Chapter 7

The day had finally come for his release and Bosco was pacing the floor of his hospital room. He had dressed an hour ago, packed his bag, and placed it at the foot of the bed. Now he was waiting impatiently for the final clearance to leave.

Faith, who was considerably calmer, sat on the edge of the bed. "Calm down, Bos. You're wearing a hole in the floor."

"I just want to go home. Maybe stop for some real food." He said, still pacing.

"Yeah, well, if you go through the floor, they'll never release you."

At last, a nurse came in. "Okay, Officer, you're free to go. Just sign here." She held out a clipboard with the paperwork attached and handed him a pen. He signed it quickly, thanked the nurse, grabbed his bag, and took off in the direction of the elevator. Faith had to jog to catch up.

Faith had brought Bosco's Mustang to the hospital, but insisted she be the one to drive it back to his place. He was too tired to argue. He had used up every ounce of strength he had getting to the car.

"You should have taken your time, Bosco." Faith told his as she drove. "They weren't going to make you stay if you walked a little slower."

He looked at her, seriously. "I needed to escape." Then he smiled at her.

She laughed. "It's a hospital, not a POW camp." She got serious for a moment. "Any word on when you'll be able to come back to work?"

"A couple of days, they said. Desk duty." Bosco sighed. "I'm supposed to see the doctor every week. Hopefully, I'll be cleared for full duty in a month or so."

"Don't push yourself too hard." Faith replied.

"You sound like my mother." He said, smiling. "She's trying to convince me to get a job as a mailman."

Faith laughed loudly. "That'll never happen." She said. Bosco laughed a little too, but winced as a sharp pain cut across his ribcage. Faith pretended she hadn't noticed. "Where is she today?"

Bosco sighed. "She said she wanted to get some groceries for me. All my perishables expired while I was in the hospital."

They pulled into a parking space outside Bosco's apartment building. Faith grabbed Bosco's duffel and got out as Bosco eased himself out of the passenger seat.

Unlocking the door to his apartment, Bosco turned to Faith. "I've been waiting for this moment." He told her, smiling. He opened the door and stepped inside. "Hello, home." Bosco said. "Smells clean in here."

Rose came out of the kitchen. "Of course it does. You think I'd let my baby come home to a dirty house? I stole your key and cleaned this place from top to bottom."

Bosco hugged her as she kissed his cheek. "Thanks, Ma. It looks great." He told her.

As the weeks passed, Bosco worked tirelessly to recover from his wounds. Well, maybe tirelessly wasn't the right word. He was tired all the time. According to the doctors, his lung function was almost back to normal, which meant that he was allowed back to full duty.

He had been jogging to work for the last two weeks and he finally felt like he could chase down criminals without keeling over. Not a moment too soon, either. If he had to spend another eight hours straight doing paperwork or answering telephones, he'd lose his mind.

It was a little after two o'clock when Bosco arrived at the fifty-fifth, which gave him more than enough time to shower and check out his gear before the start of shift. He couldn't help himself for being early. It was his first day back on the street and he felt like a kid on Christmas morning.

As his coworkers started filing into the locker room, all he could think was: I'm back.