It should have been just another in a long string of 911 calls to 2430 West Eleventh. Most of the patrol officers had been there at one time or another because the neighbor who lived at 2440 West Eleventh would call 911 and say her neighbors were screaming at each other.
At least two patrol officers would show up and talk to Rachael Frayser and Dan Moyers to find out what the problem was. It was always the same problem and that problem was how Dan treated Rachael.
When the officers got there, they’d separate Rachael and Dan, and then talk to them about what was going on. Rachel’s story was always about the same.
“He came home late tonight and I smelled pussy on his dick when I sucked it. He’d been fuckin’ some other woman again. I’ve told him a hundred times if my pussy isn’t tight enough, he could fuck me in the ass. That’s how he usually fucks me, but about twice a month, he comes home smelling like pussy and wants me to suck his dick. I smelled it on his dick tonight.
“When I started yellin’ that he’s been fuckin’ another woman, he told me to shut the fuck up ‘cause we ain’t married and he can fuck anybody he wants. I told him to get the fuck out, but he said he won’t and he slapped me in the face. I just want him to go away.”
The officer talking to Dan would get another version of the story from Dan.
“Rachael’s got a pussy so big you’d have to tie a board to your ass so you didn’t fall in when you fucked her there. It’s ‘cause she’s so fuckin’ fat. I mean, look at her tits. They’s big as soccer balls and her belly hangs all the way down to the bed when I fuck her from behind. Her ass is so big I can’t much more’n get my cock in her pussy anyway. I like them big tits and I don’t mind her belly, but I can’t take that sloppy pussy.
“I fuck her in the ass instead and she likes that, but me, I gotta have my cock in a tight pussy once in a while. We ain’t married or nothin’ so I don’t see what she’s got to bitch about. She keeps threatenin’ to throw me out like she did tonight, but I ain’t leavin’. The fuckin’ house is mine, not hers. If anybody’s gonna leave, it’s gonna be her fuckin’ fat ass and that’s what I told her. Slapped her fat face too. I don’t hold with no woman sassin’ me like that.
In cases like this, the police really can’t do much except try to get the couple to separate until they cool off. Since it’s usually the woman who bears the brunt of it, they’ll try to get her to leave and go to a shelter. If that’s not possible, they’ll ask the woman if she’ll swear out a complaint against the other.
In Rachael’s case it was always pretty obvious that she’d been hit in some way, so the officer would ask her if she wanted to have Dan arrested. She’d always start to cry then.
“No, because I love him and I don’t want to send him to jail. I just want him to promise me that he won’t fuck other women again.
Since at that time the state didn’t have a law that makes it mandatory to arrest the person causing violence against the other, the patrol officers had no choice. They’d get the couple together and talk to them until Dan finally said he wouldn’t go with another woman again if Rachael would just suck his cock when he wanted her to. Rachael would start to cry again and then put her arms around Dan’s neck. The patrol officers would leave then and back at the station they’d record the 911 call and what they did.
That would last for about two weeks or so, and then the neighbor would call 911 again.
The 911 call before this one indicated Dan was accelerating his abuse of Rachael. When he patrol officers got there, her lip was bleeding and she had a bruise on her arm. The officers went through their usual questioning and then told Rachael this wasn’t going to stop until she did something about Dan. This time Rachael said she’d file a complaint. The officers took her complaint, arrested Dan, and took him to the station.
The afternoon of the next day, Rachael went to the station and said she wanted to retract her complaint. Two female officers tried to talk her out of it, but she wouldn’t listen. An hour after she got there, she’d retracted the complaint and left with Dan.
It should have been taken as a warning that Dan told the officer who released him from the holding cell that “The cops better not try to arrest me again”, but police officers hear that same threat from lots of people they arrest. It’s a threat made in anger and usually doesn’t mean anything. On this last 911 call, it did mean something.
When the neighbor called 911, she said her neighbors were fighting again so that wasn’t unusual. What was unusual was that the call was made at two in the afternoon instead of one in the morning. Dispatch asked for a car in the vicinity to go to the address and investigate the situation. As it was, there were three cars within five minutes and all three officers responded.
Terry Meadows arrived first and was walking up the walk to the front door when Jamie French and Todd Adams pulled up. They were just starting toward the walk when the door to the house opened. Neither Jamie nor Todd saw the shotgun barrel until they heard the blast and saw Terry fall down. The second shot came so quickly they didn’t have time to find cover either. That shot hit Todd in the legs and he went down. Jamie drew his sidearm and fired three shots at the front door of the house as he quickly made his way to behind the tree on the left side of the walk.
The shooting stopped then. Jamie radioed for backup and the EMT’s, then yelled for the shooter to put down his gun and come out with his hands in the air. Nothing happened for about a minute. Then, the door opened a little wider and a woman came out with her hands in the air. Jamie instructed her to get down on her stomach and put her hands behind her back. After she complied, Jamie yelled for the shooter to come out.
The woman turned her head so she could see Jamie, and then sobbed, “Dan can’t come out. You shot him.”
Two more cars had arrived by then. The officers were crouched behind their cars with their sidearms drawn. When they heard the woman, Warren Matthews, the shift supervisor, yelled at Jamie and asked if he could see anything. Jamie peered around the tree trunk, then yelled back that he couldn’t. Warren told the other officer to drive around to the alley behind the house and tell them when he was in position while he and Jamie entered the front door.
That had all happened during the five minutes after Terry had started up the walk. It was about then that the first EMT truck pulled up and the two EMT’s got out. Warren told them to stay behind the police cars until they’d secured the scene. Then he began working his way toward the right side of the house. He silently thanked the person who had planted the trees in the front yard decades ago. They were pretty far apart, but by running from one to the next, Warren made it to the corner of the house.
Jamie had also worked his way to the other corner of the house. Together, they began inching along the wall toward the front door. Both had to duck down under a window so they wouldn’t be seen, but a few seconds later Jamie took a quick look through the open door and then turned back to Warren.
“Looks like he is down. He’s laying on the floor and the shotgun is about three feet from his hand. He’s not moving either.”
Warren nodded and then stepped toward the door. He leveled his service pistol at the man on the floor as Jamie quickly stepped inside. A few seconds later, Jamie picked up the shotgun and motioned for Warren to come in.
“Looks like I got him at least twice. He’s not going anywhere except to the morgue.”
Warren stepped back outside and yelled to the EMT’s that it was clear and saw that a second EMT truck had pulled up behind the first. The first pair of EMT’s ran to Todd while the second pair ran to Terry.
When they got to Terry, he was still breathing but his wounds looked pretty bad and with each breath he coughed up some blood. The load of bird shot had spread out a little because Terry had been about thirty feet from the house, but it had still torn him up pretty badly. It looked to the EMT’s like his vest had caught most of the pellets, but he was bleeding from his throat, mouth, and nose. It also looked like at least one pellet had hit him in the eye.
The EMT’s couldn’t do much to stop the bleeding. If it had been a gunshot to his arm or leg, they’d have put a tourniquet above the wound to stop the bleeding. They couldn’t put a tourniquet around his neck without killing him, so they wrapped his head tight in bandages and stuck an IV in his arm to try to keep up with the blood loss. The put him on a gurney, and then left for the closest hospital with their lights and siren on.
Since Todd was further from the house door, the shotgun pattern had almost missed him. He just had a few spots on his left thigh peppered with shot but the shot hadn’t hit anything vital. He was in pain, but not in any real danger. The EMT’s put him on their gurney even though he said he could walk, and in a couple minutes were on their way to the hospital with Todd in the back.
When Terry woke up, the first thing he thought was it must be night because he couldn’t see anything. That was odd because he always left a little night light on in his bathroom in case he had to get up during the night.
His second thought was that he probably couldn’t see because he’d pulled the blanket up over his face. He was reaching up to pull it down when a soft hand grabbed his arm and he heard a woman’s voice.
“Officer Meadows, don’t. If you pull on your dressings, you might start bleeding again. You’ll pull out your IV too and I’ll have to put it back in.”
Terry lowered his hand then, but he had some questions. He started to say something but found he couldn’t open his mouth for some reason. All that came out was unintelligible garbled sound.
Whoever the woman was heard it and put her hand on his arm.
“Officer Meadows, your having trouble talking because the anesthetic hasn’t completely worn off yet. Sometimes that happens, but you’ll be fine in a few hours. Now, go back to sleep. The surgeon will be in to talk with you tomorrow and tell you what he’s done and what’s ahead. I’ll be here if you need me. All you have to do is ask.”
Terry tried to stay awake, but he felt himself drifting off again. When he lost consciousness, he was still wondering what the hell had happened to him.
