Sunday, February 13, 2005

Pecaw's Gift / Chapter 19 - Internal Affairs

“Two men are here from the Police Department and want to visit with Mr. Dosilmeyer. They said they’re from Internal Affairs and only want to ask him a few questions now that he is alert and awake.”, the nurse at the front desk spoke to Bev on the telephone just as Vern was leaving. “I told them to wait here at the desk and that you would come out in a few minutes. I had them show me their identification since they were in business suits; they're both Sergeants.” She paused and looked back at the two officers as she held her hand over the receiver. “Please, go ahead and have a seat over there.”, pointing to a small reception area.

There was a small table with two modern design wooden chairs. On the table were some magazines that some of the nurses had brought from home to help pass the time for whoever was forced to wait. They both thumbed through the small stack. Not finding anything that was interesting to them, they sat impatiently looking back at the nurse’s desk every couple of minutes; as if to imply that they were in a hurry.

“Well, what do you want me to tell them, Hun?” Bev wanted to protect Sinclair as much as possible. He still did not recall the details of the accident; that the suspect had died the night that Sinclair fell off the balcony.

“I have nothing to hide from them; but I would prefer that they didn’t know about my ability to use the computer, if you get my meaning? Tell them that I am not prepared to talk with them; that I still have this damned thing in my throat and that it should be out by next week and that I will talk with them at that time. Let’s turn this off.”, his eyes targeting the computer as he blinked. “Go ahead and usher them in so that I can at least be polite; that way they won’t think that we are being evasive.”

Bev winked back and simultaneously flipped the power switch off and put the computer on the small desk by Sinclair’s bed. As she got up, she leaned over and kissed him on the lips. It was a wife’s kiss that, combined with her open eyes that were fixed on his, meant that she was not comfortable. She wanted them to leave him alone; but knew that because Sinclair was a policeman, that he was always accountable to the Department. She closed her eyes for a few moments and quickly offered a prayer.

“Father, who knows my thoughts before I speak them, thank you for sparing the life of my husband. Thank you for giving him this marvelous ability to conquer the silence that has taken his voice. Protect him from the cold world that waits down the hall. Provide them with sufficient answers, through my own mouth, that they will not inquire too strongly about those things which might be harmful to Sinclair at this time. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.” Bev opened her eyes and felt confident that she would handle it alright. After all, just the other day she had run off a very persistent aluminum siding salesman. She had even thanked him for his attempted presentation.

Walking down the hall, she glanced up at the nurse behind the desk. Then as she cleared the edge of the short hall and made her way to the desk, the two officers got up and their movement caught her attention. She watched as they smoothed out the imaginary wrinkles in their clothing, flexed and squared their shoulders in unison.

“Mrs. Dosilmeyer? I’m Sergeant Nichols and this is my partner Sergeant Perry. We’re from the Internal Affairs Division and would like to talk with your husband; if its all right with you. We heard that he was conscious now and there are some details that we need to get from him regarding his accident. We won’t stay long.” He reached for some papers that he had inside the right pocket of his suit as he talked.

Bev smiled but reserved her true thoughts. “Sinclair asked me to come visit with you. He still cannot talk with you; he has a respirator hooked up to help him breath. I’m sure that he would like for you to come in and at least make your presence felt. He doesn’t get very many visitors. The doctor said that they would be taking him off the respirator a little at a time, starting next week. He should be able to hold a short interview at that time.” Bev could hardly believe how well she was doing. She led them down the hall and knocked quietly, then entered the room. She had turned the lights down, leaving only the desk lamp to set the proper mood.

Sinclair looked up and slowly winked to let them know that he was awake as the pair followed Bev to a spot at the end of his bed. He raised his eyebrows as if to say, “Hey guys, no sense in asking me any questions yet; I can’t talk.” If he could have pulled his shoulders together and raised his hands, palms up; he could have done no better.

“Good to see your healing up. We just wanted to let you know that the Department takes care of it’s own. We know that you can’t give us a statement. All we want to do at this time is leave these questions for you to think about so that when you are able . . .”

“You can give them to me, he still has no feeling in his hands.” Bev reached out, not waiting for him to agree with her stipulation. He hesitated; but only for a moment as he handed them to her. Bev eyed them, then put them out of view behind her dress.

Clearing his throat and not quite sure what to do next, Sgt. Perry looked over at Sinclair. “Hey, aren’t you the officer that used to dance while you directed traffic? Yea, I know you. You really had some moves out there.” He had driven by many times while Sinclair was working and waved. They did not know each other; but it was natural for Sinclair to wave when he recognized a city ride go by.

