32 – The Show Must Go On

While Grissom struggles to deal on his own with the immediate aftermath of Sara’s departure, the job has other ideas.

Post episode 807, “Good-bye and Good Luck,” circa November 2007.

******

Grissom

Good-bye.

I have to admit that is the word I remember most from your letter.

Good-bye.

In all the years we’ve known each other, I can’t recall ever really hearing you use that word.

There were good nights and good mornings and see you tomorrows or laters, but never good-byes.

There is an almost haunting finality to that particular word.

Or so it seems coming from you now.

My gaze is still fixed on those six letters and a dash when, Grissom? Then in a slightly more insistent tone, Gil?

And for one brief and shining moment, I hear my name being called in your voice, and I so think it’s you that I am honestly crestfallen to find Catherine standing in the doorway looking concerned.

That and the shock must still register on my face because her first question is if I am okay?.

To which all I can reply is that you are gone.

Which doesn’t seem to be a sufficient enough explanation as she still looks confused, and for some reason, feels the need to ask me, Who?

Thankfully, I am spared from having to make your absence all the more real by speaking the reality of it into being by the sudden presence of Ecklie striding into my office barking You want to explain this? which is obviously neither really a request nor a question, but rather a command.

When it becomes apparent that I am not going to ask the obvious question, nor take from him the paper he extends to me, Catherine inquires Explain what?

To which he hands it to her to peruse, as I still stand there unwilling to relinquish my grip on your letter.

She stammers, sounding about as stunned as I feel, about something to do with it being a letter of resignation from you.

Conrad’s tone is imperious and demanding, when he says So what the hell is going on, Gil?

I really wish I had an answer to give him, but I don’t, and I tell him so.

He is not surprisingly, incredulous.

I don’t believe it either really. I don’t believe that I don’t know what is going on.

But I don’t. I don’t. I…

The I don’t know that I again repeat, seems to be an unacceptable reply. Ecklie looks and sounds livid when he tells me that he has had just enough of you and Sidle’s little games. Then more threateningly, Tell me what this is all about or…

Catherine steps in, and insists that if I say I don’t know then she is sure that I don’t know.

All I do know, is that I want five minutes to process all of this. Five minutes to wrap myself around the strange state that those last two syllables in your hand and that very official looking piece of paper conjure up.

Conrad and Catherine continue to argue amongst themselves, but I don’t hear them.

For a thought has struck me, a singular idea, and I fumble in my pockets to locate my phone, only to find it is not there. I rifle through the files on my desk, throw open the drawers, before realizing that I must have left it in my coat. I move to it. And finally am able to breathe again as my fingers close around my cell.

While my two not so welcome visitors continue to try and out-talk and over-shout each other, I am hitting two on my speed dial.

Then I wait it seems an eternity for it to connect. But it doesn’t ring. Instead, it goes straight to your voicemail.

And the voice in the greeting sounds so different, as if it were recorded a million years ago and things were so different then than they are now, and I realize that in some ways, they had been then.

You haven’t changed your greeting since we got the new department issued phones last January. And back then you smiled more and laughed. And your eyes were bright. And I am thinking about how your hands were not as cold as now, and the fact that your lips are still as warm as then, when the service beeps to indicate I should leave a message. But I can’t even string two thoughts together, and even if I could, I doubt I could get any words past the lump in my throat.

So there nothing but white noise and the faint sound of arguing until the phone cuts off.

Gil! Ecklie is bellowing now, which startles me, and I snap the phone shut and look at him and it almost as if this is the first time I am really seeing him since he barged into my office. For while part of me knows why he is here, part of me has no idea.

He starts to again demand answers.

I want them too, but I don’t even know the right questions to ask.

Are you okay?

But I know the answer to that one already. You are not okay. Right now, I’m not either.

Is there anything I can do?

Is there even anything I can do? Will you even let me help?

Then there is the question that I learned when I was nine years old not to ask, because no one would ever answer it, no matter who I asked or how many times I tried,

Why?

Why, Sara? Why?

I am kept from continuing to dwell upon this thought, by the presence of yet another visitor. Jim is now standing there looking dour and serious and saying something about a call that’s just come through. 419. Multiple DBs in the mountains. A lot of insect activity.

I move to grab my coat and kit, but Catherine’s hand on my shoulder briefly restrains me.

Though she never says the words, I know she is asking if I can do this right now.

I nod.

And we go.

After all, this is Vegas.

And the show must go on.

*******

Have a question or want to leave a comment or concern and don’t have a wordpress account? Please feel free to email me at kadhmercer@gmail.com

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