It was unfair, but I was being discharged before Sasha. I was concerned about Sasha coming back to the condo. His room was a floor above ours with stairs and because of the pin in his leg he would be in a wheelchair a while and traversing those stairs would be nearly impossible. Tony and I discussed what we needed to do. When we agreed, we waited until Sasha and David were together with us.
“When you come home in another week or so...” Tony began. “You and David will move into our bedroom on the first floor. We’ll take the room you have on the second.”
Sasha’s eyes widened. “You don’t have to do that!”
“Of course we don’t.” I agreed. “But we are. You can’t go up and down those stairs. Not for a while.”
However, David was very happy about it. “Wow. That huge tub in their bathroom! We can take long soaks in it! And that bed!”
Sasha hit David lightly. “I won’t be soaking for a little while yet.” He tapped his leg. “Even when they take the pin out, it will have a cast thing a few weeks more.” Then he grinned. “I’ll need a lot of sponge baths.”
David grinned back. “I’ll take the soak then. The sponge baths I will be glad to do for you.”
It was then Mom, Dad and Grandmother came in with Alik who brightened when he saw his father running to the bed, climbed up and hugged Sasha.
“Hi, Dad!” Alik said in English then he looked up at me and Tony. “Hi, Uncle Mitch, Uncle Tony and Uncle David!”
“All these uncles.” I muttered. “One about to be Daddy David.” I said quietly to Tony who chuckled.
“Are they discharging you soon?” Grandmother asked as she came in sitting beside me.
“Tomorrow.” I replied.
She nodded. “Well, I’m glad you both are alright.” She said to me and Sasha.
Dad grinned as Alik lay close to his father. “It’s been a few years since you were that age, Mitch. He’s a real energetic boy.” He held up the translator. “And this thing is a real life saver.”
Tony grimaced nodding. “Don’t I know it.”
“I hope he wasn’t too much trouble.” Sasha said hopefully.
“Not at all.” Mom shook her head. “Though he does have a thing for peanut butter sandwiches.” She grinned at me. “With apple jelly. I wonder who he picked that up from?”
I shook my head. “You can’t fault him for having good taste.”
“But he really missed you, Sasha.” Mom said to Sasha. “But he spoke with his mother and with her input we got him feeling better. She’s still in Moscow. Do you know when she’s coming over?”
Sasha shook his head. “She said she was handling it. Her and her future husband were taking care of it, so I left it with her.”
“Any more word about what’s happening with the man that hit you?” Dad asked.
“Not yet.” I replied. “His lawyer came with an offer…”
“Which was denied.” David said quickly.
“You should have seen David, Dad.” I smiled. “He was a real lawyer!” Then I thought about what he’d said to Kincaid, Belle’s lawyer. “David, you said you saw the medical reports…those are confidential. Only our lawyer can do that with some sort of legal authorization thingy. And as far as I know, you have two more years before you graduate or even think of taking the bar exam.”
David smiled and lowered his eyes. “Well…I sort of said I did, but come on…” he shrugged. “…he drove the wrong way on a highway in a city he’s lived in forever. He hits a truck while speeding….it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know what happened. Belle’s thinking was impaired!” He reasoned with a shrug. “And Kincaid didn’t know I wasn’t…so?”
Tony chuckled. “The makings of a true Southern lawyer. A damned good one, I’d bet.”
“Besides, Kincaid knows there will be charges. Drunk driving will the least Belle has to worry about. There’s vehicular manslaughter of his wife being worst and vehicular assault on you two. He might even face prison.” David explained. “I’m not sure, as I haven’t graduated,” he looked at me, “but there could be Federal Charges.”
“Prison!?” Grandmother said shocked.
David nodded. “Oh, yes Ma’am. If he has any priors…sure. He committed a homicide, it doesn’t matter that he was married to her. That’s no longer a misdemeanor.” Then he frowned. “He offered half a million.” Then he nearly spat in disgust. “That’s $250,000 for Mitch and the same for Sasha.” He shook his head. “Not a chance in Hell!”
Dad nodded. “But it’s not about the money.” Dad wanted to confirm.
