Neil had lived his entire twenty-one years in the nine room apartment on West End Avenue in New York City with his mother Esther Outwater. Safety and protection from the outside world was the uppermost priority for has mother. It was their castle; the Doorman was their sentry on duty. When the cab pulled up in front of the apartment chaos, noise, police cars and officers writing on pads and holding back photographers and reporters stunned him. Getting out of the cab he heard someone say “her son,” and a policeman approached him and addressed him as Mr. Outwater. Every segment of energy in his body retreated and he had to grab the officer’s arm to steady him self.
“What’s wrong? Where’s my mother?” His wallet in his hand after having paid the driver fell to the ground. Someone picked it up and handed it back to him.
“Please come inside with me.” The officer reached for his arm to steady him and usher him into the lobby.
“Where’s my mother?” He asked again.
“We are here because your apartment has been broken into.”
“Is my mother alright?”
The officer didn’t respond immediately. “No son, the medics are up there right now.” He took him up in the elevator. Neil wanted to run up the stairs knowing he was faster.
The hallway was bustling. Mrs. Cantor, their next door neighbor was crying and talking to another officer who was writing down what she was saying. She noticed Neil and let out a loud cry “I’m so sorry son, so sorry.”
Police, medical personal and detectives were standing inside and out of the kitchen door. He ran toward the door and was stopped by one of the detectives. Then he saw his mother, lying on the floor face down in a circle of blood. A man crouched over her describing something to a female officer who was writing it down. Neil sent out a cry, “Oh God!” and water flowed from his eyes and nose, as he trembled and fought to break free of the grip by that detective.
“Revive her, she can’t be dead, I don’t want to die yet.”
“Son, she’s gone.”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about . . . Mom,” he shouted through his trembling tears.
They took him away from the scene, past the dining room and into the sitting room.
“Is there someone we can call?”
He said nothing.
“. . . Your father, grandparents, uncles or aunts?”
“My fathers’ dead, my mothers’ dead, My aunt lives in San Francisco and when she hears this it will kill her too. “Aunt Kitty, oh God . . . Dr. Lancing . . . you must call her, she is a good friend of my aunt. She should get over to her place so she’s not alone when she hears about this.”
“Do you have the phone number son?” asked a voice somewhere near the doorway. He rattled off the California number and all in the room looked at each other.
Neil retreated into himself where denial was at play. It was a dream, a scene from a bad play. He got up from his seat and walked toward the hall, calling out to his mother.
“Sit down son.” The detective took command, and explored the possibility that...