IT'S GOOD TO REMEMBER
"I told you they were going to win," LAPD officer Jim Reed cheerfully teased his partner, Pete Malloy,
about a bet they'd made on a ball game the night before. "And you, my loser friend," Reed continued,
"Have to buy my food the next five times we take 7."
"Yeah, yeah, I know. One week, you pick - I pay," Malloy responded, resigned to the fact that he had wagered and lost.
The rest of the morning was fairly quiet. They drove around their district, making the usual checks. The conversation was light between the two partners. Jim shared a story about one of little Jimmy's messy escapades from the night before. "We were eating dinner. Jean had made a chocolate cake for dessert. I made the mistake of cutting myself a slice before Jimmy had finished eating. Well, you can guess what happened. He started asking for cake. I told him he could have some after he cleaned his plate. So, he proceeded to push all the food off his plate and onto the floor. He even got hold of a napkin and gave his plate a few misplaced swipes. Then he looked up at me all excited and said, "Cween pwate, Daddy. Chocwit cake, pwease."
"So, dad, what'd you do?" Pete asked.
"I gave the boy some cake. And, I learned a valuable lesson about choosing my words carefully and saying exactly what I mean."
"He's quite a little character," Pete agreed with just a hint of pride in his voice. And when you tell me stories like that, I'm glad he's not my full-time charge. What a handful!
They drove in silence for a while. Pete Malloy concentrated on his driving. Jim Reed allowed his trained eyes to take in his surroundings, looking up side streets and alleys for anything unusual.
"You say something?" Malloy broke the silence.
"Me? No," Jim Reed replied. "My stomach."
"Your stomach said something?" Pete asked with a questioning glance to his partner.
"Uh huh, it said, '7 now please'," Jim joked. "No breakfast. Got up late, no time."
"You know Reed, you really should try to get your act together a little better." Pete teased.
Jim Reed was one of the most organized people Pete knew.
"Yeah, well, anyway I am starving." Jim grabbed his stomach, as if squeezing it would keep the growl from escaping.
"Okay, get on the radio and request 21," Pete suggested, not looking at his partner. He could feel Jim staring a hole through the side of his head.
"21?" Jim asked, totally bewildered.
"Well, I figured as hungry as you're whining about being, you'd need at least three 7's." Pete shot a gotcha' glance over at his partner.
"Hey, Pete, don't ever give up your police job to go into comedy, okay?" Jim reached for the mic, more than ready to request 7.
But before he even had the mic in his hand dispatch broke in, "1- Adam-12, 211 in progress, 1716 Wilshire Blvd. Handle code 3."
"Ugh!" Jim sighed as he grabbed the mic. "1-Adam-12, roger." They were close to the location so it took less than a minute to get to the scene. Jim keyed the mic, "1-Adam-12, code 6 at 1716 Wilshire Blvd. Request back up."
Malloy killed the lights and siren as he drove the patrol car up to the liquor store. Through the window, both officers could see the suspect was still there. They rolled on past and came to a stop. Just then, Woods and Brinkman arrived, handling the back up.
"I'll go around to the back," Pete motioned to his partner. Woods, you and Brinkman circle around and cover the far end of the back alley."
"Right, Pete." Jerry Woods nodded as he started towards their assigned position.
Pete quickly made his way to the alley behind the liquor store. He found a dumpster across from the store and crouched beside it. He had a clear view of a rear door used for deliveries.
Jim waited, giving Pete time to get in position. He took a place at the front corner of the building where he could see inside the liquor store without being spotted. He watched for a few seconds, gun drawn.
The suspect was at the cash register, pointing a gun at a terrified clerk. "Put the money in the bag. Now!" he barked to the scared man. The clerk obliged willingly. The gun in his face told him it would be stupid to do otherwise. The suspect snatched the bag closed once he was satisfied the cash drawer was empty. He backed toward the door, keeping his gun on the store clerk. He stepped out into the street.
"Freeze, mister!" Jim Reed yelled, drawing down on the fleeing criminal. The suspect was having none of that. He spun around and disappeared around the opposite side of the building. The suspect rounded another corner and ran down the alley behind the liquor store. Reed followed on foot. He rounded the second corner and carefully scanned the alley. The suspect was nowhere in sight.
A loud crash and sudden movement beside the dumpster rattled Jim for a second. He quickly recovered to see the suspect jump from the dumpster. He watched as the suspect fled straight into the able hands of Brinkman, who waited, next to a building, near the end of the alley.