When he woke up again, he had to pee. He remembered the woman had said she’d be there if he needed her and to ask. Terry’s throat was pretty dry so his voice was more of a croak when he said “Nurse”. When he did, he heard the rustle of clothing and then a hand on his arm. The voice was this time was a man’s voice.
“I’m John, Officer Meadows, and I’m your nurse for the next few hours. What do you need.”
Terry felt embarrassed but it was either pee in the toilet or soak the bed.
“I gotta pee really bad.”
John said, “OK, but you can’t get out of bed just yet. I’ll get you a urinal.”
Terry felt a slight chill when John pulled the blankets down, and then was really embarrassed when John lifted his hospital gown. He felt something cold between his thighs and then jerked when he felt John’s hand on his cock. That hand guided it into a tube of some sort and then the John spoke again.
“Don’t be embarrassed, Officer Meadows. This is how you’re going to do this until your blood chemistry stabilizes. You lost a lot of blood and it’ll take a couple days to get you back to where you were before so we can pull your IV. Now, just pretend I’m not here and let it go.”
Terry couldn’t have held it any longer so he did let go. It seemed to take quite a while, but he couldn’t remember when he’d peed the last time. When the stream stopped, John asked if he was done. Terry nodded his head a little, and then felt a soft tissue of some sort wiping his cock head after John pulled away the urinal. Then he felt John pull his hospital gown down and then pull the blanket and sheet up to his neck.
“Doctor Madison, the surgeon who worked on you, will be here in about fifteen minutes. He’ll explain everything and then answer any questions you have. Be sure to ask him about anything that's unclear.
John put a cylinder with a button on one end in Terry’s hand.
“If you need anything, just push this button and I’ll be here.”
With that, John left and Terry was alone with his thoughts. The only problem was he didn’t have a clue as to why he seemed to be in a hospital. All he could remember was getting dispatched to the 911 call and starting up the walk to the house.
Doctor Madison came in a little later.
“Officer Meadows, I’m Doctor Howard Madison, the surgeon who worked on you. Do you remember anything that happened?”
Terry slowly shook his head.
“No. All I remember is starting up the sidewalk to a house.
Terry thought he was going to like Doctor Madison because he sounded like he understood what Terry was going through.
“Well, I’m not surprised. This memory loss happens a lot to people who go through some really bad trauma. I suppose it’s the brain’s way of blocking out something it doesn’t want to remember. It might pass and it might not. Either way, don’t worry about it. It’s perfectly normal.
“I’ll tell you what your Captain told me when he called to check on your condition, and then I’ll explain your condition.
“A man in the house shot you with a shotgun as you were walking up the walk. Your vest stopped a lot of the pellets. The others hit you in the throat and face. You’re lucky the guy was using birdshot. Most of the pellets didn’t penetrate the bone. If he’d had buckshot…well, you’d be laying in a casket today instead of in our hospital.
“From what I understand he wounded another officer…Todd is his first name I think…he wounded another officer before he was shot and killed by a third officer. The other officer is OK, by he way. He’ll be limping around for a few days, but he’ll recover just fine.
“Well, that’s all I know about how you ended up here. What I’m going to tell you now won’t seem very good, but the other option was a hell of a lot worse. I know you’ve seen shotgun wounds before, so I’ll be as specific as I can.
“Officer Meadows, none of the pellets hit your carotid artery or your jugular vein. If they had, you probably wouldn’t be here today. What they did was hit mostly on your chin and face up to your forehead. It took us six hours to pick out all the shot and get the bleeding stopped.
“Most of your wounds are more cosmetic than anything life threatening. There will be some scarring, but cosmetic surgery can fix that. You’re especially lucky that none of them hit your vocal chords. Those are damned near impossible to put right, but yours are fine. You’ll be able to sing just like you could before, if you were a singer that is.
“The worst injury is to your eyes. Evidently your sunglasses weren’t ballistic rated so when the pellets hit them they shattered into pieces. We had to pick the pieces of plastic out of both your eyes. Fortunately, your sunglasses absorbed most of the energy, so the pieces weren’t embedded deep enough to do any real damage. What did was one pellet that went through your sunglasses and then hit the cornea of your right eye.
“Hitting your sunglasses deflected it enough it didn’t enter your eyeball, but it cut a shallow gouge through your cornea. Corneas tend to heal quickly without much treatment, so we have both of your eyes covered with cups to keep out any light. That’s so you won’t be tempted to move your eyes around. It also means you’ll effectively be blind until our eye surgeon gives us the OK to uncover your eyes. He’ll examine you then and tell you what he thinks.
“I don’t want to make you think it’s hopeless, but you do need to be thinking about your options. Your other injuries wouldn’t stop me from certifying you for duty once they heal. If you end up blind in your right eye, I can’t. Tom did tell me that he’s saved a person’s sight before with a cornea transplant. That might be an option for you if the cornea doesn’t heal on its own. I’m not sure what your police department’s policy would be for that though.
“That’s the best I can lay it out for you, Officer Meadows. I figured you’d seen enough to know if I wasn’t telling you the truth, so I gave it to you as straight as I know how. What questions do you have now?”
Terry was still trying to get his head around what Doctor Madison had told him, so he couldn’t think of any.
“I can’t think of anything right now.”
Doctor Madison patted Terry’s arm.
“I’m sure you’ll think of something and I’ll be around to check on you every day, so you can ask me then. We’ll be able to take off your dressings except for your eyes in a couple days and move you out of Intensive Care to a regular room. Your Captain said your insurance will pay for a private room, so that’s what you’ll get.
“Until then, what you need to do is rest and remember that you’re one very lucky guy. I don’t want you feeling sorry for yourself. All that’ll do is make you heal slower. I’ve prescribed some pain medicine for when you need it, but don’t overdo it. Getting off the stuff can hurt worse than the pain you took it for. When you think you need something, just buzz the nurse and tell them. The nurse will put it in your IV.”
Doctor Madison patted Terry’s arm again.
“Officer Meadows, this is going to sound like I’m a patronizing bastard, but thanks for what you were trying to do out there. I could never do what you do every day. I see gunshot wounds and stabbings every day here, and I know it would be a hell of a lot worse without men like you.”
After Doctor Madison left, Terry tried hard to remember what had happened that day, but as far as he could get was getting out of his patrol car and starting up the walk. After that there was nothing until he woke up in the hospital.
Doctor Madison had said he might remember someday, so Terry put that in the back of his mind and started trying to figure out if Doctor Madison had been telling the truth. His reason for doing that was pretty simple. Terry had spent four years in the Navy as a Shore Patrol officer, and had joined the police force as soon as his enlistment was up. Being a cop was all he knew how to do, and if he couldn’t be a cop after this, he didn’t know what he’d do.
His arms and legs seemed to work fine. It did hurt a little to move his head, but nothing he couldn’t manage. Then he tried to move his eyes but stopped as soon as he started. They didn’t exactly hurt. They just felt like he’d had sand kicked in to his eyes.
Terry decided that all in all, he was in pretty good shape for being shot. As Doctor Madison had said, Terry had seen his fill of gunshot wounds including some from shotguns. Contrary to what most people believe, the pellets from a shotgun don’t spread out very fast. Terry had seen people shot with a shotgun at a range of about ten feet and wherever they were hit, the flesh looked a lot like hamburger and that was just with common birdshot. At ten feet, the birdshot only spread out to cover a circle of about three to six inches in diameter. An any range much closer, the birdshot might as well be a huge, single bullet, because it was still trapped in the shot cup and didn’t spread out much at all.
He’d been about thirty feet away from the house, so the pellets had spread out a lot, and each pellet was so light it didn’t have enough energy to penetrate very deep. A shotgun is fatal to ducks and geese at up to about forty yards, but birds like ducks and geese have thin skins and it isn’t very far inside that skin to their vital organs. A human’s skin is a lot thicker, so they wouldn’t have done much damage.
Terry tried moving his mouth and nose, and he could feel a little discomfort but not real pain. He’d seen addicts in jail going through withdrawl so he didn’t need Doctor Madison to tell him to go easy on the drugs. So far, he didn’t feel any pain that he wouldn’t have handled with aspirin or Tylenol.
The only thing that really bothered Terry was that he couldn’t see anything. He could open his eyes, but all he saw was blackness. The thought of being blind in one eye was chilling. That meant the end of police work as well as any other job that required good eyesight and depth perception.
Over the next two days, Terry realized several things besides the fact that he was lucky he wasn’t dead. For one, it was hard to sleep when anytime you moved you felt the pull of the IV needle in your arm. Another problem was the sensor he had clipped to his finger. John said it was there to alert the nurse’s station if he went into cardiac arrest. It had come off once and the result was the door slamming open and nurses wheeling in a cart. They were relieved when they saw that he’d just pulled off the sensor by moving his arm too much.
