Hope Never Fades
written by: Alphie (SVNDYJESUS@aol.com)
*written before the marriage/may have surprise sequel
Walker parked his truck by the curb then looked at Trivette. He knew what they were about to go into would be hard and dangerous so he wanted to make sure that Trivette was ready. All Trivette did was nod his head and take his gun out of its holster.
They got out cautiously, closed their doors quietly, and headed off in their own ways. It was more dangerous this way but as the only team at the scene they couldn’t do anything else. Besides they do really good split up.
Walking very slowly in the empty alley Walker had his gun drawn, his ears, and eyes alert for anything strange. The only sound he heard was the soft pitter, patter of the soft rain hitting the ground. It was almost peaceful if only it didn’t make hearing unfamiliar noises difficult. So, far nothing, it was too quiet. I wonder how Trivette is doing?
Trivette made his way to the back of the building with slow, steady strides. The rain now began to come down in a steady pour drenching him quickly. But he put aside the damp coldness and put ahead what was really important: to pay attention for any strange movement.
Behind him he could hear feet scuffling on the wet pavement. He swiftly turned around; gun raised but didn’t see anything. His heart started to beat faster as the noise increased. Then without warning a gunshot could be heard followed by a stab of pain in his shoulder causing him to drop his gun. He fell to his knees in agony, letting out a soft moan of pain.
Fear crept in quickly when he realized what was going on. They were led into an ambush and now there is no way of getting out. He wanted to tell Walker but he didn’t know where he was. Trying to take a deep breath caused even more pain to escalate. Not wanting to give up he forced himself to stand then he leaned against the brick wall waiting till it was okay to move.
Walker heard the gunshot and started to panic. This was an ambush, no wonder it was so quiet. He ran behind a pile of garbage then squatted down and waited. Within minutes three men ran past him all of them carrying guns. He watched as they ran into a door just next to him.
He got out of his hiding spot and proceeded towards the door, but he didn’t get far. A click then a gunshot made him stop in his tracks. His heart now was racing, his mind trying to think of a way to get out of this situation.
“Put the gun down now or the next will be in your back.” A man yelled.
Raising his hands Walker dropped his gun. “Okay, don’t shoot me now!”
“You expect me to really do that!” The man shouted shooting one more time.
Trivette gradually made his way to the front of the alley using the loading dock as support. His right arm started to tingle as he started to loose blood. The pain was inevitable: searing, throbbing though his whole chest. He wanted to give up but something inside of him didn’t allow him to.
Leaning against the cement wall he took a deep breath and relaxed. How on earth does Walker do it? That man could mask pain like no other person, acting as though nothing is wrong. It amazes Trivette every time Walker walks away with a bullet wound but acts as though it’s just a cut. A bullet wound though is more then a cut it’s torture.
His body finally started to relax and he was able to get some energy. He pushed off grimacing as he did then stood straight up. Now, it’s time to find Walker.
Then out of nowhere came a yell that only lasted about a few seconds. In that quick moment though he could tell that it was Walker. After the yell a chorus of gunshots rang throughout the air.
“No!” Trivette yelled knowing Walker was dead for sure.
He slumped down energy spent from the sudden action. This can’t be happening; there’s no way. Slowly everything started to fade until he slipped into an empty darkness.
Maisie couldn’t believe what she saw, it was horrifying. All around were squad cars that looked like Swiss cheese, bodies laying everywhere, and officers running around. It appeared to be a war zone but all it was, was a raid gone bad, real bad. What she heard so far was that ten officers were dead and more then fifteen were injured. The only problem she had was trying to figure out where to start.
“Maisie, we got a guy over here whose asking for you.” Yelled a paramedic running over to her.
“Do you know his name?”
He shook his head. “No, but he’s pretty bad, so hurry!”
She nodded and followed the young man till they reached an ambulance with its back door’s open. Stepping up she peered in to see who it was and gasped.
Getting in Maisie told the paramedic that was taking care of Walker to move so she can. Then she took hold of his hand, squeezed it gently, and with that his eyes opened slightly.
“Maisie.” His voice was harsh and blocked by the oxygen mask.
“Sshh, don’t talk just let me check you out.” With that she released his hand then studied his chest. Every time he breathed blood would come up so she knew the bullet hit his lung and he was losing lots of blood. She noticed also that he wore a neck brace and that his whole body was immobilized.
“Where’s…where’s…Trivette?” He asked his voice showing his agony.
Walker was in so much pain that he could hardly bare it. His whole chest screamed besides his legs, which he lost all feeling of. Breathing was getting more and more difficult even with the mask. He wanted to give up but Maisie always knew him as a fighter, so he couldn’t quite. But without warning a sharp pain radiated throughout his chest causing him to grimace.
“I’m sorry.” He managed to say before his breath was quickly taken away.
Looking at Walker wondering why he said that Maisie just sighed. He’s just delirious a sign of major blood loss. She was about to shrug it off when Walker’s heart stopped, a loud beeping noise echoing in the back of the ambulance.
“Code Blue!” Yelled a paramedic who was starting CPR.
Maisie was so stunned she couldn’t move. This can’t be happening; there is no way. Walker would never give up. Maybe this was too much for him that’s it.
“Hey, ya’ goin’ to help or what?”
She snapped out of her thoughts just in time to see them shock Walker. Even with the jolt he’s eyes were still open, a ghastly stare. They shocked him one more time and still nothing. Two more times was the charm but his heartbeat was slow and irregular.
John, the paramedic that started the CPR turned and faced her. “What is up with you, Maisie?”
“Sorry, just I…”
“This is what you get when you become personally involved with your patients.” With that John turned around leaving Maisie in her pity.
When C.D. and Alex heard about the raid on t.v. at C.D.’s Bar and Grill they immediately started to call around. But so far they found nothing. Alex was getting really frustrated with busy signals and C.D. just kept on going with his usual optimism. Sometimes Alex wonders how he does it, how he always keeps smiling. Alex wishes she could be like him out of course every time the phone rang she always had to think it was a call about Walker.
