Chapter 7:

The Diner, Huh

A Man Bound By Nothing Isn't Free

“My God, Dice. You look terrible”Bookmark here

I didn’t sleep a wink last night. I couldn’t.Bookmark here

“What happened to you? You’re not the type to break easily?”Bookmark here

Family matters. I’d rather not speak of it right now.Bookmark here

“Here, take the day off. I’ll cover that paperwork for you.”Bookmark here

It’s best if I don’t. I need something to take my mind off of everything. Mindless paperwork should be perfect.Bookmark here

“If you say so. Just let us know if you need anything.”Bookmark here

I’ll be in the backroom, it’s quiet there. Quite a light stack today, maybe once I finish I should take the rest of the day. Let’s see here. Voluntary statement forms, security check requests. Oh, well would you look at that. A ride-along form, you don’t see those very often anymore. It’s written in crayon. First Name: Timothy, last: Harrison. The address is written in with pen. Sorry kid but you’ve got to be at least eighteen to go on a rife along. I’ll make sure to write a letter later.Bookmark here

“Hey Dice, you’re not too busy, are you? No? Good. well, I got some more forms I want you to look at. Thanks.” Bookmark here

Yeah sure. At least have the decency to close the door next time.Bookmark here

“It was then I decided to follow him into the woman’s home-”Bookmark here

I’ll lock the door this time around. There’s not much left. About an hour left on the clock before my shift is over. Calling out now would be a waste. Maybe I should start writing to that kid. Do we have any extra envelopes? Hmm, all I have are the official department ones. Well, I could argue that this is official business. I am responding to a ride-along request. Bookmark here

“Cheif are you still in there?”Bookmark here

Yeah, hold on, I’m coming.Bookmark here

“Cheif, the door won’t open.”Bookmark here

That’s because I locked the door.”Bookmark here

“Somebody help me, Chief’s stuck in the backroom and the door won’t open.”
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I said I’m coming, Bill. There. The door is unlocked. You can come in. I can come out. No one is stuck.Bookmark here

“Oh hey chief, what are you doing here?”Bookmark here

You make a scene then act like it never happened, what is wrong with you?Bookmark here

“I have no clue what you are referring to. Either way, have you been here the whole day?:Bookmark here

Yeah, I’ve been looking at forms in here. Bookmark here

“Have you eaten yet?”Bookmark here

Uh, no.Bookmark here

“Chief we talked about this. Here, let’s go get you something.”
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It’s fine Bill, I’ll get something later.Bookmark here

“Your friend offers you food any you reject his hospitality. Didn’t your mama raise you any better?”Bookmark here

Bookmark here

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean-”Bookmark here

It’s all right, just let it go. Let’s go get something to eat.Bookmark here

“You know, I went over to your house to check on you. I knocked on your door and started to worry when you didn’t answer. I saw that your car was gone, I never would have guessed that you’d be in for work today.”Bookmark here

It’s like you told me, I need something to keep my mind away from everything. Bookmark here

“I guess work also counts as something. So where do you want to eat?”Bookmark here

How about we go to the diner down by where the old department store used to be. Bookmark here

“The diner huh.”Bookmark here

What, you asked where I wanted to eat. Is there a problem?Bookmark here

“Oh no, no problem.”Bookmark here

Then what is it?Bookmark here

“Oh nothing, forget I even said anything. Just make sure you’re looking all spick and span.”Bookmark here

Spick and span? The hell are you saying?Bookmark here

“Look we’re here, Loverboy.”Bookmark here

What kind of name is that?Bookmark here

“Welcome, Officers, what can I do ya for tonight?”Bookmark here

“Hey there Cindy, it’s just us two tonight. Mind if we go ahead and grab a seat?”Bookmark here

“Sure thing, I’ll be with you in a bit.”Bookmark here

“So the diner huh?”Bookmark here

What? They serve good food here.Bookmark here

“Yeah but the only thing you want to eat is that eye candy over there. Look I’m not judging, all I’m saying is that you could be a little less obvious.”Bookmark here

Less obvious? I have no idea what you’re talking about. Bookmark here

“Everyone knows she moonlights here at the diner. How about you try asking her out?”Bookmark here

Her? She doesn’t want anything to do with me.Bookmark here

“You never know, the unexpected happens all the time.”Bookmark here

“Alright, what can I get you two.”Bookmark here

“I’ll have the eggs over easy with some toast on the side.”Bookmark here

“You want breakfast food, this late at night?”Bookmark here

“Well yeah. Some orange juice would be nice too.”Bookmark here

“I’ll see what I can do. How about you, officer?”Bookmark here

I’ll take the T-bone with a glass of wife- I mean wine.Bookmark here

“Sure thing, officer. Is that all?”Bookmark here

“It should be for now. Wait, Cindy, do you mind if we step aside and have a quick chat?”Bookmark here

“What about?”Bookmark here

“Don’t worry, it’ll take less than a minute. I promise.”Bookmark here

What are they talking about over there? I can see you looking at me Bill.Bookmark here

“I’m back, I didn’t take too long, did I?”Bookmark here

Not very. What did you two talk about?Bookmark here

“Oh, it’s not important. It was about family, mostly.”Bookmark here

You two are related? That’s the first I’m hearing this.”Bookmark here

“Well, sort of. My parents adopted her after her folk kicked the bucket.”Bookmark here

Oh, I see.Bookmark here

“Here are your eggs, freak.”Bookmark here

“Ouch.”Bookmark here

“And your steak with a glass of wife, officer.”Bookmark here

Thank you. Bookmark here

“Let me know if you need anything else.”Bookmark here

“Oh yeah, loverboy over here is a bit shy when it comes to women, I was wondering if you could give him your number.”Bookmark here

What the hell are you saying, Bill?Bookmark here

“Hmm, you know, I’m not supposed to give my personal information away to customers.”Bookmark here

See? Now you’ve gone and-Bookmark here

“But I guess I can make an exception just for you, officer. Enjoy your food now.”Bookmark here

Will do.Bookmark here

“What did I tell you, the unexpected happens all the time.”Bookmark here

You probably set her up for it, didn’t you?Bookmark here

“You think little ol’ me could ever pull something off like that? You give me too much credit chief. Well, all I did was help you get her number. Asking her out is going to be all on you.”Bookmark here

Thank you. Bill.Bookmark here

“Don’t mention it. Now eat your food before it gets cold.”Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.