Another thing he realized was that he hadn’t felt much pain the first day because he was still feeling the effects of the anesthetic he’d had in surgery. The second day, his jaw and face started to hurt. He was trying to tough it out when John came in to take his blood pressure. John took one look and said, “I’ll be right back”. A couple minutes later, Terry felt a slight motion on his IV tube and then the pain started to go away.
John took his blood pressure then, and while he was watching the meter, he told Terry what he’d given him.
“I just gave you some demerol. That’s what Doctor Madison prescribed. It’s addictive, but don’t try to live with the pain until it becomes unbearable. That’s how some patients develop a dependency. Their brain begins to equate the relief of pain to the demerol and then any pain triggers the need for it. In a few days, you’ll start feeling good enough that you won’t need anything as strong as demerol.”
One other thing bothered him. When he woke up from surgery, the nurse had been a woman. After that came John during the day and then Harold at night. He wondered what had happened to the woman. When he asked John, John explained.
“Oh, that was Nancy and she was just subbing for Harold because he had to go help his mother for a day. Harold will be back tonight.”
It was Terry’s third day in intensive care that John told Terry he wouldn’t be seeing him anymore.
“Your blood work say’s you’re back to normal and your facial wounds have started to heal. When I take off your dressings this time, I won’t be putting them back on. You’ll heal faster if those wounds get some air. The eye bandages will have to stay on until the eye surgeon thinks your cornea has had time to heal. Right after lunch, we’ll be transferring you to a private room.”
Terry couldn’t really tell much difference between the private room and intensive care because he still couldn’t see anything. He did have television that he could listen to, so he used that to help pass the time.
Time was moving very slowly for Terry. All his life he’d been always doing something. Now, all he could do was lay in bed and listen to whatever he found on television. The three times a day that something did actually happen were meals, and the meals weren’t anything especially exciting. The food wasn’t bad, but it didn’t have much seasoning and a nurse had to feed him because he couldn’t see. He felt like he was two years old because the nurse would tell him to open his mouth and when he did, would stick a spoon full of something in.
The other problem was because his jaw was still a little sore, he couldn’t chew very well, so all his food was like baby food. He had mashed potatoes almost every meal except for breakfast, and the meat was either meatloaf that he could break up without actually chewing, or something in pieces so small he didn’t have to chew. Breakfast was usually scrambled eggs or oatmeal.
The day nurse was a no-nonsense woman named Sheila who cared for him well, but didn’t spend a lot of time doing that. Since he didn’t have the IV anymore, he could walk around. If he had to use the bathroom, Sheila would help him out of bed and then lead him to the bathroom. Once he felt the toilet, she’d tell him to knock on the door when he was done and she help him back to bed. Other than that and feeding him, she only checked his blood pressure and temperature a couple times a day, and after the first day she only checked him once.
The nurse who cared for Terry at night said her name was Nurse Wilkins. Nurse Wilkins seemed to be a lot different in that she seemed to spend more time in his room than anywhere else, or at least she did when he was awake. She’d come into his room after he had dinner and ask how he was doing. Then she’d make a fuss about tucking the blanket around him until Terry felt like a mummy. She didn’t ever say much. She was just there from the time she walked into the room until he said he was going to sleep.
When he said that, she’d always say, “I’ll be here if you need me. All you have to do is ask.”
Terry thought her voice was vaguely familiar and he was sure he’d heard those words before, but when he tried to remember when, he figured it had to be that first day when he was still doped up from surgery. Some nurse had probably told him something like that and that’s what he remembered.
A week after he was moved to a private room, the eye surgeon who had treated him came in to examine his right eye. Since it was in the afternoon, the nurse pulled the window blinds shut to block out the sun and then shut off the lights. While the nurse began removing the bandage that held whatever was blocking all the light from his eyes, the doctor explained.
“Officer Meadows, I’m Doctor Thomas Bailey, the surgeon who worked on your eyes. We’ve blocked out as much light as we can because you’ve been blind for almost nine days and bright lights would probably be almost painful.
“What I’m going to do is see if your cornea has healed or if we have to look at another option. I’ll have to use my opthalmoscope and it’ll be a really bright light, but try not to blink. I’m also going to put a couple drops of anesthetic in your eye just to make sure the lens and pupil are OK.”
When the nurse pulled the last of the bandages away, Terry could see a little in what dim light filled the room. The first thing he saw was the two black cups still stuck on the bandage in the nurse’s hand. Evidently those cups were what had kept him from seeing even a tiny little bit of light.
He only had time to glance at the nurse, and she wasn’t what he thought she’d probably be. She looked to be about fifty when he thought she’d sounded younger. He was starting to say that when Dr. Bailey asked him to lie back down.
As soon as he did, Dr. Bailey used two fingers to open Terry’s right eyelid, and a second later, Terry felt something cold being dripped into that eye. Right after that, Dr. Bailey used his fingers to open Terry’s eyelid again, and then shined a very bright light in that eye. It didn’t really hurt like Dr. Bailey said it might, but he couldn’t see anything out of that eye except the light.
For about five minutes, Dr. Bailey moved his light around while he was bent over Terry’s face. Then, he straightened up and turned off the light.
“Well, Officer Meadows, your cornea is healing better than I expected, but it’s not where I’d like it to be yet. We’re going to keep you in the dark for another week and then I’ll have another look. The good thing is your cornea is healing and it doesn’t look like it’ll have any clouding. What that means is you might not need a cornea transplant.
“You’ll be happy to know that the rest of your eye is in good shape too. I think I see a tiny little bit of a cataract there, but you’ll be an old man before it gets big enough to require anything. Just make sure you always wear your sunglasses when you’re outside.”
Dr. Bailey left after telling the nurse to bandage Terry’s eyes again. Sheila said, “OK, Officer Meadows, it’s going to get dark again. Hold still.”
That night after dinner, Nurse Wilkins came into Terry’s room and said, “Hi, Officer Meadows. I’m sorry you still can’t see, but Doctor Bailey knows what he’s doing.”
While she was taking Terry’s blood pressure, he asked her a question that had been bugging him for days but he hadn’t figured out a good way to ask.
“Nurse Wilkins, have we met before?”
“No, I don’t think so. Why?”
“Well, your voice is familiar but I can’t remember where I heard it before. I thought you might know.”
Nurse Wilkins took the blood pressure cuff off Terry’s arm then.
“I worked in obstetrics before this so unless you were having a baby, I don’t see how we could know each other. Now, open your mouth so I can take your temperature.”
As Nurse Nancy Wilkins put her thermometer in Terry’s mouth, she frowned. She hadn’t really lied to Terry, had she? She had been working in obstetrics except for that one night when Harold called in sick and the hospital needed a fill-in nurse in Intensive Care for the night. Nancy was a logical choice because she’d spent three years working in the ER. She’d only started working in Obstetrics because she needed a change. That was three months after her life was turned upside down
It was as if life had something against her and was trying to tell her to just stop living. Well, that’s what it had felt like at first, and for a few seconds Nancy had wondered if that was the best way out. That thought didn’t last long enough to take root and grow though because she wouldn’t let it. She’d become a nurse to help people and the need to continue doing that was still driving her, driving her to endure the pain, both physical and mental, until she could put on her scrubs again and do what she loved doing.
She’d had a plan for life when she started out and that plan had seemed to be working. She’d finish nursing school, get a job, and then start looking around for a husband. They’d marry and she’d have at least two children. She’d still work as a nurse because she couldn’t ever give that up, but she’d also be a loving wife and mother.
That plan started falling into place a month after she began working as an ER nurse. The EMT’s had brought in a stabbing victim, and Nancy and two other nurses had worked with one of the ER doctors to stop the bleeding and then stabilize the man. When that was done, she'd pulled off her mask, gloves, and the surgical cap that had kept her long, blonde hair out of her face and out of the patient, and then started to walk outside for some air that didn’t smell like blood and bowels.
She was almost to the door when a man in a suit walked up and asked her if the stabbing victim was alive and if he was, when he could talk with him.
“Nurse, I’m Detective Sam Coventry. That stabbing victim they brought in about an hour ago. Did he make it?”
Nancy had nodded.
“Yes, we got the bleeding under control and he’s stable enough for surgery now. That’s where he is now.”
“Any idea when I might be able to talk to him? He’s he only one who can tell me who stabbed him.”
Nancy shook her head.
“It’s hard to say. It depends on what the surgeon finds. The man had four stab wounds. His ribs stopped two before they hit anything vital. The other two were in his stomach. He could have been lucky and only need a few stitches, or he might spend all night on the operating table while they sew his intestines back together.
“They’ll finish with him sometime tonight, but he’ll still be out of it for a couple hours after that. I’d come back tomorrow morning. If he makes it through surgery, he’ll be mostly awake by then.”
