|"Look, see that crane over there? He just grabbed a fish."
"Yes, I can barely see him through the fog."
Derek squeezed her hand. "I love you, how long has it been?"
"Come on, you've forgotten? Two years since we met at the wedding."
"I know, I know. I've got something for you." Derek reached into his pocket.
Derek laughed. "You thought I'd forgotten. Give me your hand."
Smiling, she held out her hand.
"Not that way, the other way, silly."
He slipped on a ring. "Will you marry me?"
Throwing her arms around him she said, "I will, but you knew that already didn't you?"
"Kind of hoped so." He held her tight and softly kissed her. "Come on love, we'd better be getting home it's starting to mist."
OK..........what the hell?"
A sound shattered the stillness. Derek slumped over. Startled, Tammy grabbed him as two figures flew past them.
"Help, help me," she cried. She jerked, her hand was sticky. Trembling she grabbed her cell phone. "Derek, talk to me, talk to me." Silence.
"911 what is the problem?"
"My finance, he's hurt, something happened?"
"What do you mean something happened."
"I, I don't know, I don't know what happened? Hurry, please, he's not moving. Blood, lots of blood."
"Miss, where are you?"
"On a park bench by the bridge in Veteran's Park. Please, please, hurry?"
Shaking, she held him. This man she loved with every beat of her heart, so silent now. There was a sickness in the pit of her stomach, an ache. Why was it taking so long? Tears seeped out.
Her thoughts raced to the moment it happened. She felt to see if the ring was still there. The ring he had placed just moments before this; whatever this was, had happened. Who brushed past them moments after, and why didn't they stop to help her? Oh God.
Sirens in the distance, hurry, hurry. Why hadn't he moved. Why, why, why. Then voices.
"Here, I'm here, help me, help me," she called.
Finally, "Miss, are you all right?, What happened?"
"Please, I'm OK, it's him, Derek, help him. I think he was shot."
"Shot by whom?"
I don't know! Then hysterically her arm pointed in the distance. They ran, two people, they ran past, I don't know why they didn't stop and help."
They had him on a stretcher and gently grabbed her. Her feet didn't want to move, she was numb. "Come miss, we'll sort this out later." She let them lead her into the vehicle.
She turned in the seat, "He's OK, right. Derek will be OK?"
They nodded at her. "We'll do what we can miss, we'll do what we can."
The drive seemed interminable, the fog now so thick that she couldn't make out where they were but finally she saw the dim lights of the hospital.
"Wait here Miss, I'll be right back." She saw the stretcher being whisked away but felt outside of herself like she was in a dream. Then, a touch on her shoulder.
"Come on Miss, let's get you inside and something warm to drink."
She looked at him. "Thank you, I don't need anything, I want to see him, Derek."
"First let the Doctors do their job. Water then, I'll bring you a bottle of water." He patted her head. "Maybe there's someone you can call?"
"Call? I need to call my mother and Derek's."
Pulling out her phone she wiped her eyes once again.
"Mom, it's Tammy."
"Tammy, what's wrong dear?"
"Oh Mom, it's Derek, he was shot."
"Shot? Where are you?"
"At the hospital, can you come? And Mom, can you call Derek's parents too? Be careful, the fog is bad."
"Certainly dear, is he all right, Derek?"
"I don't know yet mom, they are working on him." She looked up and a police officer was standing in front of her. "I have to go Mom, the police are here."
"The police, Good Lord! OK, I'll be there as soon as I can."
"Hello Tammy, I'm Officer Davis, is it OK if I talk to you for a moment?"
"Yes, Officer, Please, do you know how Derek is doing? They (she nodded her head toward the emergency department) won't tell me anything."
"I don't know Tammy. May I sit?"
She patted the seat beside her and nodded.
"Tammy, I know this is hard, but can you tell me exactly what happened in the park?"
"Well, Sir, I don't really know. The ring. Derek was putting the ring on my finger and I heard a noise and then he slumped over. Two people ran past and I called for help but they didn't stop."
"Did you get a look at these two people?"
"Not really, it was getting foggy and I was trying to hold Derek."
"I understand, do you know of anyone who would want to harm Derek?"
"Harm him? No Officer, everyone likes Derek."
"OK, Tammy, I'll get in touch with you later, you have a lot on your mind right now. Try to remember as many details as you can; especially about the two people, OK?"
"Yes, Officer Davis, I'll try."
"You take care now."
Two years later Tammy made her way alone to the park bench where Derek had proposed to her. It hardly seemed that long since they had touched, talked, loved. She could still feel his hand in hers. It took this long to come back to the place where he had been taken away from her, forever. This place they loved to come to together would now bring the chill of that June rain into every pore of her body.
All for a robbery gone wrong.
She heard the lonely cry of the a crane in the distance and wondered briefly if it was Derek speaking to her from above. She slowly turned and made her way back home knowing that she would never visit this place again.