Ever and Always
Chapter 10: Black Swans? - August 2021

Copyright© 2015 by Banadin

Marsha got Silvia's agreement on removing the seconded from her room. She and Rick bought a small love seat, chairs, coffee table, and a TV stand along with a thirty-two inch flat-screen television. Rick had wanted a fifty inch but was talked out of it. All but the TV was obtained from the Salvation Army Mission.

A few dollars on the side got the furniture delivered to their room. Another extra payment to maintenance had cable run into the room. Silvia had a long conversation with the new Head Nurse, so she was on board. The Head Nurse was not sure what was going on. Silvia may have left the impression that they were in the Witness Protection Program.

On Tuesday August 22, 2021, Rick and Marsha were watching the nightly news on WBAL. Rick's favorite news caster came on with the news before the show started.

"This is Abi Jackson with an amazing wonderful story. There has been a breakthrough on Alzheimer's. Benton Pharmaceuticals has announced that their newest drug has passed Phase 2 testing and has been fast tracked for approval by the FDA.

This wonder drug apparently not only prevents clumps of protein forming in healthy people but dissolves them where they are already formed. This has the potential of 'returning' many people who have Alzheimer's from their dementia.

Our understanding is that this drug will have to be taken on a continuing basis by the 'returnees' and is probably why Benton's stock has shot up almost one hundred percent on afterhours trading. The SEC is already talking about halting trading to keep an orderly market. The next story is just as amazing."

Monks Pharmaceuticals has announced they have been fast tracked by the FDA on a vaccine for HIV. This is a preventative vaccine and not a cure for those in advanced stages though it should lessen the severity of even that. When asked for their reaction the head of the Baltimore Gay and Lesbian Alliance responded, "Party Time."

Marsha yelled, "Rick that is it, we are now returnees! We were in an Alzheimer's study. Actually, it may have been very similar. The only difference it has been six years since we had our last doses. All we have to do is imply that we were in the study, and that will explain our lack of dementia."

"What about the HIV issue," Rick asked?

"What about it, let them think we have AIDS and are on the medications. All we have to do is prove we are competent, and they will have to release our funds from the court-ordered trust."

Rick said, "I'm not certain that it will be that easy. We will have to be examined by a Doctor, the evidence submitted before the court. The judge will either decide we are competent or order further testing. I will do some Internet investigation to see what the procedure is in Maryland."

During this conversation, Marsha was almost bouncing around in joy.

This gave Rick pause, "Marsha I think we should keep looking old by walk, make up and clothes. If I did not know better I would think you are in your mid-seventies. Especially since your teeth have come back in. I wish mine would hurry up and break through. They are driving me nuts."

After work the next morning Rick went up on the Internet and confirmed his line of thinking. They would be tested for; thought, awareness, perceptions, judgment, mood, and memory. Rick thought with a chuckle, "I hope my political leanings do not count against me."

There was one interesting clause, if their incompetence had been temporary, caused by a stroke or something of that nature, after one year they could present evidence to the court and be declared competent. That might be an easier route if they could take it.

The next question was where to start. His initial thought was to hire a lawyer, but that could get expensive real quick. Then there was the matter of trust. Even though they would have a lawyer client-relationship this would be a very delicate dance. The last thing he and Marsha wanted was to be put into endless studies to explain their condition.

After thinking for a while he realized they had very few people that they really trusted. It was a short list, Silvia and Charles. Even though Silvia and Charles did not know the whole story they knew enough that it would not be difficult to explain what they were trying to accomplish. That evening he and Marsha discussed the situation and decided she would talk to Silvia and him with Charles.

Rick donned his latest set of rags and went down to the Mission. There he found Charles and went through the high five ritual. Once they had walked aside Charles started first, "Man I am glad you are here tonight. In two weeks, I start my new duty and will be off the street. I will be working a desk. My wife will love it, and I will have more time for my kids."

"Charles, I never knew you were married much less have kids," Rick stated.

"A six-year-old boy, Charles Junior, and a four-year-old girl, Condoleezza, we call them Junior and Condi. I wish I had some pictures to show, but I don't dare to while undercover."

"That's okay, maybe one day you will be driving by my corner, and we can catch up."

"That would be good, Rick. You and Marsha are certainly different than anyone else I have met down here. Tell me what is up with you and Marsha, you're getting together?"

This gave Rick the perfect opportunity to explain that he, and Marsha were both declared incompetent and needed to find a way to get that reversed, but only wanted to work with a lawyer who they could trust.

Charles broke out into his big smile and said with a laugh, "I have just the lawyer for you. My baby sister would be glad for your case. She was in a large law firm but has recently gone out on her own. She is the best of all worlds for you. She is experienced but hungry."

"That sounds good, when could Marsha, and I meet with her," Rick asked?

"Let me make a quick call," said Charles.

He said, "Phone call Clarisse. He waited for what were probably two rings and said, "Hi Sis this is Charles. I may have some business for you. Two friends of mine need a competency hearing. No the other way, declared competent. Yeah I know that is backward, but that is what it is. When can you get together with them?"

He looked at Rick, who mouthed, "tomorrow at two."

Charles repeated this to Clarisse, who was fine with the appointment.

Charles handed one of Clarisse Bowden's business cards to him while saying, "Can't carry my kid's pictures but a lawyer's card is okay, what a world."

Rick thanked Charles and went back to the rest home. He updated Marsha on their appointment. She told him that Silvia had been out on a sick day, so she had not talked to her.

Rick told her, "That may be for the best, let's see what the lawyer has to say before we bring her in to it."

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