Sam had thanked her and then smiled.
“I think I’ll hang out here for a while just in case they get done with him sooner than later. I better to tell the nurse at the desk what I’m doing though.”
Sam had started walking toward the desk then, so Nancy went outside for a few minutes. Her break was cut short when an ambulance pulled up at the door to the ER. Nancy ran back inside to change into clean scrubs.
At seven the next morning, Nancy was walking out of the ER and saw Sam still sitting in a chair. When he saw her, he stood up, walked over, and asked her for her name.
Nancy had smiled.
Sam had grinned.
“When I talk to a pretty girl, I like to know her name, that’s all, and you’re the prettiest girl I’ve seen in a long time.”
Nancy had grinned back.
“That’s not a very good line, especially when I look like I look right now.”
Sam had shrugged.
“I’m a cop not a writer, and that’s the best line I got right now. Besides, you are a very pretty woman. It doesn’t look like my victim will be able to talk to me until this afternoon and I’m dying for a cup of coffee and something to eat. Is your cafeteria open? If it is, maybe you’d like to join me.”
That cup of coffee had turned into breakfast, and that first breakfast led to a date on one of the nights they were both off duty. Those dates continued for six months before Sam asked Nancy to move in with him. Nancy didn’t have to think about that. She’d been ready to hear that question for the last three months.
Living together hadn’t been as easy for Sam and Nancy as it was for most couples. Nancy was still working the late shift at the hospital and Sam worked the day shift unless he was investigating a case. If he was home at night, Nancy was at work, so they had to make some adjustments to their sex life. They’d worked it out though, and decided to wait a couple years before finally marrying and then having kids.
They were seven months into the second year when Nancy was driving to the hospital one night. She was a block from the hospital and stopped at a red light when she saw flashing lights coming down the street to her left. There wasn’t much she could do, so she just stayed put when the light turned green.
She thought that since she was close to the hospital, the flashing lights were an ambulance. She didn’t see the Mustang until the driver tried to make the corner at what the police officer later said was about seventy.
The Mustang’s tires broke loose from the pavement and he rammed Nancy’s car on the passenger side door. Nancy was pinned in place by the lap and shoulder harness, and the fire department had to cut her out of her car. It wasn’t until the EMT’s had her on a gurney that they were able to determine the extent of her injuries.
The force of the impact had caused the airbag to deploy, but in doing so, it had broken her nose and because the airbag deployed so fast, the skin on her forehead didn’t have time to stretch. Instead, it tore and left a cut about four inches long between her eyebrows and her hairline.
The airbag didn’t do anything to stop the injuries to her legs. They were both broken. It also didn’t do anything to protect her from the secondary crash that happened because the impact of the Mustang rammed her car into a car parked at the curb. The seatbelt and shoulder belt stopped Nancy from being thrown across the seat, but in the process, the shoulder belt crushed her left breast.
Her injuries ended the plans for a wedding, but Sam said he’d waited this long so he could wait some more. It took six weeks before the doctor took off her leg casts and scheduled her for physical therapy. During that same six weeks, Nancy underwent surgery to put her nose back in place. She also noticed the formation of two lumps in her left breast. After a mammogram and a biopsy identified the lumps as tissue that had been injured in the accident, Nancy underwent another surgery to remove them.
Her nose wasn’t much different than before. She could see a slight change, but there was no scarring so didn’t really affect her overall appearance. Her breast was a different story.
After the breast surgery, the doctor said it would be a couple weeks before the swelling went down so she shouldn’t be concerned about how her breast looked before that. Two weeks later, he said everything looked fine and she didn’t have to worry about being able to breast feed when she had children.
When Nancy looked at her breasts in a mirror though, tears came to her eyes. Her right breast was still full and firm and stood out from her chest. Her left breast was obviously smaller and had a sunken spot where the lump had been.
After Sam saw her naked, he said he loved her and not just her body, but Nancy could tell he wasn’t being truthful when Sam said he had to stay the station until Friday night because of a case he was working on. He said they could talk more then.
Two weeks from that afternoon the second tragedy that upended Nancy’s life had happened. Sam had been investigating a robbery and had gotten an arrest warrant for his prime suspect. He’d taken another detective and two uniformed officers with him to arrest the suspect, but as soon as they got out of their cars, the suspect opened fire with a pistol. The other detective came to their house that night with the police chaplain and broke the news to her that Sam had been killed by the suspect, but that the suspect had been killed in the ensuing gun battle. Nancy figured the detective thought it would make her feel better that Sam’s killer had also been killed, but it didn’t.
When the doctors cleared Nancy to return to work at the hospital, she knew she couldn’t work the ER again. Every gunshot patient who came in would remind her of Sam, and though she hadn’t had anything to do with his death, she still felt guilty because she hadn’t been there to help him. In her mind, if she’d been able to take care of him, he would have survived.
Since it didn’t look like there would be any children in her near future, Nancy asked for a transfer to Obstetrics. She might not have children of her own, but in Obstetrics she could at least care for babies.
When the head nurse told Nancy they needed a nurse in Intensive Care that night, she’d thought about declining, but then reasoned that Intensive Care patients were always people recovering from surgery or heart attacks and wouldn’t make her think about Sam. It wasn’t until she read Terry’s chart and saw that he was a police officer who’d been shot that Nancy felt a feeling of dread again.
What if he died, just like Sam had died? She wasn’t caring for Sam when he died, but she would be for this officer. If he died, it might be because she didn’t do everything she could to keep that from happening, and she couldn’t live with that, not after Sam. Nancy thought about going to the head nurse in Intensive Care and telling her she couldn’t work with Terry, but then remembered the oath she’d taken when she graduated with a degree in nursing.
I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully.
I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug.
I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling.
With loyalty will I endeavour to aid the physician in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.
No, she couldn’t refuse to work with Terry because of the last part of the oath she’d taken – to devote herself to the welfare of those committed to her care.
It was for that reason she’d stayed with Terry all night, well, that and the fact that he was a police officer injured while doing his duty. If she could make sure Terry made it through the night, maybe that would make her feel better about losing Sam.
At first, Nancy felt sorry for Terry. He looked like a very strong man and yet had been laid low by just a few lead pellets from a shotgun. She let her mind drift back to Sam. Sam was never just still and relaxed except when he was asleep. He always had to be doing something, and she’d met enough police officers through Sam that she knew most were the same way.
Terry hadn’t yet come out of the anesthetic when she walked into his room, but she thought he’d probably be going through hell when it did. Having to just lie in bed with an IV in his arm so he couldn’t move much and with cups over his eyes so he was blind would do that to him. She’d seen that when he started to wake up. He’d tried to move his arm and when she stopped him, he’d tried to talk even though he couldn’t.
She done the only thing she could think of to put him more at ease. She’d touched his arm and told him to go back to sleep. Nancy didn’t know why she’d also told him she’d stay with him all night. The words just came out of her mouth without her thinking about saying them.
That night was the only night Nancy worked Intensive Care, but for some reason she didn’t quite understand, the next night she called the nurse’s station in Intensive Care and asked about Officer Meadow’s condition. The nurse on duty looked at his chart and then replied that he was doing better than expected and would probably be put in a regular room in a couple days.
Nancy called Intensive Care every night until she learned Terry had been moved to a private room. She then called the admissions desk to find out his room number, and once she had it, asked the head Obstretics nurse if she could be transferred to that ward. The Obstetrics ward didn’t have many women delivering babies, so the head nurse said she’d see if she could arrange a trade. An hour later, she called Nancy and said she’d found a nurse who wanted some experience in Obstetrics and was willing to trade.
The next night Nancy walked into Terry’s room, said “Hi, Officer Meadows”, and then tucked him in for the night. She had other patients to look after, but since they were all asleep, that was mainly just taking their blood pressure and temperature if that’s what their doctor had asked for. Most were just making uneventful recoveries from some surgery or illness, and she didn’t get any calls from them. That let her spend almost all night in Terry’s room.
The head nurse had questioned her about that after the first night, and Nancy had explained that since Terry couldn’t see, he might not be able to find the call button if he needed something. The head nurse had smiled.
“Yeah…right. He doesn’t seem to have a problem during the day, but according to the day nurses, he doesn’t usually ask for help anyway. If you can keep up with your BP’s and temps and meds, I’ll handle any calls. If I start to get covered up, I’ll come get you.
Nancy had been content to just sit in the chair in Terry’s room except for taking blood pressures and temperatures. There was one patient who needed meds during the night, and Nancy took care of her, but other than that, she stayed in Terry’s room.
That first night had been easy because she’d made her rounds with the head nurse so she could meet the patients and see what they might need during the night. She didn’t get to Terry’s room until almost nine-thirty, so she just said “Hi, Officer Meadows” and then tucked him in.