An hour went by and still nothing: all the hospital lines busy. They were about to give up on the phones when Gage ran into the bar.
“Hey, guys I know where Walker is at.” He went to the bar and stood by Alex. “The hospital is about thirty minutes from here.”
Nobody said anything besides C.D. who told a lady to close for him then he turned around and left. Right behind him was Alex and Gage who too remained quiet. For a fact they knew Walker was in the hospital but how bad they didn’t know until they got there.
As the friends arrived at the hospital they realized how big this raid was to local and national news stations. Everywhere you look there were news crews running around or news vans setting up. It was so crowded that it took Gage fifteen minutes to find a parking spot.
When Gage got out he slammed his door. “This is a circus!”
“I didn’t know it was this bad.” Alex pointed out. “Why all the publicity?”
C.D. came up to Alex walking by her side. “Sweetheart, this is possibly the worst raid in all of the United States has ever seen. Almost twenty of our men were killed.”
“At least one of them wasn’t Walker.” Alex said relieved, then she remembered with shock. “Gage, did you hear anything about Trivette?”
“Oh, yeah, don’t worry though. He’s in serious, stable condition.”
Alex was confused. “How’d you know so much about Trivette and not Walker?”
He sighed. “Because, they’re at different hospitals.”
“What?” C.D. exclaimed stopping in his tracks.
Gage stopped and turned towards him. “What I heard was that the rescuers place victims throughout the city depending on their condition.” He paused. “They told me that critical and border-line patients here.”
“Oh, my gosh.” Was all that C.D. said as a reply.
The wait in the waiting room was one of the most stressful times in Alex’s life. People kept on walking in and out wanting interviews or just to see whom they were waiting for. There was no privacy; no time to talk among themselves since the little room was so crowded. People were crying, some just talking but because of the noise it appeared to be shouting.
But within twenty minutes of waiting a doctor came in wanting to speak with them. He directed the friends to a small room then closed the door blocking out the noises. Then he told them to sit down on the sofa across from him.
“Now, what I understand your friends but you’re the only family, right?” The doctor asked looking at the friends who nodded their heads in agreement. “Okay, I’m Doctor Martin and I will be Mr. Walker’s neurologist for his stay. He’s very lucky to be alive I can tell you that. The bullet went through his back and exited through his chest causing some major muscle and tissue damage.” He sighed. “But the bullet did nick the vertebra causing some bone fragments to richote into the spinal cord.”
C.D. put his head in his hands. “How bad is his back?” His voice was muffled.
Doctor Martin sighed. “We’re looking at a complete injury at the T6 level.”
“What does that mean?” Asked Gage rubbing Alex’s hand.
“It means that Walker may not be able to walk again.” The doctor sighed. “And if he is paralyzed he would have poor trunk control.”
There was a gasp from Alex but nothing else was said. Walker paralyzed that was too much it can’t be true. He was too athletic for it to happen to him, it must be wrong. But if it’s true he’ll walk again, he’ll do it.
“When can we see him?” Asked Gage.
“Within the hour, were prepping him right now.” Doctor Martin got up, was about to leave when he stopped. “I also forgot to tell you that the bullet, when it exited, nicked his sternum and went through his right lung. He’ll be on a respirator probably for three days. For now he won’t be able to talk.” With that he left leaving the friend’s waiting for another forty-five minutes.
When it was time to see Walker a nurse came in and told them to follow her. She led them down ICU until they reached a room with a window facing the main desk. Through the window they could see machines and a bed where Walker laid.
“You can see him for only twenty minutes, but one of you can stay the night.” She opened the door slowly. “He’s critical but stable and he’s still pretty drugged so he might wake up but he’ll probably go right back to sleep.”
They nodded their heads and gradually made their way in Walker’s room. C.D. was the first to go to the side of Walker’s bed; Gage and Alex just stood behind him.
C.D. looked at Walker and still couldn’t believe how bad he appeared. Walker was very pale, his skin almost gray. He wore a neck brace to keep his head immobilized and a tube came out of his mouth to help him breath. C.D. never had seen Walker so helpless in all his life.
“So who’s staying?” Gage questioned starting to feel he’s the only one talking.
Alex cut him a glance. “I know I can’t, I’ve got a hearing in the morning that I will have to try and get an emergency leave for.” She shook her head. “Wish I could though.”
“I’ll stay.” C.D. turned around to his friends. “I know Cordell once he wakes up he’ll one to move on outta’ here. I’m the only person that can get through to him.” He turned back around and faced his old partner. “Everythin’ is goin’ to be alright now don’t ya’ worry none.”
In the morning C.D. was asleep in a chair when he heard something. Getting up he realized that Walker was awake and fidgeting around. He started to fight the respirator making him cough and gasp.
A nurse came in at this time with Doctor Martin and went to Walker. C.D. watched as they talked to him then gave him something to calm him down. Within five minutes Walker was still, calm, and awake.
Before they left Doctor Martin walked up to C.D.
“Don’t worry about what happened. I believe he was just scared.” Doctor Little patted C.D. on the shoulder. “He needs a friend right now.”
He left as C.D. made his way to Walker’s bedside and as he did Walker tried to move his head but couldn’t because of the brace. Holding Walker’s right hand C.D. looked at him in the face and smiled. So, far it appeared everything was going to be okay, but they still have to wait a couple more days to make sure. For now Walker pulled through and that was good enough.
“Get me out of here!” Trivette hollered getting really annoyed.
“Calm down!” Gage said trying to assure Trivette. “You’ll be out of here tomorrow.”
Trivette calmed down but he was still mad. “Where’s Walker?”’
Gage sat down then he looked Trivette in the eyes.
“Walker was shot, he barely made it.” He paused to gather himself. “The bullet nicked his vertebra, hit his sternum, then went through his right lung and exited out his chest breaking a few ribs.”
All that Trivette did in response was lie down on his pillow and sigh. He ends up with a busted right shoulder where as Walker might be paralyzed. Why Walker, why not him? Why did that have to happen to Walker?
“What else went on in the raid?” Trivette asked looking Gage in the eyes.
“I don’t think…”
“Dang it Gage, tell me.” Protested Trivette sitting up.
