When you’re a teenager it’s easy to be led astray. What’s hard is getting out of a bad situation.
Mature or distressing themes and strong language. This story deals with issues that are, unfortunately, true to life for some teens.
In keeping with our policy of not running from real life issues, we are hosting Bad Boy Gone Good with this advisory.
Jay was smiling as he and Dave walked from the courthouse to the car.
Dave turned his head and glanced at Jay. “You look happy.”
“This is one of my happiest days ever. Thing is, it’s like my whole life changed when I came to apologize to Greg about sending us to the hospital. It hasn’t even been two weeks and I’ve had so many happy days since then it’s hard for me to believe.”
“You’re a different kid now.”
“I am. I like myself a lot more now, too. There’s one thing that I don’t feel good about, though. It’s that Doris is still in the hospital and I haven’t gone back to see her since last week. Hearing that she was still in a coma is so sad. Dad, do you think we could go see her now?”
“That’s a good idea, Jay. Let’s do it.”
They arrived at Bayside Memorial Hospital a few minutes after three, then registered and took the elevator to the second floor.
“Remember, she’s not going to look good,” Dave warned Jay.
“I know Dad. But that nurse said talking can be helpful. So I’m going to tell her all the good things that’ve happened to me since I saw her last time we were here.”
Jay sat next to Doris’s bed. Her hand was above the covers, so he slipped his hand underneath hers. Then he started talking about all of the positive things that had happened in his life. Dave stood in back of him, with his hands on Jay’s shoulders. It made Jay feel good that his dad was there providing support.
“Well, that’s about all I have to tell you, Doris. I’ll come back in a few days and see how you are and talk to you again,” he told her. He started to pull his hand away and gasped when she grasped it in her hand.
“Dad!” he whispered, “she just grabbed my hand!”
Dave leaned close just as Doris opened her eyes.
“Jaydon,” she gasped, “it was Pete.”
“She’s talking!” a nurse said. Dave hadn’t noticed that she had walked up to the foot of the bed.
“Doris,” Jay said, “did you say that Pete Medrano is the one who hit you?”
Her voice was still raspy, but a bit stronger. “Yes. Stay ‘way from him.”
Dave turned to the nurse. “Did you hear what she said?”
“Yes, I did.”
“She just told us who attacked her.”
“Yes, I understand that’s what she said.”
“May I have your name?”
“Loren Stiller. Here’s my card.”
“Are you willing to tell the police what you heard?”
“Yes, I am. Now, if you and your son will move back I need to check the patient.”
Dave leaned down and tapped Jay on his arm. “Let’s give the nurse some room.”
Jay patted the top of Doris’s hand. “You need to let go of my hand. The nurse needs to check you. But I’ll be right over there and I won’t leave until we talk again.”
Doris understood and released Jay’s hand. He and Dave stepped to the nurse’s station, and Dave took out his cell phone and walked to the exit door to make a call. A doctor rushed to the bed and he and the nurse conversed. He looked down at Doris.
“Mrs. Oron-Medrano, can you hear me?”
Doris looked at the doctor. “Yes,” she said, but her voice was very hoarse. “Mouth is so dry.”
The nurse dipped a foam swab in a cup of water then handed it to the doctor. He wiped the inside of Doris’s mouth with the swab.
“More,” she said. Another swab was passed to the doctor and he let Doris suck on it for a few seconds.
He smiled. “We’re glad that you’re responding.”
In a less gravelly voice she asked, “How long?”
“If you’re asking how long you’ve been here, it’s been seven days. You’ve been in a coma.”
“I remember voices. One was Jaydon. He was here. Where is he?”
“He stepped over to the nurse’s station to give us room to check you. I’ll ask him to come back in a minute. We want to take your blood pressure and check your vital signs. Is that alright?”
When the doctor finished he motioned for Jay to come to Doris’s bed. He did and sat down. As before, Dave stood in back of him, his hands on his son’s shoulders. Jay took Doris’s hand in hers.
“How do you feel, Doris?”
“Okay. Gotta bad headache. Who’s he?”
