Chapter 6:

I Made It, Just Like I Promised I Would

A Man Bound By Nothing Isn't Free

“Hey Dice. remember that arsonist you and BIll brought in yesterday?”Bookmark here

Yeah, what happened?Bookmark here

“He started talking with the drunkard we pulled off the streets. Now they’re telling each other stories. Want to sit in and listen?”Bookmark here

Sounds interesting, but I'll have to pass this time around. I’ve got a commitment and I'd rather not blow it off.Bookmark here

“You've got plans? What, you finally find yourself a woman?”Bookmark here

I wish. Seems to me like I can’t even get a gal to look my way anymore.Bookmark here

“Are you thick? What about that Cindy girl down by the inn? I hear she’s got the hots for you.”Bookmark here

Are you kidding me? That girl wants nothing to do with me.Bookmark here

“Whatever you say, just know that you’re missin’ out.”Bookmark here

Uh-huh, just make sure those two don’t try anything funny.Bookmark here

“Don’t worry, there’s not much they can do anyhow.”Bookmark here

It's almost sundown. I need to hurry or else I won't make visiting hours. I told Ma I'd be there. Why are these lots always so full, it’s almost as if they don’t want people coming in.Bookmark here

“Hello sir, how can I help you today?”Bookmark here

Did I make it? Are you still open for visitors?Bookmark here

“We sure are. Who are we looking for today?”Bookmark here

I’m here for my mother, her name is Wilma, Wilma Dice.Bookmark here

“Wilma Dice, alright let me see what room she’s in right now. Oh my, nurse, could you call Dr. Reddy here?”Bookmark here

Is something wrong, why do we need the doctor?Bookmark here

“Mr. Dice, please take a seat. There is some news we need to tell you and I think it would be best if you heard it from the doctor.”Bookmark here

Did something happen to my Ma? Where is she? What room is she in? Tell me. Tell me … please.Bookmark here

“Sir I’m going to need you to-”Bookmark here

“Mr. Dice, please, have a seat.”Bookmark here

Tell me Doc, tell me that my Ma’s alright.Bookmark here

“I’m terribly sorry, Mr. Dice. Your mother has passed away.”Bookmark here

You’re lying to me, you’ve got to be, right Doc?Bookmark here

“I’m afraid not-”Bookmark here

Take me to her. I need to see her myself.Bookmark here

“Of course, follow me.”Bookmark here

This is some kind of mistake or a sick joke, isn’t it?Bookmark here

“We’re here, room 126, Wilma Dice.”Bookmark here

Ma! Ma… Bookmark here

“I’ll give you some moments of peace. Then there are some-”Bookmark here

When did this happen?Bookmark here

“This afternoon.”Bookmark here

I see, please, give us some time alone.Bookmark here

“Of course.”Bookmark here

Hey Ma, I made it. I came here to see you, just like I said I would. Sorry, I couldn’t come any sooner, I got caught up in some paperwork, you know how it is. It’s a pain, but someone’s got to get it done. Hmm, what's that? Well, I’ve tried to learn but nothing ever comes close to your cooking. Find a girl? Oh Ma, I’m getting old. No gal’s gonna want a geezer like me. No, I didn't mean it like that. I’m sorry. I’m sorry...Ma.Bookmark here

“Mr. Dice, have we finished saying our goodbyes?”Bookmark here

I have.Bookmark here

“Then we need to figure out how we are to proceed.”Bookmark here

Call a funeral director, she deserves a proper burial.Bookmark here

“Of course.”Bookmark here

‘Of course. Of course.’ Is that all you know how to say? A son loses his mother and all you can say is ‘of course’.Bookmark here

“I know you’ve just lost your mother, but there is no need to get hostile-”Bookmark here

Hostile? I’ll show you hostile if that’s what you want.Bookmark here

“I'm going to have to ask you to leave before we have security escort you out.”Bookmark here

Oh, I'll leave. ‘Of course’ I'll leave. Get your hands off me, I know the way out.Bookmark here

“Please get home safely, Mr. Dice.”Bookmark here

Oh, blow it out your ass. Bookmark here

“Chief, is that you? Hey, it is you! What are you doing looking all miserable in a place like this?”Bookmark here

We’re standing in front of a hospital, Bill.Bookmark here

“I see that. Were you here for a checkup?”Bookmark here

No bill, I was here to visit a family member.Bookmark here

“Oh. Oh! Chief, I am so sorry.”Bookmark here

Forget it. Are you free anytime soon?Bookmark here

“Yeah, I should be. What did you have in mind?”

Bookmark here

Let’s go get a drink.Bookmark here

“I don’t think that's too good of an idea. You’re not mentally all there right now. Let’s get you home.”Bookmark here

Home isn’t really a place I want to go to right now.Bookmark here

“Then how about we go to the office, that two guys we brought in haven’t quit their ramblings since you left.”Bookmark here

I don't want to hear stories from a crook.Bookmark here

“So other than drinking, what is it you want to do?”Bookmark here

I just don’t know what to do. I was able to press on because she was able to endure. But now she’s gone, she’s gone and I have no one left.Bookmark here

“Come on now, don’t talk like that chief. You have friends all around you, and if nothing more, you still have yourself. Let's get you home. You need some rest."Bookmark here

Drink with me, Bill. Let me drown my sorrows in booze.Bookmark here

"Drink to celebrate, never to drown your sorrows. Drinking won't solve anything right now."Bookmark here

Then what will?Bookmark here

“That depends entirely on you. No matter what you do you can never bring them back, but you shouldn't throw yourself away in despair.”Bookmark here

Bill, thank you for taking me this far, but please, leave.Bookmark here

“I’ll leave if you promise me that you won’t try anything stupid.”Bookmark here

Bookmark here

“Chief, promise me.”Bookmark here

Alright, alright. I promise.Bookmark here

“And chief Dice never breaks his promises, right?”Bookmark here

Never.Bookmark here

“Good. Now I'll see you at work tomorrow. You need something to distract yourself, and I need someone to file out the paperwork.”Bookmark here

Couldn’t you give me some time to grieve? Bookmark here

“No can do, we’ve been lacking in terms of the number of bookworms at the office so you’ll have to take charge for a while.”Bookmark here

I can’t sleep. Every time I close my eyes I see nothing but Ma’s face. I try to focus on something else but her image always flashes back. It reminds me how much of a pathetic son I’ve been. I could have been there for her, but I wasn't. None of this would have happened had I just taken the time to be with her. My God, this night won’t end. Staring down the clock is of no help either. Seconds feel like hours, and hours feel like lifetimes. The night just does not want to end. Bookmark here

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