We waited in a hospital lobby for Leo, Robert & Jill’s son, to get out of surgery. Getting the kidney took a few months with little time to spare. The kidney belonged to a woman who died in a car crash one day before. It felt morbid to me that a woman who died was being used to give someone else an extended life. But this is what Jenna’s father did every day. Sure, the son-of-a-bitch wasn’t too fond of me, but that didn’t take away from his work.
Two fit nurses, who were wearing all white, wheeled Leo out of the operating room to the ICU unit. He was still knocked out and had a sizeable translucent tube shoved down his throat. I glanced at Jenna, who choked back a lump in her throat, and I saw her squeeze back tears, which made them forcefully flow down either cheek. It wasn’t as if she hadn’t seen surgery before, but something about this was different, something about seeing Leo touched Jenna beyond measure. It’d been a long time since I’d seen her tear up, not for herself. Was the empathetic woman I’d fallen in love with back?
Dr. Jane, Jenna’s father, appeared after two large doors flung open behind which behind surgery took place. We gathered around him. And he steepled his hands, he always steepled his fucking hands and motioned for us to have a seat. “The kid is going to be okay.” Dr. Jane paused. “I think.”
“You think?” Jill raised a brow. “Wait, what is that supposed to mean?” Jill threw her hand to her heart and fell to her knees. “You’re not saying his body could reject the kidney, are you?” Jenna patted Jill’s back like a mother calming her newborn baby.
“Anything is possible, and I don’t want to give false hope. Usually, these things sort themselves out within the body.” Dr. Jane lowered his body to one knee, patting Jill’s hand. “The good news is the surgery is over, and we worry about complications should they come. Okay?”
Jill patted her cheeks with a tissue. “Okay,” she said in a low voice.
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed two cops round the corner. I wanted to believe I hadn’t seen what I saw. I was nervous anytime I saw the cops. It wasn’t that I was a bad guy. It was that I was around bad guys and ended up in the wrong place and the wrong time. Could this be any different? Was me being at the hotel more of the same? As the cops closed in on us, their loafers squeaked the floor. It forced a beat in my head. Something about their demeanor told me they weren’t there for a social call. And when they stopped directly in front of Robert and me, I lifted my gaze. “Can I help you?”
I swallowed hard. “Um…yes? What can I do for you, officer? Listen, if this is about that ticket, I paid it Monday online.” I felt, in my bones, this had nothing to do with a speeding ticket.
“Stand up,” one officer with a raspy voice said. “Place her hands behind your back.”
I complied. I’d felt like crying, just bursting out into tears, but even I knew that wouldn’t stop the cops.
“What’s going on here, officer?” It finally hit me. “Dr. Jane, you called the cops on me?” Dr. Jane had wanted to break Jenna and me up for years; now, he might just put me on death row. And I’m not the prison type. I’m 5’8 and 195 pounds. I’m not in the best shape, and I’m known as the timid type. None of this was looking good.
“I know you and this gentleman”–Dr. Jane pointed at Robert–”didn’t get this money to pay for this surgery legally. Couldn’t have. Not you. Ever since I could remember, you’ve been a fuck up and have done nothing but try to bring my daughter down with you.”
“How do you know I had anything to do with this?” The handcuffs clicked to my wrists. “It’s not like I give details about my life to people, especially not you.”
“You were at the same hotel that got robbed. A person died. A person with a family. If it was anyone, I know it had to be you.” The other officer placed Robert in handcuffs.
“Jenna, tell him. You were there.” We locked eyes.
Jenna placed her hands on her hips. “I didn’t see who shot–“
Dr. Jane turned to Jenna. “You, don’t say a goddamn word.”
“Let’s go, you two.” The officers led us out of the hospital building. And the entire time, I couldn’t believe what was happening or why? I had nothing to do with any of this.
“Tell them, Robert. I had nothing to do with this.”
Robert gave me the chilling thousand-yard stare. “I don’t remember anything.”
“Well, how fucking convenient.”
Great. Now the son-of-a-bitch is setting up his insanity defense. Robert won’t tell the truth. Even after I helped him, he wants me to take the fall for this shit? I helped this poor couple with their child. I should have walked away from the car when I had a chance.