A new investigation that could bring more a storm upon her and everyone she knows
The next day, Char, Steven, and the dogs went with her dad to his appointment to see Doctor Ellsworth privately at his office. As they all gathered around, Doctor Kerry Ellsworth smiled and shook all their hands. And after Paul told him the news, his eyes widened.
“So, you’ve been walking?” Kerry asked Paul.
“That’s, that’s just remarkable. When did this start?”
Paul knew this would get out sooner or later. But he had to be honest with the doctor. If he was honest, then perhaps they could figure out if there’d be a chance he could walk again.
“It started when my daughter got married. I was actually able to walk her down the aisle. Then it went away. It was four years passed. But then yesterday, yesterday I stood again,” Paul confessed.
“Wow. That’s, that’s still, just amazing.”
“Doc, it comes and goes. Is that normal?” Dawn asked.
“It most certainly is not normal.”
“Doc, is my dad in any danger?” Char asked.
“To find that out, we’ll have to run some tests.” He turned to Paul. “Paul, if you want to truly know, I’ll need to run tests.”
“Tests. That’s you guys ever do!” Paul snapped.
“I’m sorry. It’s how we can determine things.”
“I know. I’m sorry too. How long will the tests be?”
“Couple of hours.”
Paul turned to Char. He smiled; she smiled back to him. But both knew she couldn’t stay for the entire tests.
“Am I missing something?” Kerry asked.
“Yeah, I have to go to work. I’m getting a new partner finally today,” Char said.
“Oh, that’s great,” Kerry said.
“Yeah. I guess. I haven’t had a partner since 2018. It’s gonna be weird.”
“You got this, Charlotte!” Kerry smiled.
“Thanks. Take good care of my dad!”
Char hugged everyone. Being she came in Steven’s truck, he needed to take her home so she could get ready.
She hugged her dad the longest. “Call me as soon as you know anything!”
He hugged her back. “I will, sweet cakes!”
“Love you sailor!”
“Love you too!”
She turned to Dawn. “Make sure you call me as soon as you know!”
Steven took Char home. But before she went to work, she decided she’d do her own research into why her dad walked at only certain times. This needed to be done to put her mind at ease. She wasn’t sure she’d find anything. She was up in the loft. Steven and the dogs met her there.
“Whatcha doing babe?” he asked.
“Cop stuff,” she replied.
“But don’t you have to go to work?”
She watched him check his watch. His eyes widened. She shrugged him off for a few moments as she found a blog about a drug company. Omega Seven Pharmaceuticals. Her eyes widened at what she read, she hooked the laptop to the printer up there and printed out the entire blog. It ended being around thirty pages.
“Hun, my watch says 1:42pm,” Steven alerted her.
“And work, right?”
“You in a hurry to get rid of me?” She laughed.
“No. I just don’t want you to destroy your explementary attendance record. I know how much that means to you.”
“Aw, thanks babe. Yeah. Okay. I just need to go down and get ready.”
After she was ready, she hugged and kissed Steven. It was one of the most passionate kisses he ever received from her.
“I love you. You be careful and have a real great day! Have safe trips there and back. Bring my wife home. We kind of love her and stuff.”
She chuckled. “K bye! Thanks!”
He laughed and watched walk out to the car with Neo.
On the way to work, she pulled up the blog on her monitor. She used the narrator to help her check out all the posts.
“These people, they’re murders! They killed my mother with their new time release drug!” the narrator said.
“This company should be banned. They killed my son!”
“This company says they are revolutionizing drugs but all they are doing is killing people!”
She stopped the narrator. She couldn’t believe such a blog existed. And how could the company not know it was there, she questioned. She found it. But perhaps the creator put in words that the company wouldn’t know about, she thought.
“Okay Char, even that’s stupid, for you.” She laughed.
Her phone rang. It was an unknown number. She never answered those. But something was telling her to answer. And she did. She pressed a button on the steering wheel to put the phone on speaker.
“Hello?” she asked.
“Is this Charlotte Rutkowski?”
“This is Kent Manning. I’m the writer of the blog: new dangerous drugs that need to be exposed.”
Holy shit balls! She thought. How the fuck did he know she was on his website? And how the fuck did he get her person number? This was, this was just to whacko for her.
“I was referred to you by a mutual friend,” Kent said.
“Yes. Shelly Lang?” he checked.
“Oh, yeah. Shelly. Wow, this is just to whacko for me,” she said.
“I know it’s weird, but do you have a few moments today to spare?”
“I’m on my way to work. What can I do for you?”
“I’d like to meet you for a soda later. Can we meet?”
“Let me guess, you can’t talk over the phone?”
“I take lunch at around 6pm. How about we meet at the Subway on Dodge Park and Sixteen-and-a-half-mile road?” she suggested.
“Sounds great. See you then!”
The call ended.
Twenty minutes later, Char arrived at the SPD building.