Jay assumed she meant Dave. “This is Dave. He’s my dad now. He and his wife were appointed my guardians by the court today. They’re great people. I told you about them, and about their son Greg. We both go to Aston High.”
“Good. Stay ’way from Pete.”
“I will. We don’t know where he is. He’s disappeared.”
Her voice was starting to fade and her eyes fluttered shut. She let go of Jay’s hand and motioned for him to lean down. When he did, she whispered something to him. He nodded, then she closed her eyes.
The doctor, who’d been standing nearby, stepped up.
“I think it’s best if Mrs. Oron-Medrano sleeps now. Coming out of a coma is very wearing on the patient. Why don’t you go home and you can come back tomorrow.”
“Jay,” Dave said, “I think we should do what the doctor suggests.”
“Okay. I’m really exhausted anyway.”
While they were driving home Dave asked Jay what Doris had whispered to him.
“Uh… just to be careful.”
“That sounds like a good idea. We don’t know where Pete is. You especially need to be careful at school. He could walk on campus and look for you. No one would know, no one would stop him.”
“Dad, we have guards on campus. You have to go through security to get inside any of the buildings. Teachers and administrators and all of the other staff will always report someone they see on campus who’s a stranger.”
“It’s still important to be on the lookout for yourself.”
“I definitely will. Say, who did you call while we were waiting for the doctor to examine Doris?”
“The San Bruno Police. I talked to Officer Jake Walters. He said someone would be dispatched to the hospital to interview the nurse, Loren Stiller, and Doris if she’s conscious.”
“Good. Did you ask him if they’ve located Pete?”
“Yes, I asked him but his answer was no, they haven’t located him yet. They think that he sold his SUV to someone in Palm Springs and the Palm Springs police will send someone to check if it was friends of his that changed the registration. They are also checking to see if he registered a different car in Palm Springs or one of the towns near there.”
“I thought when you registered a car it went to Sacramento and then any DMV office could see it.”
“Officer Walters told me it takes a few days to get posted on the DMV servers.”
“So when was his car registered by the other people?”
“Jeez, this is already Tuesday. You’d think it would have gotten updated by now.”
“I agree, but Officer Walters said as of this afternoon there was no car registration under Pete’s name.”
Pete sat in the driver’s side of his Prius, parked just up from the front of the Aston High campus. It gave him a good view of the front of the school through his windshield. This was where the kids all seemed to be coming out, though he wasn’t sure whether there were exits on other sides of the campus. But this was where parents and SamTrans buses picked up kids, so he figured he’d just sit where he was and watch for Jado.
He heard someone knocking on the passenger side window. He turned and saw a cop motioning for him to lower the window. When it was open he asked, “Is there a problem, officer?”
“Hi. I’m Traffic Officer Jim Campo. This is a five-minute waiting zone,” he said, pointing to a sign on a pole that was half-hidden by a tree. “We keep asking the city to cut back that tree so people can see the sign.”
“Oh. Ya know, the curb’s not painted, neither.”
Officer Campo shook his head. “Same problem as cutting back the tree.” He looked around. “Anyway, you’re not really blocking anyone because there’s room for at least three more cars behind yours so you can stay here. You’re here to pick up your kid?”
“Yeah, that I am. Thing is, he might have gotten a ride from a friend. Ya know how kids are, he prob’ly forgot about calling me. I’ll hang here just ‘til most kids are gone and then I’m gonna take off. If he’s late and misses me then Jado can just take the bus home for all I care.”
The officer scowled and made a “humpf” sound, then walked away. “What the fuck’s his problem?” Pete mumbled to himself. He waited another five minutes, growled another expletive, and drove off.
Officer Campo had recognized the kid’s name, Jado, from the Monday morning traffic officers’ staff meeting, but didn’t remember the context. He saw Pete drive off after a few minutes. He’d already written down the plate number. He’d check it when he was off duty. That would be when the traffic around Aston High had let up and most of the kids had been picked up or left on a bus, by bike, or on foot.
Greg was home when Dave and Jay got there. He and Beth were sitting at the kitchen table.
“So was the guardianship approved?” she asked.
“Yes,” Dave replied. “But that wasn’t the most important thing that happened this afternoon. Tell them, Jay.”
