Copyright© 2015 by Lumpy
I spent a long time during the night, lying with my eyes closed, plotting out my next moves. I knew whatever was happening was bigger than anyone had discussed yet, mostly because I could feel something happening. The biggest tip-offs were my planning and concerns. I had always been aware of my own intellect, but ideas, thoughts and understandings were coming much faster than I had ever experienced before. I could literally feel the difference in my mental abilities, and it was scaring me a little. There was no good reason I could imagine for getting suddenly smarter overnight. But there it was, and I was using whatever this was to make plans.
My first step was to call Jonathan Colleta, the lawyer who had helped me when I was arrested. I called as soon as I thought someone would be in his office. I arranged for him to draw up some documents and worked out how I would pay for the service, since this was on my own dime. Luckily what I wanted wasn't extremely time consuming, but it would eat into my earnings from work.
Next was to call work and let them know what happened. Ted offered any help he could, and said my job would be waiting when I was back on my feet. For all the entitlement and stubbornness I got from Josh, I am surprised by the difference in his uncle.
The girls had school, so I knew I wouldn't see them until the afternoon; but, Mrs. Bell had taken off work, just to be with me. Luckily, she was able to stop and pick up the paperwork from Mr. Colleta's office.
"Cas, what is this exactly," she asked as she handed me a sealed manila envelope.
"My plan to get a little control over Doctor Chang. We need to understand what is happening, and she is our best resource to do that. But, I don't know her, and I don't trust her, so I need leverage. Would you see if you can find her?"
She gave me a look, but went out of the room anyway. Ten minutes later she, returned with the doctor in tow.
"You were looking for me, Mr. Grey."
"Yes, I was. After our conversation last night, I did some thinking. There is more going on than you know from your tests. I think if you are going to study what is happening to me, you need to be in the loop, all the way."
She looked very pleased in a haughty, self-centered way, "Excellent. Let me get something to record our conversation."
I held up a hand, "Not so fast. First, some insurance."
"Yep. I am giving you a lot of access to my life. I need to make sure neither my friends nor I are exposed to any potential harm. Here."
She took the envelope, "What is this?"
"I want you to sign that. It is a non-disclosure agreement, and a contract. In exchange for complete access to me, and my complete cooperation; you are agreeing, in writing, to not talk to anyone I do not designate, about anything you learn. You are not to keep any notes or records. You can, of course, take notes, but they stay with me, locked up. You can also access them any time you wish, but I can't take the chance of your notes ending up with someone else. We made the penalties pretty harsh if you break any of the rules, or talk to anyone about this."
"What makes you think I would sign something like this?"
"Same thing that made me think you would last night. You are dying to know what is going on. And I'll bet even more so, now that you know there is more information you don't have."
"And if I don't sign?"
"You get nothing else from me when I walk out of here. Also, I will have my lawyer regularly check to ensure you are not in violation of any HIPAA laws, by sharing my tests."
She did not look happy about that.
"Doctor Chang, I want to make it clear. I want to work with you on this. I think I could benefit from your expertise. I think eventually you could use the information to get the boost to your career you want. But, everything has to be done in a way where I am protected. I promise we will find a way for you to use whatever you discover, but on my terms. Can you work with this?"
"I don't have a choice, do I?"
"No, but that shouldn't stop us from working together."
She frowned again, but took out a pen and signed the papers.
"Okay, so what else do you have to tell me?"
"Not here. Come by Mrs. Bell's house on Thursday and we will have a long conversation."
"I can live with that. I should have some of my first reports back by then."
"Great. See, it's all working out."
She harrumphed at me and left. That afternoon I got the second thing I needed out of the way, a visit with police detectives. Luckily, the detective that showed up was the one I had dealt with at the station and not the uniformed cop who seemed to have it in for me. It was still too early for the girls to be out of school, so it was just Mrs. Bell and I in the room when he arrived.
"Mr. Grey, I don't know if you remember me..."
"I remember you, Detective Casper. I guess you are here about the shooting?"
"Yes. We got statements from everyone at the scene, but now that you are cleared to talk by your doctor, we wanted to talk to you. Can you describe to me what happened?"
"Sure. I was walking home from school with Zoe. The path to our neighborhood leads through a small section of woods and we were on the back side of the school. We had already crossed the parking lot. I didn't notice anything at first, as I had a lot on my mind. The first clue, that I had that something was wrong was the squealing of tires. I turned and saw a car coming towards us. The rear window was down and I could see a gun. I reached over, grabbed Zoe, and threw her out of the line of fire. Just about then the car crossed in front of me and there were gunshots ... I don't remember how many. I felt the bullets hit and fell to the ground, striking my head. Then I blacked out."
"Did you see who was driving?"
"No, as soon as I saw the gun, I stopped paying attention to the car. I was only trying to get Zoe out of the way."
"So I am guessing you didn't see the license plate."
"No. Honestly, I don't even remember what the car was, except that it had a dark paint job, like dark blue or black or something. I was more concerned with Zoe's safety. Sorry."
"I would ask if anyone had a grudge against you, but I already know the answer to that."
"Yes, they would be my first guess. Them or their friends."
He closed his notebook.
"Sorry I couldn't be more help."
"It's okay. It isn't unusual for the victim in cases like this to miss the details. There is usually a lot going on, and the fact that you were able to get your girlfriend out of harm's way says a lot. It could have been a lot worse than it was."
Mrs. Bell touched the detective on his arm to get his attention.
"Do you have any leads?"
"I can't really talk about that, but I will say whoever did this was not very smart about it. There were a lot of witnesses in the parking lot. A student and a teacher both wrote down the license plate ... so, yeah, we have a lot of leads."
He looked back at me.
"I think we'll be able to clear this, but we will need you to testify when it goes to court. Also, these guys are still out there, so be careful and stay aware of what is going on around you."
"I think that's all I need, for now. We'll be in touch."
A few hours after the detectives left, my two ... or rather, it seemed three ... girls showed up from school. They must have hurried, since Zoe and Tami were still in their cheerleader uniforms. They hadn't even stopped to change. They were just in time, too, as I was getting released from the hospital. I was still ordered to stay on 'bed rest' for the next week and a half. I also had a follow-up appointment with the doctor, after that before I could be cleared to go back to school.
Eventually it was time to go. Doctor Chang showed up as we were leaving to say goodbye, and to remind me to take it easy and stay in bed. Getting from the wheelchair that the Candystriper was pushing, and into the car, was harder than I would have thought. It would have been hard enough because of my injuries, but the three girls trying to help me added a lot of confusion. Eventually, Mrs. Bell had to put her foot down, and make the girls back off. She also announced I would still be staying with her while I recuperated, and took me back to their house. Once in Zoe's room, I noticed something. The bed was different. Where there had been a double bed and a lot of floor space, before, now there was a king sized bed. It was so big that it made the room seem small. I looked at Mrs. Bell but she just shrugged and helped me get comfortable. She did admonish all three girls to take it easy on me as she headed out of the room.
"What's with the new bed?"