What Jim saw next made him catch his breath in a deep gasp. Oh God, Pete… Don't be dead. "Woods, get an ambulance. Officer down!" Jim Reed screamed to the officer in the patrol car at the opposite end of the alley. Pete Malloy was crumpled in a heap beside the dumpster. His body was motionless, and a puddle of his own blood was starting to form around his head. "Pete, can you hear me? Hang on partner, the ambulance is on its way." Jim Reed placed a hand on his friend's neck. There was a pulse. It was faint, but definitely there. Jim felt helpless. He talked to his unconscious partner trying to reassure him, although he feared his words were dissolving unheard by Malloy.
Pete Malloy woke up. He could hear voices. Something about blood loss, concussion, stitches. He felt strange. He searched the room for something or someone that looked familiar. Nothing. No one. His strange feeling gave way to a feeling of panic. Where was he … who was he? What was happening and why couldn't he get a handle on any of it?
"Officer Malloy, I'm Dr. French," a distinguished looking older gentleman stared down at Pete. What'd he call me? Man, what's happening? Why can't I figure any of this out? "Officer Malloy," the doctor continued, "You received a severe blow to the head. The cardboard box that was pushed on top of you was filled with lead pipes."
Cardboard box…lead pipes? Wha…Who? Don't think. Close your eyes. Focus. Don't think. Remember. Something. Anything.
Dr. French countered Pete's attempt to sit up by gently pushing him back on the table. Given the nauseating way the room spun, Pete offered no resistance.
"Officer Malloy, please try to relax. Do you know where you are? You're at Central Receiving Hospital. You have a concussion. You were hit on the head. You were brought here by ambulance. Do you remember any of this?" Dr. French asked with genuine concern in his voice.
"No," Pete answered in a voice he didn't quite recognize. I'm just so confused. Why can't I remember? "No, sir, I don't remember. I can't remember … anything." Pete didn't even try to hide the panic that was gripping him.
"Do you know your name?" the doctor questioned.
"No. I can't seem to remember who I am. What's wrong with me, doctor?" Pete pleaded for an answer.
"Your name is Pete Malloy. You're a police officer for the Los Angeles Police Department. You were injured while on duty. I think you may be suffering from some form of amnesia. We'll need to run a few tests. Please just try to relax. We're here to help you."
Pete tried to digest what the doctor was saying. Police officer? Amnesia? He closed his eyes hoping that when he reopened them this nightmare would be over. It wasn't. "Will I … be okay? Will I ever regain my memory?" Pete told himself the best thing for now was to trust the doctor.
"I can't say anything for certain at this point, but many times amnesia victims recover fully. Amnesia is often just a temporary condition. I'm going to step out for a few minutes. Try to rest. The nurse will be here if you need anything." Dr. French placed a reassuring hand on Pete's shoulder, smiled and left.
"Officer Reed?" Dr. French approached Jim, who had been waiting for word on his partner.
"Yes." Jim stood and extended his hand to the doctor.
"I'm Dr. French. I've been with Officer Malloy."
"How is Pete? Is he hurt bad?" Jim asked.
"Well, he does have a severe concussion, but physically I think he'll recover." The doctor waited for the young officer to register what he was saying.
"Physically?" Jim questioned. "What do you mean? Is there some other problem with Pete? He will be okay, won't he?"
"It seems your partner is suffering from amnesia…"
"Oh," Jim interrupted. "You mean Pete doesn't remember getting hit on the head. That's not unusual is it? I mean people often have trouble remembering things like getting hit, car wrecks, things like that, right?"
"Well, yes, sir, you are correct, but your partner can't remember anything at this time. He has no recollection of who he is." Dr. French looked Jim Reed in the eyes as he spoke; he kept his voice kind but serious. "I don't know how long this will last. Amnesia is somewhat a mystery. It is often temporary, so there's a good chance Officer Malloy's memory will return completely. Right now, we just need to wait. One thing that may help and certainly will do no harm is to surround him with familiar faces. Talk to him about your job, family, friends, whatever is of interest to him. Do everything you can to stimulate his memory."
"Can I see him now?" Jim asked.
"Yes. We're going to move him to a room in a few minutes. We want to keep him overnight for observation. I'll send a nurse for you. But, please understand, Officer Reed, he probably won't recognize you." Dr. French shook Jim's hand again and walked away.
Amnesia! My God! What if Pete never recovers? What if he can't ever remember? What if he can't be a cop? What if …Stop it, Jim! The doctor said it's a temporary condition. He'll be okay…He has to be okay.
Jim Reed found a phone in the waiting area. He called Sergeant MacDonald to give him an update on Pete. "…yeah, Mac, the doctor says it's probably just a temporary loss of memory."
"Unbelievable!" Sergeant MacDonald exclaimed. "Okay, Reed, stay with him at least until he's settled in a room. Call me if there are any changes."
"Roger Mac. I'm not going anywhere," Jim said goodbye and hung up the phone.
He fished another dime out of his pocket and dialed his home number. No answer. Jean must be shopping or at her sister's. I'll try again later. He retrieved his dime and dropped his tired body into the nearest chair.
