Episode Eighteen "Then And Now"
For the first hour or so, Shaun and Miranda sat in the back seat of the unmarked police cruiser taking them to Phoenix, and held hands. It was all about reassurance — and fear. Miranda, as always, was calculating what was waiting for them in Phoenix. They had killed Tony Guidano and although it seemed like no one knew about it, she knew things are not always what they seem. They had killed a retired mafia boss. Eventually someone would find out and there was a good chance that eventually, they would also figure out who had done it. Detective Keenan could have been selling them a story about Uncle Tommy wanting to help them, but he took her handcuffs off once they got in the car. If he would have been instructed to kill them both and leave them in the vast expanse of nothingness that defines the space between Yuma and Gila Bend, why would he have taken off the cuffs?
Shaun wanted a drink.
“Hey, you said we could get a drink, bud.”
“Well, your lucky. There’s a spot I like just out of Gila Bend. We’ll get some lunch and a couple of beers.”
“I’ll just take the beers.”
“Whatever. But two is all you get.”
Keenan just smiled and thought to himself, “please, something go wrong so I can knock some teeth out.”
Miranda saw the moment of tension as an opportunity.
“So how the hell did Uncle Tommy know we were in Yuma?”
“People know things.”
“We weren’t there long.”
“All I know is I have a job to do.”
“I have to pee.”
“You can hold it.”
“No, I can’t.”
“Look, this is what is happening. We are heading to the parking lot of this place, food and two beers will be brought to the car and then we will drive away. You can hold it for an hour.”
“You two are really intelligent.”
Miranda knew they were really heading to Uncle Tommy’s.
“I have to pee.”
“Please, come in, Miranda. It’s down the hall that way. Third on the right.”
Tommy looked at Shaun and was taken aback by what he saw. He still resembled the young man he last saw but he had not aged well. He was worn, weathered and reeking of beer.
Shaun had just enough booze in him to say something.
“What was that you used to say, Uncle Tommy? ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same?’”
“Well, a lot of people say things. But people can change. I used to say that, but now I say, ‘And if they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their conquerors and say, 'We have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly.’”
“Is that the Bible?”
“Yes, its from Kings. Come on in. Keenan will make sure Miranda knows where to find us.”
Tommy led Shaun down through his 10,000-square-foot mansion nestled in Camelback Mountain. As they reached their destination — an amazing living room that overlooked the south Valley — Shaun spied the bar and headed over.
“I hoped we would have a chance to talk before we thought about cocktails.”
“You’re not going to try to get me to stop drinking or anything, are you?”
“Well, we can cross that bridge if and when we come to it. Can I get you anything else?”
“Got any O.J.”
Miranda came walking in just as Tommy handed a glass to Shaun.
“Anything for you, Miranda?”
“Thanks, no. I want to know what the hell is going on.”
“Please sit down, Miranda.”
“Thanks, no, I’ll stand.”
“Look, Miranda, I’m sorry.”
“You are sorry, huh? I’ve known that for a long time, Uncle Tommy, a long time.”
“Please, Miranda, I’m trying to make amends.”
“It will take much more than an apology.”
“Well, Keenan told you I was going to take care of your outstanding child-support payments, that’s a start, too, isn’t it?”
“Yea, its a start.”
“Look, Miranda, I know that you blame me for the death of your grandfather. And maybe you’re right about it. But I can’t go back and change those things that I did then, I can only change what happens from here on. I’m willing to try.”
“He quoted a bible verse to me,” Shaun sputtered.
“Yes, I did. Look, I have been trying to make my peace for some time now. Finding you two was just another sign from God that I still have many bridges to mend.”
“You destroyed both of our lives and you think that all you have to do is tell us you found Jesus and we will just be able to find our ‘peace?’”
“What will it take, then?”
“I want to know everything.”
“Like how you knew to find us in Yuma.”
“I didn’t. I got a note from your husband. He told me you were planning on killing us both. Some friends found you for me because they knew I was trying to make things right.”
“Tony told you that, huh?”
“Yea. You haven’t done anything crazy, have you, Miranda? It doesn’t look like he caught up with you.”
“Forget what I have done, this is about you.”
“So why did you do it?”
“Why did you betray my grandfather? Why did you betray your best friend? Say something, Shaun.”
“What the fuck do you want me to say? I just want to get the hell out of here.”
“Look, I don’t expect you to just be able to take any of this easily or quickly. Guidano told me you were going to kill me and I went out of my way to bring you into my home. I am trying. You being here is proof of that.”
Miranda just stared and finally found a seat.
“Look, Uncle Tommy, I just have been hating you for so long, this is not easy. The last thing I ever expected when we saw each other again is for you to be so nice.”
“I know. You have no one now that you’re grandfather is gone. I want to help. Please let me because I know that without things that I have done in the past, we all would not be sitting here with such a mess on our hands.”
“So you are going to take care of my warrants and outstanding payments?”
“Well, not directly, but an attorney will be over at about 3 p.m. and he will take care of everything. I have to go to game 6 tonight but I’ll be back late tomorrow. I am hoping you guys will take me up on staying here. Guidano is sure to be looking for you and until we can figure it all out, it might be the safest place. You’ll have the place to yourselves.”
“Can I use the bar?”
“Of course, but listen to Miranda if she tells you to stop. We still have much more to work out.”
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