The Fall Chapter 18
Atlanta General Hospital – Evening –
“You can see him now.”
Penelope stepped toward the doorway where the small petite older woman stood. It seemed like hours since the initial report that Derek’s injuries were not life threatening.
“Thank you doctor…for everything.”
The other woman nodded and turned to leave. Penelope hurried out of the waiting room without much thought of her friends that had been waiting with her. Suddenly she stopped and turned to face them.
Fran and Dave approached her both wrapping their arms around her.
“Now you go see your husband.” Fran answered.
“But what if he still doesn’t remember me?”
Dave glanced at Fran then back at Penelope.
“Then you start with, hello.”
Hamilton’s Room –
“Of all the places you could have ended up, you chose Atlanta.”
“I bet you took great pride helping the FBI bring me down.”
Sheldon stepped closer, close enough to see the smug arrogant look in the older man’s eyes.
“It doesn’t change anything, you know.” Hamilton continued.
“You know, there’s one thing I never understood growing up.”
“Yeah? What’s that?”
“Why you and my aunt hated me and my mother so much. How could Aunt Evelyn hate her own flesh and blood? My mother and I struggled while the two of you lived in the lap of luxury.”
“What, you thought because we did well for ourselves, we owed you something?”
“You could have helped!”
“You could have helped yourselves!”
The sound of his own laugh was unfamiliar as Sheldon tried hard to believe that the monster before him was human.
“Yeah, well who’s going to help you now? You’re going to jail and I’m going to make sure I’m sitting front row center when the judge throws the book at you!”
“Please don’t give me any of your self-righteous horse shit! If it wasn’t for a sympathetic judge, you’d be sitting in a jail cell yourself right now.”
“I didn’t kidnap, torture and brainwash anybody…”
“No you just stole millions of dollars and …”
“I took back money from crooked businessmen who’d stolen it from innocent people!”
“Ah, yes that’s right…a modern day Robin Hood. Well forgive me if I don’t bow down and kiss your feet!”
“What I did was wrong, I admit that. But you, what you did to Derek was despicable and I hope you rot in hell along with that royal bitch, Savannah.”
“My reach goes further than you know and even if I do go to jail, your friend will still die!”
“I’ll find out what you did! I’ll find a way to save Derek.”
“Are you sure about that? You’re a loser, Sheldon, a pitiful, worthless loser!”
“You’re going to pay, mark my word. You’ve made a career of destroying lives.”
Hamilton exhaled and smiled into the delusional face of the younger man.
“It was nice seeing you again, nephew. Now, I’m really tired and I think I’m going to take a nap now.
Sheldon turned his back to the man and headed toward the door. Before leaving he turned to face Hamilton one last time.
“Good seeing you too, uncle.”
Just before Sheldon stepped out of the room, Hamilton spoke again.
“Oh, by the way, Sheldon…”
“What do you want?”
“I’m not your uncle.”
“I’m not your uncle…I’m your father.”
With that Hamilton, smiled taking great joy in the shocked silence of the young man and without another word he closed his eyes pretending to be asleep.
Derek’s Room –
Derek watched the three of them walk into the room. Fran, Dave and Penelope smiled apprehensively as they drew closer.
She saw the initial confusion at the nickname then the awareness that this was just the beginning of a long road home.
“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have called you that…”
“No, no it’s okay, it’s okay.”
Even beyond her tear-stained eyes she was beautiful. His mother…Fran leaned down and kissed him on the cheek. It seemed so odd to have the three of them here with him now. Things were cloudy but he wanted to remember, he needed to remember.
“How you feeling, kid?”
Derek looked back and forth at each of them.
“Fran, I’m sorry…Ma…”
Fran’s tears began to run down her face.
“Penelope…my Baby Girl, right?”
Her tears began to flow again.
“Right, your Baby Girl.”
Penelope stepped closer taking his hand with one of hers while gently touching the side of his face with the other. She was afraid to think that he was just a dream. Her touch confirmed that he indeed was real.
Derek closed his eyes for a moment fighting the effects of his withdrawal and the pain medication that was forcing his body to relax. He wanted to stay awake as long as possible but he was losing the battle.
“I’m sorry…my mind is so jumbled, so many crazy thoughts…I don’t know what is real or what is a lie…”
“Give it time, Baby Boy, it’ll all clear up with time, I promise.”
Penelope’s heart broke at the mention of the woman’s name. She didn’t want him to see her disappointment.
“She…she did this to me?”
“Yes.” Fran answered. “She did this.”
“But why? Why would she do this? We had a life, she loved me…no wait…that’s not right…it was all a lie.”
“D-Derek…she can’t hurt you any more, none of them can. You’re going to be okay, you’re going to be okay.”
Penelope felt him squeeze her hand and then as if for the first time, he looked at her belly. Fran and Dave noticed the tears welling in his eyes as Derek’s expression changed to shocked amazement.
“Baby.” His voice quivered. “We’re having a…baby.”
Slowly he pulled his hand from hers placing it lightly on her stomach. Penelope smiled placing her hand on his.
“That’s right, we’re having a baby.”
“I missed everything…I missed…why did she do this? I’m sorry…I’m so sorry, please forgive me.”
“It’s not your fault, Derek…”
“No…I should have fought harder. I tried…I tried…I…my name is Derek…Derek Morgan…”
Before he could finish and before any of them could convince him that he wasn’t to blame he was asleep. Dave wrapped his arms around Fran’s shoulders not sure what any of them could do to give him his life back. The silence was a loud presence in the room screaming mockingly and assuring them that there was absolutely nothing they could do…nothing at all.
Hamilton’s Room –
Evelyn Porter stared at her husband through the large window. She was amazed at how he was able to sleep so peacefully seemingly unaffected by the trouble he was in or at the damage he had caused in so many lives.
In the almost thirty years of marriage he still hadn’t learned that she wasn’t a woman to be trifled with. She’d pretended not to know about the other women and the other children that he’d sired then done away with. She’d longed for love even if it meant buying it but no matter how much she had indulged the handsome playboy, he still didn’t love her and the one thing he should have given her as payment for her kindness he gave instead to others.
She’d lost count and she’d grown numb and deaf to the rumors of his affairs with students and even her sister had done the unthinkable with the man who had held such promise for her life. She’d had enough and he was going to jail but not before she punished him and when she was done he’d long for a filthy lonely jail cell.
Evelyn wanted to be happy, she deserved to be happy and she had earned everything that she had paid handsomely for. So as she slowly took in a deep breath to steady her nerves she pushed the door open to pay her worthless, arrogant husband one last visit.