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FSBO: For Sale By Owners Chapter Two
Sheriff's Deputy Ted Rasmussen was thinking about Carrie-his pregnant waitress problem-when he sighted the traffic disruption meandering near the yellow line on Bay Street. A Bremerton merchant had called the Sheriff's emergency number reporting a wet morning commuter mess. Two motorists had placed 911 calls from their cell phones. When the police dispatcher asked if there were any units in the vicinity, Ted responded.
"167 Rasmussen! I'm not far from there. I'll handle it."
Lights flashing, siren blaring, motorists pulling over to let him through, the willing young officer arrived on the scene. Although everyone else noticed the lofty deputy, a starched green uniform, the disoriented young woman seemed oblivious to his police presence. Like a sapling, the deputy swayed with the chilly wind gusting between the buildings.
Horns echoed reproach while the endangered pedestrian continued to swing her purse at arm's length, twirling between cars on the wet thoroughfare. Ted ducked as her shoulder bag came by, his own determined limb catching its strap to halt the lunacy. She seemed bewildered at the interruption.
"You tell me what," the deputy demanded. "What do you think you're doing?"
"I'm playing," the perplexed woman replied, jerking her purse.
Ted had her attention. She wore no rings. His squad car parked in such a way as to shield them, he pointed to the rear passenger door with his free hand.
"This isn't a safe place to play. You'd better get into the car, Miss."
"I don't want to go for any more rides."
"This isn't an option, Miss. Now, get in."
"No! I won't." Tugging on her bag, the frustrated woman insisted. " I'm walking!"
Ignoring hurry-up appeals of stalled motorists, Deputy Rasmussen confronted his challenge. Releasing his hold on her purse, Ted stepped closer to ask, "Where are you going?"
"Away. Far, far away."
Not because he needed to know, but rather in a non-threatening ploy to hold her awareness, Ted inquired, "Where do you live?"
"I used to live in that house with the green roof," she said turning abruptly, pointing at two-story brick house on a distant hillside. "But, now I'm going far away."
"You're already far away, Miss. Now, please get into the police car. This way. I'm not going to hurt you."
"Of course, I promise. I'm a policeman. I'm the one who catches the one that would hurt you. Here, this way."
She didn't resist as he took her arm to gently enforce compliance.
After securing the seat belt around his disoriented passenger, Ted Rasmussen closed the back door of his cruiser. He shut off the siren, turning to the confused lady who looked to be about his own age-in her mid-twenties.
The precipitation's ample time had saturated her to the skin. Water droplets continued to form at the ends of her brown hair, then dripped to merge with countless others that had found their way to the Washington Cougars sweatshirt-clinging to her body.
Being a man, Ted couldn't help but notice she was pretty, although she was soaking wet.
You'd be a knockout at a wet T-shirt party, he thought.
Without shoes, Ted recognized his captive was mentally ill or high. Securely in his car, the deputy smiled reassuringly.
"You'll be all right, Miss."
"I am all right. I'm a good girl. You can't catch him, though."
Ted's policeman ears perked up. "Why not, Miss?"
"Did you have something to do with that?"
"No, silly. He fell off the ladder."
Assuming he solved the little riddle, the Deputy smiled. "He can't hurt you anymore, then."
"Yes, he does. He comes back-at night. That's why I'm going away."
"So, he can't find you?"
"Yes. You're a policeman, aren't you?"
"That's right, Miss. I'm taking you to the Hospital."
Clearly frightened, the woman pleaded. "Don't tell him where I went."
"I won't tell him, Miss. Your secret's safe with me."
"I didn't tell you the secret. Daddy told me never to tell. I didn't tell you. I didn't."
"No, Miss," the officer assured her. "You didn't tell!"
A dripping cherub, the woman relaxed. No longer terrified, her eyes glazed over. Ted proceeded-lights flashing-to the hospital, parking his cruiser by the door of the emergency entrance.
His docile passenger content in the patrol car, the officer bypassed the door's intern and proceeded directly to admissions desk. The formidable Ms. Maxine Reedman was the RN in charge.
Looking at his name tag she acknowledged him.
"May I help you, deputy?"
"I've a sick female in my car," Ted began.
"Well, you've come to the right place, officer Rasmussen," Maxine Reedman informed him, looking at Ted's name badge. "This is a hospital. What is her name?"
"I haven't asked, yet. Ah, she's not sick physically. At least, I don't think she is. She's a mental case."
"Thank you for your diagnosis, deputy." Unimpressed, the nurse asked, "What was she doing, officer?"
"Playing in the middle of the street. She wasn't struck by an automobile, I don't think."
"Good. Let's you and I go get her."
Ted opened the car door to release the restraint belt from his passenger. With a knowing smile, Ms. Reedman took over.
"Hello, Amy," she said. "Welcome back. Let's get out of the deputy's car. You can come with me, now. Okay? Where are your shoes?"
"I left them at the house when I ran away," Amy whispered, exiting the vehicle. Barefoot, she stood wiggling her toes in a rain puddle. "I was going to put on my galoshes, but I forgot."
"Have you been taking your medicine, Amy?"
"I haven't needed too. I feel fine, so I've stopped taking the pills."
"Well, I'm glad that this officer brought you here, today. Let's go see if we can find you some shoes and dry clothes. Okay?"
"Okay, Ms. Reedman. It's nice seeing you, again. I'm cold now."
"Thank you, Deputy Rasmussen." Staring directly into the eyes of the waiting officer, Maxine Reedman almost smiled. "Amy will be fine. I'll contact her caseworker, and her employer. We'll keep her with us for a few days." Lowing her voice, she answered the unasked question. "Amy is a victim of childhood incest. She does well when she's stabilized, but some hurts don't heal very fast."
"Thanks for your being here, Ms. Reedman," Ted said. "And for the explanation. I'll have to write a report. May I call you for Amy's other vital information?"
"Please do, deputy. I've to take Amy into the crisis center, now."
Ted watched appreciatively as the controlling nurse slipped her strong arm around Amy's waist preparing to breach the door toward renewed health.
Ted returned to his troubled thoughts about having made Carrie pregnant and whether or not to tell his girlfriend, Heather. He decided not to.
Russ Miles is author of the novel, For Sale By Owners:FSBO. A "Seasoned Real Estate NARŪ Broker," disabled by Multiple Sclerosis, Russ writes books & articles on varied subjects.
FOR SALE BY OWNERS:FSBO ISBN 0-595-28703-4,in trade paperback, is available by phone or Internet:1-800-Authors to order direct! Adobe e-book & hard cover editions also available at Amazon.com at Barnes and Noble and other fine booksellers.
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