Chapter XXIX – Ginger Thomas
If talking to Adrian and Xavier ought to have made Ginger feel better, it didn’t work. With a still heavy heart and even higher anxiety, she left them. Anna moved on her approach and the waitress knelt beside her brother once more.
“How is he doing?”
Eddie’s eyes opened at the sound of her voice. Pain clouded them so, that it hurt Ginger to look at him.
Timothy still looked more haggard than usual. “He’s doing as well as can be expected. Stable and the bleeding is down to manageable levels.”
A spasm of pain made Eddie tense. Ginger put a hand on his shoulder.
“His pain level appears unchanged.”
Ginger frowned. “Can’t we give him something for it?”
Timothy shook his head. “I wouldn’t risk it. When we get out of here, if he needs surgery…” He let the sentence hang.
With a sigh, Ginger took her brother’s hand instead. Exactly when can we hope for that to happen? We’re stuck in here.
“Ginger, what did you tell them?” Eddie’s voice rasped.
Ginger shook her head. “I told you that you don’t need to worry about it.”
He winced. “I will anyhow.”
“Is he confessing?” Mary’s whimper, as the woman crept closer to them, made Ginger flinch.
“No.” She hardly dared to look at the woman.
“Well, you lied, and if you are siblings, he probably did too…”
“What?” Ginger swiveled around. Eddie squeezed her hand in a silent plea for her to remain calm.
“No, it isn’t!” Ginger calmed herself with an effort. “And I didn’t lie.”
“Even if she did, siblings don’t always share failings.” Fabian leaned against the table near Mary.
“They could though and probably would.” Mary wrung her hands, creeping forward with the most ridiculous shuffle. “He’s still alive. I didn’t kill him. I keep expecting him to slip away.”
“Yes, he is still alive.” Fabian straightened. “No, you may not try again.”
Mary gave him a wary glance, shuffling backwards a hair. She almost squeaked. “He lied.”
“We don’t know that he lied.” Anna stood behind Ginger. “And this conversation is getting incredibly old!”
“We do know!” Mary’s voice raised beyond a squeak.
“You don’t know anything.” Ginger couldn’t keep from speaking. “You’re just a hysterical nutcase who could easily get us all killed through sheer idiocy!” Timothy cleared his throat and Ginger clenched her teeth.
Fabian straightened. “Let’s break and go to our separate corners, before someone draws more blood, shall we?”
Ginger didn’t look directly at the man but turned toward her brother again. Mary backed away.
Eddie watched her, but she looked away. The room fell quiet and felt more oppressive than she had ever experienced. Sweeping her gaze across the room, Ginger noted everyone sitting away from each other. Alone.
Fabian watched Mary from a distance with an occasional glance toward Renee. Kimberly huddled alone, still sipping at what must have been some disgusting cold coffee. Anna absently rubbed her arm at a little distance from Ginger, while staring toward the worthless exit. The cousins still sat together with the little girl, but the rest… Their distrust of each other seemed to have increased. She wondered if Timothy would have kept a similar distance, if Eddie didn’t need him.
We don’t know who might try to stab us next for our own protection.
Renee shifted slightly in her chair, attracting Ginger’s attention again. The woman seemed to wilt and droop as if a burden crushed her very shoulders. Ginger thought back over her acquaintance – if it could be called that, – with the woman. Something about her had changed over time.
“I think her husband is gone.” She said it more to herself, but Timothy looked up.
“You think what?”
She didn’t turn. “Renee. I think her husband is gone.”
“Well, he certainly isn’t here.”
Ginger turned toward him with a roll of her eyes. “Not here, silly. I think he’s actually gone.”
“As in deceased?”
“Or he left her or is in prison or something.”
Timothy placed another folded towel beneath Eddie’s head. “Seems an extreme conclusion.”
“I finally remembered who he is.” Ginger shook her head. “I only saw them together once, but they were obviously together. She didn’t have a baby bump yet. She came to meet him here – they only stayed a moment after she showed up. He used to come in every Tuesday with his buddy.”
“And from that, you divine that he’s now gone? Be careful, you’ll start to sound like Mary.”
Ginger fought a glare. “The week that he stopped coming in, Renee started showing up. She’s come in every Tuesday since – except twice. Last week she was here on Wednesday or Thursday, and about a month ago, she came in on a Monday.”
Timothy reached to take Eddie’s pulse again. “You could be correct or it could be a coincidence. She didn’t seem to want to talk about it though, I’ll grant you that.”
“No, she didn’t.” Ginger glanced toward Renee, then back to Timothy. “She’s also sad. Very sad. I could be wrong, but I think something has happened to him. He’s gone. I just can’t tell if she thinks he’s coming back.”
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