He’d asked if they’d met before, but she lied and said they hadn’t. She’d lied because she didn’t want to answer the question of why she was there. Nancy didn’t want him to ask that question because she wasn’t sure herself. Something in her mind just told her she should be there. She left for a few minutes to check the desk, and when she came back, he was asleep.
The second night, he asked her the question again, but in a different way.
“Nurse Wilkins, what’s your first name?”
Nancy thought for a second. He hadn’t told him her first name when he was in Intensive Care, so he wouldn’t know she was the same nurse.
Nancy wasn’t prepared when Terry laughed.
“You’re Nurse Nancy? I always figured there must have been a real one, but I never dreamed I’d ever meet her.”
Nancy had heard this story before, but she asked him anyway just to be nice.
“What do you mean?”
“My mother had this kid’s book she got when she was about seven and when I was about that age she gave it to me to read. It was called “Nurse Nancy” and was about a little girl who wanted to be a nurse. Her brother didn’t have time for any of that until he fell down and skinned his knee. Then Nancy gets to be a real nurse and puts a bandaid on his knee. She said when she got the book it came with a real bandaid in it, but she used it somewhere.
“Did you have the same book and is that why you decided to become a nurse?”
“No, I know about the book, but I never had one. I decided to become a nurse because I had an aunt who was a nurse. She’d always tell me stories about how she helped people and I decided that’s what I wanted to do too.”
Nancy tried to change the subject then so he wouldn’t ask her any more questions.
“Why did you decide to become a police officer?”
“Well, originally, I wanted to be a teacher, but I didn’t have the money for college. I enlisted in the Navy because they’d pay for my tuition when I got out. I ended up going to school for the Shore Patrol after basic, and that what I did until my enlistment ended.
“I found out that I liked being a military cop so when I got out, I applied for the police academy and got accepted. This was my third year as a police officer. Up until now, I’ve never regretted that decision.”
“So now, you think you made the wrong decision?”
“No, not really. I’m just worried about my eye. I don’t know how to do anything except be a cop. If I lose that…I don’t know. Twenty-five is a little old to start over.”
Nancy patted Terry’s arm.
“No, it’s not, but I don’t think you have to worry about that. Doctor Bailey wrote on your chart that your eye is healing well.”
The hand stroking Terry’s arm made him feel a little better, and Nancy seemed to understand at least a little. He decided he should ask her the other question he’d been wondering about.
“There’s something else…Doctor Madison said I had a lot of shot pellets in my face and I’ve seen first hand what shotgun pellets can do. You’re a woman and, well, what I mean is, I know I was no movie star before, but do I look bad enough now that a woman wouldn’t want to be around me? You can be straight with me. Like I said, I’ve seen what shotgun pellets can do and it can be pretty nasty.”
Nancy chose her words carefully. She didn’t want to make Terry feel worse than he already did, but he’d asked her to be truthful.
“Well, there are some places where you’re probably going to have some scarring. That’s just based on what I’ve seen in the past, but everybody’s different. The rest of your face will probably just look like you have some leftover scars from acne. A good plastic surgeon will be able to make the scars less noticeable and might even be able to make them disappear.”
Right after that, Nancy guided Terry to the bathroom, left him alone until he opened the door, and then helped him back to bed. As she tucked him in, she patted his arm and said, “If you wake up and need anything during the night I’ll be right here. All you have to do is ask.”
Terry spent the next six days frustrated that he couldn’t see. Several times he thought about just tearing off the bandage that had him blinded, but then reconsidered. He was a cop, not a doctor, and knew Doctor Bailey was doing what he thought was in Terry’s best interests.
Terry spent the next six nights trying to figure out Nancy. He knew she did leave his room sometimes, but only for a few minutes. After that, he’d hear her come into his room, close the door, and then walk across the floor.
Why would she do that? The only reason he could figure was that the ward wasn’t very busy and that Nancy felt sorry for him. That was something that grated on his ego. Never in his life had he ever wanted anyone to feel sorry for him. It wasn’t who he was. He was a man who watched out for himself and accepted the consequences of his actions.
It was the sixth day after Doctor Bailey said he was going to keep him blind that the day nurse told him Doctor Bailey would be back the next morning to check on his eye. That made Terry happy. Maybe he could finally get out of this hospital bed and back to his apartment.
When Nancy came in that night, he told her. She said she’d already read his chart and hoped everything worked out like he wanted. It was then that Terry asked her why she’d stayed with him every night, but he did it in a roundabout way.
“I figure you’ll be happy to be rid of me if it does. You’ve stayed here every night and you must be bored stiff doing that. When I leave, you’ll get your life back again.”
Nancy didn’t say anything for almost a minute. She was trying to figure out how to tell Terry how she felt about him.
She was still thinking when she heard Terry ask if she was still there. Without thinking about what she was doing, Nancy picked up Terry’s hand and squeezed it gently.
“Yes, I’m still here, and no, I won’t be happy when you leave. I’ll miss you when you’re gone.”
“You’ll miss me? Why? All I do is lay here and talk to you until you put me to bed, and I know I’m not that interesting.”
Nancy squeezed Terry’s hand again.
“Yes you are because…”
“Because you’re a cop and I used to be married to a cop, well, we weren’t married but we were living together so it was like we were married.”
“Used to be? What happened?”
Terry felt Nancy take away her hand, and then heard her blowing her nose. She sniffed twice more and then said, “Sam was killed about a year ago. He was going to arrest a robbery suspect, but the man shot and killed him before he could.”
“Sam Coventry, right? I didn’t know Sam, but I heard about it. I’m sorry. Does staying with me every night make you feel better?”
“You’re a lot like Sam was, and staying with you is kind of like he was still here.”
“So, I’m taking the place of your dead boyfriend? That’s first for me and I’m not sure I like it. I can tell you one thing though. If we were dating and you told me what you just did, we wouldn’t be dating any longer. I guess it will be better when I leave. I won’t be reminding you of him any more.
“You know what? You sound like a nice woman and you probably wouldn’t have any problems finding a husband if that’s what you want. If you keep hoping to find your boyfriend again, you won’t though. No man is going to want to think you’re deciding if he’s right for you based on comparing him to another man.
Terry heard Nancy sniff again, and then say, “Well, I think I should leave now. I’ll be at the desk, so if you need anything, press your call button.”
After Nancy had left, Terry felt like a jerk. What he’d told her was how he felt, but he’d done it in a pretty cruel manner. It probably was natural for her to see him as sort of like her dead boyfriend. All cops tended to be detail oriented and very analytical, and they didn’t mince words when speaking. Those characteristics were what made them good at their jobs. Those same characteristics could also be a social handicap.
What he’d basically told Nancy was that he didn’t want anything to do with her if she wasn’t going to accept him as his own person. As he lay there trying to fall asleep, Terry knew that wasn’t true. He’d grown to like Nancy and he knew he was going to miss her too. It was just nice to hear her say, “Hi Officer Meadows. How are we doing tonight?” When he went back to his apartment, the only thing that would greet him was his alarm clock every morning.
Terry decided he had to apologize and so he pressed his call button. A minute or so later, he heard his door open and than a strange voice saying, “What can I help you with, Officer Meadows?”
It wasn’t Nancy.
“Uh…I just need to use the bathroom. I thought Nurse Wilkins would come help me”.
The voice said, she’s busy with another patient. I’m Nurse Collins, and I’ll help you.”
After she closed the door to the bathroom, Terry sat on the toilet for a few seconds, then flushed, and then took his time getting back to the door. Once Nurse Collins had helped him back into bed, she left.
Terry knew Nancy’s rounds by then and he knew she wouldn’t be busy with another patient. It had to be that she didn’t want to talk to him and she’d asked the other nurse to answer his call. If that was the case, and he was sure it was, pressing his call button again wouldn’t accomplish anything. He fell asleep trying to figure out how he could meet Nancy once he was released from the hospital so he could apologize then.
Nancy was sitting at the desk when Sarah came back. She looked at Nancy and frowned.
“Girl, that man didn’t fool me for a second. He didn’t have to use the bathroom. The only reason he pressed his call button is because he wanted to talk to you. Why don’t you step in there and let him say what he wanted to say?”
Nancy shook her head.
“I can’t. I really screwed up, Sarah. I told him he reminded me of Sam and now he thinks that’s why I stayed in his room every night. He said if we were dating and I told him that, he’d stop seeing me.”
“Nancy, is that the real reason you stayed with him every night?”
Nancy put her face in her hands.
“I think it started out being that, but it isn’t now. If I tell him that, he won’t believe me.”
Sara patted Nancy on the shoulder.
