“Make sure you let him finish at the house so you can follow him back to where they are keeping Ricky’s dad,” I speak softly and try to sound like a little kid so the detective won’t think I’m trying to tell him how to do his job even if I am.
Detective Randolph takes it well, “right, boss,” he pats me on the back. “Our main concern is Mr. Sanchez,” Randolph walks with us out to our car and reassures me one more time, “everything is going to be fine.”
Ricky and I sit in church, my family and his all on the same pew. The singing is done and the guy is talking to us when Ricky’s mom’s cell phone rattles in her purse. She gives the phone a worried look and slips out of the pew. She sneaks down the outside aisle, past rows of seating and out the double back doors. After just a few minutes Ricky’s mom comes back, just as quietly as she left. The only difference is her look of concern has been replaced by a big grin. We all join in one last song, Ricky’s mom whispers in Ricky’s ear and they now have matching smiles. As soon as we are out the back doors I plant myself in front of her and wait for the news.
“There were two men, they brought Toby with them so they didn’t even get a chance to mess up the house. Detective Randolph made the arrest as soon as they went through the front door.”
Just to make sure I ask, “Toby is Ricky’s dad?”
Ricky’s mom grins, “he’s just fine. That was him on the phone. He said they took care of him like he was some sort of king. They tried to get him to come work for them but of course he couldn’t. I think he had about as much fun as a person can, considering he was kidnapped and all.” We all go to Ricky’s house to wait for Mr. Sanchez to get done telling his side of the story to the police at the police station. My Mother and Ricky’s mom get busy in the kitchen; my father finds the Sunday paper and hides behind it so Ricky, Sally and I take the wagon to my house. Ricky and I load it full with Ricky’s dad’s papers and stuff. Sally just runs around in circles, she knows something good has happened even if she hasn’t a clue as to what it might be.
“Boy, I feel better,” Ricky says as we pull the wagon back to his house. He sounds like he can’t believe things have been straightened out.
“I told you we would figure it out. When I realized we didn’t have to figure it out, we just needed to get your dad back, that made it a lot simpler.” A police car pulls into the driveway of Ricky’s house so Ricky and Sally start running and leave me to pull the wagon. The hugging, jumping and tail wagging is still going on as I park the wagon in a corner of the garage.
Inside sitting around the dinning room table Ricky’s dad tells the whole story while we eat chicken and potatoes, “they were really very nice. They just wanted a few secrets. They treated me very well.”
“So what are you working on?” I ask. I figure since I helped get him rescued he might tell me what this was all about.
“I could tell you…” Ricky’s dad starts cautiously.
“But then he would have to kill you,” Ricky finishes the joke and everyone laughs but we also understand the we are not going to find out what Ricky’s dad is researching any more then his kidnappers did.
“Do you know where your car is?” my father asks.
“Not yet, the police will get it out of them, they never wanted the car. They were watching me leave work and saw how I took things back and forth in the car. They just wanted my papers,” after a pause he adds, “and me.” Ricky’s dad looks at me and gets a real serious look on his face, “thank you, son. I understand your quick thinking put the police in the right place at the right time.”
“If you drove a nicer car it would have been much harder. I just couldn’t understand why anyone would want that car!” I answered honestly.
“Jimmy!” my mother said trying to remind me to be courteous. Ricky’s dad just laughed. He’s proud of his bucket of rust on wheels.