CHAPTER FOUR HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-SIX
Monday evening — 8:15 p.m. ET/ 6:15 p.m. MT
“I just feel so stupid,” Nash said. He leaned forward toward the webcam on his laptop. “I just wish…”
“There was nothing you could do,” Nadia said. “Nothing any of us can do.”
Nash squinted. Nadia usually called when she was on dinner break at the hospital where she worked as an Emergency Room doctor. This week, she was working the swing shift, so she called at dinner time. Nash had his room all to himself because everyone at the Castle was downstairs.
“You’ve seen this before?” Nash asked.
“I have,” Nadia said.
Nash’s blue eyes watched her for a moment. She shrugged.
“They’re standard issue hardware at those places,” Nadia said. “We think the hardware was created by the Russians. You know, in Russia, gay and lesbian people are sent to camps where they are tortured, beaten, and abused. Those things in are inserted into their heads. The people who run the camps don’t care if they kill gay people. The government doesn’t care if gay and lesbian people are killed. So the monster do whatever they want to do to these people.”
Nash sneered at the idea.
“Literally,” Nadia said. “I’ve seen…”
Nadia shook her head.
“Here in the states, these Christian groups would rather their children be dead than be homosexual,” Nadia said.
“You’re saying that Chet was lucky,” Nash said.
“He was lucky,” Nadia said. “You rescued him from at the very least a few more weeks of torture, possibly years.”
“We didn’t save him,” Nash said. “He’s dead.”
“He would have died anyway,” Nadia said. “Once they’d cut into his brain, without antiseptic, no less, he was dead.”
“That doesn’t make it better,” Nash said. “It makes me feel more helpless. How can…?”
“Most people don’t ever see the darkest side of humankind,” Nadia said. “That helplessness you feel? You can imagine that the people trapped in camps or labeled because of their race or religion or…”
“Who they love,” Nash said.
Nadia gave him a soft smile and a nod.
“You’re saying they feel a lot more helpless,” Nash said.
“Yes,” Nadia said. “That’s what we have to be on guard against, fight against those who want to steal freedom away from others.”
Nash nodded. Nadia smiled.
“How is Tink?” Nash asked.
“Resting,” Nadia said. “Grieving.”
“She’s eating, which is good,” Nadia said.
Nash snorted a laugh.
“Tink always eats,” Nash said. “It’s one of the supposed ‘reasons’ her step-father made her leave.”
“What is?” Nadia asked.
“She ate too much,” Nash said.
Nadia laughed. Nash smiled at her laugh.
“Jeraine and Tanesha are here,” Nash said.
“Oh?” Nadia asked. “How’s Jeraine doing? I didn’t get to see him when he was here for Big Daddy’s funeral.”
“His dad had him working the concert,” Nash nodded. “Uh… Jeraine’s okay. It’s kind of weird because he was such a douchebag when I first met him. Total skeezy guy with women hanging all over him and stuff. I didn’t know Tanesha then; it was before they reconnected.”
“Where’d you meet him?” Nadia asked.
“I had pneumonia,” Nash said with a shrug.
“Dr. Bumpy’s,” Nadia and Nash said in unison.
“He doesn’t remember meeting me, and that’s probably good,” Nash nodded. “Because he was…”
Nash finished his statement with a funny face. Nadia laughed.
“Anyway, they seem happy,” Nash said. “Tanesha’s really changed since she started med school. She’s like a different person.”
“How so?” Nadia asked.
“She’s stronger, more confident,” Nash said. “I don’t think she’d put up with his b.s. again.”
“She shouldn’t have to,” Nadia said.
“He knows it too,” Nash said.
Nadia smiled. Happy to see her smile, Nash changed the subject.
“Since we’re dedicating our lives to fighting those who want to take freedom,” Nash said. “People like the Nazis.”
“Stalin,” Nadia nodded. “What’s happening with Project Poland?”
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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