“Okay.” Gage looked down at his laced hands. “Out of thirty-eight men, eleven are dead and ten are injured.”
“Thirty-eight men! Who ordered thirty-eight men in the first place?”
“It was a mistake, sixteen men shouldn’t have been there, but,” Gage lifted his head. “…But someone requested backup after they heard three shots.”
“Then the rest is chaos.” Trivette said closing his eyes. He didn’t want to hear anymore, it was just too much. All he wanted to do now was get out of here and see how everything was.
A Day Later
The next time Walker woke up the only light on in his room was the small lamp above his bed. Must be real late at night or early in the morning, he pondered wanting to look around. Unfortunately though because of the neck brace he couldn’t and it was starting to annoy him. Also the tube in his mouth was getting on his nerves.
He tried moving but that just caused the pain to radiate throughout his chest. Grimacing he stopped but the pain still remained. It hurt so bad all he wanted to do was go back to sleep, instead though he reached for the caller button and pressed it.
Immediately a nurse came in, as he did Alex awoke from her sleep. When did she fall asleep? Checking her watch she realized it was nearing one o’clock in the morning. She was about to fall asleep again when she heard a voice.
Sitting up Alex noticed that a nurse was by Walker’s bedside reassuring him.
“What’s going on?” She asked hurrying to Walker’s left side.
The nurse patted Walker’s shoulder. “There you go, now just relax and the pain should go away within twenty minutes.” She saw Alex and smiled. “I just gave him a heavy dose of morphine. He should be out in about twenty minutes.”
Alex nodded in agreement then watched as she left. When she did Alex took hold of Walker’s left hand gently so not to pull out any of the i.v.’s and squeezed it softly. She knew he couldn’t squeeze back because of the board stabilizing his hand, but his eyes appeared to be smiling.
“Hey, cowboy it’s about time I see those green eyes.” She kissed him on the cheek. “But I still want for you to get some sleep.”
In the days to follow Walker was sitting up writing notes and even answering questions about the raid. He was so much better that C.D. couldn’t believe that just four days ago Walker was fighting for his life. Of course he should have known Walker was always a fighter.
Today Walker’s neck brace was coming off and C.D. could tell that Walker was delighted about that. But unfortunately though his lung wasn’t healing as well as expected and the respirator may have to stay for another week. Which meant more notes and more frustration.
Right now C.D. sat beside Walker’s bed talking and waiting for Walker to answer. In mid-conversation the nurse came in along with Doctor Martin.
“Excuse me, but we’ll have to ask for you to leave for now.” The nurse went to Walker and started to pull the blankets off. “We’re going to do his leg exercises.”
Nodding, C.D. got up gave Walker a smile and a slight pat on the shoulder then left. As he was walking out he ran into Alex and Trivette. He literally ran into Trivette causing him to grimace as he hit his injured arm. C.D. apologized as soon as he saw what he did.
“It’s okay, not your fault.” Trivette breathed in deeply then glanced in the room. “What’s going on?”
“Working on the legs.” He sighed. “I can’t stand seeing him like this.” He whispered so Walker wouldn’t hear from the room. “He’s still has no feeling in his legs and he probably won’t. Just makes me mad.”
Alex pulled C.D. away from the door. “Listen to me C.D., he’s going to be alright, remember how stubborn he is.” She whispered. “Knowing him, in about a year from now he’ll be walking around or chasing criminals.”
She started to walk away with Trivette and C.D. next to her. Just when she reached the elevator Trivette stepped in front of her.
“Alex, it’s time to face reality.” He gave her a disappointing glare. “His x-rays clearly showed that the bone fragments hit the spinal cord. Now, we can encourage…”
“Trivette, I thought you were his friend!” Alex exclaimed. “You should be lucky that he’s even alive.” She got into the elevator without saying anything else, leaving Trivette in stunned silence.
C.D. put his hand on Trivette’s shoulder. “She didn’t mean to, she was angry.”
Trivette pushed C.D.’s hand away then briskly walked to the exit door at the end of the hall. He pushed the door open, the nice clean air feeling his lungs. Standing there breathing deeply the medicine smell slowly going away. After awhile he stepped out, got his keys out of his pocket then headed to his car.
When he was getting in he noticed C.D. walking towards him. Does that man ever give up? Ever since I’ve known him he always wants his way. Well, I had enough; time to show him that I really mean business.
He started his car but it was to late C.D. had made his way through the parking lot and now stood at his driver side window. Slamming his hands on the steering wheel he took the keys out of the ignition then rolled down his window.
“Why don’t you just leave me alone?” Trivette mumbled staring out his windshield.
“No, I ain’t goin’ to leave ya’ alone. Now get out.” C.D. commanded his voice a tone of anger that Trivette has never heard before.
Hesitating for about a minute, Trivette pondered about what he was going to do. He decided to stay in the car since if he got out C.D. might drag him back inside.
“No, I’m not.” Trivette turned his head towards the old man. “It was my fault, if I was with him he probably…” he rubbed the steering wheel. “…He probably wouldn’t be suffering like he is.”
C.D. leaned into the window. “It wasn’t your fault Jimmy, it was an ambush.”
“It was to!” Hollered Trivette. “Just leave me alone, alright?” He started the car and drove off.
“Dagnabbit, Jimmy!” C.D. threw his hat down. “Ya’ startin’ to act like Cordell.”
A week and a half went by when Trivette finally showed up again at the hospital. When he did he appeared to be in better spirits, smiling as he stepped into Walker’s room.
Walking in he noticed that Walker appeared to be in better spirits too. He was sitting up in bed; the respirator gone replaced by an oxygen tube through the nose. Also being in a bigger and brighter room changed things all together.
“Hey, Walker how you doing?” Trivette asked stepping up to his partner’s side.
“I should ask you.” Walker knew the doctor told him not to talk until his throat healed but he was so happy he didn’t care right now.
Trivette handed Walker the little bear he was holding. “My little cousin gave that to me to give to you. She says it’s a bear you can squeeze when you’re in pain. She had it when she went through her difficult times.”
