I woke up in the hospital hours later after being shot. My side hurt like a bastard, tearing in with every breath. I was not attached to any drip or anything, so when the nice lady in the scrubs was not looking I left.
I found Jessie Cartright packing. His apartment was cleared out, either because he never had much to begin with or because he is just that efficient at packing. I had never been to his apartment, so I can not tell you which. I am not that good a friend, I guess.
He explained that he had gone to the library to meet me. Not finding me there, he let himself in and caught Bob Simmons loading several crates of guns into the back door. Bob held him at gunpoint, drove him out into the woods, smacked him on the head and left him there. Woke up in the dark. It took him half a day walking along the back roads of Mississippi before he got close enough to town to snag a ride. By then it was all over.
He told me all this putting the last of his computer equipment in the car. Then he left.
I got an email this morning from Dave, Jessie’s cousin, that Jessie showed up at the circus in a small town called Chicken Run and stayed the night. He never wanted to go back to the circus, but I guess home is home.
I got another email, again from Dave, saying that Jessie was arrested in noon today in Chicken Run. Seems he and a few of the roustabouts went into town for a burger and got in a fight. Jessie had some weed on him and the Chicken Run sheriff is holding him without bail. I offered help, but I have no money or anything else to give but a shoulder. Dave told me not to bother, that the circus would take care of its own.
The library computers stare at me and I stare back, knowing I can never do the time of maintenance Jessie did on them. I can only hope that the work he managed to do holds on while I try to keep this place going.