Chapter 16 of the Cover Up, A Novel

After Detective Barnes left Rick tried calling Bret’s mental health worker but only got her answering service. Rick also left a phone message for Bret’s psychiatrist. Rick then put on his sport jacket and informed Holly that he would be leaving the facility or the day. He asked her to call him at home if there were any updates on the situation..Rick also told Holly that she could give Bret’s parents his home phone number if they returned his call.
Rick drove home in his dark brown Chevy Impala. As soon as he got home, Rick was about to call Central Pharmacy to order a new bubble pack of meds when the thought suddenly occurred to him, “Wouldn’t the pharmacy wonder why he was ordering replacement meds for a dead client?” Rick knew that he would have to change his cover up plan but right now he was simply too exhausted to think clearly. He spread out on his sofa and would take a nap first.
Jeff Barnes left for home around the same time as Rick did. When arrived at his apartment he was immediately greeted by his orange tabby cat, Zelda. Like Rick he was very exhausted. Jeff took off his shoes and lay back in his sofa. He placed a cushion behind his head and tried to relax. He found it very hard to unwind from his job. There were too many thoughts and questions buzzing around in his head. Jeff felt uneasy about his interviews with Rick that morning. The detective had a suspicion that Rick knew more information than he had told him.
It had been a difficult shift for Holly. Every resident dropped by at least once to ask what happened during the night. Most of them were very shaken up when they heard that Bret had passed away. When they came by the office to talk to Holly about it, most of them were asking the question, why? Holly really didn’t have any answers for them but she tried to console them the best she knew how. Many therapists believe that talking about the crisis situation is good therapy in itself.
At 3:45 PM the evening counselor/teacher/residential care worker showed up for his shift. His coworkers nicknamed him Slash due to the variety of jobs that Drake Stephens did. Holly had phoned Drake earlier in the day to tell him what happened with Bret.
Drake had just turned sixty last month. He was obese and wore his long white hair in a ponytail. Although he was obviously overweight, Drake carried his weight reasonably well. In the early afternoons he would usually go for a forty-five minute ride on his mountain bike. If he had enough energy left after his evening shift he would go to the gym after work and pump iron for another thirty to forty minutes. Even with all this exercise Drake Stephens was starting to slow down. His shift were taking much more out of him than they had even a couple of years ago. He didn’t cherish the thought but realized that he probably only had a year or two left before he would have to retire. Drake cracked opened a Rockstar energy drink and let out a deep sigh.”Shit” was all Drake could say.
“I know how you feel Rick. We all liked Bret,” Holly said.
“He was one of the few guys who could have made it out there.” Drake was referring to the “real world”, the world outside the facility.
“I know and we don’t even know how he died yet.”
“ Oh, I’m sure we will know in a day or two,” sighed Drake. “I just hope there wasn’t any foul play involved.”
‘How is that even possible, Drake? Everybody liked Bret, “said Holly.
“Well, let’s just say that this building and the surrounding area isn’t the safest place to live.” said Drake.
“Yeah, you’re right Drake. Two years ago a guy from the hostel was fatally knifed because he wouldn’t give some one a cigarette.” said Holly.
“Unfortunately, there are people in this world that would run over their grandmother for fifty bucks,” Drake stated.
“Yeah, and that’s only the staff we’re talking about.” joked Holly.
“Good one, Holly,”. Rick and Holly both broke out laughing at the same time.

Chapter Two:
Rick had a very restless sleep on his couch. He began a dream that turned into a nightmare. Rick dreamed that he saw Brett Harkness crawling out of his grave and chasing him out of the cemetery yelling, “You murdered me, you asshole!”
Rick then forced himself to wake up. He was drenched in sweat. Rick got up and went to the kitchen to make himself a coffee. He really wanted a shot of Jack Daniels but he had been on the wagon for a year now. Just as he was pouring the water into his coffee maker, Rick heard his phone ring. He automatically looked for his cigarettes. This was an addiction that Rick was still unable to break. He found a pack in his sports jacket pocket. He had thrown the jacket onto a Lazy Boy chair when he came home. He found a lighter on his glass coffee table in the living room. Rick grabbed the receiver of the phone with one hand while he shakily tried to light his cigarette Image132


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s