Walker studied the fuzzy blue bear and smiled. “Thanks.”
“Hey, you okay? Your voice is scratchy.”
“Yeah, well, what do you expect when ya’ got a tube jammed down your throat.” He took a sip of water. “So, how’s the shoulder?”
“It’s good. Can’t rotate but at least I’m not wearing that sling.” His smile faded as he cut a glance to the wheelchair in the corner. “Still nothing, huh”
Nodding his head Walker’s smile disappeared. “Yeah, still nothing, but I’ll have to deal with it.” He placed the teddy bear by his pillow. “I’m going to walk again, you can bet on that.”
In reality Walker feared he might never walk again. Since the shooting he tried and tried to move his legs but nothing happened. Once in awhile there would be spasms, unfortunately though he learned that it was a reaction the muscles do when there’s no signal coming from the brain.
“So, when are you leaving this place?” Asked Trivette snapping Walker back to reality.
Walker shrugged his shoulders. “Two, three more days then I’m going to a rehab center in East-Dallas. I’ll be staying there for about four months.”
“Four months!” Exclaimed Trivette. “Why that long?”
“Well, I’ve got to learn how to live with the wheelchair and physical therapy.” Walker noticed the guilty stare from Trivette. “Hey, what’s the matter?”
Trivette shook his head. “Nothing.”
“Something’s wrong.” He looked straight in his partner’s eyes. “If it’s about the shooting it wasn’t your fault. It was an ambush nobody was ready, not even me.”
“But if we had stayed together you wouldn’t be here.”
“If we stayed together we would be dead.” Walker motioned to the door. “Can you close the door, please.” When Trivette did what he said he sighed. “I want to tell you something.”
Getting a chair Trivette sat down besides Walker and waited for him to begin.
Before Walker could begin he took a long drink from his water glass relieving his parched mouth. Then after he put the glass back on the tray he pushed himself up the bed till he was fully sitting up. The task alone worn him out his body not use to pulling the dead weight that use to be his legs.
Breathing in deep he then turned his head to see Trivette better.
“Trivette, I don’t want for you to feel guilty because,” he paused to figure out what to say. “…Because ya’ like a brother that I never had.” There it was out but he still wasn’t comfortable. Why?
“Walker, I…I…” Trivette didn’t know what to say, this came as a complete shock. He always thought of Walker as a brother but him actually saying it.
“I know that’s a shock, but it’s true. You’ve always been there for me even bailing me out if I got into trouble.” A glow crossed Walker’s face. “I never told anybody and I still want to keep it that way. Okay?”
“Yeah…yeah. Your secrets safe with me.” Trivette leaned over and took hold of Walker’s right hand then asked Walker to put his left on top of his. When he did Trivette put his hand on Walker’s. “Brother’s through all.”
“Brother’s through all.” Walker repeated shaking his hands. The feeling of guiltiness now lifted replaced by a wave of happiness.
Four Months Later
The cold night air sent chills down Walker’s back as he sat outside looking at the skyline. Ever since he came here near four months ago he would come out here trying to keep his mind off the rigorous physical therapy. It helped a lot but reality would kick in when Adam, his therapist would come out and get him.
Today was his last day here and in a way he wanted to go. He was sick of being watched over like a hawk, he just wanted to be left alone. But then again he’ll miss the atmosphere, the people who became dear friends. Friends like Luke an eighteen-year- old kid that was paralyzed in a car accident about two months ago. And Adam, his therapist who always gave him a hard time always saying how stubborn Walker was. Yep, I’m sure going to miss this place, thought Walker as he stared at the skyline.
“Hey, Walker time to go in now.” Adam said as he approached Walker.
“Just a few more minutes.”
“Nope, gotta’ take ya’ in now.” He stepped to Walker’s side and looked at the skyline. “Sure is pretty.” When Walker didn’t respond Adam glanced down at him. “You alright, Walker?”
Walker nodded his head. “Yeah, why?”
“Well, ya’ usually fussing about this.”
Releasing his brakes Walker looked up at the young man. “Change my mind.”
He turned around, wheeled himself inside then waited for Adam. He came in a few seconds later shaking as he did.
“Man, how can ya’ stands it out there?”
“Just do.” He started to go down the hall to his room when he saw Alex coming towards him. “Can you go please?” He said to Adam.
“Sure.” Before he left Adam went to Alex. “Watch him and take him to his room.”
“So, are you causing problems?” She questioned, bending down and giving him a slight kiss on the lips.
“Who me?” He smiled. “How was your day?”
“Alright. It was same old, same old.” She grinned. “And you?”
“Well, I learned how to do a wheelie without falling over.” He demonstrated it for her. “It’s actually a piece of cake.”
Her face was stern. “Cordell Walker what will I do with you yet?” She took hold of the handlebars of his wheelchair. “Okay, enough with the showing off, time to get to your room.”
As she pushed him down the hall they talked and joked around. Just when he was nearing his room Luke came rolling up smiling.
“Walker, my man how’s it going?” Luke stopped in front of Walker.
“Doing alright, and you?”
“Real good. Hey, heard ya’ bustin’ out of this here joint tomorrow.”
Walker chuckled. “Yep, I am and you will to someday.”
“Uhmm…don’t forget me now.” Luke rolled to Walker’s side. “I won’t forget you.” He patted Walker on the shoulder and left down the hall.
When Luke left, Alex patted Walker on the shoulder and continued to push him into his room. She shut the door, went over to a chair and sat down. Walker rolled over to her grinning.
Alex smiled back. “What are you smiling at?”
He shrugged. “Can a man be happy?”
“I don’t know.” She took hold of his hands her smile fading. “How do you really feel about all this?”
“Feel about what?”
She shrugged. “You know.” She sighed. “Going out on your own without anybody’s help.”
Walker hung his head. “I don’t know. It’s an all new world out there now.”
“Are you ready though?” Alex rubbed his hands. “You know I’m here for you.”
Looking up Walker nodded. “I feel that I am but,” he pulled his hands away and rubbed his face. “I don’t know. I’m just feeling really confused.”
