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Ongoing Stories / When a heart Stops

When A Heart Stops – Chapter 13

When A Heart Stops – Chapter 13

Copyright © 2021 by Loudest Thoughts

 

No part of this work is to be copied or distributed without the prior written permission of the author.

 

Chapter 13 – PRISON POV

Martin was stroking Ginger’s hair while she rested on his chest without an iota of fear in the world. Her time in jail was the best of her life, thanks to the 10 minutes she sneaked into his quarters to see him every weekend.

“When you get out, I’ll marry you.” Martin said, and she sprung up.

A resounding slap landed on his face. “You always have to do this, and when I react, I’m the bad one.” Ginger lamented while Martin held on to his face.

“I’m sorry, but we also agreed that you weren’t going to slap me anymore.” Martin didn’t seem angry at all.

She glared at him and proceeded to steal a kiss. “I apologize, and the anger management technique you taught me isn’t working anymore.”

Her anger was something Martin had to get used to when he and Ginger got together two years after his new job as a guard.

“We’d find another way out.” He muttered while sticking his tongue gently in her mouth.

Ginger held on to him affectionately and stared into his eyes for a while. He knew when she did that, she was calming down.

“When are you going to rip off the bandage?” She smiled sheepishly.

“Are you hurt?” Martin countered.

“No, I mean, when are we going to sleep together?”

Martin coughed.    She hit him playfully.

“Come on, it’s been a year already, and you’ve not made a single attempt.” “Are you some sort of angel?” She asked while running her hands down his pants.

“Oooussh!” Martin jumped out of his skin. “Don’t do that.” He cautioned.

“Sorry.    She winked.    “So, when, Martin?”

“I thought you said you haven’t done this before, so why are you in a hurry?”

“I haven’t, but that doesn’t mean I’m naive.” She responded and got up, heading to the door.

“Where are you going?” Martin inquired with disappointment written all over his face.

“My 10 minutes are up.” “I’ve got to get going before the next round of cell-check.”

“Ginger, there was no gunshot residue on your hands.”

She turned back slowly, “What?”

“I know you didn’t do it, Ginger.”

“Do what?”

“The reason you are in he……”

She cut him off before he could finish. “Didn’t I tell you to stop snooping around my files?”

“But it’s not fair.”

“What’s not fair is that you’re bringing this up after 17 years.”

“I was thinking after being here with you for 3 years, you’d change your mind.”

“Not happening, she pouted her lips, “I told you to tell whoever claims he wants to help me, I don’t want to be part of his project, and besides, you are wasting your life being undercover.”

“I can’t leave you here alone, and I signed that contract to stay in until you are out because you gave me hope.”

She gave him a long stare and chuckled. Ginger knew he was going to tell his sad story of attempting suicide, and she didn’t want to spend another second on that topic.

She stomped so loudly and glared at him. “Don’t stir up the past. I’d do my time, and we’d move on. ” I’ve got to go before they start looking for me.”

He stretched out his arm so she could pull him up. Martin stumbled facing her, and just when it seemed like they were going to have a moment, Ginger pulled him aside. He smiled and went to the door to keep a lookout so Ginger could go to her cell.

She waved him goodbye. “We’d talk about the sex again, Martin,” Ginger smirked and rubbed his belly.

 

****************THE INCEPTION

“I told you to stay in your room and don’t ruin your sister’s birthday.” Elis cautioned Carla with a smirk on her face. She pulled 14-year-old Carla by her hair and pushed her into her room.

Knox heard Jewel wailing in front of her sister’s door and had to intervene.

“Let her out.” Jewel pointed to the door.

He smiled at her daughter and opened the door.

Knox stared at her daughter, who was playing with her ponytail while seated on the floor. He cleared his throat and held the door wide open. “If you are going to be out, you’ve got to watch the kids while we have our grown-up meeting.” Knox muttered to Carla. He always had a soft spot for her on the blind side of Elis.

Carla nodded and rushed into her dad’s arms. She gave him a tight hug that seemed like it lasted forever.

As the guests arrived, Knox led them to his study while Elis matched their kids to the playroom.

Jewel insisted on a unicorn-themed sleepover that came with extra-glaring lights, and soon they were tucked in for a movie night while the grown-ups had their own fun.

Carla sat by the kids’ playroom window admiring the beautiful scenery while thoughts of sneaking out into the night to watch her favorite beaming tower crept in, but she quickly brushed them aside as that would mean getting into another banter with her stepmom.

She glanced at the sleepy kids struggling to keep their eyes off the popcorn and cartoons in front of them. “A bunch of privileged cop kids.” Carla blurted out and quickly reminded herself that she is the daughter of a cop too.

“Will you get off that wall?” Ellis yelled out and turned on the light.

Carla stumbled off the wall. “I’m sor…….

“Be sorry for yourself. We have guests; don’t make me the bad mom tonight.”

Jewel ran into her mommy’s arms. “Are you all okay? I came to check on you.”

