I woke up the next morning to some discomfort. I presumed the last batch of morphine had worn off, and the pain that resided in my arm decided to make itself known. Fortunately, for me, the nurse came along, and gave me a booster shot. I was appreciative of the needle; however, I was a little leery when she told me to roll on my side to administer it. It’s funny, all of the times I had spent in St Mike’s over the years, and the one thing I was always intimidated by was the possibility of getting a needle in my butt. Having a bullet getting lodged in there is one thing – which hasn’t happened to me yet – but, having a pointy implement penetrating the flesh of my rump roast made me uneasy for some reason. I breathed a sigh of relief when I took the injection in my hip.
After forcing down breakfast, I resumed lying down on my bed, and waited for how the rest of the day would unfold. It can be pretty boring when you’re in a hospital bed, and you have no means of entertainment. I wasn’t provided a TV in my room because of my overnight stay. I didn’t have a radio, or digital music player with me, so I couldn’t listen to some tunes. I wasn’t even afforded the luxury of having a book to read. However, while it would have made me look scholarly, trying to read with one hand loses its allure when you’ve got the other arm decently taped up. Instead, I remained alone with my thoughts; at least, I did until the familiar ghostly voice from my past decided to check-in on me.
“Good morning, sunshine,” Karen chimed.
“Is it morning? It’s hard to tell when you’re drugged up.”
“Well, if you didn’t keep getting shot or stabbed you would have noticed it when you had your breakfast earlier.”
It’s true. I did notice the near-autumn sun shining through my window. I just wanted to mess with my ex-fiancee for a little bit. While I might have been groggy, I had not lost my humor, such as it was.
“Did you sleep good last night?”
“You know, for a guy that’s in a hospital bed, his left arm taped up, and had a morphine drip in his right; I think I slept alright.”
“Oh, it wasn’t that bad, was it? You’ve been in this situation so many times over the years surely it’s become old hat for you by now.”
“You’d think that, but I admit, it gets tired after a few times, and don’t call me ‘Shirley.’”
The specter rolled her eyes, and shook her head over my pop culture- inspired retort. “Just be lucky Saunders only winged you, and didn’t pop you in the head instead.”
“Believe me, I am. Although, I’m sure some people might argue having a bullet pierce my skull might be an improvement.”
Karen slapped my good arm in admonishment for such a statement. “How can you say that? You’re a good detective, Gary. Sure, I know everyone has their detractors, but aside from the criminals you’ve helped lock up, I highly doubt anyone would want to, as the young urban males would say, ‘bust a cap in yo’ ass.’”
“Hmm, probably not, but I’m sure there will be someone amongst the higher-ups who will start suggesting that I call it a career after another hospital stay.”
“There will always be someone higher on the Police Services food chain that will say you should pack it in. They’ll try to label it as a budget cutback or insurance risk. Anything to conceal the fact a 27-year veteran with them is hanging it up because of your, how should I call it, ‘panache for overnight medical stays?’”