Please note: This is a first, stream of consciousness draft. Please comment on content, not grammar. I will have this edited later.
Dio gets carless
Dio woke up that morning with new hope. His talk with Miguel had revamped his decision to turn a new leaf and maybe restart his college plans. He decided to walk to the county library to do some research on classes at the local community college.
He decided to take the short cut to the library. It would take him through the park that surrounded the artificial lake that was the crown jewel of the neighborhood. He used this short cut often, even when it was not a true shorter way.
As he crowned the top of a hill and started to descent into the lake shore, he noticed a young man leaning against a fence that separated the trail from the lake and was probably built to prevent bike riders from going into the lake.
As he approached the young man he noticed him to be slight and probably Latino. Knowing that as a more corpulent person he could hold his own, he approached.
The young man, in a casual way addressed him, – “Hey man, do you have some change?”.
Dio stopped and as he started looking in his pockets for some lose change, he looked away for a second. He felt the thud of the punch on the left side of his face just above the eye. The pain was followed by starts and he lost consciousness.
Miguel was wondering why Dio had not been at the house when he woke up. Dio had shown gratitude at being able to stay, and had listened to Miguel’s remarks about the need to think of his future.
When his portable phone buzzed late in the afternoon, he was tempted to ignore it. However, he answered cautiously – “What can I do for you?”
“This is nurse Neela from the Holy Cross Hospital in Germantown. Mr. Dionisio Serga asked me to contact you regarding a crime he was a victim of this morning. First let me tell you that he is OK, he needed some stitches and we have given him a prescription for pain pills. He is a little groggy as he has already been medicated.”
Miguel thought about what he has just learned and after a few seconds asked, – “If you don’t’ mind telling me, why are you calling me?’
A little taken by surprised the nurse responded, – “He has given us your name and phone number as the person to contact. While he appears to be fine, the hospital would rather he goes home. Apparently, he doesn’t have insurance and we have to exhaust all avenues to have him discharged, as we need the beds.”
For paying patients. Thought Miguel.
“Sure, I will pick him up. Were the police informed?”
“Yes, they were also here and talked to him, but he didn’t have much to say about the incident. They asked him where he lived and he said he was homeless.”
“Can you tell me anything else?”
“He was assaulted at Lake Whetstone by two men. Fortunately, a neighbor walking his dog came upon the scene and the muggers took off running. He called an ambulance and he was bought here.”
Miguel appreciated the presence of mind of Dio not revealing where he was staying and made arrangements to pick him up.
More than a mugging?
It was starting to get dark when Miguel got in his car to pick up Dio at the hospital. He was using a ten-year-old Toyota Celica that gave him the profile he wanted, minimal.
As he drove the five miles to the hospital he tried to organize his thoughts. It wasn’t like him to be caught off guard with a situation like this. But again, how can one plan for the unexpected? Maybe setting up levels of awareness would help, what does that really mean? He thought.
As agreed Dio was waiting at the emergency entrance sitting on a wheel chair. A bored orderly smiled when he saw Miguel’s plain vanilla car and mentally kissed a good tip goodbye.
Miguel stopped, got out of the car and approached the duo and said to Dio as he helped him get into the passenger seat, “Wow, that is some bandage, you look like you had major brain surgery”.
Dio looked at him with a dazed stare and did not appear to understand the attempted humor by Miguel. Then smiled and said, “You should see the other guy.”
Defying stereotypes, Miguel produced a five-dollar bill and gave it to the orderly who tried not very strongly to not accept it. Upon the former’s insistence, the orderly pocketed the fin and decided that he would follow his father’s advice to be more optimistic about human nature.
As Miguel pulled away from the curb he asked Dio, “So, how bad is it? It is difficult to tell with all that gauze on it.”
Dio took out his phone and after some swiping he waited for a light to show the selfie he had taken just before they had glued the wound.
“That doesn’t look like a normal punch to me, I bet the guy was using brass knuckles.” Remarked Miguel as he drove off.
Dio thought for a while and responded, “All I know is that I felt like someone had scrambled my brains with a baseball bat, I was out cold and remembered only when I was being put into the ambulance.”
Miguel thought, this I not a mugging, they wanted to harm badly or kill him. I have to find out what is behind this.
Dio was starting to wrestle on whether he should come clean. This M13 shit is not going away, he thought.