Kevin let go of his mother after a few minuets of consoling her and looked at her blood shot eyes and asked her what had happened.
“Well it was like this;” she stammered, “I had just got the mail around 2, right after Jessica got in. I was glancing through what we got and noticed a letter from our bank. It was addressed to Steve and me, so I opened it up and read it carefully. It read,
‘Dear Mr. & Mrs. Steve Crawly, this letter is to inform you that your checking account, number 1230-4560-789, has been overdrawn by $2,349.69. This debt must be settled as soon as possible. Please contact John Wainright, Sovereign Bank branch Manager at 508 595-2000 x12 as soon as possible to prevent action by the collection agency. Thank you for your promptness.’
“At that I called Steve on his cell phone but it was not on so I left a message telling him to call me as soon as he gets this message. Well he never called back and I became angry so once he came in the door I yelled at him. He yelled back and we started to fight. I had made myself a drink before he came in to calm my self but it didn’t work. I asked him about the overdraft on the checking account but he would not tell me what it was, saying only that ‘he would take care of it.’ I told him he has to tell me what all that money was for but he refused and began to scream at me, yelling it was none of my business and accusing me of spending the money. I screamed at him and he took his beer bottle and threw it at my face where it hit me right here,” as she pointed to the bloody cut and bruise on her left cheek, “and he stormed out.”
“Damn mom, was he drunk?”
“No, just mad I guess. You know how your father’s temper gets.”
“Yea but I thought you two got that straightened out when you went to the counselor?”
“Well it’s not the first time we’ve been and it hasn’t worked out. Plus he thinks that Dr. Shekenhousen is an idiot any way. He never really listened to her anyway.”
“Well mom, what are we gonna do then?”
“I don’t know Kevin, I really don’t know. All I know is that we have really serious problem with this money missing.”
Kevin gave his mother another hug and walked with Tony down to his room in the basement. Tony took a seat on the bed after clearing a bunch of car magazines off it and looked down at the messy floor. “Damn kid, you gotta clean this room up. It’s a friggin mess.” Kevin didn’t respond as he sat at his computer typing away to one of his friends online. “Dude so what are we doing tonight?”
“I really don’t know. I just wanna get out of this house before World War three starts,” Kevin responded in a tired voice.
“Try calling Mike up and see if he wants to play some pool at Fast Breaks.”
“Okay,” Kevin replied. “What time should I tell him to meet us?”
“Like ten o’clock or so.”
“All right, I’ll call him in a minute.”
Kevin and Tony went out with Mike later on that night and played some pool for a few hours. After they got back Kevin went to bed and Tony stayed up talking to Kevin’s mother because she was begging for attention again (i.e. balling her eyes out – Kevin was sick of hearing about his mother’s problems but Tony felt bad and volunteered to be her shoulder to cry on). After talking to her for a couple hours Steve pulled up in his pickup truck. He stumbled in the door and glared into the kitchen where Tony was leaning against the counter facing Kevin’s mother. Both of them stared at each other with a look that of dread and shock. Neither Tony nor Kevin’s mother had expected Steve to come home, especially because it was close to three in the morning. She thought he would have spent the night at the Boston motel room his company provided for him. Steve swaggered up to Tony’s face; the smell of alcohol on his breath was overpowering and made Tony shudder.
“What the hell are you doing in my house, talking to my wife?” Steve demanded.
Kevin’s mother interjected, “He was talking to me about school.”
“Shut up! I didn’t ask you!” Steve screamed at her.
“I was talking to her about school,” Tony answered with confidence.
Infuriated at his arrogance, Steve punched Tony in the face, just missing his left eye. Tony swung at him and knocked Steve back, causing him loose his balance. Tony kicked him in the stomach and Steve fell back onto the floor. Before he could get up Tony ran out the door and got into his car. Steve chased him down the driveway but could not catch up as Tony’s Porsche sped away from the house. He was having trouble seeing out of his eye as it started to swell up so he pulled over in the parking lot down the street from Kevin’s house, parking in a dark corner near a bunch of trees at the back of the lot. Just then Tony heard the squealing of tires as a vehicle turned its bright lights upon his car. It was Steve’s truck.
Tony got a rush of adrenaline and put his car into gear. He sped off, sliding the rear end of the car onto the main road and gunned it to the highway. He had a close call with a semi as he cut it off while getting on the ramp for the interstate. Steve’s truck followed in pursuit and kept up surprisingly well.
