Days, weeks and then months went by. Holly continued to lay in a state of limbo, not really being alive and not really being dead. Dr. Boone could see how difficult it was for Nedward to see what was happening to her and more than once, had told him that there was no hope and it would probably be easier if he stopped coming around.
Her muscles had begun to atrophy and she was drawing closer to the fetal position with every passing day. “We’re moving her downstairs tomorrow,” Dr. Boone said.
Nedward asked if he would still be allowed to visit. Dr. Boone said “I don’t think you want to do that. It’s almost like a morgue down there. Very cold. Very dim lighting and only the sound of beeping monitors and the whispers of machinery helping them breathe.”
“I don’t care about that,” said Nedward. “What time are you moving her tomorrow?”
Dr. Boone said “we usually move them around noon. Are you sure you want to be here for that?” Nedward said “I’ll be here.”
Nedward sat beside Holly and started talking to her just as he had done for the last several months. Deviating from his usual staid demeanor, he began. “Did I ever tell you about my very first drug bust? It was around Christmastime and we got what we believed was some pretty reliable information from one of our CI’s. At one of the flop houses, run by “Big Doggy’, there was supposed to be a huge ‘come one, come all’ Christmas party, which we believed translated to a huge drug deal.”
“Anyway, Leanne, my then partner and I rolled up to the house, pretending that we wanted to come to the party, with the intention of buying some blow. We threw out the name of a local dealer and said they had sent us. I’ll never forget it. We walked in and there was this huge Christmas tree in the corner of the room. It was decorated with beer cans and the garland was made of the pop-tops and all the candle holders were empty liquor bottles.”
“As soon as Big Doggy spotted us, he wanted to know who told us we could crash his crib. We told him we were told by ‘so and so’ that we could make a deal and score some blow. He looked us up and down and said ‘I don’t know you from Adam and there ain’t no deals to be had here. Now get the hell out of here’.”
“I offered a weak ‘sorry bro.’ Big Doggy got in my face and said ‘I ain’t your bro, bro’. I held my hands up in mock surrender and started backing toward the door. I was a little pissed that we had obviously been given bad information.”
“As we were about to leave, Leanne happened to take a closer look at the tree. She flashed her badge, pulled her weapon and yelled ‘hands in the air’. She smiled and said ‘come over here and look at this, Nedward’.”
“There were all these little clear balls that were half full of white powder. There must have been more than fifty or sixty of them hanging on the tree. Turns out, they were filled with blow. It was perfect. Who would have thought to check out Christmas ornaments?” Nedward, who rarely smiled said “you have to admit, it was pretty ingenious.”
The smile left his face and he looked down as he said “anyway. I just thought you might like that story.”
He stood up, looked at her pulverized, disfigured face, then bent down and kissed her forehead. “See you tomorrow, kid.”
True to his word, the next day he was there when it was time to take Holly down to the “farm.” He was holding her hand as they counted 1-2-3 and began to pull her onto another bed.
At that instant, Holly opened her eyes.
To be continued_________