Tomorrow Waits For No One: Installment 4
Previously, on Tomorrow Waits For No One: Dr. Martinez explained to Det. Washington that the patient “John Doe” (Marcus) had suffered a complete loss of memory. Det. Washington questioned Marcus. Both were suspicious of each other, but were mutually attracted. Det. Washington dubbed Marcus “Gian”.
DA Philip Benton stopped by to speak to Nurse Renwick about finding a caterer for a fundraiser. It was obvious that she was infatuated with him. Philip evaded her questions about his girlfriend Rhonda. Later, Philip had an argument with Rhonda about her refusal to attend his sister’s wedding to Gail’s cousin. Gail attempted to use the fundraiser as an excuse to spend time alone with Philip but he saw through her ruse.
Santa Lorena Police Department Headquarters
Det. Washington approaches Det. Ginny Riley, sitting at her desk working through a stack of paperwork. A tall woman in her early-30s, she wears her long blonde hair pulled back into a pony tail. Her simple dark suit is highlighted by a light-colored blouse while her makeup remains simple, understated. From the detective’s presentation, one would rightly surmise that she has had to fight to be taken seriously as a cop and an investigator.
Cole grabs a chair and places next to her desk as he sits straddling it. “Ya know, Ginny, I got a knack for identifying liars and I think our John Doe may be sincere.”
“You think his amnesia is on the up-and-up?”
“Yeah. My gut’s telling me this kid is for real,” he tells her.
“Any match on his prints?” she asks.
“Haven’t taken them yet. That’s next on my list.”
At that moment, DA Benton approaches the cubicle. “Washington, do you have the file for the Bank of Santa Lorena embezzlement case?”
Det. Washington rises. “Uh, not to be difficult or anything, but our investigation isn’t complete yet.”
“I understand, Detective. I’m not trying to do your job. But this case will be coming my way soon enough. I just want my office to be prepared.”
The detective walks to his desk and retrieves a manila folder filled with paperwork. “Get this back to me by the end of the day,” he barks. “Please.”
“Sure thing,” Philip replies saltily. “Detective.”
Philip takes the file and exits.
“You don’t like him much, do you?” prompts Ginny.
“Let’s just say I’m looking forward to the next election. Could be an opportunity for some needed changes around here.”
SLPD: Human Resources Department
On the other side of the building lies the HR Director’s office. Behind the desk sits Rhonda Lynn, a mid-30s stern looking brunette woman dressed in a no-nonsense business suit. Her severe appearance is made all the more stark because her hair is pulled back into a bun — a suitable style for this tightly-wound woman.
Rhonda is a typical Type-A personality. Impatient, excessively time-conscious, insecure about her status, highly competitive, hostile, and aggressive, Rhonda is not someone one would want to cross.
Listening to classical music on the radio, Rhonda works busily at her computer.
“That was Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. You’re listening to KSMO,” the radio newscaster proclaims. “I’m Paige Turner with the news. In the national headlines, the priceless Van der Griff jewels are still missing more than two weeks after the brazen burglary at the Van der Griff museum in Twin Creeks, Virginia.”
Philip approaches Rhonda’s door and knocks as he pops his head into the office.
Having just had a row over the phone, Rhonda greets him with trepidation. “Philip…”
“Arguably one of the most significant in the United States, the Van der Griff collection included the Centurion Dream, the Earl of Lancashire Sapphire, and the 156-carat Magenta Fire which dates back to the Ottoman Empire.”
He enters the office, shutting the door behind him. “Did I catch you at a good time?”
“Local law enforcement officials are baffled by the break-in and, as of yet, have no leads.”
Rhonda turns off the radio as she rises and walks to Philip. “Well…of course, darling,” she unsure replies. “Any time is a good time for you.”
She gives him a kiss on the lips and begins to pull away before Philip grabs her by the waist and pulls her into him. He kisses her passionately as she yields. After several moments, he releases his grip and Rhonda takes a step back.
“What has gotten into you?” she asks, breathily.
“I wanted to apologize for pressuring you about the wedding.”
“Philip, I’d really love to go, you understand. That date just won’t work for me.”
“I do understand. I won’t mention another word about it.” He looks at her with a hungry gleam in his eye. “It’s almost lunchtime and I’m rather…ravenous. How about you?”
She smiles, knowingly. “I’ll get my purse.”
University Hospital: Patient Room
Dr. Martinez enters Marcus’s room with Margaret Park, MD. In her late-30s, the petite Asian woman has a hint of a Korean accent. Her suit is all but obscured by a long white coat.
“Gian,” Dr. Martinez says, making an introduction. “I’d like you to meet Dr. Park. She’s a psychiatrist who specializes in amnesia.”
Dr. Park approaches Marcus’s bedside and extends her hand. “Hello, Gian.”
Marcus shakes her hand. “Hi.”
“I’d like to begin working with you to recover your memories,” she explains.
“That would be great,” he replies, appreciatively.