Alex got up, went around to Walker’s back and hugged him.
“I know, but it’ll get easier with time.” She gently kissed him on the cheek. “Who knows, maybe you’ll learn more tricks with that wheelchair of yours.”
“Maybe I’ll learn how to do a 360.” He said chuckling.
Alex playfully slapped Walker’s shoulder. “Come on, let’s take off that coat and blanket and let’s get you ready for bed.”
“Yes, mom.” He started to take off his coat. “Alex, thanks.”
He smiled. “You know.”
“No, I don’t know.”
“For being there for me.”
In the morning Walker laid in his bed thinking about the momentous event that is going to happen in his life today. He was going into a whole new world once he leaves the safety of the rehab center. Actually for the first time in his whole adult life he was afraid of people making fun of him.
A knock came at his door disturbing him from his thoughts.
“Come in!” He yelled sitting up.
Adam walked in worried. “Are you okay?”
Walker nodded. “Yeah, just thinking.”
“You had me worried. You’re usually at breakfast before seven.” Adam glanced at his watch. “It’s 7:20.”
“Like I said I was thinking.” Walker reached up, grabbed the bed bar, pulled himself up and got into his chair. “I’ll be down in about twenty minutes.”
“Okay, see ya’ there.” Adam waved good-bye and left.
After a light breakfast Walker went to his room and started to pack his stuff. Within an hour he was done and waited for Trivette and C.D. to come and get him. Alex couldn’t make it because of a hearing in court. He wanted everybody to be there for him since he was so nervous. But having some friends come was better then none.
He sat staring out the window thinking about what he has to do once he gets out. He’ll have to buy a new car since he learned how to drive manually. Also he’ll have to learn how to ride a horse again, learn how to fight again, and live on his own. Putting his head in his hands he began to cry, the first time since his parents died. He never felt this scared before in his life.
Slowly he wiped his eyes and sighed heavily. It felt so good to cry again but it really didn’t help. Right now more then ever he wanted his parents. He wanted them to hug him and tell him it was going to be all right. But he knew that dream will never come.
“Hey, bro you alright?”
Walker turned around to see Trivette standing behind him. He nodded then went to where his bags were sitting on the floor. There he picked up a bag and smiled at his friend.
“Ya’ ready to bust me out of this joint?” He said handing Trivette a suitcase.
Trivette grinned. “Yep, C.D. right now is signing your release paper’s. All we need now is your John Hancock.”
“Sure thing.” Walker placed his bag on his lap. He was about to leave the room when he remembered something. Quickly he went to the bed and picked it up. “Can’t forget this thing.” He said holding the bear.
“You still have that thing?”
Nodding Walker put the small bear in the bag. Through the nights when he had painful back spasms he will grab the bear and squeeze until it was over. It was much better then clinching his fists, which started to hurt after awhile. The blue bear was actually growing on him.
He wheeled out of the room and went down the hall to where C.D. was standing. There he signed the rest of the papers then waited for a nurse to come and escort him outside. He didn’t mind the escort since he could barely wheel himself down the hall he was so jittery.
Once he was outside his stomach started to do cartwheels. He was now going into a new world, a world far different then the one he lived by for years. He’ll have to learn how to accept what comes to him no matter what it takes.
Two Months Later
Walker sat on his porch listening to the soft neigh of Ranger and Angel. He loved those horses so much but he could only listen and watch them graze for now. Hopefully with Trivette’s help he would train Ranger as well as he had Amigo trained. Amigo was a great horse and would easily have taken to Walker controlling with his arms but unfortunately Amigo passed on. So, that left Walker with a young horse that he’ll have to train really hard so he’ll be able to ride again.
Sighing he unlocked the brakes on his chair and wheeled into his living room. When he got in he noticed that Alex was sitting by the fire. She was so pretty and he was happy that she decided to live with him. At first he thought that she wanted to move in to help him out. But then it turned out that she was fulfilling her promise about always being there for him.
He smiled. “Hey, Alex.” He wheeled over to her. “How’s it going?”
She turned to him. “Nothing much just thinking.”
“About what? If it’s about me you don’t have to worry.”
“Walker, I’m still thinking about your recovery. I mean you do so well at the physical therapy but when it comes to the pool and you try standing up I can’t stand seeing you fall.”
He reached up and held her hands. “Alex, its all part of the recovery process.”
“I know Walker.” She smiled. “On a different note do you still want to get married?”
Walker was stunned. “You still want to marry me?”
She slapped him on the shoulder. “Of course you silly cowboy.” She laughed. “What, you think I was going to do sit here and be your girlfriend for the rest of my life.”
He ginned. “So, when do you want to get married?”
“Well, its two months till May so do you still want to get married then?”
“Sure thing. I’ll start talking to C.D. and Trivette and see what they want to do.”
She gave him a big hug. “Oh, Walker we’re going to live as normal life as we can.” She looked at her watch. “Wow, it’s time to get you ready for bed.”
Nodding Walker wheeled to what use to be the guestroom and went to the bed. As he got there Alex came walking in with sweatpants and a t-shirt.
“Okay, here’s your clothes.” She handed them to him then started to fix the bar above the bed. “Think you can do this on your own?”
Walker shrugged. “I think I can.” He carefully pulled off his shirt then checked his BMP unit. “Can’t believe I’m checking this.” He said studying the tube that came out of his stomach. “So, far there’s no infection.”
“That’s good.” Alex patted his shoulder. “Hopefully you’ll be able to get rid of that thing sometime. Okay, now put your shirt on and I’ll help you into bed.”
“Remember I have to see if I can do this on my own.” Walker said chuckling. He put on his shirt then reached up and grabbed the bar. “This is a piece of cake.” He grunted out while pulling himself up.
Later that night Alex awoke by some movement on Walker’s side of the bed. She knew that Walker had grown accustomed to waking up every other hour to switch positions but something was different this time. Listening closely she could hear that he was breathing hard. Quickly she got up, turned on the light, and immediately got up.
“Honey, hold on.” She said going to the dresser. “It’s a back spasm, right?”