Jim sat and waited what seemed an eternity for the nurse to come for him.
"Officer Reed, I can take you to your partner's room now." A very pretty nurse motioned Jim down the hall. "Second door on your right. You can go on in. There's a call button by the bed if you need anything. Good luck!" The pretty nurse smiled genuinely at Jim, turned and headed up the hall.
Jim stood frozen at the door. Just act natural, be yourself. Ol' Pete'll come around. He'll know you.
Jim opened the door and stepped through. "Hey, Pete, how ya doin'?" Jim tried to keep his voice normal.
"Okay, I guess." Pete stared at the man standing before him with the blankest expression Jim had ever seen. "I guess I'm supposed to know you, but I don't." The pleading sound in Pete's voice brought a lump to Jim's throat. It was so out of character for Pete.
"Okay, buddy, take it easy. I'm Jim Reed. I'm your partner." Man, this is weird. "We're police officers."
Pete studied the younger man for a long while. Nice looking, clean-cut guy. Probably pretty full of himself. "So, Jim, are you a good cop?"
"One of the best," Jim Reed replied with a grin.
"You seem pretty confident. What makes you so sure?" Pete questioned.
"Well, I learned from the best…you trained me," Jim joked with his partner, relaxing just a bit.
Pete liked Jim. At the moment, he didn't know him, but he liked him.
The two friends talked for quite some time. Their conversation on a normal day would amount to nothing. But, on this particular day, the dialogue between the two was of the utmost importance to Pete Malloy. He was trying to find himself somewhere within that exchange.
"Hey, can we come in?" Jerry Woods called through the slightly opened door.
Pete hesitated so Jim chimed in, "Sure, guys. Good to see you."
Woods, Ed Wells and Bob Brinkman pushed in. They had talked with Sergeant MacDonald and knew about Pete's condition.
Jim introduced everyone to Pete. How long will this last? I can't believe Pete doesn't recognize any of them.
Wells spoke first. "Okay, Malloy what are you trying to pull? Faking memory loss to get a few extra days off for fishing?" Ed always found the right time to say the wrong thing.
Pete studied the odd-looking little man for a moment then blurted out, "Shouldn't you be baking cookies or cobbling shoes or something?"
Pete regretted it as soon as he said it. Maybe he's well respected among this group. Pete glanced over at Jim to see if he needed to apologize. Jim cocked one eyebrow at Wells, as if to say, 'Memory or no memory, he's got you pegged'. The laughter from everyone, including Ed Wells, assured Pete that no apology was necessary.
The group of police officers talked for a few moments. The three visitors shared stories of calls they'd been on earlier that afternoon and of arrests they'd made. Pete listened with curiosity. He found their comments fascinating but unfamiliar.
Bob Brinkman noticed that Pete was looking tired. "Hey, Pete, you look like you could use some rest. I think we'll leave now. You take it easy and we'll check back with you tomorrow."
"Oh, okay," Pete nodded his agreement. "Thanks for coming. Maybe some rest will help me."
As the three officers made their way out, Jerry Woods looked back at Pete, "Hang in there, Pete. I'll be praying for you." Woods hurried on out the door before Pete could reply.
Jim and Pete were alone in the room again. "They seem like good guys," Pete said. He still had no real memory, but he was relaxing more and finding it very easy to talk to Jim. "Is Jerry Woods very religious? Did you notice he said he'd pray for me?" Pete inquired.
"Well, I don't know how religious he is. But I do know if he said he'd pray, he will. Jerry's top of the line." Jim explained.
"Yeah, I got that impression," Pete agreed. "I got another impression of Ed Wells."
Jim laughed. "I think you read Wells just right. You must be on the road to recovery," Jim joked. "Oh, about Jerry being religious - you and I did try to arrest his minister once."
"Yes, partner, we did. Turned out to be a big misunderstanding. We had him cuffed and ready for transport to the station." Jim smiled as he remembered the incident.
"What happened?" Pete asked stifling a yawn.
"Jerry Woods showed up and saved the day, or saved the padre I should say. Listen, Pete, you look tired and I should have been home already. You know how Jean worries."
Pete looked puzzled. "Jean?"
"Oh, sorry, I forgot. Jean's my wife," Jim explained. "I have a son named Jimmy. He's your godson."
Pete smiled at this information, but on the inside, he fought the urge to scream. God, why can't I remember any of this?
"I'm going to go on home. I'll be here first thing in the morning to check on you. I think you'll be released tomorrow. Call if you need anything. I'll leave my home number at the nurses' station. Try to get some sleep, partner. See you tomorrow." Jim eased his way out the door.
Pete closed his eyes. He mouthed the name, "Pete Malloy." He whispered it. Then said it louder. No matter how he formed it, it came out foreign.