“We talked about Superman and toy guns.” She narrated while Elis parted her on the back. “Have fun then, I’ve got to go back to your dad.”

Jewel hugged her and ran back to her bed. Elis gave Carla a mean look.

“Keep an eye on them.” Elis walked to her with a stern look on her face.

Carla nodded and chuckled when she was out of sight.

She glanced at the kids giggling from ear to ear while watching their cartoons with their extra-large popcorn bowls. Jewel loves sleepovers, especially her friendship with the police kids, unlike her friends from school who make fun of her all the time.

But there was something that felt different about that night; even Carla could feel it.

Jewel felt left out and made fun of because she kept needing attention the entire time they were playing. Her sister had to talk her out of her tantrums a couple of times before she calmed down.

“I need to pee right now.” Jewel came to her sister for the 100th time with her pants down this time, screaming her head off.

Carla, who was lost in her own thoughts while sitting in her favorite spot and watching the tower of light that glitters at night, glanced at her sister and smiled. Jewel grabbed her by the foot and tickled her.

“Okay, you can pee yourself, Jewel.” Carla winked and focused back on her tower-gazing.

Jewel rushed out with her pajamas hanging on her knees.

Carla went after her to make sure she found herself in the washroom and got distracted by one of the guests.

“Your dad said I can help myself at the bar, but I think I’m lost.”

“On your right through the big hallway.” She said and walked away when she realized the front door was wide open and decided to lock it up.

She tripped on a banana peel and chuckled. “These kids…” She chuckled and picked up the peel while heading to the kitchen.

She was barely out of the door with the banana peel when a loud shot came from the direction of the kids’ playroom, and seconds later, kids were screaming their heads off.

Being the daughter of a commissioner, she sure knows what a shot sounds like, and besides, the kids were playing with their toy gun all night, and the boys were bragging about having touched a real one.

Carla dropped the peels on the floor and hurried to the playroom, bumping into kids running around and knocking things off. “Jewel,” she yelled out to her, as the room had one of those standing lamps on and just a little visibility.

She dashed to the curtains and pulled them aside so the light from outside could enter the room. Then her eyes caught the reflection of Jewel just standing in the middle of the room, holding on to a gun.

Carla looked around and noticed the kids were too scared or too sleepy to notice who took the shot, so she quickly reached out to her sister and got hold of the gun, then the lights came on.

“Daddy, you are here.” Jewel turned around and sprawled on the floor. Knox rushed to Jewel, who was laughing hysterically, and tapped her on the shoulder while rushing to the bodies on the yellow carpet.

He didn’t notice Carla with the gun. With his bloodshot eyes, Knox pulled out his cell phone and called in the incident. His forehead sank in the whole time he spoke on the phone.

“Don’t talk; the ambulance will be here in 2 minutes.” He murmured to the kid with the gunshot to his chest while keeping pressure on his wound. “Someone get in here and help keep pressure on Caleb’s leg.”

“And everyone get your kids out of here now.” He thundered, forgetting his own kids were still in the room.

“We’ve got it, sir!” He turned around and saw that the deputies had arrived.

Knox stepped aside for them while fidgeting with his bloody hands. Then came a loud wailing from behind him.

“My son,”… Mr. Jacobs wailed, running to the scene where his son lay.

“You can’t be here.” Knox held him off so the deputy could continue their job until the ambulance arrived.

That was when Carla saw the two kids on the floor in a pool of their own blood. Her young mind couldn’t process that much blood and the bodies on the floor, and it seemed like no one cared enough to shield her from those horrific images.

“Get off me. She shot my …………” Mr. Jacobs said while pointing at Carla. Knox raised her head up, and his eyes caught her daughter just standing there holding on to a gun he hadn’t noticed earlier.

His eyeballs sent blood to his head instantly. Jacobs managed to free himself from Knox’s grip when he saw the paramedics rushing in with the stretcher.

It all seemed like a movie as parents rushed in to drag their kids out of the room in fear and distaste while the rest made calls. The room was so chaotic, and there was a deafening sound for a while.

Knox, seeing his colleagues trooping in, looked around with embarrassment and fear written all over his face. He was brought out of his reverie when he heard Jewel crying out for him.

“Take her out of here,” he ordered Ellis, who was struggling with her.

She dragged Jewel off the floor while she was calling out for her sister.

Carla, who was still standing in the middle of the room with the gun in her hand, sprawled on the floor when she saw the deputy reaching out for the gun in her hands. She was so distraught with the bloody kids in the room that she didn’t know when the deputy walked over to where she was.

“Let go of the gun,” the police glanced at Carla, who was still on the floor and wouldn’t let go of the gun, as if she knew holding on to it for so long would erase her sister’s fingerprint.

“I did it.” Carla yelled out, which grabbed everyone’s attention in the room except Knox, who froze.

Mr. Jacobs jumped on Carla when she confessed. It took a few more of the dads in the room to hold him off.

The police were gentle with her because of who her father is. There were murmurings in the room, and everyone was trying to be diplomatic about the whole incident.

