This is the conclusion of a short story I wrote. You should read Part 1 and Part 2 before digging into this one.
6 Hours (part 3)
The details were all there. Bank robbery. A double parked car prevented the thieves from escaping. One perpetrator shot and killed by police. The owner of the car, an unidentified woman, grazed by a bullet. The photo, though blurry, showed a car not unlike that of my parents. “There’s no way.” I muttered.
My head hurt. I threw the paper down on the counter and saw a small slip of paper waft to the floor. It was a lottery ticket bought at a rest stop on the Thruway.
“Where did this come from?” My tone with my mother was the one she used when she found cigarettes in my jeans.
She flipped the paper over to reveal some scribbles. “Oh, yes. That nice man at the store wrote out directions to get me home. When it comes to finding my way around, I’m hopeless.” She handed the slip to my father who had already retrieved his newspaper and retreated into it. “If it hadn’t been for that lovely English lady in the car with me guiding my every move, I might never have made it home.”
“English lady? What English lady?”
“Funny thing. As sweet as she was, she never mentioned her name.”
“What did she look like?”
“Dear, I was driving. I can’t be staring at a passenger.”
The phone rang. Who gets these things when I’m not around?
“This is Governor Blandford’s office. Please hold the line for the Governor.” I didn’t just hold. I was catatonic. A couple of clicks and an authoritative male voice was on the line.
“Hello, this is Governor Blandford. May I speak to Gloria Dumont, please?”
“This is her son. Can I ask what this is about?”
“I just wanted to thank her for bringing my son home safely yesterday. Can you put her on?”
I handed the phone to her, twisting myself in the cord in the process. I’d completely forgotten how to deal with a corded phone. As I eavesdropped, there was no way to infer the topic of discussion based on my mother’s side of the conversation. Listening in on an extension was not an option, such advanced technology being beyond my parents’ capacity.
“Yes. Of course I know who you are. No. I don’t rightly remember. No, we haven’t had one for years. My late Aunt Gertrude could have helped. How do you like your eggs? You’re welcome.” She hung up and returned to her duties.
“What the hell is going on, Mom?”
“Watch your language, Peter. You aren’t too big to spank, you know.” She meant it.
“But Mom, there’s a new car in the driveway, the police are at the door, the governor is calling.”
Dad whispered. “It’s a winner.” He had our attention. “This ticket. It matches the numbers in the paper. We won. It’s a forty million dollar jackpot.”
Mom waved a potholder at him and popped a pair of bread slices into the gleaming chrome toaster. “Don’t be an old fool. Your poached egg is ready, dear. Peter, how do you want your eggs?”
I might have fainted had the phone not rung again. With a quivering hand, I lifted the receiver.
“Hello, this is Syracuse Memorial Hospital. We have a kidney donor for Mr. Dumont and we want to schedule surgery as soon as possible. It seems there was a fatal shooting at a bank in Albany yesterday. The man who was killed is a perfect… Hello?”
The phone twisted back and forth on the floor where it dropped. And where I dropped.
Mom picked it up. “If this is the governor again, save your breath. I’m a Republican.”
She hung up and swatted me with a spatula. “Stop playing on the floor, Peter. Now how do you want your eggs?”
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