Pete fell asleep with his small new world floating around in his head.
Jim sat at the kitchen table explaining Pete's situation to Jean.
"I just can't believe Pete doesn't know you." Jean Reed rubbed at an imaginary stain on the tablecloth. She sighed deeply and gave Jim's hand a squeeze.
"I know. It's so weird. But he doesn't. Some of the guys from the force came by the hospital and we could tell by the blank look on Pete's face that he had no clue who any of us were." Jim pushed aside his plate. It held a mostly uneaten sandwich. He had no appetite. "You know, hon, I've got some time off coming. What'd you think about me taking a few days off and staying with Pete?"
"Well, if you think it will help, sure. But don't plan on being away too long. Little Jimmy and I might start to miss you." They both pushed away from the table, and Jean stretched up and kissed her tall handsome husband lightly on the cheek.
He grabbed her around the waist and pulled her close. "Don't worry, it won't be for very long. Somehow, sleeping over at Pete's just doesn't sound as exciting as sleeping over at my wife's," Jim joked. "Hopefully Pete's memory will return soon. The doctor said amnesia is often temporary. I guess all we can do is wait."
"And pray," Jean added.
"Yeah," Jim agreed.
Jim arrived at the station early. He wanted to run his idea by Mac.
"What's the doctor think about it?" Mac asked.
"I haven't spoken to him about it yet, but he did say it might help Pete to be with people he knows," Jim explained.
Sergeant MacDonald looked at Jim Reed for a moment before he spoke, his eyes showing the concern he felt for Pete Malloy not just as a fellow officer, but as a friend. "Jim, you probably know Pete better than any of us. Pete's a good cop. We need him back. And we need him one hundred percent. So, yeah let's try it. Effective immediately, you're off for the next three days. Let's just hope Pete will be his old self by then and you two can get back out there where you belong."
"Thanks, Mac," Jim said as he left the sergeant's office.
Jim got all the details worked out with Dr. French. The doctor agreed it would be best for someone to stay with Pete. Not only from the familiarity aspect, but also because until Pete could remember, he may have moments of confusion and panic. He probably didn't need to be alone.
Jim walked into Pete's hospital room. He prayed a silent prayer that Pete would recognize him and all would be well.
"Hey, Jim, thanks for coming back." Pete smiled a weak smile at his partner.
"How are you feeling today, Pete?"
"Got a killer headache. And to answer your real question, no, I still can't remember much," Pete replied without much hope in his voice.
"Hang in there, partner. The doctor says you're to be released today. I'm going to stay with you at your apartment for a couple of days. I've got all the details worked out. Jean thinks it's a good plan and I got my time off all squared with Mac. So, as soon as they spring you, we'll head for your place. I bet once you get home, everything will come back to you."
"Man, I hope so. I can't begin to explain to you how frustrating this is. It's like when you can't remember a word but it's right on the tip of your tongue. The problem is everything is on the tip of my tongue. I think that's making my head hurt more than the concussion," Pete confided to his partner.
"You may be right," Jim agreed. "Let's just hope this is all over soon."
"I live here?" Pete asked. He and Jim were standing in the middle of Pete's living room.
"Yes," Jim confirmed. "This is your apartment. Look around. Anything look familiar? Any bells going off yet?"
Pete stood perfectly still. He closed his eyes and took in a deep breath. Please, please, please, God, let me recognize something here. He opened his eyes and exhaled slowly.
"No, Jim. Nothing. I assume I live here alone?" Pete inquired. He was obviously miserable and Jim could sense it.
"That's right. You live alone. You're a confirmed bachelor. But according to some of your stories, you're quite the ladies' man," Jim answered, trying to lighten Pete's mood.
Pete smiled and glanced in a mirror hanging on the wall. "Yeah, I can see it." Both men laughed.
Pete turned back to the mirror. He studied his reflection. Fear and frustration suddenly gripped Pete. He slammed his fist against the wall beside the mirror. "I must remember!" I can't take much more of this empty, dull feeling. Pete sounded as if he were giving himself an order.
Jim walked over and placed a hand on Pete's shoulder. "Hey, Pete, take it easy. Give yourself some time. I'll whip us up some lunch. After we eat, I thought we could look at some old pictures I brought from home. There are some of my wife and little boy, and some of police officers that we work with. Will that be okay with you?"
Pete turned and glared at Jim. "Look, Jim, back off and stop smothering me." Pete practically spat the words at Jim. You have no idea what I'm going through. Pete slumped back against the wall. He clenched his fists into tight balls then released them. He cocked his head heavenward and stared at the ceiling for a moment. "Jim, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to jump down your throat. I'm just so tried of not recognizing anything. I guess I thought we would just walk in here and I'd be home and everything would be back to normal for me. I know you're trying to help me. I appreciate it more than you'll ever know. I'm sorry I snapped at you." Pete apologized and then, as an afterthought, added, "The pictures sound like a good idea. I'd like to see them."