“We went to see Doris. I told her all the good things that have happened to me and then she opened her eyes! She came out of her coma. She talked to me and I talked to her and she understood me!” He started to tear up. “She told us Pete did it, he attacked her and injured her, and a nurse was standing right there and heard what she said and gave Dad her card. Dad called the police and told them and they were going to send a cop to interview the nurse, and if she’s awake, Doris too. That’s gonna put Pete in jail where he belongs.” He took a deep breath. “I want to go back and see her tomorrow.”
“Beth, could you pick up Jay after school and take him to the hospital?” Dave asked. “I have a meeting in Brisbane at four o’clock with the landlord about the buildout for our offices.”
“Sure, I’ll take Jay to see Doris. Greg, do you want to go to the hospital with us or can you find some other way to get home?”
“Jay, how long will you be at the hospital?”
“I don’t know, probably about half an hour or less.”
“How about I sit in the car and do some of my homework?” Greg suggested.
“As long as it’s okay with you,” Beth said.
Officer Jim Campo went off duty at five p.m. and remembered to check on that kid’s name, Jado, and the license number on that guy’s Prius. He phoned Sergeant Kevin Ambers, the head of the traffic detail.
“Hey, Sarge, during the Monday morning staff meeting I remember there was an item about a kid, first name Jado. A guy was parked overtime in a waiting zone in front of Aston High and when I went to tell him to move on he told me he was waiting for his kid, gave that same name, Jado. Now, that’s a real unusual first name for a kid so I wrote down his plate number before he pulled out. Is there someone I should be reporting this to?”
“Yeah… lemme see… it’s Officer Chris Baxter. I think he’s looking for the kid because he’s in some sort of danger from some guy. The kid’s name is Jaydon Oron. The guy’s name is Peter Medrano. There's an APB out for him.”
“You know, that might have been the guy in the Prius. Is Officer Baxter in the office now?”
“Lemme check.” There was a delay, then the Sergeant came back on the line. “No, he’s left for the day. I’ve left him a voicemail to call you ASAP because you have some information about the kid and you have the plate number from the guy’s Prius.”
Greg left his bedroom to go to the bathroom. When he passed the guest bedroom he noticed the light was on and Jay was digging into one of his boxes.
“Looking for something?” Greg asked from the doorway.
Jay looked up and grinned. “Not really. I finished my homework and decided to see if there’s anything interesting or useful that I haven’t unpacked yet. My guess is that the folks are going to want to use this guest bedroom as a guest bedroom one of these days. So, I need to figure out what’s in my leftover boxes and get them out of here so I know which have stuff to keep and which to store in the garage.”
“Sounds like a plan. Glad it’s you that’s gotta do the work.”
“So my brother isn’t going to offer to help?”
“Your brother hasn’t finished his homework yet, so the answer, unfortunately, must be a no.”
“That’s okay. Most of this stuff has to be reorganized into boxes to keep and boxes to store in the garage. I suppose what’s left is going to end up in a donation category or in a dump-it-in-the-trash category. And I’m the only one who I’d trust to pick the category where each item is supposed to go.”
“If I didn’t have homework to finish, would you have trusted me to help you pick the categories?” Greg asked, with a grin.
“Uhhh… no. Nothing personal, of course. But it’s my stuff and I want to decide what’s to stay and what’s to go.”
“Well, it’s time for me to return to the dungeon of excessive homework. Good luck with your sorting.” Greg saluted Jay and returned to his bedroom.
Officer Chris Baxter arrived in the office and started through his messages. Two caught his attention.
The first was a message from Traffic Officer Jim Campo, forwarded by Sergeant Kevin Ambers. Officer Baxter read the message about three times. Then he logged onto the DMV system and entered the plate number supposedly for a Prius. It showed a Prius that was originally registered to a Terry Parker in Tracy, and had been transferred to a Peter Medrano on October 16, 2015 in a private sale transaction.
The second was a message from Officer Laska Wayne of the Palm Springs Police Department. She reported that a field officer interviewed Darryl and Judith Holmes. He had purchased the Cadillac Escalade from a Peter Medrano on October 16, 2015 in an all-cash sale as a gift for his wife. The purchase was made in Tracy, and he went to the DMV in Palm Springs to register the car.