“Honey, if he really felt that way, he wouldn’t have wanted to talk to you. I’ve been around enough men to know that he feels something for you. I don’t know how strong that feeling is, but it’s there. If you feel something for him, you need to tell him or you’ll lose him.”
The next morning, Doctor Bailey shined his light into Terry’s eye longer than he had the first time, then raised up and smiled.
“Officer Meadows, your cornea looks great. It’s still healing so that eye will be a little blurry for a while and I’ll want to see you in another week, but I don’t see any need to keep you here any longer. I’ll talk with Doctor Madison and we’ll get you released.
“You’ll need someone to pick you up. I don’t want you driving yet. Do you have anyone you can call, maybe someone at the station?”
Terry said he didn’t want to take an officer off the street just to take him home, so if they could call a cab, that would be fine. The day nurse said she’d take care of it. She then said the clothes he come in wearing were in pretty bad shape, so she’d get him some scrubs.
Just before noon, Terry was dressed in green scrubs and sitting in wheel chair with what was left of his uniform, equipment except for his sidearm, and badge and wallet in a paper sack on his lap. The day nurse pushed him from the room to the elevator and then to the first floor emergency room waiting area.
When she pushed him through the doors and onto the walk, Terry was expecting to see a cab waiting for him. Instead, he saw a woman with long, blonde hair and dressed in snug jeans and a green cotton shirt standing beside a sedan with the passenger door open. He looked up at the day nurse.
“I thought you were going to call me a cab”.
“Well, somebody thinks you’re a pretty special person and wanted to give you a ride home.”
She wheeled him over to the sedan, said, “OK, Nancy, he’s all yours.”
Terry sat the bag of his belongings beside the wheel chair and then stood up.
“Nancy, my Nurse Nancy? Is it you?”
Terry picked up his sack of stuff and then walked over to face her.
“Nancy, the way you left last night, I was sure I’d hurt you by what I said. That’s why I pressed my call button. I wanted to apologize to you but the other nurse said you were busy. You weren’t busy were you? You just didn’t want to talk to me. What changed?”
Nancy looked down at the ground. Terry noticed she was wringing her hands.
“It did hurt, but not because of why you think. Once I got home, I realized you couldn’t know why I left you alone, so it wasn’t your fault. It was just me.
“I called the nurses desk and asked if you were going to be released. When Mary said you were and she was going to call a cab to take you home, I said I’d do it. I thought maybe we could talk some more on the way.”
Terry lifted Nancy’s chin so he could look her in the face.
“So, what’s the real reason you just walked out of my room without saying anything?”
“Officer Meadows, I don’t know if I can tell you all of it, not yet. I’ve been thinking all morning about what I was going to say, but I haven’t figured it all out.”
“Well, since you’re my driver instead of my nurse and I’m not your patient, stop calling me Officer Meadows. That just puts distance between us. I’m Terry, not Officer Meadows or Officer Terry or anything except Terry. I’d like to call you Nancy if you think that would be OK.”
Nancy nodded again, so Terry continued.
“Police officers hear and see thing things you can’t even imagine, so nothing you can tell me is going to be worse that some of what I’ve heard.”
Nancy said, “I can’t tell you out here in public. Let’s get in my car first.”
When Nancy pulled away from the curb, Terry asked if she knew where he lived.
“It’s kind of hard to find unless you know the area. You need to take a left on Appleton Road when we come to it and then –“
Nancy cut him off.
“I know where it is. I got the address off your chart one night. I drove past there on my way to the hospital.”
“You got my address off my chart? Why?”
Nancy couldn’t look at Terry. She just stared down the street.
“Well, I thought maybe…well, when I said you were a lot like Sam, I didn’t mean I was looking for a man who was another Sam. What I was thinking about is how I felt when Sam and I were together. I felt safe with him because he was a detective and I liked taking care of him. I felt the same way when I was with you and I thought maybe when you got out of the hospital I’d come see you to make sure you were doing all right. That’s why I wrote down your home address.”
Terry shook his head.
“I haven’t screwed up with a woman this bad since I was in high school. I didn’t think before I said what I said so what you heard me say is that I’d never like any woman who compared me to her former boyfriend. I’m sorry, Nancy. If you’d just told me what you just did, I wouldn’t have said what I did.”
“I couldn’t. A woman isn’t suppose to tell a man she likes him, not until he says he likes her. If I had, you’d have thought worse about me than you did.”
Terry reached over and touched Nancy’s shoulder.
“Nancy, I wouldn’t have thought anything except that you were being honest with me. I’d really like to talk this out. Tell you what. I’m ready for some real food, but I don’t think I want to go out in public for a while. They didn’t shave my face once they took off the bandages. That’s good because the beard helps hide my injuries, but right now I look like a street bum and you’d be embarrassed to be seen with me.
“How about you take me home and I’ll order us dinner and have it delivered? We can talk while we eat.”
“I probably still won’t be able to tell you all of it.”
“That’s OK. We’ll talk about something else. What do you like to eat when you’re having dinner with a cop?”
They decided on a large pizza with everything. Before he called the pizza place, Terry checked his refrigerator, and then asked Nancy what she wanted to drink.
“I have half a case of beer, but no soft drinks, and I’d imagine my milk is probably well on it’s way to becoming cottage cheese. The pizza place won’t deliver wine, so you’d have to go get that yourself. I’ll let you if you promise to come back.”
Nancy said a Pepsi would be fine, so Terry called the pizza place and asked them to deliver a large pizza with everything and a two-liter of Pepsi. Then he told Nancy to make herself at home while he changed clothes.
While Terry dressed, Nancy looked around Terry’s living room. She wasn’t surprised by the lack of anything other than the bare necessities because before she and Sam moved in together, his apartment had been the same. There was a couch and one chair, a coffee table, and a television on a cheap TV stand. The one window had a drape that was closed. She didn’t see anything on the wall except for three picture frames all together. She walked over to see what they were.
One was a citation from the Navy for meritorious service that read,
MERITORIOUS SERVICE WHILE SERVING AS WATCH COMMANDER AND HARBOR PATROL UNIT LEADING PETTY OFFICER AT NAVAL STATION MAYPORT SECURITY DETACHMENT FROM JUNE 2004 THROUGH AUGUST 2006. PETTY OFFICER MEADOWS WAS ENTRUSTED BY THE COMMANDER WITH THE PRECISE EXECUTION OF ALL POLICE, HARBOR SECURITY, ANTI-TERRORISM, AND FORCE PROTECTION OPERATIONS, ENSURING THE SAFETY OF 16,000 SAILORS, CIVILIANS, AND FAMILY MEMBERS AND THE SECURITY OF OVER THREE BILLION DOLLARS OF GOVERNMENT PROPERTY TO INCLUDE THE WEAPONS MAGAZINE, AIR FIELD, RADIOLOGIC TESTING FACILITY, MAINTENANCE AND TRAINING FACILITIES, AND OVER 30 HOME-PORTED AND VISITING SHIPS. HE SKILLFULLY SUPERVISED 17 POLICE OFFICERS IN OVER 115 INCIDENT COMPLAINT REPORTS AND COUNTLESS CALLS FOR SERVICE, TO INCLUDE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, TRAFFIC CRASH, AND DUI INVESTIGATIONS RESULTING IN A 100 PERCENT APPREHENSION RATE. PETTY OFFICER MEADOWS' DISTINCTIVE ACCOMPLISHMENTS, PERSEVERANCE, AND STEADFAST DEVOTION TO DUTY REFLECTED CREDIT UPON HIMSELF AND UPHELD THE HIGHEST TRADITIONS OF THE UNITED STATES NAVAL SERVICE.
In the second frame was a short letter. When Nancy read it, she realized it was from an ordinary citizen.
Jul 8, 2009 - 10:10 am
Thank you. I wanted to express my admiration of all police officers who responded to the scene of my car accident on Friday, 6/17, but in particular Officer Meadows. He was very attentive and helped guide me through a very stressful situation to ensure that I was safe and could prepare for the followup to the accident. Throughout the process he stood out among even the other officers for his calm demeanor and ability to help coordinate the accident investigation and cleanup. While I imagine this is standard practice for Officer Meadows, I'd be grateful if my thanks could be passed on to him and he be commended for his above-and-beyond help in my time of need.
Nancy saw the third picture frame held a long citation from the office of the Chief of Police.
On January 2, 2011, Officer Terry Meadows executed a traffic stop on a 2010 Cadillac Escalade because the vehicle had a broken taillight. Because he could not see the interior of the Escalade because of the very dark, tinted windows, Officer Meadows used the speaker system in his vehicle to tell the driver to roll down his window and put his hands out. The driver complied.
