Tony woke at ten past four in the afternoon feeling refreshed and at ease with life. He immediately thought of the boy at the hospital, wondering how he was. He thought of ringing the ward but changed his mind and went for a shower. He wanted a run after that and changed into his joggers and t shirt and then headed for the seafront. He hit the prom just west of the Palace Pier and started to run east toward Hove Lagoon about 6 kilometres away. He went on past the West Pier and The Lawns Cafe then The King Alfred Centre, on to the end of the promenade. Turned round and ran back the opposite direction towards home.
Back home, another shower then dressed casually, ready to visit the hospital. Feeling hungry he popped round the corner to a small cafe that did all day breakfast, a dish he could eat anytime in the day as he loved it.
At five thirty that evening at the police station Ben and Tom had arrived early for their shift, mainly to see if there was any news on the mystery boy, as they called him. They hadn't been there more than 2 minutes when the inspector called them into the office. "Right lads," he said, "A lot has happened since you went off this morning. We think we have found out who the boy is."
"Oh great," Ben said. "Is he a local boy?"
"Seems like it Lads," the inspector said. "We had a call this morning from 93, London road in Mouslcombe. Seems the woman spotted a youngster leave number 95 at 4-30 last evening in the pouring rain. He was doubled over as if he was in pain. So we decided to follow it up. We heard from the woman that the lad, of late, always seemed sad and poorly dressed. Completely different as to how he was before his mother had died eleven months ago. It seemed a possibility so we called at 95. There wasn't any answer so Constable Briggs looked in the front window. What he saw decided that we must break in." Taking a drink of his tea the Inspector continued. We found a man of about 35 years old lying on the settee dead as a Dodo. A quick look showed he had choked on his own vomit, we guessed, some time through the night. There were still 2 plates of a spaghetti dish on the table untouched. We called the meat wagon and looked around. Sure enough, there were quite a few pictures of our boy, mostly laughing and posing with his parents. The man was obviously his father. The fathers' name is Kevin Hennessy, apparently he went to pieces when his wife died and turned to drink. He apparently took a lot of his anger out on the boy. His name by the way is David Hennessy he is almost 10 years old born August 1st 1958."
Ben made a note of this in his diary and said, "That is six weeks away. Jeez some birthday present finding out you are an orphan. Is there any other family sir?"
"We did a quick check and it appears not as both parents came from the same Barnardos home in London. That is as much as we know at the moment so take it gently with the boy and don't tell him about his father at the moment."
"Right sir, we had better get over to the hospital, the lad is due to wake from his induced sleep about now."
"OK lads and don't forget, gently does it, sounds as if the boy has had a really bad time of it lately."
Nurse Wills arrived on duty at 5-45 that evening and received the update on the boy along with the other children on the ward. It was strange how that one boy had been on her mind all the time. Her own son Jamie was about the same age. Thank goodness her mother looked after him so she could work. She loved her son dearly and wished she could spend much more time with him but sadly that could not happen because of her need to work to make ends meet. She thought of Jamie's father. Killed in action, July 1958 a few weeks before Jamie was born. The widows' pension was a help but not enough for all the outgoings and of course the mortgage. Ah well, back to today.
Tony arrived at the hospital the same time as Ben and Tom. They all sat down together wile Ben told Tony all they knew.
"Well, that is brilliant news to find out who he is but not to know his father is dead. That is terrible despite what hi appears to have done to David, as we now know him, you are not telling him yet are you?"
"No not yet Tony, he needs to get better first."
Just then Nurse Wills came out to the corridor, saw the three men and greeted them. "Any news Constables?" she asked. "We sure have sister," and proceeded to fill her in on all they knew.
"The doctor is with him now, let us go in and see what is happening, are you coming Tony?"
"No, I will wait until you have done all your official business, too many people at one time might cause him distress."
Nurse Wills stopped for a second and said to Tony. "They won't be long, they never are. Thank you for coffee this morning, I enjoyed the break. Did you sleep alright?"
"It was my pleasure and yes I slept very well, how about you?"
"I was tossing and turning a lot, thinking about my son and other things."
"You have a son?"
"Yes he is about the same age as David in there." Anyway I had better get off and catch the others up. See you in a while," and with that she turned and went into the ward.
'Well I never,' thought Tony shaking his head. 'Life is full of surprises, she has a son.' Then he took a seat in the corridor.
It took around fifteen minutes for Ben and Tom to complete their tasks and when they returned from the ward with sister Wills they all looked a little happier than they went in.
"Not a happy story from David," Ben said. "Seems like he has been to hell and back, this last year, Do you want to see him now?"
"I am a bit nervous, but yes I do. There is something very strange with all this. I can't put my finger on it yet but I am sure I will."