Sinclair looked hard to remember. The blank response showed, even on Sinclair’s face.

“Well, ah, we need to be getting along. Nice to meet you, Mrs. Dosilmeyer. You won’t forget to show those papers to . . .”

“Nice to meet you too.”, as she nodded to both of them and at the same time opened the door. “ . . and no; I’ll make sure he gets to look them over. Good night and y’all be careful out there.”

“Good night Ma’am.”

Bev watched them as they walked away. The tall one pulled out a cigar and began to light it, remembered that he was still in a no smoking area, and jammed it back into his pocket. The two waited for the elevator and occasionally looked back to where Bev was standing as they talked. They both waved weakly, not meaning to wave; but wanting to have some reason to be looking back that way.

Bev smiled and waved back, thinking to herself how hard it must be to work for a place where the jackals were so well dressed. It was hard to tell the good guys from the bad.

When Bev closed the door behind her, glad that she had done her job, she could feel herself relax just a little. She sat in the chair next to Sinclair; took hold of his hand and began to lightly stroke it. For a few minutes there was a calm in her life. She glanced over at Sinclair and realized that she needed to turn the computer back on. He had an unsettling look on his face. He was not happy about something. She typed the commands and waited for the voice synthesizer mode to engage.

“What’s this about some guy dying the night I fell? Why didn’t anyone, why didn’t you, tell me?” Sinclair’s new voice was able to elicit the emotional blur that was occurring in his mind.

“I didn’t want to burden you with that. You’re just now able to handle the simplest of human functions. I thought it best that since you didn’t remember. . . well, I saw no need to impede your recovery.” Bev knew that Sinclair was disappointed with her. His eyes looked clear on through to the middle of her soul. He exposed the little girl in her.

Only once, since they had been married, had she ever lied to him. She had wanted him to quit smoking cigarettes. He was in the hospital after having a collapsed lung and she saw the opportunity to do a number on him. She told him that he was under doctor’s orders to quit the habit. The doctors had not told her this; she had made it up to fit the desires of her heart. Sinclair had to quit and he knew it. Several weeks had past; with each day Bev felt the guilt of her deed. Finally it was too much for her to bear. She poured out the plot to him and asked for his forgiveness. Sinclair, after having listened to the woman who loved him enough to lie such a wonderful lie, laughed out loud. He explained that the doctor had told him that very same thing; that it was funny that she had lied when she didn’t have to. It made for a stronger bond in their marriage.

“So that makes it all right? Some guy I don’t even know died while I’m supposed to be arresting him and I can’t even remember it. I wish you would have told me, that’s all. I just wish you would have told me.” Sinclair closed his eyes and tried to recall the incident and find a way to feel some remorse for the man who had died.

“How did you find out? They never said a word about it, and I was holding their damned question sheet the whole time.” Bev waited a moment as Sinclair continued in his search for an answer.

“The tall one, what was his name? Sgt. Nichols had the whole file on a floppy disk in that pocket he kept fidgeting with. They all have their own personal computers in I.A.D. It keeps their information out of the main system. I suppose that its a form of security; keeps the masses from getting into their files. I only got to scan part of it; he kept moving so much once I realized what it was, time had run out.”

“I’m sorry I kept it from you. I just . . .”

“I’m not angry, well . . , just a bit maybe. Give me a hug and try to fill in the gaps for me.” Sinclair wished he could turn on his tactile sensory units as easily as he could manipulate the computer. Bev cuddled up carefully to the his side, making sure not to
disturb the breathing hose. Several minutes past as she tried to organize the details of that horrible scene.

“You went on a call and heard gun shots. You could tell where they came from; but before anyone could come to help you, the guy came out and the two of you struggled for his gun. The railing broke away and both of you fell backwards to the ground. He landed head first and was dead before the ambulance arrived. You, well, you know the rest." Bev was sobbing uncontrollably into Sinclair’s side as she blurted out the last few words.

“Its all right, its all right. I’m here with you and its going to be all right.” Somehow the message was important enough and his arm escaped the months of neglect as it moved to hold and caress Bev. “See there, next thing you know I’ll be asking for a private room.”

Bev stopped crying long enough to notice that Sinclair had made a significant move towards recovery. She took his hand once again, like she did the day they were sealed at the Salt Lake Temple so many years before. “It’ll be okay, just hold me.”