Jim flashed a big, toothy, boyish grin at Pete. "You know what, Malloy? That little blow up was probably the closest to being yourself you've been since this happened. Now why don't I fix that lunch and you take it easy. Just remember this is your apartment. All this belongs to you. So, make yourself at home. Literally."
Pete screwed his mouth into a crooked half smile. "Yeah, I guess I just need a little more time. I'll look around some more."
Pete continued exploring his apartment. He felt odd. All this was his and he didn't recognize any of it. He felt stupid asking where his own bathroom was.
As if reading his mind, Jim offered, "It's down the hall to the left."
"Down the hall to the left?" Pete repeated the directions to his friend.
"Right," Jim replied
"To the right?" Pete asked
"No. I meant correct. It's to the left," Jim answered. He could feel the tension easing and that was good.
"I'll find it," Pete responded, giving Jim a backwards wave as he made his way down the hall.
Pete looked around the small, neat apartment a few more minutes. Jim busied himself in the kitchen preparing lunch. A sudden knock at the door startled both officers. They stared at each other for a second before Jim finally suggested, "Hey, it's your door, you answer it. Maybe it will be just the face to bring your memory around."
"Yeah, well stick close. You might need to make introductions." Pete walked cautiously to the door and opened it.
"Peter Malloy, why are you home? I distinctly remember you telling me you were working the early shift or AM watch or whatever you call it. I saw your car outside. Are you sick? Is something wrong?" A sweet looking little old lady was staring at Pete. She waited, not too patiently, for answers.
"Ah… no, ma'am. I mean yes, ma'am," Pete stammered.
Jim interrupted, "Hello, Mrs. O'Brien."
"Oh, hello Officer Reed. Are you still Pete's partner?" The old lady questioned Jim but continued without waiting for a reply. "Is there a problem here that I should know about?"
This time Jim forced a word in. "Yes, Ma'am, Pete and I are still partners. Mrs. O'Brien, may I speak to you over here for just a moment." Jim gently took her by the elbow and guided her aside. He spent a brief moment explaining the events of the last two days.
"Oh my … surely he … oh, the poor dear," Mrs. O'Brien sighed and fretted.
She walked over and placed a frail withered hand on each of Pete's muscular biceps. She spoke loudly and very distinctly as if Pete had lost his hearing instead of his memory. "Peter, I'm Mrs. O'Brien. I'm your neighbor and your landlady. Now, don't you worry - you're going to be fine. What can I get for you? Do you need to lie down? Are you hungry? How can I help you?"
Pete smiled at the dear woman. "Nothing really, Mrs. O'Brien. I'm fine. Jim is fixing lunch for us. He's taking very good care of me."
Mrs. O'Brien looked over at Jim. "Yes, well see that you do young man. Well, Pete if you're sure I can't do anything I guess I'll go back to my apartment."
"Thank you, Mrs. O'Brien. Please stop by later to check on me." Pete suggested more for her benefit than his.
"Indeed I will. I'll be back this evening with a roast for your dinner. Will you be here, Officer Reed?"
"Yes, ma'am, I'm staying with Pete for a few days."
"That's fine, just fine. I shall see you later then." She turned on her stylish little orthopedic shoes and made her exit.
"Whoa." Pete grinned at Jim. "Who was that little fireball?"
"Like she said, she's your landlady and a very good neighbor. But, take some friendly advice and stay on her good side. She can be pretty stubborn when she needs to. For some reason, though, she took an instant liking to you when you moved in here."
"Must be that 'ladies man' thing we were talking about earlier."
"Yeah right," Jim quipped sarcastically "Lets eat, partner."
"Hey, this is good," Pete complimented Jim on his cooking.
"You open a few cans, you spread some peanut butter - it's an art." Jim waved his hands over the table with great fanfare.
"Maybe there is one thing I remember," Pete said.
"Oh yeah?" Jim perked up. "What is it?"
"Hospital food is the pits."
"Oh, you probably don't really remember that. It's just a universally known fact." Jim was glad to see Pete relaxing. He figured if he could get him in familiar surroundings and keep jogging his memory something would click with Pete soon.
"… and this is James Reed Jr." Jim handed the picture of his son to Pete.
"My godson?" Pete asked, studying the picture of the little boy.
"Do you recognize him?"
"Like I said, cute kid. But no, I really don't. I wish I did." Oh, how I wish I did. Pete sighed and took another stack of pictures from Jim.
The rest of the afternoon was spent in much the same way. The two men looked at pictures, watched a game on television and talked. Pete tried hard to grab some little bit of information that would be familiar to him.
