There were two constants in the days after the shootout, guilt and pain. Guilt for dragging my family along on my little vendetta ride. Pain because beating on that guy had done some serious damage to my left hand. This little bit of info I kept to myself. I felt as though I deserved to suffer for what had happened.
It wasn't too hard to keep a sweater pulled over it and use my right hand to do things instead of my left. Everyone was running on empty, the emotions drained what little energy we had, the clean up took the rest. Small details were lost in the grand scheme of things.
When Jerry came up with a plan to pay Sweet off, I couldn't help but laugh, for once Jerry was the one coming up with dumb ideas. If he thought giving Sweet the insurance money would result in us going back to a normal life, he was dumber than he looked. We needed a plan to take out Sweet for good and make sure the cops were elsewhere when we did it.
Angel surprised me by coming up with the idea to take care of all of our problems at the same time. Angel would take care of Fowler, leaving me and Jerry to deal with Sweet. Problem was Sweet gave us only three hours notice for the meet, leaving us with little time to set all the wheels in motion. We had to get the insurance money, and proposition Evan and the rest of Victor's goons. Even though we were running around like mad men, it felt good to actually be doing something, as it stopped me thinking about the past, and focused me on what still needed to be done.
Camille, Jerry's wife, made me swear I'd look after her man. If I had had my way I would have gone alone. I knew if anything happened, to either Jerry or Angel, it would be the final straw for me.
Waiting in Jerry's house was hard. Patience is definitely not a virtue of mine. The ring from my cell phone was the sign that all the pieces were slotting into place. All players were on the field, and now the game had to be played.
Jerry left for the meet with Evan, and I followed hanging back a little, till we reached the lake. My mind briefly wondered if we would all make it to see the sunset that night, but I shut the thought down because if I started thinking like that I knew I would lose. Getting out of the car was the easy part. The mile I had to jog to the centre of the lake was painful to say the least, each step jarring my already painful hand. I remember saying to myself, once this was all over, I was going to down a nice bottle of whisky, then pluck up the courage to see a doctor about whatever was wrong with my hand. I just needed to make it through the day alive.
When I could make out the different people stood on the ice I slowed to a casual walk, giving myself time to get into the right frame of mind. A hot-headed response here would've seen me in a watery grave, dropped through the hole in the ice, found washed up on a beach when spring arrived. Cool and calculated was the way to go. I know what you're thinking. Bobby Mercer only does hothead. Well you'd be wrong, I went into that fight as calm as if I were buying groceries. Alright not that calm but I looked it, I think.
The difference between Sweet and me was he'd been taught to box, where as I'd learnt to fight to survive and my survival instinct was strong. My fists flew, connecting almost every time. Victor got a few good hits in to my face and ribs, sending me sprawling onto the ice. In the end the better man got the upper hand. I waited on the ice long enough to watch him disappear into the frozen depths beneath my feet. Grabbing Jerry, we slowly walked back to the car before calling Angel to find out how things went down on his end. Sofi answered his cell and told us to get to the thirteenth precinct. I hung up before she could tell me anything else.
If I'd known that his plan would have entailed a shootout with the police, I would have slapped his stupid, bald head till it had some sense knocked into it. Come to think of it, that's probably why he didn't tell me the full plan. Angel was at the Police station being questioned by the police as to why they had had to shoot one of there own officers. Angel had played Fowler, well and truly, making him believe the police pulling up outside his house were there because they knew he was on the take, when in fact they were there thanks to Sofi's Oscar winning performance. She'd told the police officers at the station that Angel intended to kill Fowler.
By the time we reached the station someone had reported Victor Sweet as missing, they gave no details other than the fact he didn't turn up for a meeting. Green must have filed a report about Sweet being a suspect for the shootout at Ma's, and what with the black eye I had forming on my face the police put two and two together and came out with five as usual.
Most would scream police brutality if they went through the interview rooms the way I did, but my sense of humour has always been a bit twisted. I think its fun to taunt, and try to crack, the calm, cool officer doing the questioning. In my long term relationship with the Detroit Police Department, I think, there have only been three genuine Police Officers that have interviewed me, two have retired and the third is now six feet under.
After a few hours they had to release me as no evidence could support a charge. When I saw Angel and Jeremiah waiting for me, by the custody sergeant's desk, I couldn't help but smile. Judging by their split lips and black eyes they'd taken a leaf out of my book and thrown a few insults into their interrogation. Nothing like telling a guy you're banging his wife to get a rise out of him.
I felt every minute of my thirty two years as we left the station. My hand had stopped throbbing, and was now pure fire, my face felt like someone had used it as a punch bag, and the less said about my ribs, the better. All I wanted to do was get home and wash all the blood and grime away.
Once home I ignored all calls to drink to the demise of Sweet and headed upstairs. The plan had been a quick shower, then to head off to the hospital. But, the minute the warm spray struck my body, the realisation of what had occurred in the last three weeks also hit me. I broke down and cried, sinking to the floor of the tub. Great sobs wracked my body, and at that precise point in time, I didn't care if the whole world could hear me.
I didn't hear the footsteps, or the door open. I just felt the water shut off, as I sat in the bottom of the tub shivering, a warm towel and gentle arms surrounded me. Sofi held me until I could cry no more, never once commenting. For all the shit I have and will give her, I am eternally grateful to her for that one moment. Once I'd got myself back under control I climbed out of the tub, pulled her to me, kissing her forehead by way of thanks. She left without a word, and slowly I pulled clean clothes on before heading to the hospital.
The verdict from the doctor was three small breaks just below the second, third and fourth knuckles on my left hand, four weeks in a cast and some heavy duty pain killers for that and a colourful bruise to my ribs. The cast has made typing this up difficult but putting it all down on paper, so to speak, has helped clear my head some.
Losing Ma was hard. Watching it happen, even on film, was harder still. Seeing Jackie get shot wrenched my already broken heart from my chest. I couldn't see him wired up to all the machines before I had come to terms with the fact that I might lose him too.
Now as I sit here the only machine in the room is a heart monitor and the only thing left is for the fairy to open his eyes and call me all the names under the sun for not coming when he called. The doctor's have told us the only reason Jack survived was because of pure luck, I say it was the Rosary he was wearing.
He'd been hit a total of seven times. The most severe wound was his shoulder. The bullet had torn through his ribs, his lung, surrounding muscles and punched its way out through his shoulder blade. The two bullets that struck his right leg went clean through with only minimal damage. The four that had struck his right leg shattered his femur and one got lodged in his knee. The Doctors say he will be able to walk, after a few more surgeries and a hell of a lot of physio, once he wakes up.
This little piece of writing has acted basically like a therapy. All I have left to say is that I intend to stick around this time and make sure my family stays out of trouble. I've seen Jack fall three times now, and I'm, sure as hell, going to stick around to make sure it never happens again.….
I hope you have enjoyed reading this. I had to let Jack live as a certain someone I know hates the fact he dies in the movie, although she's not the only one. I may start another story that continues on from this, but it will take me a while as summer vacation has started and that means fun in the sun with my girls. xJx