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Chapter 2 of For better or worse, this is the truth.
Life’s a bitch. I had woken up late, nicked myself three times shaving, and the coffee here tasted like shit. I was at a little coffee shop across from the precinct. It was an OK place. Food was good, edible. Coffee usually is good, drinkable. Not today. Today the coffee tasted like shit. But I had a migraine (or a hangover I can never tell) and needed caffeine. Jeff called me from the sink and asked if I was OK. “Jeff,” I said on the phone then, “You don’t need to worry about me. I’m fine. Just need some coffee. I’ll be in in about an hour.” He said; “OK.” And hung up. Jeff’s a good guy. I’m glad I got stuck with him as a partner. My cell phone had one voice mail on it, from Frank.
Voice mail: “Dick, OK. I’m just going to say I’m sorry and that I love you. I don’t know what’s wrong with me but I know I’ll never figure all this shit out with out you. I know you’re pissed at me for putting you through hell these past few months. I’m sorry. I wish I could say more but I can’t. Look, your great Dick. More even. And you deserve better then what I’ve been giving you. I’m sorry Dick. For everything. You said for me not to call you until I got myself sorted out. Well, I’m just leaving this to tell you I wont be calling. Ever. I’m sorry Dick. I’m sorry.”
I listened to that message three times before deleting it. I had never thought Frank leave or that I would have been the one to tell him to. It felt confusing somehow. I didn’t know weather to cry or stay calm. To feel hurt or relieved. All I did know was that Frank and I were don. I paid for the shity coffee and walked over to the sink. I was a zombie in the hallways. People walked past me, talking. Sometimes at me sometimes not. I just headed for my desk and went through mountains of paper work. Forms that needed to be signed. Papers that needed to be filed. Cases that needed to be closed or started. I didn’t even hear Jeff talk the first time. He had to snap his fingers in front of my face to get me to focus. “Dick, you OK man?” I shook my head and rubbed my eyes. “Yea. Just a little distracted. I’ll be fine.” Jeff sat on the edge of his desk and looked at me. “Something happen last night, Dick?” I shrugged. “It’s not worth thinking about. What were you saying earlier?” I have never seen Jeff beam with joy more before. He was a light bulb. “Glorya said yes. I asked her to marry me and she said yes.” I rolled my eyes. “Jeff she said yes three months ago. Your already engaged.” He smiled and shook his head. “No. Dick I asked her to marry me this weekend. Everything’s all planed out. Monday morning I will have a wife.” I stood up and hugged him and slapped his back. We both laughed. The guys were looking at us like we were making out right there. We pulled off and I grabbed on of the guys and told him what was up. He smiled at Jeff and hugged him too. “Jeff, man that’s great. We were wandering when the big day would come. But why this weekend?” One of the guys asked. “Well, Glorya wanted to wait to have a winter wedding in December. And we all know winter sucks here. So I thought why not now on her birthday.” We all grinned at Jeff. A woman loves nothing more than to have something special on her birthday. And a wedding, damn. You couldn’t get more special then that. “That’s great Jeff. Who’s your best man?” One of the guys asked. Jeff looked up at me. My eyebrows shot up. He smiled. “Hey Dick, what you doing this weekend?” The guys all laughed and patted Jeff and me on the back. I couldn’t believe it. I always thought Jeff was going to pick one of his brothers. I mean, that’s the tradition, right? Family all the way? “Jeff I’d be honored to. Thanks man.” Jeff laughed and we shook hands. “What, you think I only need you to save my ass when we’re on the job?” He laughed. “Dead eye needs to save my ass at this thing too. Knowing my ass I’ll freeze up and hide in the bathroom.” We all laughed. Jeff wasn’t like that. We all knew. But we were all family here almost and we could kid like that with each other. After more pats on the back and congratulations we all got back to work. Finally things were looking up. I smiled while I did my paper work.