When he approached the vehicle, the driver appeared to be very nervous. After quickly looking at the passenger seats and then obtaining the man’s driver’s license and registration, Officer Meadows returned to his vehicle and radioed the station for any wants or warrants on the driver.
The warrant search revealed a warrant for the driver’s arrest for failure to appear at a preliminary hearing on a pending charge of spousal abuse as well as a prior felony conviction for drug distribution for which he was out on parole. He requested backup, then returned to the driver and instructed him to exit his vehicle. The driver did so, but then rushed at Officer Meadows.
Officer Meadows deployed the Taser on his belt which stopped the attack, and then began placing the driver in handcuffs.
After placing the driver in handcuffs and then informing him that he was under arrest for failure to appear and for resisting arrest, Officer Meadows placed the driver in the back of his car and then waited for his backup to arrive.
A backup car arrived shortly after that, and Officer Meadows and Officer Greg Conners conducted a legal search of the vehicle. They found two pistols, ammunition, approximately a hundred grams of methamphetamine, and two bags containing approximately a hundred pills each which later tested positive for fentanyl. Officer Meadows then informed the driver he was also under arrest for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and multiple counts of possession with intent to distribute as well as violation of his parole agreement.
Upon questioning by a detective at the station, the driver revealed the structure of the local drug distribution organization including names and locations. This information led to the arrest of fifteen members of the organization and confiscation of large quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine, and fentanyl tablets.
In a situation where his life was in danger, Officer Meadows acted in a professional manner and acted with only the force required to place the driver into custody. In doing so, Officer Meadows enabled the breakup of a major drug operation in the city. Such conduct should serve as a model for every officer on the police force.
Nancy heard Terry chuckle just as she finished reading.
“It reads like I’m some kind of hero, but all I was doing was doing my job. The other officer said I should have just shot the guy because he was about six-six and weighed over three hundred pounds, but I’ve had that experience and it’s not much fun. Way too much paperwork to fill out and too many bad dreams.”
“But he might have killed you.”
Terry shook his head as he walked over beside Nancy.
“Nah. I didn’t see a weapon and he was far enough away from me I had a little time to think. If he’d been much closer though, he wouldn’t have been so lucky. A guy that big running at you is considered a lethal threat once he gets to within about twenty feet or so.”
“So you’d have shot him then?”
“I don’t know because it didn’t happen that way. In situations like that, you have maybe a second or two to look at what’s happening and decide what to do. It will probably be different every time it happens. Thankfully, it doesn’t happen very often, at least it hasn’t to me.”
Nancy smiled then.
“Well, you should be proud of these commendations. They tell me you’re a really good police officer.”
Terry’s doorbell rang then. Terry said that was probably their pizza so he went to answer it. He came back with a pizza box and a two liter of Pepsi.
“Let’s eat here on my coffee table. I probably need to wipe down everything in the kitchen since I haven’t been here for a while. I’ll go get us some glasses of ice for the Pepsi.”
Terry poured them both a glass of soda and then opened the pizza box, inhaled, and then grinned.
“Damn…real food. Oh…sorry about that word, but hospital food doesn’t have much taste.”
Nancy wasn’t thinking when she said, “I know. I hated it too.”
Terry looked up then.
“Don’t tell me you nurses eat what the patients get.”
Nancy realized she’d opened the door and now didn’t have much of a choice but to step through and see what happened.
“No, we don’t. I had to once a little over a year ago. I had a car accident.”
Terry grinned around a mouthful of pizza.
“Well, it doesn’t show so they must have fixed you up really good.”
Nancy put down her pizza then.
“Terry, I appreciate what you’re trying to do, but I’m not really very hungry. I think I’ll go home now.”
Terry dropped his pizza back in the box.
“Nancy, I hit a nerve with what I just said and I’m sorry. This is about what you said you probably couldn’t tell me, isn’t it?
Terry took her hand in his then.
“Look, Nancy, I’ve talked to a lot of women who were abused by their boyfriends or husbands. They never wanted to tell me either, but once they did, it was like something changed inside them. They went from being terrified to feeling like they were safe.
“A car accident can do the same thing to a person. That woman I helped, the woman who wrote the letter thanking me, when I got there she was afraid I was going to tell her it was her fault and I was going to take her to jail. She wouldn’t tell me how it happened until I finally told her I’d do my best to help her because it didn’t look to me like she’d done anything wrong.
“I don’t know what happened with your accident, but if you weren’t arrested, it wasn’t your fault so I don’t know why you can’t talk about it. I’ve already told you that you can’t shock me. Maybe if you tell me I can help. After all you’ve done for me, you deserve as much help as I can give you.”
Nancy sniffed, then reached for her purse, fished inside it and then said, “Dammit, I don’t have any tissues.”
Terry said, “Give me a second”, and then walked through an open door on the side of the room. He came back with a box of tissues, handed them to Nancy, and then sat back down beside her. He waited until Nancy blew her nose and then squeezed her hand.
“Nancy, what happened to you? I thought we were getting along great until I asked you what happened.”
Nancy sniffed again.
“It’s just me…well, no, it’s you too, or how I know you’ll react if I tell you.”
Nancy sniffed again and then used another tissue to dab at her eyes.
“If I tell you, you’ll never want to see me again.”
“You’re making a lot of assumptions about me that you really shouldn’t make. Do you think I’d just kick you out of my life after all you’ve done for me? You have no idea how many times I wondered what you looked like when I couldn’t see you. You have no idea how many times I decided if I didn’t look too bad, I might ask you out sometime. You have no idea how many times I rehearsed what I was going to say to you when I did ask you out.
“Well, now that I know what you look like and how you treated me, I’m more interested in you than ever. I’m not going to stop seeing you unless you want me to stop seeing you. Nothing you can tell me is going to change how I feel about you.”
As Nancy dabbed at the tears that wouldn’t stop, she decided the only way to know if what she’d hoped would come true was to be honest with Terry. It would probably mean losing him, but then, she really didn’t have him in the first place.
She looked at Terry then.
“Offic…Terry, I got my nose and both my legs broken in the car accident but that wasn’t the worst. The shoulder belt crushed my chest and I had to have surgery. I look terrible there now.”
Terry dropped Nancy’s hand, scooted closer, and put his arm around her shoulders.
“Nancy, you won’t believe this, but men don’t stay with a woman because of how she looks dressed or naked. They may start dating her because of how she looks, but men stay with a woman because of who the woman is inside, because of how she acts toward them and other people. I already know how you act toward me. Nothing is going to change that.”
Nancy blew her nose again and then pulled another tissue from the box and wiped her eyes.
“That’s what Sam said until he saw me the first time. We’d been sleeping together every night until the accident. When he saw what I looked like, he said he wouldn’t be home for a while because he was working on a case. When he did come home, he said he was too tired for anything and needed to sleep in the spare bedroom.
Terry’s voice changed from sympathetic to harsh.
“Well, first of all, I’m not Sam, and second of all, any man who would turn away from the woman he thought he loved just because she looks different is no man at all, not in my opinion.”
Nancy shrugged off Terry’s arm and then turned to face him.
“You won’t think that after you see me and the only way to prove it is to show you that part of me.”
Nancy unbuttoned her shirt and then slowly opened it while she watched Terry’s face. When his expression didn’t change, she slipped the shirt off her shoulders .
Terry had been watching, but he wasn’t looking at Nancy’s scars at first. He was looking at the pair of full breasts nestled in the cups of her pink bra. They didn’t look any different to him. Both looked the same size and the cleavage between them were pretty sexy.
Terry looked up at Nancy and smiled.
“This was supposed to make me not like you? I don’t know how you figure that. You look great.”
He chuckled then and tried to put Nancy at ease.
“At least you’re not all covered in tattoos. That’s one thing that does turn me off – a bunch of tattoos. There was this one prostitute I arrested once and she tried to get me to let her go by taking of her clothes and…well, I suppose some guys like that sort of thing, but I don’t.”
Nancy put her fingers under her bra band and then looked at Terry.
“I look this way because of the bra. Without the bra I look really ugly. I’ll show you and you’ll see.”
Terry stopped Nancy from pulling up her bra band.
“Nancy, don’t. You’re only trying to make me say I don’t want you because that’s what you’ve convinced yourself I’m thinking. You think you’re ugly and no man would want you so your trying to prove to yourself that that’s the case.
“It might have been the case with Sam, but it isn’t with me. I care about you, and probably the best thing I can do is convince you that what I care about is the person you are.”
Nancy took her fingers off her bra band then, but she was still frowning.
“You’d make love with me even though I look like I do?”
“Sure, if we knew each other better and if I thought that was something you wanted.”
Nancy was still frowning and her voice seemed to be pleading with Terry.
“If I said I do want that and I don’t care if we don’t know each other very well, would you show me that you want to?”