6:15 p.m. True to her word, Mrs. O'Brien came bearing edible gifts of roast, carrots and potatoes.
"I baked an apple pie. That's one of your favorites, Pete. I'll go back to my apartment and get it. I was afraid I would drop something if I tried to carry too much."
"I'll walk back with you and get it," Pete offered.
"Are you sure you can?" Mrs. O'Brien questioned.
"Yes, ma'am. I think I can find my way back." Pete smiled at the old lady. She's sweet.
Pete lay in his own bed, staring at his own ceiling. He tried to remember his family, his childhood, being a police officer. He drew a blank every time. Tomorrow, Pete promised himself, I'll remember something tomorrow. He turned over on his side and fell into a deep sleep.
Jim was tossing and turning on Pete's couch. He offered up a prayer for Pete then turned his thoughts to Jean. Wonder what she's doing? I'll call her tomorrow. Jim missed his family. He missed his partner. He stared into the darkness for a while and finally drifted off to sleep.
After coffee and a big breakfast, Jim suggested they take a drive. They took Pete's car, but Jim drove. "Malloy, you don't know what an honor this is. You never let me drive." Jim slid in behind the steering wheel.
"Yeah, well, just be careful. I already have one bump on my head." Pete glanced over at Jim who looked suddenly very thoughtful.
"What's up?" Pete asked.
"I was just thinking. I read somewhere once that a severe blow to the head can cause memory loss and another blow might bring it back. I've got a nice hammer in my garage at home. Whatcha say we give it a try?" Jim raised his eyebrows questioningly at Pete.
"Just drive." Pete shot down Jim's crazy idea. "And don't forget to point out the highlights along the way."
The two officers drove to no particular destination. Jim tried to think of places that might register a memory with Pete. The conversation consisted mostly of Jim pointing out buildings and landmarks that might be familiar to Pete.
"There's my bank. I walked in on a 211 in progress once. That's a robbery. I was a hostage. You helped save my life," Jim said, almost matter-of-factly. "Over there to the right is Eddie's. We eat there sometimes."
The trip continued… "and that little stand over there is where we eat some of the best Coneys ever constructed."
"We eat a lot, don't we?" Pete asked, stretching and squirming in the seat.
"Oh, yeah. Eating's one of my favorite pastimes," Jim replied.
"Now this is a place we eat at real often…Duke's." Jim pointed as he drove slowly past the restaurant.
"Home of the medium rare Ranch Burger," Pete stated.
"Hey, how'd you know that?" Jim asked with excitement.
"I don't know." Pete looked kind of dazed like he had surprised himself. "Just something about the way you said Duke's. It just came out. Do I eat very many medium rare Ranch Burgers?"
"No. But I do. That's just great," Jim teased with a little sarcasm. "You can't remember your own past so you're trying to steal mine. There's the liquor store that was held up the day you got hurt." Jim drove around to the alley and stopped by the dumpster where Pete had lain a few days earlier. "Getting any vibes or signs?" Jim looked at Pete and noticed the slightest look of panic forming on Pete's face. He had a tiny line of sweat forming on his upper lip.
Pete reached up, scratched his nose and said, "No, not really. It feels kind of hinky, but I think I'm remembering what I've been told happened, not what actually happened."
"Yeah, I guess so. Hey Pete, would you like to go to the station? That might seem familiar to you."
"Okay, but don't let me do anything stupid and embarrass myself," Pete agreed with some reservation.
"You'll be fine. If any of the guys are around they'll be glad to see you."
"… this is a holding cell where we hold criminals. Oh, I guess that's self explanatory, isn't it?" Jim grinned sheepishly at his partner. "And over there is the…"
"Break room," Pete interrupted.
"That's right. Wow, Pete, you remembered."
"No. I read the sign on the door." Pete gave Jim a punch in the arm.
They walked into the locker room. A few officers were there. They all converged on Pete with well wishes and pats on the back. Pete didn't recognize them, but somehow he knew he was a part of this close-knit group, and he was pleased.
"You know, Jim, nothing looks familiar. But there is something here I recognize. I think it's a smell. A kind of oily, leathery smell." Pete smiled at his small but significant accomplishment. He had promised himself he would remember something, and he had.
It had been a long tiring day for Pete. His head hurt. He said goodnight to Jim and went into his bedroom closing the door behind him. He was asleep before his head hit the pillow.
Jim phoned Jean. "Hi, sweetheart, I miss you."
"I miss you too. How's Pete?" Jean asked.
"He's already gone to bed. I think I wore him out today. He remembered a few things, but not much. Maybe tomorrow will be the day. How's Jimmy?"
"He's fine. Sleeping now. He had a big day of playing." Jean Reed's voice sounded very sweet to her husband.