“No, no, Uncle Richard.” David shook his head. “No amount of money will undo what happened to Mitch, Sasha and sure as Hell won’t bring his wife back.” Now he catching fire again. “It’s called Crime and Punishment. He committed a crime and now he should be punished! That little sum would be a slap on the wrist for him. He’s got to pay damn it!!!” Then he glanced my grandmother. “Sorry, Grandmother Sams…but if he thinks he can buy his way out of this one. He’s sadly mistaken! In South Carolina the consumption of alcohol doesn’t even have to be the main charge, but if a crime is committed and whether or not alcohol is the reason, but it was the reason! There wasn’t just bodily harm, someone died! There’s no chance he won’t escape time in jail and fines!” He was getting louder. “Whether its jail or prison…and I believe it will be prison. And even if he manages bail, he’s a flight risk and God forbid there is another DUI in his past. Then it will be much, much worse. We’re looking at a possible ten to twenty years!!” Now he was almost shouting. “I don’t give a fuck about the money, we’ll give it to Mothers Against Driving Drunk, or even burn it! I don’t care, but that son of a bitch will be punished!!” David caught himself and breathed hard as he tried to calm down. Then he looked at Grandmother. “Sorry for all the cussing.” Then he looked at Alik and said in Russian. “Sorry, Alik. Uncle David’s just very angry at the man who hurt your daddy and Uncle Mitch.”
We were all looking at David a little surprised, even Sasha. Then Grandmother started laughing.
“Nothing wrong with passionate indignation. Jesus himself had that with the moneychangers in the temple.” Dad said smiling.
“But you may want to curb some of that language in any closing arguments in the future.” Grandmother smiled.
Tony was laughing as he clapped David on the back. “I’d hire you right now, if I could.”
Now David was a little embarrassed, but he grinned. “If nothing else, Sasha, you could use the money to get that culinary degree you want. Start that Russian restaurant.” Then he smiled bigger. “Or something else you may need money for.” His eyebrows danced a little. “But that’s up to you.”
Sasha shook his head as he smiled. “We need to tell Alik about those future plans…” he said quietly. “He doesn’t understand a lot of English, so I’ll tell you all. David’s asked me to marry him.”
Mom was the first one to smile and say. “That’s wonderful! I’m so happy for you!”
Even Dad was smiling. “Well, it won’t be the first now.” He shrugged. “Mitch broke the McKenzies in, including me.”
“But Sasha is a foreigner and a Russian!!” I pointed out happily. “And don’t forget, a Red!” I teased.
Sasha rolled his eyes. “I was only in the Soviet military a year! Then it all fell apart!!”
Tony was shaking his head. “So? I simply was born in New York! My family was still in Italy when the Civil War happened over a hundred and fifty years ago. They hear my accent and I’m treated like the enemy sometimes. They started the war! Now you’re being in the Soviet military even a year makes you suspect.”
“Southern Americans have a long, if not convenient memory.” I chuckled. “They take a long time to let things go, but they will never forget. Why do you think Aunt Hilda didn’t ever mention her birth in Germany or that her father was a Nazi?”
Then the door to our room had more visitors as Alan and Kent appeared. The hotel had sent a get well balloon and basket with a card signed by many of the employees for both Sasha and myself.
“Is this where you’ve been?” Alan grinned. “Just lying here, taking it easy while we slave away.”
“Hi, Alan, Kent!” I greeted my friends. “I’m afraid I’ll be out a while longer. Being injured, I’ll need a little more time to recuperate. And poor Sasha here will be out even longer as his leg and arm heals.”
“Well, get better, both of you. The hotel is barely hanging on without you. And the restaurant is just chaos!” Alan said to both of us. “We’re going to be facing a busy season, Spoleto and all that.”
“Spoleto was originates in Italy you know.” Tony smiled.
I shook my head. “Of course it did.” I rolled my eyes. “But I dare say we sort of changed it.”
Tony nodded. “Sure, made it so no traffic comes and goes downtown. Parking is impossible and there are art things everywhere, dancing and theatre groups…”
“See what happens when you hog Broadway?” I said.
Tony just shook his head.
But it was pretty good! Sasha and I would be fine.