Chapter 9

My grandmother’s nursing home was a large stone building located in the middle of downtown. In a way it was like the heart of the city, a dying heart, an irony that didn’t amuse many of its nearby residents.

I stood across the street next to the pole I’d just chained my bike and helmet to, staring at the glass entrance doors.

Through those doors were countless sick and dying people.

Through those doors were my grandmother and the Alzheimer’s that was slowly killing her.

Last night I’d brought a woman back from the dead.

This morning I’d wanted to heal my mother but couldn’t and now here I was.

Officer Titus’s appearance had thrown me. His apology, and then his innocuous question. It was one thing for my father to notice the ring and ask about it but a completely different thing for a stranger.

Who knows, maybe the ring had been reported stolen and Officer Titus remembered seeing it on my hand last night. Maybe he was a much better cop than I took him for.

After he’d asked his question I’d looked down at the ring as if I didn’t even remember it was there and shrugged and said it had been a present from my girlfriend, a promise ring to stay true to each other until we got married.

Officer Titus didn’t need to know that my girlfriend and I broke up three months ago.

All he needed to know was that it was my ring, mine, and nobody else’s.

I waited for traffic, then started out into the street, the entrance to the realm of the sick and dying growing closer with each step.

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