"Give him a big hug for me. I love you. I guess I'll go now. Just wanted to check on you."
"Love you, too! Tell Pete I'm praying for him."
"You know I will." Jim said goodbye to his wife and put the receiver down.
The early morning LA sunshine peeked through the window. Pete sat on the side of his bed. He was in that foggy transitional state where one is awake, but only from the neck down. He rubbed his eyes and blinked several times trying to clear the fog. Something caught his attention…a noise…someone was in his apartment. I need my gun. Instantly awake, he stood and started toward the closet where he kept his .38.
Suddenly the door burst open. "Mornin', Pete, I thought I heard you. After breakfast lets…"
"Reed! What the hell are you doing in my apartment? One more second and I could have blown your hea…"
An ocean of awareness suddenly flooded over Pete. He slid down on the bed. Sitting at first, then reclining against the pillows. He knew why Jim was there. He knew exactly why. "Jim, I remember! I know who I am…I know who you are…I know all the presidents, well most of them but don't quiz me on that. I'm back, partner. Just like that."
"Pete, that's great. Welcome back, partner! What happened? How'd you remember?" Jim looked as if his face would split wide open, he was grinning so big.
"I'm not sure. I think I had a dream or something. It was all mixed up and goofy. Mrs. O'Brien was the chief of police but she didn't carry a gun or a nightstick, she carried a spatula and a wooden spoon. You kept forgetting your uniform pants and we had to patrol with you in your boxers. Mac said that would go in your package, by the way. And Ed Wells was watch commander. He made us all wear Mickey Mouse watches."
They stared at each other for a second, and then broke into laughter.
"Hey, I think I'll walk…no run down to Mrs. O'Brien's apartment and tell her I'm back." Pete bolted for the door.
"Uh, Pete, don't you think you should get dressed first." Jim looked his friend up and down.
Pete was standing in the middle of his bedroom wearing a wrinkled T-shirt, boxers and his left sock. His big toe peeked from a hole. His right foot was unashamedly naked. He had kicked his right sock off somewhere between Mrs. O'Brien's spatula and Ed Wells' watches.
"Oh right. Good idea. Maybe I'll just go later or call her or something."
"On second thought, she might like seeing you like that. She is one of your chicks after all," Jim teased his friend.
"May I remind you, Junior, I also remember how to shoot you at point blank range?"
"I'll finish up breakfast. You grab a shower. After we eat we'll firm up some plans for the day," Jim suggested.
"Deal," Pete agreed.
After a quick shower, Pete joined Jim for a breakfast of French toast and bacon.
"Food's great, Jim. I had no idea you could cook."
"Only certain things. I think we've pretty much exhausted my collection of recipes over the last few days," Jim explained. "So, Pete, what do you want to do today?" Jim asked between bites.
"First, I want to take you home and kiss your wife."
"Excuse me? That's my territory," Jim feigned shock.
"Well, okay. Maybe I'll just hug her. But I definitely want to thank Jean."
"For what?" Jim questioned Pete who looked suddenly very serious.
"For keeping you straight and for letting me borrow you for a few days when I really needed you. Jim, I couldn't have survived the last few days without you. Thanks, partner," Pete spoke with such sincerity it made Jim blush nervously.
"You're welcome, Pete. Nothing you wouldn't have done for me, friend."
"Right. 'Nuf said." Pete didn't like all that mushy stuff any more than Jim did. "And," Pete continued, "I want to see that godson of mine, but only for a minute. I know you're anxious to get home and you don't need me hanging around. After I leave your place, I think I'll go for a drive. Maybe I'll stop by Susan's." Pete let the name Susan drip off his lips like melted butter.
"Susan's, huh?" Jim gave his partner a little nudge.
"Yes, partner. It's good to remember. It's especially good to remember Susan." Pete gave Jim a sly wink.
"Seriously, Pete, do you need to go by the hospital and let the doctor check you?" Man, I'd hate for you to have a relapse or something.
"Nah, I'm good to go. I'm going there in a few days to get my stitches out anyway. No need to make two trips. I'm telling you, man, I'm back one hundred percent."
"Well, what are we waiting for? Let's get out of here." Jim grabbed the car keys, tossed them to Pete and the two friends were off.
"Have you heard? Pete's back." Bob Brinkman was leaning against his locker door talking to Jerry Woods and Juan Sanchez.
"That's right I am, and you clowns need to hurry it up. Roll call is in five minutes," Pete barked jokingly to his colleagues.
At roll call, Mac had a hard time getting everyone settled. Loud hoots and cheers went up when Pete entered the room.
"Hey Malloy, welcome back … You okay now, Pete? We sure were worried … Great to see you, Pete," were among the comments heard.
"Thanks guys. I appreciate everyone's concern. Now let's give Mac our attention," Pete tried to steer the attention away from himself. It made him nervous.