Walker nodded. “Yeah, please get the medication.” He said through clenched teeth. “Oh, man this hurts.”
Alex took out two pills from a vile then handed them to Walker. “There you are.” She helped him sit up. “You should start feeling better.”
Walker nodded. “Thanks Alex.” His grip started to loosen from Benny, the name they gave to the blue bear.
Ever since Walker returned from the hospital and Alex moved in with him he had painful and powerful back spasms. He even went to the doctor for it but found that they’re was nerve damage in his back that they couldn’t fix. So, every now and then he would have these spasms that would just wrench him.
“How you feeling?” Alex said sitting back down on the bed.
“Better. Thanks.” He looked at her. “Sorry, I woke you up.”
“No, big deal.” She patted his shoulder. “Let’s try and get some sleep.”
In the morning Walker rolled to the stables in a special wheelchair built with wider wheels for grass and dirt areas. He loved this chair because he could go just about anywhere on the ranch with it. The chair was a gift from Trivette who said that he couldn’t see Walker cooped up indoors all the time.
Reaching the stables he opened up the barn door by pulling on a piece of leather then slowly made his way in. Ranger started to neigh loud probably noticing Walker entering the stables. He wheeled over to him and then slowly started to pat his nose.
“Wish I could groom you and all but right now your just to tall for me.” Walker pulled a carrot out of his shirt pocket. “Here you go buddy.”
Ranger took the carrot then started to push Walker’s hand with his nose.
“I’m sorry buddy I have no more.”
Walker patted Ranger one more time then visited Angel and Little Ranger in their stalls. After he was done he left the barn and headed back to the house. Just as he reached his front porch he saw a gray car pull up the driveway. He smiled knowing right away who it was.
Quickly Walker went to the car to meet Trivette. When Trivette stepped out of his car he had a huge smile on his face.
“Ok, what is that smile about?” Walker asked.
Trivette shrugged. “Nothing.”
Annoyed Walker nudged Trivette with his wheel. “What is it?”
“I got you a job.” Trivette nodded. “Yep, you’re going to deliver mail for the Courthouse.”
Walker was stunned he didn’t know what to say. Since his shooting he always wanted to go back to work but couldn’t find enough places that would hire him. Mostly because the buildings weren’t equipped for a wheelchair so Walker decided to avoid those places. But the Courthouse was made to fit around those with needs and Walker was actually excited about the job even though he had to deliver mail.
“When do I start?” He asked.
Trivette’s smile grew bigger. “Today buddy.”
“But what about my physical therapy sessions everyday at noon?”
“Worked it all out. You get off at one, which gives you thirty minutes to get your physical therapy. Your schedule will be seven in the morning to one six days a week.”
“Trivette, what will I do without you.” Walker started to turn around. “Let me get changed real quick and switch chairs.” With that Walker went into the house.
Trivette watched as Walker wheeled himself up the ramp and disappear into the house. It amazed him how much Walker managed to cope with this new change in his life. He couldn’t believe that Walker was almost living as normal life as he did before he was paralyzed. The only difference, is that Walker isn’t his partner anymore. But he knew that Walker would always be a friend or as Walker said like brothers.
Ten minutes later Walker emerged from the house dressed like he usually does including his black Stetson. Attached to the back of his chair was a backpack, which probably held his work out clothes. He was also using his street chair, which had no armrests to make it easier for Walker to use the chair. Trivette still had a hard time looking at Walker and not seeing him standing up. He hated to think that every time Walker had to do something he had to figure out which chair to use.
Smiling Trivette went to Walker. “So, do you want to carpool or do you want to drive?”
Walker shrugged. “Guess I’ll drive that way when your still working when I need to go to physical therapy I don’t have to pull you away.”
“Okay buddy. You be careful.” Trivette looked around. “Where’s Alex?”
“She left earlier. She’s going to be in Fort Worth till six.” Walker smiled. “And I will be careful.”
Nodding Walker went to his truck and pushed a button. From that the truck’s door came open and a ramp slid out from underneath the truck. Rolling onto the platform Walker pushed a button in the inside and the ramp slowly started to go up. When Walker got into the truck he closed the doors then adjusted his steering wheel.
He never thought that getting into a car would take this much work before. But now it was routine for him. Also driving was at first a challenge but after practicing for two months Walker was able to drive without looking at the steering wheel all the time. But he still wished that he could drive like a normal person again.
When Walker arrived at the courthouse his heart was in his throat. He hasn’t been here since the shooting and just being in the parking lot brought back a lot of memories. Sighing he drove through the parking lot till he found a van accessible parking space. But a car with no handicap tag or license plates occupied the space.
Frustrated Walker slapped the steering wheel and drove to the end of the parking lot where there were less cars parked. From there he parked and got out still fuming about people’s selfishness. Why do people park were their not suppose to?
Wheeling up the parking lot Walker meant Trivette at the entrance.
Trivette shook his head. “I noticed that someone parked illegally. Sorry man.”
Walker shrugged. “No, problem. Its just part of life.”
“So, you ready?”
“Yeah, I guess.” Walker smiled. “Wish Alex was here right now.”
“I know won’t she be in for a surprise when she comes back to town.”
Walker went inside the courthouse and wheeled down the hallway till he reached the elevator. When the elevator door opened Gage and Sydney stood inside.
Gage grinned. “Hey, Walker whatcha’ doing here?”
Walker rolled into the elevator. “I’m working here now.”
Sydney patted Walker’s shoulders. “Congratulations. What will you be doing?”
“Right now just deliver mail and messages, but hopefully this will go into something better.” Walker waited for Trivette then pushed the third floor button. “I’m just so happy to be able to work again.”
“So, glad to see you back in the Courthouse.” Gage said. “It was almost getting boring.”
The elevator door opened and Walker said good-bye to his friends as he wheeled out and into the hallway. He was nervous but he tried not to show it when he entered the mailroom. When he got in Marge looked up and smiled.
“Oh, Walker, I’m so glad to see you!” She said hugging him. “Come let’s get you ready.”
