I HAVE AN ETERNITY AHEAD OF ME

(Intermittent Waves Recorded From The Transformed Heart Of A Woman)

EPISODE 69

AUNTIE YONNY: Friend or Foe?

 

Bright lights shone down the narrow alley casting shadows on the trash bins and surrounding debris. Martin cradled his arm to protect his wounded shoulder and pushed against the building with his good shoulder to help himself stand up to get into a tactical position. Squinting his eyes, he tried to distinguish if the oncoming vehicle was friend or foe. Since he was alone, he knew he had to shoot straight and make it count, taking out the driver first.

 

He placed his finger on the trigger and was about to come out of the shadows, when he noticed the make and model of the car. A smile came over his face as he got a glimpse of Ricardo in the driver's seat. No doubt he had tracked his phone to find him. This man had heart he thought and had proved that he was a true friend who could be counted on.

 

Martin moved into the center of the alley and stood there like a wounded bird unable to fly. He had lost blood and he was steadily losing his strength. He prayed he wouldn't lose consciousness. When Ricardo saw him standing there, he almost left the car running to jump out and retrieve Martin. Wendell's shock and quick reaction in grabbing the wheel, reminded him of his responsibility as the driver.

 

"Martin! Thank God!"

 

"Yeah, you can say that again! Boy am I glad to see you. I caught one in the shoulder. I don't think it's too bad, but, bad enough. I tried to patch myself up a little bit. Not as good of job as you would have done, but..."

 

"It's tight, but, you're still losing blood. You did okay, Martin, but, I need to get a look at that wound since it's bleeding like that. Let's get you out of here."

 

Ricardo helped Martin into the backseat. Seeing Wendell up in the front seat of the car, Martin looked at Ricardo questioningly. He knew there better be an explanation and a good one.

 

"Wendell, I'm going to need you to drive while I take a look at Martin's shoulder. Martin, where's Hal?"

 

"I don't know. I told him to keep running. I had to stop Dudley, who was on his tail. He ran in the direction you came from."

 

"Wendell, turn around and..."

 

"I'm already on it. Hold on."

 

******************************************************

 

Nigel was still holding Zenobia's hand, as the nurse injected medication into her IV, when the police and detectives showed up. 

 

"This is going to put her to sleep for a while, Mr. Agumanu, but, she needs it for the pain."

 

"That's alright, nurse. I'm just glad she's awake now and talking. She needs to sleep after all she's been through. Zenobia, I'll be right here, when you wake up."

 

Zenobia began to wiggle her fingers and move her lips. Nigel could tell that she was trying to communicate something, so, he moved closer to her lips.

 

"Wen...Wendell. Where...did...he...go? Where is...Wendell?"

 

Nigel didn't know what to say and he didn't know how much Zenobia had already heard. 

 

"Uh...Wendell...had to go...see about a patient."

 

Zenobia stopped moving her fingers and she stopped trying to talk. Nigel hoped that the medication was taking effect so that he wouldn't have to answer any more questions. Gently, he placed Zenobia's hand by her side.

 

"Okay, no more people in the room, unless it's the doctor."

 

Lieutenant Hamilton was ordering his men around to start the investigation. He stopped and looked at Nigel curiously. Then, walked over to him.

 

"Hospital Security told me that you're Nigel Agumanu, the patient's brother?

 

"Yes, that's right."

 

"You were in the room when all of this happened?"

 

"No, sir. My friend was."

 

"Did the patient see or hear anything?"

 

"My sister is severely injured and now she has been heavily sedated and unable to speak. 

 

"Yes, but, is it possible that she heard or saw something?"

 

"Officer..."

 

"Forgive me. I'm Lieutenant Hamilton. I know this is a difficult time for you and your sister, but, I need to know as much as possible in order to keep your sister safe. What can you tell me?"

 

"My friend...my friend, Wendell, Dr. Wendell Baptiste, walked in as that fellow lying on the floor..."

 

"Hurley?"

 

"Yes, I guess that is his name. He was about to shoot my sister."

 

"Now...I believe your sister has connections to Hal Siegfried?"

 

"Yes, she is the mother of his child. The baby was just born."

 

"I met your sister when she was Mrs. Yanovich's nurse. As I recall, she had a narrow escape then, also. Working for the Graves family has proven to be quite hazardous for her."

 

"She won't have to worry about that anymore. We're taking her away from here."

 

"We?"

 

"Me and Dr. Baptiste."

 

"What is Dr. Baptiste's relationship to your sister?"

