IV. The Wrap Up
I followed Deputy Marks back down the hall unsure of what the next step was going to be. The thought of my grandma spending any time in jail sickened me. I never claimed to know everything about my grandma but this whole revelation was way too much to absorb in one night or early morning. I felt like I didn’t know her at all. Apparently, my drifter cousin Petey knew her better than me. I just couldn’t process all this information.
“Please, have a seat,” Deputy Marks said gesturing to a chair by his desk as he sat behind it. I noticed the bobble-head of Lebron James bobbing. It seemed to be drowning among the clutter on his desk.
“Here is the deal, no one is pressing charges. Your grandma is free to go.”
“What?” I asked unsure if I heard correctly.
“Look, your grandma and roommate were caught while in the act of removing the lariat. They didn’t succeed. The most we could charge them with is vandalism.”
He tapped a pen on his desk and Lebron bobbed his head in agreement. “Look, the town’s police have been eluded by this geriatric gang for a few months. They would really appreciate it if word didn’t get out that their most elusive case in months was perpetuated by nursing home citizens.” He laughed, “I can’t blame them. That’s a bit embarrassing for them. And I really don’t want to be seen as the agency taking in a bunch of nursing home residents. Nobody actually stole anything. Nothing was found in your grandma’s room. We’d really like this whole thing to go away before the public condemns us for handcuffing 40 nursing home residents.”
“So, my grandma won’t be punished?” I asked.
“Well, she is homeless. The nursing home kicked her out since she was the instigator. You can stop by tomorrow and pick up her stuff.”
I nodded. “That seems understandable.”
“Maybe Shady Pines or Summit Grove will take her,” he suggested.
I swallowed and smiled. “Yeah, I will check those out.” I lied. Now is not the time to fill him in on grandma’s history.
“The only thing we are asking for is an apology from her. A little contrition goes a long way.”
I nodded and could hear voices behind me. I turned to see another deputy leading my grandma toward the desk.
Deputy Marks stood up and towered over all of us. “I was just telling your grandson here that you are free to go.” He spoke loudly. “But we had better never hear about you playing your little game again. If anything that is ever in your vicinity goes missing we will bring you in again and we will not hesitate to charge you.”
“Of course,” she said in a meek voice. “I appreciate you letting me go with the warning. You can rest assured I have played my game for the last time. I am 77 years old and no longer have the stamina or means to keep up with this.”
Deputy Marks narrowed his eyes as if having second thoughts.
Grandma continued, “Plus, I know it was morally wrong to keep up the charade for so long. I only hope my dear grandson will forgive me.”
“You are my grandma,” I replied. “Of course I forgive you!” I gave her as big of hug as I dared and we sat down to fill out some paperwork.
After another 45 minutes of listening to Deputy Marks extol the virtues of honesty in such a condescending manner that I was tempted to start a life of crime my grandma was released.
When we were sitting in the car driving down the road I glanced at her. “So, you can’t go back to Red Fox. They kicked you out.”
She shrugged her shoulders. “Suits me. Helen snored.”
I bit my bottom lip. “Okay then, for tonight, or what’s left of it anyway, you will come home with me and we will figure out what to do tomorrow.”
“You really are my favorite grandchild,” she said and put her hand on my arm. “As a token of appreciation take this small gift.” With that she handed me a familiar looking bobble-head of Lebron James.
“Grandma!” I exclaimed and instinctively looked behind us to see if anyone was coming. “That was on Deputy Marks desk.”
She put it back in her purse.
“Wait,” I recalled her earlier statement about misdirection. “Was this the plan all along? Something from the police station…” I remembered her words. “The statue was just a ploy, wasn’t it?”
She shrugged her shoulders and looked out the window and I knew I would never know the answer. My grandma had many layers that I would never understand but I was okay with that. I loved her for the parts I did know about and that was enough.