“I’ll leave you two alone,” Dr. Martinez tells them as he exits.
Dr. Park takes a seat next to the bed. “Since there seems to be no physical neurological trauma, and your toxicology report came back negative, I want to work with you to find possible psychological triggers for your amnesia.”
“Everyone seems to think I’m crazy,” Marcus grumbles.
“Crazy is not a medical concept, Gian,” she smiles. “For whatever reasons, I believe that you are suffering from global psychogenic amnesia, the inability to remember all events before a traumatic incident.”
“Do, do you mean,” he gulps, “I’ve lost everything? All my memories from before the accident?!?”
“Well, not lost, exactly. Just…misplaced.”
Marcus breathes a sigh of relief.
“I’ll use a variety of therapeutic modalities to help you recover the memories of your past,” she continues. “As you begin to gain cognitive rehabilitation, you will likely recall older memories first, and then more recent memories, until almost all memory is recovered.”
Marcus relaxes slightly, appearing comforted.
The doctor admonishes, “I must point out though, memories of events that occurred around the time of the accident may never be recovered.”
“I just want to know who I am,” beseeches Marcus.
“I’m sure this is frustrating,” she consoles. “Just have patience.”
“I’ll try. How long should it take before I begin to get my memories back?”
“That’s hard to say,” the doctor hedges. “We’ll work together using traditional psychotherapy. Talk therapy, if you will. Depending on our results, I may try hypnosis to help you unlock whatever it is that you are suppressing. Finally, as a last resort, I may use a psychopharmacological approach.”
“Drugs,” Marcus murmurs.
“Yes. But only if all else fails. I’m not one to prescribe first and ask questions later,” she smiles.
“I’m willing to try anything,” he affirms.
Dr. Park rises, looking at her watch. “I have another appointment now but I’ll be back soon and we can begin your therapy. It was good to meet you.”
“Yes. Thank you for seeing me.”
The doctor opens the door to find Cole about to knock. “Oh, excuse me,” she says.
“Pardon me,” the detective replies with a nod.
Dr. Park exits as the detective enters and shuts the door.
“I’m back,” announces the detective.
“Hi,” Marcus smiles.
“I’m here to take your fingerprints.”
Marcus appears alarmed.
“Oh, don’t worry,” he continues. “You’re not under arrest or anything. I’ll use your prints to see if there’s a match in the national fingerprint database.”
“Oh. Sure,” Marcus exhales.
Standing next to the bed, the detective places the fingerprint case on Marcus’s bed table and takes Marcus’s hand. Marcus feels a sense of attraction, and timidly looks up at the detective’s face. Cole notes a mutual attraction, yet attempts to maintain a professional posture. He can tell that this will be no ordinary case for him.
As he takes Marcus’s prints, the tension builds causing both men discomfort, yet neither wants the moment to end. One by one, Cole dabs each of Marcus’s fingertips into the ink, then onto the page. Electricity fills the air as they both suppress their desires. Cole finishes taking the last of Marcus’s prints and puts away the ink pad.
“Uh, well…” the detective stammers, “there we go. All finished here.”
He retrieves a spray bottle from the case. Spraying Marcus’s fingers with solution, Cole cleans the ink off of Marcus’s hands with a cloth, lingering, ever so slightly. Marcus swallows, almost holding his breath. Abruptly, the detective throws everything into the case and closes it up.
“Um…okay,” he continues. “I’ll run these through, and I’ll let you know what I come up with.”
As Cole picks up the case and turns to exit, Marcus grabs his arm.
“Do you have any idea how terrifying it is not to remember a single thing about your life?” he asks, choked up. “I feel like there’s this dark cloud hanging over me, and any moment, all hell is going to come raining down on me.”
Cole gently clasps Marcus’s hand. “Hey, I don’t mean to brag, but I’m an excellent detective. I’m going to find out who you are. Just give me some time,” he adds, tenderly.
Marcus let’s go of the detective’s hand and swallows again, nodding his head slightly.
SLPD: Human Resources
Rhonda sits at her desk which is overrun with stacks of files. Frustrated, she picks up her phone and intercoms her assistant.
“Jennifer? This is ridiculous. We must fill this clerical position immediately!” she snarls. “Yes, I know you’re doing the best you can, but the candidates we’ve seen so far have been worthless. Alright. Clear my schedule for the next round of interviews next week.”
Rhonda hangs up.
SLPD: Detectives’ Squad Room
Later, Det. Washington runs Marcus’s fingerprints through the computerized national fingerprint database. On his computer screen, data scrolls rapidly, then flashes the words “no match.” A coworker drops a report into the detective’s in-box.
“Thanks,” he mumbles. Cole peruses the report, thumbing through the pages. “Riley, according to CSI’s report, the incident between Frank Cain and John Doe was ruled an accident,” he tells Ginny, sitting in an adjacent cubicle. “Quote: skid marks at the scene indicate driver braked before impact, and measurements suggest vehicle was traveling within the posted speed limit.”