Tony was low on gas and didn’t want to go too fast but had no choice as Steve’s truck gained on him and tapped his rear bumper. Tony had to steady the car as it lost control momentarily and started to skid. Steve pulled along side him and slammed his truck into Tony’s door causing him to jerk the wheel to the right. The car fishtailed for a few hundred feet until Tony got it back under control right before coming close to hitting the guard rail. Steve had pulled in front of Tony and blocked him from passing. Tony swerved left and right trying to sneak past the large gray truck but could not get around. Finally Tony saw a tractor trailer in the center lane and decided to use it to his advantage; he waited until they both came up behind it and then jerked his car to the left, Steve mimicked the move and blocked Tony on the left of the trailer. Then Tony quickly turned the wheel to the right and slammed on the gas. Steve didn’t have enough time to react and got caught on the other side of the big rig. Tony matched speed with the trailer and lost sight of Steve. With an exit ramp quickly approaching Tony prepared to pull of, unfortunately Steve ended up in front of him again. Steve slammed on his breaks and Tony, caught off guard, could not slow down fast enough and swerved to avoid rear ending the truck. Tony’s brakes locked up and he could not steer. He had no control as his car skidded into the guard rail and bounced off across the highway onto the grassy ditch in the center median. The car spun several times before flipping over as it slid down the embankment and ended up on its roof.
Tony released his sweaty hands from the steering wheel and touched his forehead he felt blood and then he suddenly he blacked out.
A state trooper who had been advised of the car chase was speeding down the highway searching for the two reported vehicles. He noticed some long skid marks that led to a smashed guard rail and zigzagged for several hundred feet more. The trooper put on his spot light as he slowed down in the left lane and followed the skid marks to the ditch where Tony’s smoking Porsche lied turned over. The trooper immediately got out of his cruiser and called for a rescue and a fire truck. Sprinting down the embankment he looked for anyone inside the wreck. He spotted Tony pinned inside the car and shone his flashlight on the unconscious driver. Several minutes later the fire and rescue pulled up alongside the median. One of the firefighters tried to extract Tony from the car but could not do it alone. He had to cut off the crumpled door of the Porsche to pull Tony’s body out. He was then rushed to the nearby hospital and put into the trauma unit. Tony received twenty five stitches on his head and had a broken arm and three fractured lower ribs. Luckily there was no internal bleeding or rupturing of organs.
Meanwhile Steve sped up the highway en route to Boston in a rage. He was weaving his goliath truck through the thick traffic just outside the city; recklessly passing people, and furiously gesturing at innocent slow pokes that were too busy chatting on their cell phones to notice his high beams flashing; instructing them move out of his way. Once into the city Steve meandered his way through out the cold dark streets. After about a half hour of city driving he parked his truck in front of a green and yellow three story house. There were spot lights that flashed on as he walked with in the range of their motions detectors. The lights illuminated the barred windows and chipping paint on the façade of the ghetto crib. The front yard consisted of two 5′ x 5′ patches of dirt with little tufts of dead grass poking up and a cracked concrete path leading up to the creaky wooden stairs.
Steve rang the door bell and waited until a short dark skinned young lady in a bath robe answered the door. She opened the door just a crack to see who it was, the chain that locked the door preventing any further opening. “Eva, it’s me,” Steve said, his breath still smelling of alcohol.
She asked in an aggravated Spanish accent, “Yea, I know it’s you. What do you want?”
“I need a place to stay for the night, I, I,” he stuttered, “I just got into a fight with ‘The Bitch’ again, she kicked me out,” he replied in an exasperated voice. “So can I come in? It’s pretty cold out here ya know.”
“Yea, come on in I guess,” she said reluctantly.
Steve walked into the dark narrow hall and followed Eva up to the second floor of the house to her apartment. Her living room was small; just a brown love seat and an old recliner which her roommate was asleep in filled the room. The furniture faced an old big screen TV that was tucked into the corner. The old lime green carpet was covered in cat hair and the room stunk of urine and cigarettes.
“You can have a seat on the couch while I get dressed. Jakki is asleep, so be quiet,” Eva whispered, gesturing toward her significantly over weight and butch looking roommate, “she smoked too much ganja tonight I guess.”
Steve laughed briefly and took a seat, fixing his gaze on the fat cat sitting a top the TV. He took the remote off the end table between the love seat and the recliner and changed the channel to ESPN. A few minutes later Eva poked her head into the living room and told Steve to come into her room.
Eva’s room was equally as small as the living room but was a cleaner and didn’t smell like cat piss. There were some scented candles burning by the window and some soft music playing in the background. She told Steve to lie face down on the bed so she could give him a massage. She took some scented oil from her dresser and rubbed some on her hands, and then began to gently work Steve’s tense back muscles.