“What are you waiting for? Put those cuffs on her already.” Mr. Jacobs muttered in anger.

“Get out of the way.” They saw the paramedics going out the door with the kids on the stretcher while the parents followed, crying in the background. The entire scene was chaotic, with sirens blaring their frequencies into the night.

Carla finally let go of the gun when the paramedics left the room.

They cuffed her while Knox just stood there without a single word.

“Commissioner, what do you want to do?” The uniformed officer asked after pulling Carla off the floor. It then dawned on Knox that this was his new reality.

“While Jacob and Adam’s sons are fighting for their lives, you want him to give her daughter a free pass?” One of the parents asked the policeman.

Then Elis came in sweating profusely.
She tapped Knox on the shoulder gently. “Jewel needs you right now.”

He took another look at Carla in handcuffs and threw caution to the wind.

Everyone in the room was surprised when he walked out.

“Let’s go,” they said while Carla was dragged out for the scene to be processed.

She shut off her mind, and her heart seemed to have run its course the moment her dad walked out without a word. At the same time, her young mind could process her sister screaming and yelling, “Get your hands off her.”

Carla closed her eyes for a second and took a deep breath. At that very moment, she saw the life in her wash away like the sea washes dirt off the seashore.

With her hands in cuffs behind her, she walked through the hallway, staring at the wall clock. “A quarter past 6; a quarter past 6; a quarter past 6.” She repeated herself until she heard Jewel asking for her to be let go.

**********************

 

As young as Jewel was, she was so fond of Carla. They’ve had a very tight bond since she came along.

Carla was a one-night stand that nearly ruined Knox and Eli’s marriage. It was no secret to the Knox household, especially when Carla had to be reminded every day of her life—she was left outside in the cold when she was just a few weeks old.

The fact that she wasn’t bothered about knowing her mother was what worried Knox, and then Jewel came along and her whole world crashed down. Elis was no longer the mother who cared about her.

 

****************SET IN THE PRESENT

Jewel woke up in the back of her car while her sister watched on.

She got scared when she realized they were alone. She immediately reached out for the door knob without success.

“Relax,” Ginger said calmly, pulling her into her arms.

“So, you’re going to kill me?” Jewel lamented and tried to get free from her arms.

“I’m going to let you go, then you look outside because if I wanted to harm you, I wouldn’t bring you home.” Please believe me, Jewel.

Jewel stopped struggling, and for a split second she believed her sister, but as soon as Ginger let her go, she suddenly remembered it was her car and she could override the lock. She quickly thumb-pressed to unlock it.

Ginger just looked on as she nearly fell to the ground trying to escape from the car.

When she got out, the fresh air slapped her face, and the wind blew fresh dew on her. Jewel took off as quick as she could, crossing the road to the front of their home.

Ginger wasn’t after her, nor has she moved an inch. Jewel straightened her dress and tried moving forward, but her legs could not carry her any further.

She turned around for a second, shrugged, and pouted. Jewel then trekked back to the car and looked up at Ginger, who was just sitting there staring at the sky.

“Wo..uld you have kil…led me?” Jewel stammered.

Ginger was jolted out of her absent mind by the horn of a car passing by. She looked at her sister and took her eyes off her instantly.

“Wow! That’s what I thought.” Jewel chuckled, made a mental note, and walked away.

Ginger got furious and hit her hand through the window glass, hurting herself. It was as if she couldn’t feel the pain.

And when she finally saw the blood oozing out, she took off her shirt, wrapped it around her hand, and crossed the road to the house in her brazier.

She didn’t care if anyone was watching her walk around in her brazier. Elis, who was comforting Jewel as she ran in earlier in tears, heard a loud bang and looked across the room.

“Young lady, do you have no respect?” She thundered, letting go of Jewel.

Knox, who heard the noise from upstairs, came rushing down. He didn’t notice blood oozing out of her daughter’s hand, even though she tried so hard to hide it.

“You came home in a brassiere?” He questioned. Then Ginger noticed that the brassiere was what everyone was staring at. She saw the look on their faces and thought to taunt them.

Ginger reached behind her and took off her bra right in front of them.

“Now, you can stop complaining about my torn brassiere.” She smirked, threw it at her dad, and walked upstairs unclad while they all looked on. Jewel shook her head and covered her face with her palms.

Elis glared at her husband. “When you don’t listen to me, that’s what you get.” She pointed at Ginger as she walked away.

Jewel, who didn’t know what to do, went to the key bucket hanging on the front door and picked up a spare key. She wasn’t sure where Ginger kept the original one when she woke up earlier in her car.

“And where are you going?” Her mom questioned

“To the office, mom.”

“Won’t you say anything to your sister, and besides, isn’t it too early?”

“I can’t be around this house now.” “Don’t worry, I’d take my medication.” She muttered so Elis wouldn’t worry about her seizures.

Elis was confused, realizing Jewel totally blew Ginger’s topic off. She waited for a counterinjection, but there was none, so she banged the door on her way out, which jolted Knox.

 

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