Sunday, June 17, 2018

Good Food Always Soothes the Soul

By the time they returned to the station, Mary Lou's first words were that Cordelia had called. "She didn't sound right to me. She asked you to call her as soon as you got back. Do you know anything about this?"

The Sheriff walked back to his office to call Cordelia. Mike explained to Mary Lou what had happened.

"That's horrible."

Mike turned and walked to his desk to see if there were any messages. There were none, so he sat down and started working on his never ending pile of paperwork.

The Sheriff called Cordelia. "Cordelia, I am so sorry."

"You never know what someone is thinking." She paused. "I wanted to let you know that I have Wells. Thankfully, he has been staying with me for the past 2 days or so. I'll keep him here. God knows the last thing he needs is whatever drama this will bring about." 

"You know if you ever need something, let me know. I was over there this morning. I think you should that they think it was a murder, not a suicide."

"That doesn't surprise me. I can't imagine her doing something like that. Especially with Wells. He was the light of her life." They discussed a few things and then rang off.

The following morning, the police officer from Mobile called. "We just picked up a Mr. Santos Garcia. "


"At the local pawn store. Seemed he was trying to sell some of Ms. McCord's jewelry."

"How did you know it was her jewelry?"

"When we were going through the house, we saw, what looked like a jewelry box open and empty. I spoke with Ms. McCord's aunt and she was able to describe to me several of the more significant pieces that should have been in there. I put out a description of the jewelry to all the local pawn shops."

"And, he tried to pawn it?"

"That would be correct. We were able to get to the shop before he left."

"Did he have anything to say?"

"You bet. Once we got him to the station, and started interrogating him, he was quick to talk. Apparently, Ms. Cantrell was not the intended victim at the dinner. He said it was supposed to be a Mr. Haynes Duiese."

"Really?" He paused,"The plan was to kill Haynes not Colleen."

"So the 2 knew each other?"

"Yes, you could say they were an 'item.' Colleen was Haynes' date that evening."

They discussed the situation. When the officer in Mobile learned what Cajo had told Pearce and the Sheriff, he was even more interested in Santos. "He must have heard your car pull up and made it out of the back door just in time." He was a quiet. "Why were you asking about poison?"

"Based on a blood test, we know that she was killed by ingesting cyanide." 

"So you think that Ms. McCord gave Santos the poison and he put it in Ms. Cantrell's food?"

"That's the thought."

"But why did he do that, if the plan was to kill Mr. Duiese?"

"That's what we need to find out."

They discussed a few more things and rang off.

Meanwhile, Cordelia had always been a very important part of Wells' life. In his mind she was better than any grandmother, she was 'Aunt Cordelia'. So it was natural that Cordelia take care of him. The only other option would have been his Aunt Liza.  She had enough problems raising her own children, there was no way Cordelia was going to let her attempt to take care of Wells.

Of course, in addition to Cordelia, there was Pearl. She was even more doting than Cordelia thought about being. She believed that good food could always soothe the soul, especially her biscuits and chocolate chip cookies. Between the 2 women, Wells was in good hands.

Belva's funeral had been delayed due to the on going investigation and the circumstances of her death. Colleen's service was Monday afternoon. She had a last will and testament in which she stated she wanted to be cremated. 

Her service was the first time Haynes had met Wells. He could see Colleen in him. This was a smart, nice looking young man who had watched his world crumble in a just a matter of a few years. His therapist had done a great job keeping the young man centered. Considering all he had gone through beyond the divorce - his father's change and now the death of both of his parents.

After the ceremony, Haynes had invited everyone back to his house for a luncheon. It was a full house. Despite the reason for the gathering, everyone had a good time. Haynes knew that was the way Colleen would have wanted it to be.  So far, Haynes had been able to get through Colleen's death without having a break down. As always Parker and Bob were his rock. Naturally, both of them were also devastated by her death. 

After everyone had gone home and the caterer had cleaned up and left, Haynes, Parker, and Bob found themselves on the patio with a bottle of wine. It was nice to enjoy the quiet after all the noise, laughter, and conversation of the day.

Parker asked, "Dad, what do you think of Wells?"

"I was most impressed. I know Colleen not being able to spend time with him must have been agonizing. And to have a parent change gender and leave, then to lose both parents within a week of each other, is hard on anyone, much less a 9 year old boy."

"Well, I think he is smart and thoughtful."

Haynes told Parker and Bob about Belva having found the therapists that specialized in children of transgender parents. Wells saw Dr. Haskell at least once a week. 

Bob laughed, "They have those?"

"Apparently so and Wells is proof of how well the therapy can work. Thanks to her, this young man has been able to cope with his situation."

"I guess he is the closest you have ever had to grandchild," laughed Parker.

"I hadn't thought of that. Colleen talked about him a lot, but today was the first time I met him. Colleen and I never discussed him meeting me. Not that she had an issue with it, I just think it would have complicated a situation that was taxed as it was. The whole thing was a bit strange." Haynes was quiet. "It would have been very special."

Bob spoke up, "Well, what's stopping you now? Just because Colleen is no longer here, nothing says you cannot be part of Wells' life."

"Colleen would be thrilled. Think about it," added Parker.

"Okay, let me get this straight. He would be the 'adopted' grandson of the man his father was seeing after he transgendered into a woman."

"Yep, that's about it," laughed Bob.

"Oh, Dad, it's just a matter of semantics," Parker said laughing. "And, we all know semantics are so overrated."

"If there was a time, he ever needed you and you needed him, this was be it. Just get to know him. It will take some time."

Haynes was quiet. "Well, it's not like you 2 are ever going to make me a grandfather."

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