So Peter Medrano was back in San Bruno, and he was planning to do something with Jaydon Oron and maybe Doris Oron-Medrano as well. Officer Baxter needed to do three things.
First, warn Aston High, where Jaydon Oron was a student, about Peter Medrano and have them increase security.
Second, red flag visitors for Doris Oron-Medrano in the ICU at Bayside Memorial Hospital to prevent Peter Medrano from being able to see her.
Third, and the most complicated, Jadon Oron needed to be warned about Peter Medrano.
They couldn’t talk to Jadon Oron without the permission and presence of a parent or guardian, and they didn’t have the address where Jaydon Oron currently resided. They could request it from Aston High School, but not without a court order. So he started the process to obtain a court order by sending the request to Sergeant Will Greisinger, the department’s court liaison.
Next he met with Officer Patricia Daniels and assigned her to go to Aston High School and talk with their head of security. He told her it couldn’t be discussed with the boy; he explained that they needed a parent or guardian to be present and finding out who that might be was in process.
Finally he phoned the head of security at Bayside Memorial Hospital. They’d been friends from the time George Sullivan had been a San Bruno police officer.
“Hello. You’ve reached George Sullivan.”
“George, this is Chris Baxter.”
“Hi, Chris. What can I do for you today?”
“You have a patient in the ICU, Doris Oron-Medrano. There’s an APB out for the arrest of her husband, Peter Medrano, for spousal abuse and attempted murder. I want to make sure he cannot access the ICU. If he shows up at your visitor registration desk I’d like to have her visitor access record red flagged and show that she’s having a CT-Scan. That way he’ll have to wait, you’ll be notified that he’s there, and you’ll call and let me know so we can pick him up.”
“Sure. Just like we did for the Reynosa and Mellincamp cases. Do you think he’s armed?”
“We don’t have any reason to think he has a weapon. He’s an ex-con, but his record shows he prefers to use his size to intimidate and his fists to attack his victims. That’s so far, George. As usual I recommend that he be approached with caution.”
“We always handle such situations with caution. If he asks how long the test takes the guard will say he doesn’t know, which is the truth. If he asks where the CT-scans are given the guard will say that department isn’t accessible for visitors, which is also the truth. If he asks why he can’t have his visitor’s name badge immediately we say we can’t issue a badge for a patient who is not in their room, which is sort of the truth. The guard will tell him to sit in the waiting area and check back in fifteen minutes. If he tries to force his way past security we’ll take him down and hold him for your officer. I’ll put two armed guards on the security checkpoint.”
“Perfect. I hope he shows up and we can arrest him and you can go back to admitting visitors without this extra screening.”
“We’re always glad to cooperate with the San Bruno Police, Chris. I’ll get this set up. So long for now.”
“Okay. Talk to you later, George.”
Officer Patricia Daniels was directed to the admissions office at Aston High School by a girl in the main office who said Mr. Connolly was in charge of campus security. At the admissions office her police uniform let her step to the front of the line, and do so without much complaint from the kids already in line. The woman at the counter was a different story.
Officer Daniels showed Ms. Fintch her badge. “I’m here to speak to Mr. Connolly on a police matter,” she said.
“You’ve got to get in line like anyone else,” Ms. Fintch told her.
“This is police business, and it has priority.”
“I don’t care if you’re the Governor of California, I’m here to handle people in the admissions line as they arrive. You’ve got to move to the end of the line and wait your turn.”
Now Officer Daniels was mad. She glared at Ms. Fintch and loudly demanded, “I want to talk to Mr. Connolly, who I understand is your supervisor. And I want to talk to him now. Or, I’ll arrest you for interfering with a police investigation and refusing to obey the lawful directions of a police officer. I will then put you in handcuffs and march you out to my police cruiser where you will sit locked in the back seat while I finish my business here. Then I’ll take you to the San Mateo County Women’s Jail where you’ll be put in confinement and held for arraignment in the San Mateo County Courthouse. Do you understand… now?”
