Episode 77— Chapter 86
“Hurry, we’ll be late.”
I am the guest of honor… again. I look in the mirror. The black tie is crooked and I straighten it. How many times before have I worn this same suit? It is high time I pay a visit to the tailor.
Walking towards me is a woman with raven hair, wearing a lavender dress with only her head and hands exposed; I inhale the fragrance of my favorite perfume, Rosa Centifolia.
“You look beautiful tonight, darling.”
Little Ty Jr. comes over and puts his arm around my leg. “Don’t go, daddy.”
“We’ll be back, soon,” I tell the little one, though I know he’ll be sound asleep by the time we return.
Matilda gently releases Ty, Jr.’s grasp and lifts him up into her arms.
Charlie and I exit the house and walk over to the Chalmers. I crank the car. There is Ty Jr., standing on the porch, holding Matilda’s hand. He’s crying. “Don’t go, Daddy. Please don’t go.”
It brings a tear to my eye. For a moment, I consider skipping the gathering, regretting I spend so little time with my son. I struggle to remember the last time I played with him in the backyard, but I can’t recall. Has it been so long ago? A feeling of guilt descends upon me as we drive away—how many times have I promised to spend time with my son? How many times have I broken my promise?
Suddenly, I stop the car. Charlie looks at me quizzically. “I promised little Ty that I would play ball with him.”
“It’s okay, dear. Tomorrow will be fine. It’s getting dark.”
“No. I’ve got to turn back. Just twenty minutes…”
“We’re already late.”
“Well, they’ll just have to wait.”
Charlie’s not happy, but I’ll make it up to her.
I turn the car around and then the engine stalls.
I try to exit the car to crank the engine, but I can’t move my hands off the steering wheel.
I struggle with all my might to free them… it feels as though someone has bound my hands to the wheel. But there is no twine, or rope…
It’s some unseen force!
“Help me!” I scream.
I turn my head toward Charlie.
She speaks… but it is not her voice… it’s a man’s voice… vaguely familiar to me…
What has happened to Charlie?
I try to move again, but to no avail.
I hear the voice once more.
Now, I recognize it.
It is a voice I despise…
God help me!
“Hello, Mr. Cobb. Nice to have you back,” Dr. Cantril attempted his friendliest bed-side voice.
Cobb opened his eyes. Who was this man staring down at him? Suddenly, there was a flicker of recognition, accompanied by a feeling of doom.
Cobb tried to move his right arm, and then his left, but to no avail.
“It’s for your own safety. We need to make sure you don’t hurt yourself.”
In a slurred voice Cobb asked, “Where am I?”
“You’re back at Layton Regional, where you belong. You need help, Mr. Cobb. We want you to get better.”
Cobb closed his eyes. It must be another dream. A few minutes later, his eyes opened again.
“Why am I here?” He could barely form the words.
“Mr. Cobb, this is where you belong. I’m here to help you regain your mind and your identity.”
“No, no. I’m not… supposed… I’m not… to be here,” the words ran together.
“We’re going to help you get better. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you will begin making progress.”
Realization had finally sunk into his conscious state. “Let me out!” he strained to shout in as loud a voice as he could.
“No one can hear you,” Dr. Cantril said calmly.
Dr. Cantril shook his head, “The walls are all sound-proof. Try to relax.”
Cobb tried again to move his arms and then his legs, but they were tightly secured.
Dr. Cantril readied the syringe.
END OF BOOK ONE
OF THE BASEBALL IMMORTAL TRILOGY