The following morning Steve got up and left Eva’s. Sunday morning traffic in Boston was light compared to the previous nights. He drove back to his house and pulled into the driveway just as his wife was backing her Volvo out of the garage, presumably going to church. Once they stop giving out free wine at mass she won’t be going for sure, Steve thought as he waved to his unresponsive wife. He walked into the house once he parked and picked up the paper off the front porch.
Steve went up to his bed room and changed out of his clothes. He took a quick shower and went back down stairs to the kitchen to fix him self some breakfast. He called for the kids to come to breakfast but they were still asleep. Steve took his plate of sausage and eggs and plopped himself in front of the tube, turning on ESPN.
The police had arrived at the hospital in the afternoon, and waited to question Tony once he regained consciousness. He woke up to the doctor’s relief around two in the afternoon on Sunday. “Anthony, Anthony,” the nurse said to him, noticing his previously static eyes begin to flutter open. The nurse looked toward the doctor in the room, “I think he’s coming around,” she said.
The doctor went to Tony’s side and tried to speak to him, “Anthony, you are in Memorial hospital in Attleboro Massachusetts. You were in a car accident but are okay now.” The doctor backed away and gave Tony time to respond. His eyes opened suddenly and he began to move his lips to speak. He cleared his throat and asked the doctor what day it was. The doctor replied, “Sunday, today is Sunday, December 20, 2002.”
Several hours passed and a police officer came into Tony’s hospital room. Tony was eating his fine hospital style dinner of roast beef and whipped potatoes with a chincy side of delectable gravy and cranberry sauce. The cop sat down and introduced himself and began asking Tony all about the previous night and about Steve. He recanted the events he could remember to the cop and asked if they found Steve.
The officer said they had no way of finding him because of the lack of witnesses.
Once Tony provided the police officer with all the information they needed to apprehend Steve the cop left. Tony sat upright in the hospital bed and watched an old movie on the TV hung from the ceiling in front of him. Around eight in the evening there was a soft knock on the door. “Come in,” he said.
“Anthony, my god, are you all right?” his mother said in a surprised and concerned voice as she burst in the room. His father and younger brother followed her and took a seat by the window while his mother went to give him a big hug. Tony cringed in pain as his mother squeezed him in her powerful embrace.
“I’m fine mom, just shaken up. What took you so long to get here?” he asked.
“Well your father was speaking to the police. They came over the house once they left here. So they held us up asking all their stupid questions.”
“Oh I see, well that’s okay, at least you came to see me.”
“Well of course. So tell me what happened,” she asked him.
Tony sighed and began to tell the story yet again. After he was done his parents left and went to speak to the nurse, asking her when he would be released and what kind of injuries he sustained. The nurse told them that he would be released by tomorrow morning and that he should take it easy for the next week. The injuries were not bad but still needed to be given time to heal properly.
Early the next morning Tony’s father came to the hospital to pick him up. During the short ride home his father told him that the family had decided to press charges on Steve and his family. Tony really wasn’t surprised at this decision and asked his father if he had called their family lawyer. His father said he was going to take care of everything on Monday. Upon arriving at his son’s house he instructed Tony to stop by the house on Monday where they would decide what to do about the situation.
Later on that night Tony was watching a movie in his room. His cell phone rang suddenly, it was Kevin. “Hey buddy, what’s up?”
“Not much dude, listen I have to ask you to do me a favor–”
“Yea sure, what do you need?”
“Well I just need you to let my sister stay the night; she wanted me to ask you because she doesn’t want to stay here tonight.”
“Okay,” Tony said in an inquisitive tone, “why does she need to do that?”
“Well it’s a long story but basically my mom and dad had a big fight, she left and Jess doesn’t feel safe being around dad.”
“Oh I see,” Tony said. “Well tell her it’s all right to come over. I don’t mind, just make sure she doesn’t come too late, I have to get up early to take care of some business.”
“Oh really; what’s going on tomorrow?” Kevin asked him.
“Well I’ll just give you a general synopsis; Saturday night your father came by after you went to bed. I was talking to your mother and he stormed in the house. He started a fight with me because he was drunk and probably thought I was having an affair with her or something. So anyways he hit me and I hit back. I ran to my car and sped off after I thought I knocked him out. Turns out he followed me and we got into a crazy car chase on I-295.
“He started to hit me with his truck and ended up causing me to flip over. I went to the hospital, yada, yada, yada, and now I’m fine.” Tony continued on telling Kevin about what was going to happen and conversed for almost an hour before hanging up.
It was close to one in the morning until he got off the phone. Tony went down stairs to the living room and waited up for Jess.