The kids in the line whooped and hollered and applauded and laughed. This was definitely the best entertainment any of them had ever seen in the attendance office. The most amused and delighted were the kids who were regulars there, those who were the particular targets of Ms. Fintch. She glared at them, which for once had no effect whatsoever. She turned back to Officer Daniels.
“Whoa! Whoa! Can’t you take a joke? Seems no one around here can take a joke anymore.”
“A police officer, Ms. Fintch, never jokes. A police matter, Ms. Fintch, is never a joking matter. Do I see Mr. Connolly, now, or do I put you under arrest?”
Ms. Fintch picked up her phone and dialed a number.
“Mr. Connolly? There’s a police person here to see you. She says you have to see her now. Immediately now.”
She turned back to Officer Daniels. “He said he’ll be right out. If you can step aside I’ll take care of the next in line.”
“I’ll just wait right here at the head of the line until Mr. Connolly comes out to see me,” Office Daniels brusquely stated, with a glare that made Ms. Fintch wish she’d called in sick.
Mr. Ralph Connolly arrived and introduced himself to Officer Daniels. “I’m the Assistant Vice Principal in charge of Admissions and Security. Please, let’s go to my office where we can have privacy and you can tell me what this is about.”
When they got to his office she explained the problem with Jaydon Oron and Peter Medrano. She said that Peter Medrano had been seen watching the front of the campus on Tuesday afternoon, and that he had told the traffic officer he was waiting for Jado, which the police assumed could be the nickname for Jaydon Oron, a student at Aston High. An all-points bulletin had been issued to arrest Peter Medrano for child abuse, spousal abuse, and attempted murder.
“He may try to get on campus. You need to prevent him from gaining access to the campus and any of the buildings on the campus. He is considered very dangerous. What security measure do you have to control access to the school?”
“We already have secured access from the outside to our buildings and the school grounds,” Mr. Connolly stated. “We have metal screeners at each entrance. We have two guards on campus during school hours. I don’t know what more we can do.” He thought for a moment. “Wouldn’t it be better to put Jaydon Oron in protective custody until this situation is over?” he asked.
“We don’t have a way to provide protective custody for him. He’s a juvenile.” She stretched the truth a bit because she didn’t want to say the San Bruno Police Department didn’t know Jadon Oron’s current address.
“What about having him stay home?”
“There would be no security for him at home during the day. There is at Aston High School. What I’m asking for is heightened vigilance. I suggest you bring in an additional guard until we have Peter Medrano under arrest.”
“But adding a guard is a budget matter. I don’t have authority to do that.”
“Who on campus does have that authority?”
“The principal, Mrs. Artis Lafon.”
“Then I suggest you call her right now and let’s talk to her about providing an additional guard. Or maybe two guards if that’s what’s required to increase security.”
They met with Mrs. Lafon and she authorized two additional guards, effective immediately. The quick response was largely because the school district used a rent-a-cop service. Officer Daniels noted in her report that the additional guards would be on campus by the start of the noon lunch period.
Beth picked up Greg and Jay where they were waiting at the front of Aston High. After the normal questions about the boys’ classes they arrived at Bayside Memorial Hospital. Beth rolled down the driver and passenger windows so Greg would have enough air.
“You’re sure you’re going to be okay?” she asked Greg.
He grinned. “Sure. No worries. I have a lot of reading to do for history, English, and chemistry. I’ll do my pre-calc problems when I get home.”
“Okay. Oh, by the way, on the floor in the back seat there’s a small ice chest with some bottled water.”
“Thanks, Mom. Good luck, Jay. I hope Doris is better.”
“Thanks. So do I.”
They got out of the SUV and walked to the hospital entrance.
Pete had also decided to pay a visit to Doris in the hospital. He didn’t know if she would still be in the ICU, but he’d find out. If she’d come out of her coma then he’d see if she remembered what happened to her and that he was the cause. In that case, then he’d figure out something that he could do to make sure she wouldn’t say anything against him. Like shut off her oxygen or put a pillow over her face.
