brown eyes gave Mike a dangerous look.
“Another thing,” he said, trying to calm down again, “is when I speak to you, you always address me as ‘Sir.’”
“Yes, Sir,” Mike said automatically.
Charlie gave him a fake smile.
“Now, as you’re staying here, you will be educated. Now, my idea of work is education, but the judge still believes you need to be properly educated. Everyone in this establishment has been assigned a tutor, you’re obviously one of them. You’ll be taught by Ms.. Gloria Shevel every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday in the afternoon. You will be exempted from chores when you’re tutored. Again, just report to me so I know what you’re doing. You will have chores before and after the tutoring, and I expect them to be completed before she comes. If not, report to me and I will assign someone to your job or expect you to do it after your tutoring. Your tutoring will last for about an hour and a half. When your tutoring is done for the day, you go back to your chore or report to me if your chore is complete. Ms.. Shevel will be teaching you in your room and will be teaching you whatever it is you would be learning if you went to school. That means, she’ll be teaching you at your grade level. Do not feel you can abuse your rights.” He glared at Mike when he said this. Mike just stared at his muscular forearMs.. and nodded. He dreaded what would happen if he ever crossed Charlie. “Any questions?”
Mike shook his head. “Good. Breakfast is at seven and roll call is at eight. I expect you to be there. Just remember what I said about abusing rights.” He glared at Mike again as if he was sending him telepathic messages. Mike nodded. He understood all right. “Lights out at ten. Since I hear you have finished your chores, you have the rest of the time until then free, but don’t think I’ll be so forgiving next time.” He nodded towards Mike, said, “Goodnight,” and briskly left the room. Mike had then decided to get ready for bed. Lucky for him, there was a bathroom down at the end of the hall and soon he had showered, brushed his teeth and was under the covers of his uncomfortable bed. After much tossing and turning, he fell asleep.