"It feels so good to be back." Pete Malloy was seated behind the wheel of Adam-12. He rocked the steering wheel back and forth causing the car to swerve ever so slightly. He settled into his seat and pulled the unit out of the station parking lot.
"You know Reed, I feel so good I think I might even laugh at one of your jokes today."
"Really, Pete?" Jim had the look of a kid on Christmas morning.
"Why not?" Pete surrendered. "Hit me with your best shot."
"Okay. Let's see … yeah, this is a good one. What do you call a mother cow after she's had her baby?"
"Mama? I don't know." Pete held up his right hand in an I-give-up gesture. "Give it to me, partner."
"Decaffeinated! Get it Pete? A baby cow is a calf. De-CALF-einated." Jim looked as if this was one of his proudest moments.
"Reed, I swear! I hope our next call is for two fat 311's both male and unbathed. I'd make you ride in the back between them and I'd take the long way back to the station."
And then as if Pete had magically summoned dispatch, the radio crackled to life. "1-Adam-12, traffic accident, corner of 8th and Main. Overturned truck. Non injury. Tow truck is en route. PR advises live chickens involved."
"1-Adam-12, roger," Jim Reed acknowledged.
"311's with live chickens. Now that's revenge," Pete quipped.
They arrived on the scene to find an overturned poultry truck and a great many chicken feathers floating about. The lettering on the side of the truck read, 'Moore's Poultry - Soddy Daisy, Tennessee'. Pete sent Jim to set up flares at either end of the block and re-route traffic to the side streets. He walked over to the site and looked for someone who might be the truck's owner.
"Howdy, Sheriff." The truck's owner had found Pete.
"Hello, sir. I'm not a sheriff. I'm a police officer. Are you hurt?"
"No, sir. Not one bit. Spilt some of my birds though."
"Yes, sir. I can see that. Could I get your name please?" Pete asked as he took his pen and notepad from his pocket.
"Name's Moore. Les Moore."
This struck Pete as funny. He bit down on the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing. Well, which is it buddy, less or more? Pete thought but said nothing.
"Thank you, Mr. Moore. Were you alone in the truck?"
"No, sir. Me and my brother was both in there. That's him over there." Les Moore pointed to a man that looked exactly like him only a little heavier. "We's twins."
"Yes, I can see that." Pete smiled. "Can I get your brother's name?"
"Sure. It's Lon."
Pete said the name mentally as he wrote, Lon Moore…Lawn Mower. Oh no! How goofy can you get? What was their mother thinking? This was more than Pete could stand. He motioned Jim over and asked him to finish taking Mr. Moore's statement. He walked over to take a closer look at the overturned truck. He stepped behind the truck, well out of the Moores' hearing, and had a big hearty laugh.
Pete regained his composure and went over to talk with the Moore brothers and Jim.
"Did you drive all the way here from Tennessee?" Pete asked.
"Yes, sir. Well, not all at one time. We've been on the road for three weeks. We deliver chickens all over the country," Lon Moore answered.
"Where you headed?" Jim questioned.
"Evan's Poultry Farm."
"Mr. Moore, you do realize there's a more direct way to get there? You could have taken the freeway. You didn't have to come through the middle of downtown Los Angeles," Pete informed.
"Oh, sure, we knew that. But the ladies like to ride through town," Les Moore stated.
"Ladies?" Pete shot his partner a look.
"Yes, sir. The chickens. They like to look at their reflections in the store windows as we drive through town." Lon provided this interesting information.
Okaaay!? Lets wrap this up quickly. It's getting a little bizarre. Pete glanced at Jim who seemed totally enthralled with the whole situation.
"All right. I think we have all the information we need at this time. The tow truck is just arriving. We'll get out of the way and let them do their job. Thank you both and good luck to you," Pete and Jim exchanged handshakes with the Moores.
Back in the safety of the patrol car, Pete and Jim had a good laugh.
"Hey, partner, lets clear and code 7. I'm hungry." Pete suggested wiping tears of laughter from his eyes.
"Sounds good," Jim agreed. "Hey, I just thought of something. Back before you had your unfortunate memory loss, you and I had made a little wager on a ball game. I never collected on that bet. You owe me, partner."
Pete turned to stare at Jim. His eyes were glazed over. He had a totally blank expression on his face.
"Who am I? …
"Where am I? …
"What day is this? …"
"No way, partner. I'm not going for it this time." Jim Reed grabbed the mic, "1-Adam-12 clear and requesting code 7." He replaced the mic then added, "Which my partner here will be buying."
"1-Adam-12 Clear. 1-Adam-12 okay 7."
Thanks to Cathy, my personal 'comma cop'. And, to my friend, Sweazy, who only rolled her eyes four times when she read the first draft.