He found a parking space that was near a side exit from the hospital and was next to an exit from the lot to San Mateo Avenue. As he started to open the driver’s side door he saw Jado get out of an SUV and walk toward the hospital entrance with a woman he didn’t recognize. He smirked. This meant that he could kill two birds with one stone. He waited in his car and watched the hospital entrance. He wanted to give Jado and the woman lots of time to get to the ICU without seeing him, then he’d check in and go up. He’d figure out what to do once he got to the ICU.
Almost five minutes after he’d seen Jado and the woman enter the hospital he got out of his car and looked through the glass front entrance. They didn’t appear to be there. He walked into the hospital entrance and to the security desk. He handed the guard his driver’s license.
“Patient name and relationship,” the guard asked.
“I’m here to see my wife, Doris Oron-Medrano.”
The guard entered his driver’s license number and name, then looked up the name of the patient. A blinking red ‘HRS’ next to Pete’s name meant ‘Hold’ and ‘Report to Security’ and the patient’s name had ‘CT-scan’ next to it, also blinking red. Of course, Pete couldn’t see any of this. The guard clicked on a button on the screen that was labeled ‘Report’.
The guard handed Pete his driver’s license. “I’m sorry, Doris Oron-Medrano has been moved from the ICU to have a CT-scan. You’ll have to wait until she’s back in the ICU to see her.”
“What!” Pete shouted. “But I just saw….” He realized that he shouldn’t make any comment about Jado and that woman, so he took a deep breath. “How long’s that going to take?”
“I don’t know. They don’t tell us those things. The times probably vary according to how busy they are and how complicated the process is.”
Pete ground his teeth in frustration. “So what am I supposed to do?”
“You can wait over there.” The guard pointed to an area with several arm chairs and a sofa. Pete turned his head to see where the guard had pointed and he saw the seating. There was even a table with magazines, just like one of those fancy homes they show on TV. “You can check back with me from time to time and I’ll tell you if there’s been any change.”
Pete walked over to the waiting area. Something about this seemed strange. “I’ll just wait ten minutes and see what’s going on,” he thought as he sat down.
He kept looking at the clock over the registration desk. The second hand seemed to stop ever few seconds then restart. “Fuckin’ bastards,” he thought, “Fuck ’em all. Everyone in this hospital and Jado and… and everyone!” He realized that he’d left Doris’s name off his short mental list. “What the fuck does that mean?” he mumbled to himself.
Finally ten minutes had passed, and Pete walked up to the guard. “Is Doris Oron-Medrano back in the ICU?” he asked.
The guard checked his computer. “Sorry, not yet.”
“Fuuuuck!” he mumbled. Now he had a strong feeling that something wasn’t right. His ‘flight’ mechanism had turned on, big time. “Look, I gotta go. I’ll come back later when she’s done with her scan thing.”
The guard just shrugged. He figured that the red flags meant this guy was trouble. He was more than glad to have him out of the hospital. In the parking lot he could cause fewer problems when the cops arrived.
As Pete walked to his Prius he noticed the SUV that Jado and the woman had come from. He headed in that direction. There was another kid sitting in the passenger seat. He walked up to the door and tried to yank it open. It was locked. The kid looked up and said, “Oh, shit!” The passenger window was down so Pete reached inside and felt for and found the lever. He unlocked the door, then pulled it open. Greg was trying to scramble to the driver’s side and get out. Pete reached in and grabbed the collar of his shirt and pulled him across the seat and out of the SUV.
What he didn’t notice was Greg had reached into the back seat where he grabbed the handle on the top of the small hard plastic cooler chest. As Pete pulled him out Greg brought the cooler chest with him and swung it hard, smashing it in Pete’s face, breaking his nose.
Pete was hurt and bleeding, but he still held onto Greg’s shirt collar. He let go and quickly pulled his left arm around Greg’s neck and pulled tight, choking him. He pulled his right fist back to slug the kid, but just at that moment he heard a loud shout from behind him. He never saw what hit him, but the sudden pain in his right side was about the worst he’d ever felt. He let go of Greg’s neck and twisted to his right to see who hit him.