“If I thought that’s what you really wanted, yes. I’m not sure if that’s the case or not though. You might still be trying to reinforce your opinion because you think I won’t like it if we do.”
Nancy slipped her bra straps off her arms and then reached behind her back and unhooked her bra. When it fell into her lap, she looked up and smiled a little.
“Does this convince you that I want to?”
Terry saw the way her breast was, but he didn’t say anything. He just pulled Nancy toward him enough he could kiss her gently on the lips. He didn’t close his eyes when he did, and almost smiled when Nancy’s eyes opened wide. They were still wide open when he pulled gently away and chuckled.
“Didn’t you know you’re supposed to close your eyes when a man kisses you?”
Nancy looked down.
“I wasn’t ready for you to kiss me because I didn’t think you’d want to.”
Terry chuckled again.
“Well, it’s only fair to warn you that I’m going to kiss you again so get ready.”
Terry kissed her again, and was surprised at just how ready Nancy was. It started as just a kiss, and ended up with her hand on the back of his head and her tongue trying to work its way into his mouth. When he let it, Nancy found his tongue and then moaned. Terry didn’t moan but he felt it all the way down to his cock.
When he pulled away this time, he stroked Nancy’s cheek.
“Did that tell you anything about what I think about you?”
“Maybe. Could you show me more?”
“I plan on showing you as much as you want to be shown. It would be easier on my bed though.”
Nancy was hesitant about taking off her jeans, so to make her feel more at ease, Terry turned of the bedroom light, took of his clothes, and then kissed Nancy again. Nancy melted into his embrace and Terry felt her nipples pressing into his chest. She didn’t resist when he unfastened the button and zipper of her jeans. When he started working them down over her hips, she whispered, “I’ll have to do this. They fit pretty tight.”
Terry heard Nancy sit down on the bed and then the rustle of fabric for a while. When Nancy whispered, “OK, they’re off”, he sat down on the bed beside her.
“Nancy, I do need to know one thing. Are there any places that are still too sensitive to be touched? The last thing I want to do is hurt you.”
Nancy stroked Terry’s arm.
“I don’t think so, but nobody has touched me since my accident besides me. We’ll just have to find out.”
Terry stretched out beside her and stroked over her stomach.
“Does this hurt?”
“No, it tickles.”
Terry moved his hand up to her left breast. He felt the slightly puckered skin where the surgery had been done, stroked it gently, and then moved up to Nancy’s nipple.
“How about this?”
Nancy moaned, “No …I didn’t know if it would feel the same way or not, but it does. Do it some more.”
Terry took his time because he truly didn’t want to hurt Nancy. What he found out is that she seemed to be aroused by almost anything he did. If he kissed her, she opened her mouth and moaned when their tongues touched. If he brushed one of her nipples, Nancy would moan or catch her breath. After a little of that, Terry felt her hand searching down his belly. When Nancy found his rigid cock, she whispered, “I guess I was wrong about how you would see me.”
Terry lightly pinched Nancy’s nipple and when she jerked, he whispered back.
“I told you that you were. Nancy, I’m not making love to just your body. I’m making love with the woman you are.”
Nancy didn’t say anything more because she couldn’t. For a while, she had all these thoughts running through her head.
Is Terry doing this just to make me feel better about myself?
Will he still think the same way after it’s over?
What if he doesn’t think the same way? What will I do then?”
Those questions kept running through her head until Terry closed his lips around her right nipple and sucked gently at the same time his hand slipped down over the hair on her mound and then between her lips. The sensations of both collided in her mind and force everything else out. It was a feeling she’d not had since before her accident and she didn’t remember it being this intense.
It got even more intense when Terry entered her with his middle finger, stroked in and out a few times, and then slipped that finger up over her inner lips and then to her clit. Nancy shivered when his finger slipped over the folds of her inner lips, and then gasped when Terry stroked beside her clit. She couldn’t concentrate on anything except the feelings that raced from her clit to her core, tightened it into a knot, and left her holding her breath until the sensations died down a little.
No sooner had that happened than she felt Terry’s finger slipping inside her again, then a feeling of being stretched as a second finger entered her. Nancy couldn’t stop her hips from rocking into Terry’s hand and when he curled his fingers up and stroked inside her a few times, she couldn’t stop the loud moan that slipped from her throat.
Terry was doing what he’s always done when he made love to a woman, but Nancy was different. Everything he did seemed to make her gasp or moan or rock her hips or spread her thighs wider. He was also aware that the hand that encircled his stiff cock was beginning to stroke faster, fast enough he was having to try to ignore it. After a while, ignoring what Nancy was doing was impossible.
Terry kissed Nancy, and then whispered, “Nancy, slow down a little.”
He curled his fingers up inside her passage then, stroked the little rough pad there a few times, and then heard Nancy whisper, “I can’t slow down. I need you. I need you right now.”
When Terry knelt between Nancy’s spread thighs, she found his cock and guided it to her entrance. When Terry pushed in gently, Nancy moved her body up and down a little, and then pushed up until his cock head slipped inside her a little. When Terry pushed in some more, Nancy caught her breath and then moaned out that breath as she felt Terry’s cock entering her.
A fleeting thought sped across her mind before disappearing into an oblivion of sensations. It had never felt this way with Sam. That thought was there for only half a second. Then she felt Terry pulling his cock out of her and that sensation made her shudder.
Terry was experiencing sex like he’d never dreamed it could be. Always before, he’d aroused the woman until she was ready for him and then he’d stroked away until he could tell she was about ready to cum. Sometimes it was hard to tell when she was ready because she’d just lie there while he stroked away and then suddenly shriek and shake a little.
Nancy was doing everything but just lie there under him. Terry felt her hands on his back, first just moving up and down in time with his strokes, but then reaching down to grab his hips as Nancy lifted her body up into each stroke.
He usually kissed a woman too, but after a while, he couldn’t kiss Nancy because she started to quietly babble.
“Oh God don’t stop”
By the time Terry heard Nancy tell him not to stop, he was way past being able to stop anyway. He’d been holding back the sensations of Nancy’s jerking body and the contractions around his cock. When he heard her say, “Don’t stop”, he lost control of everything.
Terry rammed his cock inside Nancy as deep as it would go and then felt the surge of cum racing up his shaft. Just as that happened, Nancy gasped, held her breath, and then started to raise her body up off the bed. She stayed there until Terry pulled back out but she only made it half way down.
At the same time Terry pushed his cock inside Nancy for the next spurt, she cried out and raised her body even higher. Terry groaned as the second spurt flew out of his cock and inside Nancy. He didn’t get the chance to pull out for the third. Nancy was gyrating under him so fast all he could do was keep his cock inside her and groan again as the third and fourth spurts raced up his shaft and inside Nancy’s grasping passage.
Nancy did ease back down on the mattress then and that pulled Terry’s cock mostly out. When he pushed it back inside her just because it felt good to do that, Nancy cried out again, lifted herself into his stroke and shuddered.
That happened three more times before Nancy eased back down on the bed and stayed there. Terry was still feeling little contractions around his cock though. After a while, Nancy sighed.
“God…it has been so long since I felt this way except I don’t remember it ever feeling like this before.”
“Is that a good thing or a bad thing? For me it was pretty fantastic.”
Nancy pulled Terry down until he was lying on top of her, and then she sighed.
“Umm…definitely a good thing.”
Terry kissed her and then smiled.
“So, how about if we order breakfast for two delivered tomorrow morning?”
“You want me to stay with you tonight?”
“Well, I sure as hell don’t want you to leave, not after this.”
It was a week later that Dr. Bailey checked Terry’s right eye and then said he’d certify him for duty. Dr. Madison agreed, and gave Terry the name and number of a plastic surgeon he said could make Terry’s scars to away. That night after Nancy had shuddered out another orgasm that also left Terry breathless, he told her he was going back to work.
“I called the station and they said they’d put me on days again. That way, we’ll both be home at night and we can be together. You know, it would be a lot easier if you just moved in with me. What would I have to do to convince you to do that?”
Nancy stroked his back.
“All you’d have to do is ask.”
“OK, I’m asking. Will you move in with me?”
“Even with my ugly boob how it is?”
“Well, it’s not ugly to me and besides, I’ve become really attached to that boob.”
“I thought you said they didn’t matter.”
Terry cupped Nancy’s breast and smiled when she shivered.
“They don’t matter except to remind me that the woman I met before I could see her turned out to be more woman than I ever imagined.”
Terry felt Nancy sliding her hand down his belly. When she reached his cock, she said, “How about if you imagine this getting all nice and hard again and then imagine making love to me again.”
Terry slipped his hand between Nancy’s thighs and curled up his fingers until he felt her entrance.
“Whatever you need, Nancy. I’ll be here. All you have to do is ask.”