And surprisingly, no reporters. The media presence surrounding her, and Steven had died down immensely over the last couple years. She was damn thankful for that. So, she parked out front, grabbed Neo from the back of her SUV cruiser. On the way to the sidewalk, her and Neo walked tightly together. She began talking to him like she always did.
“I think I’m onto something here with my research into this pharmaceutical company buddy.” She gasped. “Would this have anything to with my dad?”
Neo barked. They entered the building. She made her way to Chuck’s office first. Char had to meet with him first, then she’d meet her new partner. All the way to the office, she grumbled about this move.
“Why the hell do I need a new partner? It’s been four years since Trish died. Four damn years!” she said. “and now this thing with my dad. That weirded phone call before coming in. Trish, I so wish you here!”
She checked her watch. It was August 9. And this month was just so hard for her. Tomorrow was the fourth-year anniversary since Trish was taken by a gunman they still haven’t caught. Char had been working on the case whenever she got an extra moment. And since she went and saw Trish’s grave a few months ago, she’d swore she’d make it a point to visit her grave every year on August tenth. And any other free time she had.
Char finally arrived at Chuck’s office. The office was surrounded by glass, expect the back far wall straight ahead. She saw a man she thought or maybe it was a woman, sitting in the visitor’s chair off to her right. And the chair was to the right of Chuck’s rectangular desk once you were inside the office. There was another chair to the left of that one and Chuck also had a sofa to the left of that chair facing the back wall.
She studied the person for a moment before entering the office. The person wore shoulder length brown hair, their build was hard to tell due to them sitting down on the black leather chair. She shook her head. And Chuck finally saw her and waved for her to enter.
Her and Neo entered.
“Hey Char. I’d like you to meet your new partner.”
“Boss, can I have a few words with you, in private first?”
“I don’t think –”
“Sir, please. It’s important.”
“Okay, hang tight, Max.”
She saw Chuck nod to Max who sat in the visitor’s chair. Char, Chuck, and Neo walked out of the office.
“Before you go all gung-ho on me about having a partner, this came down from the Governor.”
“Yes! With all the shootings lately and all the bad press and some cities disbanding the police, Timothy wants everyone to have a partner. You will also have new body cams. And there is a new mandatory meeting you will have to attend tomorrow.”
“What, a meeting, what’s going on?”
“I told you. I’ve been telling you; they are cracking down. The state does not want to lose any of its police force. In the coming week, you and your new partner will be doing some new public relations.”
“Boss, dude, really? Me? So, not only am I going to have to train this guy, but I’m gonna have to do public relations too? Boss, that’s not fair to me. Especially since I was going to ask for a week off. My dad, you know my dad’s situation. He’s at the docs right now having some tests done. Something’s going on with him. I’m so worried. And we need to find out what this is. I just. I can’t imagine life without him.”
“Yeah. That’s all you can say is, oh?”
“What’s going on with your dad?”
“Well, he’s been walking, here and there.”
“When I saw him walk you down the aisle in 2018, I thought it was a dream.”
“Exactly. And the other day, he stood. Steven and I had a fight. He left for a bit but then came back. Boss, I seriously need to be there for my dad.”
“Matt hasn’t mentioned anything about this to Rebecca Lang, who is head of homicide.”
“That’s cause the job comes first before anything for him. Sometimes it pisses us all off. But you know, my dad means the world to me.”
“I do. Char, I don’t think I can give you any time off this week.”
“Boss, if anything happens, anything at all, I’m letting you know, I’m taking off. It’s my dad. Something extraordinary is happening.”
“What do you mean?”
“The walking thing. He might just finally be able to get out of that damn chair. After all these years. All this false hope, everything. I want to be there. If it costs me my job, then so be it!”
“No buts! My dad comes first!”
“You will make the mandatory meeting though, right?”
“When will you know about your dad?”
“In a couple of hours.”
“Okay, I’d like you to come and meet Max and his dog, Bailey.”
She sighed and blew out a breath. Still not wanting a partner, she now had no choice. With all the changes going on within the department, she wasn’t sure if she could keep working here. And what she said about Matt was true. But Matt didn’t really know about what happened with Paul the other day. And speaking of her older brother, Lieutenant of the homicide division, Matt appeared around the corner with his face in some paperwork.
“Hey, Bro,” Char said.
He picked his head up and smiled. “Hey, Sis, what’s up?”
Char pursed her lips and shook her head. He truly had no idea what was going on within the family. Did he even know what was going on in his family? She wondered. She glanced to Chuck, he grinned.
“What, what’s going on?” Matt asked.
Char rubbed her mouth, “I’m getting a new partner today. And there’s a mandatory meeting this week.”
“Right yeah, the meeting is for Friday at 9am.”
Char cocked her head at him. “You set this meeting up?”
Char shook her head again. Her lips pursed once more. She huffed out a few harsh breaths at her oldest brother. Then she turned and did the same to Chuck.
“You failed to tell me that. You said this came down from the Governor!” she said to Chuck.
“The Governor and me,” Matt said.
“So, that’s where you been?” Char checked. “You been in Lansing doing what exactly?”