It was fucking Jado! And he had a vicious looking switchblade knife in his right hand. The blade was long and bloody and it was moving toward him as Pete turned to face him. Before he could do anything about it the blade was shoved into his groin, seriously damaging his penis. He screamed in pain and as Jay pulled the knife out he reached his hands down to cover his groin. But Jay was like a madman. He shoved the blade through the soft part of Pete’s right hand between his index finger and thumb and through his pants into one of his testicles.
Pete screamed again, then collapsed onto the asphalt surface with his hands still trying to protect himself, bleeding from his nose and his groin.
Jay held the blade pointing at Pete’s right eye and snarled, “You fucking move one inch and I’ll shove this blade into your fucking eyeball!”
That’s when the hospital guards got to Jay and Pete.
“Okay, son, let’s step back a ways. Then please drop the knife on the ground,” George Sullivan said, using a soft and calming tone of voice.
Jay was taking deep breaths as his adrenaline started to fade. “Okay.”
He dropped the blade and would have fallen to the ground himself. But he didn’t, because Greg had grabbed him around his waist from behind and pulled him up so he was still standing. Jay twisted around to see that Greg was crying.
“Did that son of a bitch hurt you?” Jay growled.
“No. I’m crying because you saved my life. I might be dead now if it wasn’t for you, Jay. I love you, man, I love you!” Greg grabbed Jay in a big hug, ignoring the blood, Pete’s blood, all over their clothes.
Greg pulled back from the hug. “What I want to know is where you got that switchblade knife. I thought they were illegal.”
“Yeah, I know. Doris got it for me. She said it was for ‘protection’ but I didn’t realize she meant protection from Pete. Anyway, I just put it in one of my desk drawers and forgot about it. In the hospital she whispered to tell me to carry the knife that she got me. She said she was scared that Pete would come after me. That’s why I was rooting around in the boxes in the guest bedroom last night. I was looking for the knife.”
“How the hell did you get it past the scanners at Aston High? They should have picked it up when you came to school today.”
“Uh-uh. This knife is made of some sort of ceramic. It’s invisible to the metal scanners at school, and it’s sharp as hell.”
“Whoa! I gotta say right now I’m sure glad about that. And glad that Doris gave it to you. And glad that she came out of her coma and reminded you about it and said you should carry it.”
They heard sirens as two police cars and an ambulance pulled into the parking lot. That made Jay look up. The police cars and ambulance didn’t surprise him. What surprised him was the group of people standing around watching… watching what? Jay didn’t understand, he didn’t know where they’d come from, he didn’t know why they were standing in the parking lot watching him and Greg holding on to each other.
Then he recognized they were from the hospital because of what they were wearing. They were mostly members of the staff and the others must have been visitors. Jay couldn’t figure out how they knew something was happening in the parking lot.
Jay should have guessed. As he and Beth were walking out of the hospital he saw Pete was at their SUV trying to get to Greg, and he took off running and shouting, and then the police cars and the ambulance. That was enough to attract the guards, staff members, and visitors who came outside to see what was happening.
Beth was standing with two of the guards, talking to them, explaining her view of what had happened. Officers Chris Baxter and Patricia Daniels were talking to George Sullivan who was explaining his view of what happened. Two EMTs were working on Pete, and arguing with another police officer who insisted that Pete had to be handcuffed with his hands behind his back and accompanied by one of the officers, or they wouldn’t allow him to be put in the ambulance to be driven around the back of Bayside Memorial Hospital to the emergency entrance.
Jay and Greg had turned to look at the group of people who were watching them. When they saw that Jay was looking at them, one man started applauding. It was picked up by the rest of them and then they started to cheer.
Jay looked around to see what made them cheer. Greg figured it out, and said, “They're cheering for you, Jay. They are cheering because you saved my life. I couldn’t breathe. Pete could have broken my neck.”
Jay’s comment, accompanied by a smirk, was, “Bullshit.”
So Greg stepped behind Jay and grabbing his wrists pulled his arms up. He held them there like Jay was a concurring hero. The applause and cheering started again.
“That is so wrong,” Jay said.
Greg’s comment, accompanied by a grin, was, “Bullshit.”
Thanks to Cole Parker for editing Bad Boy Gone Good
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