Wilbur spent a confusing night in jail. Periodically an officer would run in and look bewildered to find Wilbur sitting in the same spot as last time.
The next morning another officer came in, “Pack your bags, Grandpa, you’re gettin’ outta here.”
“What?” Wilbur asked. “Why?”
“You can ask the Who, When, and How once you’re outta here, c’mon get movin’,” the officer said.
After he let Wilbur out of the cell he lead him to a desk where another officer sat in front of a large metal cage. Wilbur gave his name and an officer went to get his personal items.
Wilbur looked at the officer’s badge. Peretti. “Umm… Uhhh… Officer Peretti? Is their anything you can tell me?”
Officer Peretti shook his head. “I think the Sarge said something about your son payin’ your bail,” he said.
“I don’t have a son,” Wilbur said
Officer Peretti shrugged. “Maybe you should adopt this guy then,” he said.
The man waiting for him at the front desk broke into a smile as Wilbur approached. “Let’s get you home, Dad.”
Wilbur looked back at him with bewilderment. He’d seen the man before, but he couldn’t place him. The man looked from one officer to another, his foot started to tap. “Sorry to bother you officers. My dad has Alzheimer’s and wanders off sometimes. Most days he forgets small things like which episodes of the game shows he’s seen. He’ll watch the same show thirty times and never realize it was a rerun unless he saw it before 1978, but the doctor just put him on a new kind of medicine…” The man laughed and trailed off. “It’s good to see you,” the man said addressing Wilbur and stepping forward to wrap Wilbur in a big hug. “Play along,” he whispered in Wilbur’s ear while they were close.
“Do you know this man?” the sergeant at the front desk asked Wilbur. Care somehow seeped into the voice of this tough, thirty-year veteran. “You don’t have to go with him.”
Wilbur sort of shrugged and looked at the man. After the last few days, he almost believed the Alzheimer’s story, but the harsh whisper in his ear had an edge to it that Wilbur wasn’t sure he liked.
“Dad, don’t you remember getting discharged from the hospital? The doctor was trying a new kind of medicine?” The man said.
Suddenly Wilbur’s brain clicked and he recognized the man. “Son!” He said loudly then threw out his arms and barreled toward the man for a second hug.
“You sure you know this guy?” The sergeant asked Wilbur.
Wilbur smiled too widely and nodded his head too vigorously. “He’s my son,” Wilbur said. “Besides, I’m sure you have his address if anything happens.”
The sergeant frowned. “You sure you want to go with him? He’s bailed you out, but I can call you a cab.”
“That’s okay. I’ll be fine.”
The sergeant handed Wilbur his card. “You need anything, you call the desk and ask for me, Sergeant Kowalski,” he said.
“I’m sure we’ll manage,” the man said.
Sergeant Kowalski gave the man a firm stare then helped Wilbur out to the man’s waiting car. “Take care,” Kowalski said. “I don’t want you disappearing on us.”
“You’re the doctor?” Wilbur asked the man once they had closed the car doors. “From the hospital?”
“You certainly met me at the hospital,” Dr. Smite replied.
“What did you give me? Why can’t people see me sometimes? Am I dead?”
Dr. Smite remained calm and lucid as he turned on the car and put the engine in gear. “You’re not dead, not yet. I will answer all of your questions, but not here. Not now. For the time being you must trust me.”
To Be Continued…