... Continued from yesterday.
Meanwhile, back at the bar, the two policemen paid their tabs and said goodnight to Ike. He was glad to see them go as they were his last two customers for the evening. He locked the door behind them and turned to close out the register and clear up the tables.
Joe and Pete, the two policeman, walked across the parking lot to their cars. "See you in the morning," Joe said.
Pete pointed out a dark shape in the parking lot that seemed to be half under a car, near where Joe was standing. "Hey, Joe, what's that?"
Joe, who had worked all day, and was anxious to finally get home to bed, said, "I bet it's Sam is sleeping off the scotch." They both shrugged and drove away.
By this time, Sam had made it back to the bar's parking lot on his long walk home. He, too, saw the shape near the back of the car. He walked over and squatted down to see what it was. Reaching out, he turned the shape over and realized it was a person. In the dim light that puddled in the parking lot from the bar, he could make out the Nick's features. "Shit," he murmured. Nick was unconscious, and blood was flowing from a gash on his head. Nick's open, empty wallet was thrown into a puddle on the ground near the back tire of the car.
Everything in Sam's being urged him to stand up and walk away. He hated this man. Who knew where the punks were who had stolen Nick's money and credit cards after hitting him in the head? They could come back. Sam stood up, looking around the parking lot and then back down at Nick again. He slammed his hand onto the trunk of the car in disgust, and then dropped to his knees next to Nick. He was using his shirt to try to stop the bleeding when he heard someone approach him from behind.
"Sam, what the hell have you done!" Ike yelled, running the last few steps to where the two men were in the lot.
"I didn't do this! I found him here."
"Right. Sure you did." Ike's disbelief was more than apparent in his sarcastic reply.
"Come on, Ike, open up the bar. I need to get him out of this rain and call for some help."
Ike looked back at him, and the fear that appeared in his eyes was barely visible in the dim light. "Maybe that's not such a great idea, Sam."
"Open the bar, Ike. I didn't hurt Nick; I won't hurt you."
After a full minute of indecision, during which Sam stripped off his sodden shirt to better use it to stop the bleeding, Ike finally said, "I'll grab his legs. Let's get him into the bar."
Two hours later, Sam opened the door to his apartment. The ambulance had finally arrived at the bar to transport the groggy Nick to the hospital. The only thing that had kept the responding police officers from arresting Sam had been Nick's barely coherent statement describing his attackers.
Nothing had really changed in Sam's life -- he was still on the road to bankruptcy and divorce, he still couldn't see where his future was leading. Somehow, though, he felt that he had turned an important corner, and that somewhere, there was light.
Labels: Action, Gospel