“Well, I’m sure Mr. Cain will be relieved to hear he is no longer a figure in the investigation,” she adds.
“Yeah. Now comes the hard part. Our vic doesn’t have a police record.”
“Time to start distributing his photo to other police departments,” Ginny says, shrugging her shoulders.
“Yep. Next on my list. I’ll get on it.”
University Hospital: Patient Room
Near 9 pm, one of the two men who chased Marcus through the woods enters Marcus’s room. In his late-20s, the tall, dark, broad-built man appears menacing. He slowly looks around the room before proceeding to Marcus’s bedside.
Marcus lies asleep in his bed as the man approaches. The man peers down at Marcus and stares at him for a moment. A look of utter contempt comes over his face. He looks over each shoulder, then back at Marcus. He puts on surgical gloves, retrieves a hypodermic syringe from his coat pocket.
“I put up with you for way too long,” he whispers.
He injects Marcus’s IV, and pauses.
“This is payback,” he growls before quickly exiting the room.
Within moments, Marcus begins to gasp for air.
SLPD: Detectives’ Squad Room
Unaware of the danger facing Marcus, Det. Washington calls Frank to let him know that the crash was ruled an accident.
“Yeah?” answers Frank.
“Mr. Cain? This is Det. Washington of the Santa Lorena Police Dept.”
Frank sits up, alarmed. “Yes?”
“Sorry to call so late, Mr. Cain,” he begins. “But I wanted to let you know that investigators at the scene of your traffic incident with John Doe have determined that you were driving within the posted speed limit and that you did brake appropriately.”
“So, what does that mean for me?” asks Frank.
“It means that you’re no longer a figure in the investigation,” Cole explains. “I thought you’d want to know before you retired for the evening.”
“Yeah. Yeah, thanks!” Frank says as he hangs up.
He’s relieved to hear that he is in the clear. “That should keep the cops from poking into my business. Now I just have to figure out if this Marcus character has any more money I can get my hands on.”
University Hospital: Patient Room
Alarms begin to beep and buzz on the monitors hooked up to Marcus. Nurse Renwick rushes in and evaluates Marcus’s condition. She hastily dials the phone.
“I have a Code Blue in 712! Get a crash cart in here, stat!”
Gail places a blood pressure cuff on his arm and takes Marcus’s pulse. Another nurse wheels in a crash cart and they begin taking Marcus’s vital signs.
“BP is 158 over 98 and he’s tachycardic,” Gail calls out.
Dr. Martinez arrives and jumps into the fray. “What happened?” he inquires.
“I don’t know,” responds Gail. “He just suddenly coded.”
“Get me a CBC, Chem 23, blood gas, and tox screen,” Dr. Martinez calls out while the other nurse draws Marcus’s blood. Dr. Martinez checks one of the monitors.
“It looks like he’s having an allergic reaction,” he notes. “When was his last meal?”
Gail looks at Marcus’s chart. “Uh, he had dinner at about 5:30 pm”
“That was nearly four hours ago. What the hell is going on?” wonders Dr. Martinez. He listens to Marcus’s heart with a stethoscope. “Let’s get an ECG.”
Gail wheels in an electrocardiograph and begins attaching electrodes to Marcus’s chest. The monitor begins to blip. Dr. Martinez studies the graph on the monitor.
“This isn’t right,” he mutters to himself. “How could we have missed abnormalities in his heart?”
“Should we prepare to defibrillate?” asks Gail.
“Be ready, just in case,” the doctor replies.
The other nurse brings in the defibrillator.
“His pulse ox is falling,” Gail exclaims.
Suddenly, Marcus’s heart rate begins to dance erratically on the monitor.
“He’s in V-fib!” shouts Dr. Martinez.
Gail applies gel to the defibrillator paddles and hands them to the doctor.
Dr. Martinez grabs the paddles. “Set it at 200.”
Gail adjusts the defibrillator controls.
“Clear!” shouts the doctor as the other clinicians step back from the patient.
Marcus’s body seizes as 200 joules of electricity courses through it.
Dr. Martinez waits momentarily for a response, staring at the heart monitor. But Marcus’s heart rate is still dangerously sporadic. “300,” he instructs.
Gail adjusts the controls again.
Another jolt of electricity surges through Marcus’s body. Again, no change.
“Give me 360. Clear!”
After a few seconds, Marcus’s heart rate begins to stabilize but is still irregular.
“That’s better,” says the doctor as he scrutinizes the monitor.
“No. He’s stopped breathing!” Gail cries.
On the next installment of Tomorrow Waits For No One:
Dr. Martinez to Cole: “John Doe’s IV was injected with potassium chloride.”
Frank to himself: “Wow. This is bigger than I imagined.”
Rhonda to Gail: “First, you people cancel my appointment without notifying me in advance, now I have a revolving door of incompetent peons to deal with.”
Gail to Rhonda: “Well, now that we’ve established that, let me reschedule your appointment.”