For the next hour and a half Marge showed Walker through the mailroom telling him where things go and how to do things. Then she gave Walker a special basket that hooked to his chair so it rested on his lap. With that she gave Walker his first stack of mail that was for Company B. She also gave him some packages for Captain Price.
She patted his shoulder. “Alright, it’s time to work.”
When Walker reached Company B an all-new feeling of dread filled his stomach. Often times before he use to enter the Company going to work or escorting a suspect. Now though he’ll have to enter the Company, deliver mail, gather mail and go. He wasn’t too sure if he was ready or not.
Just when he reached the door it opened and a Ranger nearly collided with Walker.
“Oh, I’m so sorry sir. I didn’t see you.” The Ranger said as he left.
Nodding Walker grabbed the door before it closed then he bumped his way in. The only problem with a wheelchair is that if there are swinging doors often times the door closes before he gets through. Once he even jammed his finger when a door slammed right into his hand.
After what seemed like forever Walker got through and found himself in his old stomping grounds and boy has it changed.
The room still had its old western look to it but there were more computers and nicer desks. He spotted Trivette’s desk along with Sydney’s and Gage’s. But what was really saddening was to see his old desk. It had a computer on it along with a different name; Trivette’s new partner. Looking to the wall he noticed that his picture was taken down and was replaced by a picture of a young Hispanic male: Enrique Teliz, the Ranger that took Walker’s position.
Turning around Walker noticed Trivette. “Hey.”
Trivette looked around. “Changed a little didn’t it?”
“Yeah.” Walker wanted to get off the subject so he searched through the letters till he found Trivette’s mail. “Here you go: four letters.”
Trivette took the mail from Walker then went to his desk. He could tell that it hurt Walker by being in the Company but Trivette knew not to ask. So, instead he sat down at his desk and watched as Walker wheeled himself around the room delivering mail. When Walker was done he turned to Trivette, waved and left the Company.
Tapping his pen on his desk Trivette’s mind filled with memories of Walker before the shooting. He could remember when Walker and Trivette would spar in the gym. He also could remember how he could realign Walker when there was trouble.
Now, with a new partner to brake in Trivette now knows how Walker felt. It was really hard especially when you worked with a man like Walker. But Walker did teach Trivette on how to be a really good Ranger so Trivette now was trying to teach Enrique. It was hard since Enrique was a stubborn kid from a hard background but he tried to work on it.
Looking up Trivette noticed Enrique walking in dressed like he just came from a funeral. Trivette remembered how he used to dress like that but years with Walker started to rub off with him. Now Trivette felt comfortable in a pair of jeans and shirt.
“Hey, Trivette how’s it going?” Enrique said with his Spanish accent.
Trivette shrugged. “Okay, how are you doing?”
“I’m great. My son walked for the first time last night. It was a great moment.”
“Great to hear. Sooner or later you’ll regret that though.”
That was also the difference between Enrique and Walker and it was a big difference. Enrique has been married now for five years and has two sons. One son was seven and the other son just turned eighteen months. Because Enrique has a family Trivette hardly sees him except for work so their friendship was slim. But with Walker who had no family Trivette became family throughout the years.
“Are you thinking about your friend?” Enrique asked.
Trivette was annoyed. “He has a name.”
“Sorry. Listen, I saw Walker coming in here. He seems to be a nice man.”
“Yeah, he is.” Trivette tapped his pen. “Listen, I’m going off work today at one.”
Enrique appeared confused. “How come?”
“Cause I’ll have to help out a friend.”
The rest of the day went by pretty quickly for Walker and soon it was time for him to go. He clocked off work then made his way to the elevators. When he got into the elevator he started to think about his new job. He didn’t know for sure if he liked it or not it just brought back to many memories. Hopefully as days go by it would be easier.
When the elevator stopped at the main floor and the doors opened Walker was shocked to see Trivette standing there.
“What are you doing here?”
“Hey, thought you could use some company.” Trivette smiled. “Come on let’s go.”
In the truck Walker put in his favorite CD, Michael W. Smith and pushed play. Ever since his shooting Walker has been going to church and praying every day. He also started to listen to more Christian music. The shooting woke him up and he realized that God has an appointment for everyone. And it was not Walker’s time to leave so God has something in store for him. But what Walker didn’t know.
“So, you’re actually listening to decent music now.” Trivette said snapping Walker out of his thoughts. “This is actually pretty good.”
Walker shrugged. “Decided to change my ways a little.”
Trivette smirked. “A little is right. Whoever thought that you would get a truck.”
“Well, you know I always have to have my Dodge.” Walker laughed. “I was glad that I was able to get a truck because personally a van is just not me.”
“That’s one thing for sure.” Trivette said. “And this can go almost anywhere.”
Nodding Walker said no more instead he paid more attention to the road. When he reached the rehabilitation center he parked near the entrance. He then grabbed his backpack then got out of his truck.
Slowly Walker rolled to the entrance and entered through the automatic sliding doors. The secretary waved at him as soon as she saw him then she got up and opened a door.
“There you are Walker. Have fun in there.”
“Oh, I’ll try.” Walker looked back at Trivette. “I’m going to the locker room and I will be out in a few minutes.”
Trivette nodded and walked to where there were chairs by the wall and sat down. Looking around he watched as people went through their physical therapy. There were people doing mat exercises and some were using the walking bars. Walker mostly did the mat training and weight exercises. He also used the swimming pool to help strengthen his legs.
About ten minutes later Walker came out of the locker room dressed in t-shirt, sweatpants, and tennis shoes. Walker looked at Trivette then waved him over.
Quickly Trivette got up and jogged towards Walker.
“Yeah, what’s up?”
Walker smiled. “If you want you can help with my physical therapy.”
“Great.” Trivette took off his coat. “Lead the way.”
Trivette followed Walker till he stopped by a set of mats. Then he watched as Walker locked his brakes, unbuckled his restraining strap around his waist, and pushed himself up.
“Okay, buddy, I’m going to be nice and slow.” Trivette said as he hugged Walker by the chest. “You know because of you I’m getting more exercise then I have ever gotten in my life.”
Walker chuckled. “Is that a good thing or bad?”