 

"He's an old family friend. We all grew up together."

 

"Did Dr. Baptiste know Mr. Hurley?"

 

"No. He had never seen him before. He stopped him from killing Zenobia."

 

"He couldn't stop him from killing the policeman?"

 

"He wasn't there. He didn't know the policeman was dead. He walked in and saw the body on the floor, I guess."

 

"You guess? You don't know?"

 

"What...you-you...you don't think Wendell killed the policeman and then planned to kill Hurley, do you?! We just arrived in this country. Wendell was with me and Ricardo in front of Rachel's room. He volunteered..."

 

Nigel stopped himself from babbling on. He realized that he was nervous and sweating. It was clear that Lieutenant Hamilton was trying to trick him into telling everything he knew and even that which he didn't want to tell.

 

"Go on...you were saying...he volunteered. For what?"

 

"Uh, uh...he volunteered to check on Zenobia. He found the policeman on the floor and Hurley about to shoot Zenobia."

 

"Where did you fly in from and when?

 

"We came from Trinidad and Tobago the night before last, when we heard my sister had been in an accident."

 

"And where is your friend, the good doctor Baptiste, now, with patients? He couldn't stick around to tell us what happened and why he killed a man?"

 

"He killed a murderer! A man that tried to kill my sister, twice!"

 

"So, he knew Hurley and that he had tried to kill Zenobia before?"

 

"NO! You are twisting my words. I mean, you are assuming things! We knew about Hurley!We just found out, but, we didn't know what he looked like!"

 

"So, maybe your friend assumed that this fellow was Hurley and went berserk on him? It looks like his neck is snapped. And, you say your friend is a doctor?"

 

"NO! I mean yes he is a doctor, but, no he didn't go berserk!"

 

"But, you said you weren't there, Mr. Agumanu. How do you know? Where is Mr...Dr. Baptiste now and what kind of doctor is he?"

 

"He's a surgeon--a renowned surgeon with a good reputation! He's...he's...helping in a life or death situation."

 

"This life or death situation wouldn't have something to do with the battle going on on the other side of town would it?"

 

"Uh...I...I don't think..."

 

"Mr. Agumanu, I can't help you and your sister unless you're going to be completely honest with me. Right now, there are too many people trying to take the law into their own hands. This-this war going on is going to get a lot of people killed. Help me put a stop to it to save lives, including your sister's.

 

Nigel realized that he could only protect Wendell and Zenobia by telling the truth.

 

"Please listen, Lieutenant Hamilton, and understand that Wendell had no choice but to stop Hurley. Now, he's trying to help Hal and his men in the capacity of a doctor. One of Hal's men is badly injured and called for help. Wendell left with a man named Ricardo to find the man and treat his injury. Wendell is only trying to protect Zenobia and keep anyone from trying to kill her."

 

"Alright, so Dr. Baptiste is a good Samaritan. Do you know where they went?"

 

"No, Ricardo had the information."

 

"Tell me what your friend looks like, so, we can keep an eye out for him?

 

Nigel reached into his pocket, took out his wallet, and handed Lieutenant Hamilton a picture.

 

"Here. I can do better than that. Here is a picture of the two of us together last year on our annual golfing trip."

 

"Charley!"

 

"Yes, Lieutenant!"

 

Lieutenant Hamilton handed the officer Wendell's picture.

 

"I want you to run a background check on the big, tall guy, Dr. Wendell Baptiste from Trinidad and Tobago and put out an APB for his whereabouts. Take caution. We don't know if he's armed, but, he seems to be pretty dangerous. Bring him in for questioning and suspicion of murder. That ought to get people's attention."

 

"But, Lieutenant, I told you that Wendell...!"

 

"Procedures, Mr. Agumanu, just procedures. We really don't know what happened here, now, do we?"

 

"No, but..."

 

"Baby...baby...baby..."


Nigel's attention was turned toward Zenobia. She was speaking louder than she had been able to speak before, and crying out for her baby.

 

Nigel began stroking her arm to try and quiet her down.

 

"Zenobia...shhh...It's alright, sister. The baby is alright. God has protected her and blessed you and our family with a baby girl. I'm an uncle again. You just lie still and rest. The baby is fine. She's in the nursery and being guarded."

 

Nigel turned to resume speaking with Lieutenant Hamilton, hoping to once again try to defend and protect Wendell. He caught a glimpse of the back of the lieutenant's coat as he walked out of the door. Not wanting to leave Zenobia's side, he held her hand and cupped it between his. Then, he began to pray.

