The next few days went by somewhat fast. It was practically the same thing over and over again. Wake up. Grieve over how Tristan almost died and who’d want to do this to him. Work. Nap. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. The grieving continued throughout all of that time and I even had nightmares that Tristan died. Not the most fun thing in the world. One day, I got a call from the hospital at about 4 in the afternoon. “Hello?” I said, unsure of what was going to happen.
“Hi! Tristan is going to be discharged today. His leg is broken, as well as his left hand and one or two ribs, but he’s healing well. You are going to have to pick him up,” the nurse replied. I punched at the air and after she hung up, I called Mom. “Mom! Tristan is fine now and he’s getting discharged today!” I said as I got my coat and started towards the door.
“I’m on the way!” she said instantly. I started the car and I departed towards the hospital, still happier than ever. I wasn’t even mad when traffic got heavy. Just a little bugged. Okaaay, maybe a bit more. Just kidding. I was pissed when traffic hit and I was ready to blare out at everyone in front of me, “I need to go to my brother and see if he’s okay, so get out of the damn way!” There might have been more less pleasant words swimming all over in my head, but I tried suppressing my anger. I ended up honking the horn for half the time I was stuck in traffic. Not that much compared to everyone else.
When I got to the hospital, Mom met me at the front and we both went to the front desk to ask where Tristan was and when exactly Tristan would be discharged. 7 PM. Great. Only an hour left. Mom went to the room while I got Tristan his favorite snack. I got the biggest packet of Fruit Snacks I could find and started for the room. When I saw Tristan, I sighed heavily in relief. Tristan was looking a whole lot better. I was actually able to see his face and only saw a bandage on his head and a cast for his arm. He was clutching his chest a little bit and I remembered that he broke three of his ribs, but I put that thought away for later. “Catch,” I said when I walked in and threw the Fruit Snacks. He surprisingly caught it with his right hand, the one that wasn’t broken and ripped it open with his teeth.
“Thanks. Hospital food isn’t the best,” he chuckled. I started laughing and so did Mom and I thought, Life’s good. We can get through this. I hugged him and he hugged back. He had so much energy and something had changed inside him. He was so much less sad. He wasn’t staring into the distance or looking like he wanted to end his life. Did something happen while we were gone? It put me in a better mood and I was so ecstatic that I was shaking. All of a sudden, my phone rang. What could be more important than this? I picked the phone out of my pocket and then understood. It was Detective Collins. Okay, Detective Collins was more important.
I waved Mom over to me and showed her the number. She gestured to Tristan that we’d only be a minute and we ran out of the room. I picked up the phone and said, “Hi, Detective.”
“Oh, hi, Jenna,” the detective said.
“What would you like?” Mom said, pulling the phone from my hand. I put my ear on the back of the phone and he said, “I need to talk to Tristan. Alone.” My mouth gaped open, but I didn’t argue and neither did Mom. We gave Tristan the phone and we walked out of the room. Mom muttered, “What’s so important and secret that only he has to be alone with him. I’m his mother, for God’s sake!”
“Mom, he’s a detective trying to solve an assault. Of course he needs to talk with the victim. I’m not sure why alone, but I’d trust him if I was you,” I explained to her. I hoped that I had made sense and we sat down. Mom was confused and got a cup of water to forget about it. I ended up falling asleep and was woken up fifteen minutes later by a tap on the shoulder. Tristan was walking with crutches and leaned over towards me and poked me with one of his crutches. I got up groggily and went into the elevator with him and Mom. When we got out, Mom took him into his car and I went to mine and we all went to my mom’s house.
When we all eventually got there in the Manhattan traffic, I was happy to find myself early. I looked under the plant holder in front of my mom’s door and I found the key. One day, Mom was bound to get robbed because of that. I jumped onto the couch and turned on the TV and waited for them while watching, coincidentally, Friends. I finished an episode and then, I heard a rhythmic knock on the door. Tristan. I opened the door and welcomed him inside and I started for the couch again, hoping the commercials were over and the new episode of Friends was on. I was overjoyed that Tristan was feeling better and I asked him, “You want some ice cream? I know Mom has some in the freezer.” Tristan smirked and nodded, knowing the cravings Mom had for chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. I went to the fridge and pulled out one of the three pints of ice cream and put about a third of the ice cream into a bowl, repeating until the pint was empty and the three bowls were full. I served Tristan the ice cream and put Mom’s ice cream on the coffee table, hoping it wouldn’t melt before Mom got inside. I asked Tristan a little bit forcefully, “What did Detective Collins ask you?”
“Who?!” he asked, bewildered of my slightly interrogative voice.
“The person you were talking with on the phone.”
“Oh! He asked me what I remembered and if I could meditate to try to remember any details about him at all. I don’t think it’ll work, though.”
“You should try it! We won’t know if it works or not unless we try it!”
“Not now! That 70’s Show is starting!” I instantly turned my head towards the TV and I lost track of time, eating ice cream happily and actually having a good time. About two episodes after watching, my mom turned off the TV and sat down on the sofa. “I want to know what happened. Tell me everything you remember.”
“What? I don’t remember anything except for a fist and Jenna saving me. I told you this before,” Tristan said, laying his leg on a pillow.
“Are you sure?” Mom said, trying to get anything out of him. He shook his head. Then, I remembered about the meditation thing again and asked him, “Meditate. Now.” He stared at me and then promptly closed his eyes. He took a filling breath in and then out. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. I watched Tristan curiously, wondering what was happening inside his head. After about ten minutes, he opened his eyes and I interrogated him, “Do you remember anything new?”
“It was a big guy. Really big and muscular. Definitely over 200 pounds, but less than 275. That’s all that I got out of that. I think sleeping on it will help,” he responded, proud of himself. I was proud, too. Since it was someone who lived around here and he was buff, that would narrow it down by a lot. I got my little Nokia 7650 out and dialed Detective Collins number. He picked up and said in a modulated tone, “Hello, Jenna. Any news about Tristan and his mystery assailant?”
“Actually, I do. The assailant was a very big man, over 200 pounds and probably under 270 and definitely under 300 pounds. The man is very muscular, so if they are just…” I hesitated and stopped myself from saying ‘SUPER FAT’ so I wouldn’t hurt the feeling of half the people of America, “somewhat overweight, then its not them,” I responded back to him, feeling good knowing this could be beneficial to finding the assailant.
“Ok, thank you. That really narrows it down. I will tell you our possible targets soon.” He hung up and I sighed, happy Detective Collins was getting closer to finding the assailant. I high fived Tristan and I asked him if we should go home. He looked at Mom and then me, then again at Mom and again at me. Then, finally, he nodded. Mom walked over and said, “Nope. You’re staying tonight and you can’t argue with that. Final decision. I’ll make you breakfast before I go to work.” Tristan looked at me and shrugged. I shrugged along with him and went over to the window to stare out at the world. It was dark out and the lights of all the tall, familiar buildings mesmerized me for some odd reason. I felt like I was somewhat rich, all of a sudden, even though that was my mom and not me. I stared for a while, until something rumbled. I thought it was outside before the rumble happened again, just that this time I felt it. In my stomach. I was starving and I was hoping my mom had also made food for us. I hadn’t eaten in six hours! And here’s a new world record for longest time without food for Jenna Velius. She went six hours without eating! Let’s give her a big round of applause! Woot woot! I asked Mom, “How about some food? I’m starving!”