Picking up Walker Trivette grunted out. “I really don’t know.”
He dragged Walker to the center of the mat and then sat Walker down making sure that he was leaning over. After he did that Trivette also sat down huffing as he did. He still wasn’t use to picking Walker up even though he has done it now since Walker’s return home. Every chance that he could Trivette would help Walker out with his physical therapy. Which meant Trivette nearly got as much exercises as Walker did.
“Hello Walker and Trivette.”
Looking up Trivette saw McClain Garris Walker’s therapist. McClain was a middle age man who didn’t look at all like a man who could go through hours lifting people that weigh more then he does. But he does it and Trivette marvels at it.
“Hey, there McClain how’s it going?” Trivette said.
McClain smiled. “Doing really good.” He patted Walker’s shoulder. “Okay, let’s get you warmed up.”
For the next fifteen minutes Trivette just watched as McClain helped Walker do stretches. It hurt Trivette to see Walker needing help with a simple task like stretching. But this was his life now and Trivette has to get use to it no matter what.
After the stretches McClain moved aside so Trivette can take over. Getting up Trivette went to the end of Walker’s feet then sat down.
“Okay, were going to work on rolling over.” Trivette said patting Walker’s leg.
Walker groaned. “You have to pick that first.” With much effort Walker managed to roll over. “Who would ever thought that would be hard to do?”
Trivette smiled. “Okay, do that ten more times buddy.”
“You are truly going to get it buddy.” Walker chuckled.
Trivette knew that it was really hard work for Walker to do as simple task as to roll over. He found out since Walker was paralyzed just under the armpits Walker couldn’t feel or move his whole abdominal area. Which meant he couldn’t sit up without something holding him up and he couldn’t even do sit-ups without someone pulling him. But Trivette has noticed that Walker has become a lot stronger since his first physical therapy session.
Walker regretted this part of the session since it always wore him out. He still couldn’t understand why he had trouble turning over even though the doctor did tell him before. He could turn his shoulders but the rest of his body did not follow. So, he had to gather all his strength and manage to roll half the way.
Finally Walker was done but he knew there was more to do.
For the next hour Walker went through grueling tasks right after the other. Before he knew it he was worn down and exhausted.
McClain patted Walker’s shoulder. “You did good this time.”
Nodding Walker breathed in deep. “Thanks.”
“I’m going to do one more thing.” McClain looked at Trivette. “Now, it’s the end of the month so were going to test your legs.”
Walker nodded then waited as Trivette positioned himself at the end of his feet. Then Trivette grabbed Walker’s feet and held them.”
“Okay, man you know what to do.”
Sighing, Walker saw no point in this exercise it proved nothing. Since his shooting he has been doing this exercise every month but it showed no progress. But he decided to give it all his got. So, on that thought he gathered up all his strength and energy and tried to push.
Trivette sat there holding Walker’s feet knowing to well that every time that they did this nothing happened. So, he was about to put Walker’s feet down when he felt something. Looking down he noticed that Walker’s feet moved some. It was small but it was a push none the less.
He couldn’t hold his excitement anymore and dropped Walker’s feet.
“Hey, what did you do that for?” Walker asked trying to sit up.
“You moved your legs!” Trivette exclaimed. “You pushed!”
McClain went to Trivette. “You’re kidding right?”
Trivette looked up at him. “Would I be kidding?”
Walker clapped. “Yahoo, I actually did it!” He chuckled. “So, what does this mean McClain?”
McClain shrugged. “This means you will have to start using the walking bars and the pool more often.” He smiled. “Also it means we’ll have to do a lot of work on the those legs so they will be ready when you take your first step.”
Excited Trivette went to Walker and gave him a hug.
“This calls for a celebration.”
Two Months Later
Walker sat in his chair nervous about today’s event. Today is the day that Alex will become his wife. He didn’t know if he should be happy or sad. One thing is for certain he had a surprise waiting for and hopefully it will go well. If not, he will look like a complete fool.
“Hey, buddy time to go.” Trivette said walking into the room. “Oh, and I got this if you need them.”
Rolling to his friend Walker took the walker from him. “Thanks. Figure out where we’re going to hide it?”
Trivette nodded. “Yep, underneath some floral arrangement. Even got your braces there to.” He smiled. “Proud of you Walker.”
For the last few months since the slightest movement in Walker’s legs, Walker has been working harder. He had a goal in mind and that was that he would be able to see Alex face to face on their wedding day. But there was a slight problem with that.
Walker still couldn’t feel anything from his armpits down but he manages to stand up with help from McClain or Trivette. On a good day he would stand up for a brief second but then would fall heavily down. McClain then tried the braces that were able to stabilize Walker’s wobbly legs and the walker for support. But McClain had to hold onto Walker with a restraining strap so Walker won’t fall face first.
Just then McClain walked into the room. “You ready?”
Nodding Walker handed the walker over to McClain then rolled himself out to the lavishly decorated tent. There he waited nervously for Alex to show.
Finally the music started and everybody stood up besides Walker. He couldn’t help but to smile at Alex’s beauty. When Alex finally made her way up to him Walker took hold of her hands and looked up to her.
The rest of the wedding went as planned the priest talked about the commitment that Alex and Walker are about to do. Then the little girl sang then Walker started to get ready for the vows.
McClain got the walker out and started to put the braces on Walker’s legs. After he was done with that he put the restraining strap around Walker’s waist.
“Walker, what are you doing?” Alex whispered while looking around.
“Well, remember I told you that I would look you straight in the face on our wedding day.” He nodded at McClain who lifted Walker up. “I’m doing just that.”
Alex started to cry. “Walker, you’re standing.” She looked him up and down. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
Walker grunted as the strain in his shoulders started to make it unbearable to stand.
“Wanted to surprise you.” He looked at the priest. “We’re ready.”
Trivette stood looking at his friend amazed at how far he has gotten in the year alone. Doctors told Walker he couldn’t walk again which might be the case but he can stand even if it’s the help of McClain or Trivette. Hopefully someday Walker will be able to walk again. Trivette knows that hope never fades if somebody tries hard enough.