Ben, along with Sister Wills escorted Tony to David's bedside while Tom made some notes. Tony looked down at the boy in the bed for the first time in the light, and although the lad's arm was in plaster and his head bandaged Tony just stared as if transfixed. David in turn looked at Tony and did exactly the same. Tony broke the silence. "I don't believe what I am seeing."
David, still staring at Tony started to cry gently and Tony without realising it was doing the same.
Ben and Sister Wills were totally confused and looked at each other shaking their heads.
David said "I knew you would come one day, my mum told me and then I saw you again in a dream when you saved me from the monster. You made me feel so safe."
Tony was still staring unbelieving at David as his mind again went back to Indonesia and the young boy who got shot and killed. The boy before him was the spitting image of that boy."
Ben then told David, who was also still staring at Tony, that Tony was the man driving the car when he got hurt in the road.
Tony took the boys good hand and said. Hi David my name is Tony," Smiled and continued "You look like an Indian with that turban on."
David squeezed Tony's hand tightly and whispered, "thank you mister."
Tony leaned closer and said "Please call me Tony, David. Would you like me to stay a while with you?"
"Yes please, I know it is you, my mum said so before she died, she said it plain so I could understand. You know me as well, don't you?"
"Yes David I think I do. Quite how, I don't know. How would you like a cola if the nurse says it is alright?"
"Oh yes please Tony."
"Right I will be back in a minute or two."
Tony caught the eye of Sister Wills ad angled his head to give her the hint to follow him.
Outside the ward Tony spoke softly to Angela. "I can't explain it Angela but that boy is a double of the boy that was killed in a skirmish in Indonesia a few years back."
"Are you sure Tony, you're not suffering any stress?"
"No Angela, I am fine, I just can't understand it, and the way he looked at me. He knew exactly who I was."
"Well, why not visit him a lot more and see what happens. He will be here for another week at least maybe things will become clearer given time."
OK I will but how does he look so Indonesian. He is English I thought."
Tom had been listening near them and said "Tony, he is English but his mother came from Indonesia, her parents came to the UK, caught some bad disease, were very ill, and died. That is how she ended up in Barnardos. We found that out from Barnardos this afternoon. So I guess he has a lot of his mother in him."
"What about the other stuff though, knowing me through his dying mother, I didn't even know her?"
"Perhaps, as Angela said, a few visits might open some doors."
"Seems like I will have to because I am totally baffled. Anyway, I had better get that Coke for him. I will be back soon."
"OK Tony, I will have to get back to the ward. Young David is not the only child here I am afraid. I will look in and see you later."
I look forward to it Angela." Tony replied.
Tony found the coke machine, put in some money and into the point underneath for collection dropped the Coke. Tony bent over, got the bottle out took off the top and returned to the bedside of David. Tony gave David the Coke, which he took and drank thirstily. When he had finished he gave a big burp which seemed to completely break the ice.
David put on a serious face and then said "My dad is dead isn't he? nobody said so but I just feel it. That happens to me sometimes."
Tony was lost, not knowing what to say. Then it 'seemed' to come to him also. "Would you be very sad if he was?"
David thought for a moment and the said. "I would be sad to lose my old dad but not the one since mum died, he was horrible."
"All I can say David is that he can't hurt you again. Let us hope that for him, that he meets your mum again and will once more be happy. Does that answer your question?"
Tears appeared in David's eyes and Tony instinctively held his hand. He felt like tears himself but this was David's moment. He would have liked to hug the boy but it was impossible where he was in bed. Slowly David's tears subsided and he looked at Tony. "Can I get up to go to the toilet?"
"Hmm, I am not sure let me see sister, hang on while I find her."
Tony went around the bigger ward and found Angela by the side of a bed.
"Sorry to interrupt you Angela, David wants to know if he can get up to go to toilet."
"Yes he can if you can help him and make sure he doesn't fall. He has taken your heart, hasn't he?"
"He sure has Angela. Oh and he knows his father is dead. He told me that he knew. Some sixth sense it would seem."
"Is he alright?"
"He had a good cry but he seems fine with it now. I told him that his dad was probably happy again with his mum in heaven. That seems to have his approval. Will you please tell Ben and Tom that David knows his father is dead?"
"Yes of course Tony, not a problem. I expect they will need to make sure he is certain of the fact."
"Thanks Angela, er, what time do you get off in the morning?"
Angela smiled and said, "the same time as today 8 o'clock. Is there an invite for coffee again?"
"Yes if you would like to. I need someone to talk to, strange things are happening that I can't seem to get my head round and I could use a listening post. That is if you don't mind."
"Not at all Tony, I could use some one to one as well."
OK then, 8 o'clock it is. I will get back to David now before he pees himself."
End of part 4.
Comments most welcome