 

Zenobia's lips stopped moving and her fingers were no longer moving in agitation. Nigel smiled with relief. He knew that Zenobia had heard him and understood that her baby was safe. Soon, she drifted off to sleep.

 

Tired and bewildered, Nigel fought to stay awake, but, soon drifted off to sleep, also.  He had only been asleep a short time, when his body jumped and his head jerk upright, as a startling reaction from the heavy hand upon his shoulder. A hospital attendant and two nurses were in the room unhooking things around Zenobia.

 

"What...what are you doing?"

 

"Relax, Mr. Agumanu. We're moving your sister to another room for her safety. She'll be heavily guarded there around the clock. Now, tell me about your friend, Dr. Baptiste. He's got a good reputation alright, so good that it doesn't exist beyond his practice and working at the hospital. Everything else is marked classified."

 

Nigel's mouth dropped. All of these years, he thought he knew everything about Wendell. However, there were the years when they had been apart, when Wendell had been sent off to boarding school.  Then, Wendell went of to college, followed by medical school, internship, and volunteering as a doctor and surgeon in various countries.

 

Nigel and his friends had all grown up and gone their separate ways. Everyone was wrapped up in their own career, marriage, and raising children. What could he tell the lieutenant outside of their childhood and golf outings? If he told him about the violence that had erupted earlier with Hal and Martin in the library, it could put Wendell's life in danger. Because of his love for his friend, Nigel decided to remain in shock and in complete ignorance of Wendell's past, which wasn't far from the truth.

 

 

******************************************************

 

Ricardo tried to get a fix on Hal's phone, but, nothing showed up. So, they kept driving in the same direction that Hal was last seen running.

 

Ricardo was in the backseat examining Martin's wound. He had just finished packing it and re-bandaging, when his phone rang. It was Rahid wanting to know about Martin.

 

"Did you find him, yet, Ricardo? Please tell me you found him."

 

"Yeah, we found him back in an alley. You know he's just an old alley cat."

 

"Whew! Thank God! What about Hal? Any sign of him?"

 

"No. We're out looking now, but, I've got to get Martin back to the house soon, so that I can clean that wound good and stitch him up. Plus he smells bad."

 

Rahid laughed.

 

"Steve had some of us guarding the exits so nobody got away, but, now he says nobody is coming out of that inferno, unless they're in a body bag."

 

Martin managed a laugh.

 

"That doesn't surprise me, Rahid, when dealing with these kind of Russians. Back home they used to carry body bags with them to a fight. They were quite intimidating and you better believe they didn't play by any rules. Everything was winner takes all."

 

"Can you pick me up Ricardo, then, I'll help you look for Hal? I'm at the corner of 95th and Warren."

 

"Well...I want to get Martin back home..."

 

"I'm alright, Ricardo. I made it this far and I can make it a little while longer. You may need me just in case there's more of Derek Graves' men out there. We've got to make sure we get Humpty and Dumpty, the two bad eggs."

 

"Humpty and Dumpty, Martin?"

 

"Dudley and Hurley, Rahid."

 

"Hurley's dead, Martin. Wendell got Hurley."

 

"Wendell?! You kidding me, Ricardo?! Wendell got Hurley? Woo-weee, I know that was a sight to see. I bet Hurley never ran into anybody like Wendell. No doubt, he's good and dead. You're with us now, huh, Wendell?"

 

"Yes, I'm with you, now."

 

"I like how he says that. Don't you Ricardo? Like James Bond with an island accent."

 

"You better leave him alone, Martin."

 

"If he's part of the team, he's got to take a little ribbing, now and then. Besides, I don't think this is the first team Wendell's been on. Am I right, Wendell? What are you...Navy Seal, Air Force, Special Ops, CIA, British Intel?"

 

"Martin!"

 

"It's okay, Ricardo. I know he can't tell us who he works for, but, he's been well-trained, very well-trained. But, I think he's always been a natural. You can certainly tell that. I know one when I see one. Killing comes real easy for them, too easy."

 

Wendell kept silent, not at all ruffled by Martin's teasing, inquiries, and accusations. Ricardo took out a needle and jabbed Martin in the arm.

 

"Ri-car-do! What was that for!"

 

"That was for pain."

 

"I didn't have real bad pain in my arm, until you gave it to me!"

 

"It was for your mouth. Wendell, make a right here and take the freeway to the 95th street exit, then turn left until you get to Warren. Rahid will signal you." 

 
 

Published by Mishael T