The day came when Ana could go home. She would make a trip back to the hospital three times a week for a while for rehabilitation and her new prosthetic leg. It would be another week before her doctor, and the prosthetist was ready to help her with the task of walking again. Like so many other places in the country, the hospital had experience with this process because of the wars in the middle east. Hospital policy forced Ana into a wheelchair for her ride out pushed by an orderly with Owen walking next to her. They wheeled out to find a hot pink van with a pearl-white roof and pearl accents down the sides. Owen said, “Wendy thought you might like it.” Ana asked, “for what?” Owen smiled while he helped her into the van saying, “she wants you to use the van until you’re ready for something else or just may be ready to keep it.” Ana smiled saying, “I can see some girly girl type seeing this rolling bottle of Pepto-Bismol and going all crazy and while I appreciate the thought, I just don’t know how long I could drive it…... you know out in public looking like this.”
Owen pulled into the parking lot of the gun shop and around to the back were a new manufactured home sometimes referred to as a trailer, or mobile home was set up with a ramp and large covered deck. Owen said, “this was a gift from Uncle Sam. That is my uncle…. Sam and not the government.” Ana made her way up the ramp to the porch with tiny misting sprays and a couple of ceiling fans turning what would be a heat sink into a cool place away from the sun. They had brought the furniture from that apartment down into the trailer, but it still had a feel of a place that no one lived in like a model home. Owen said, “I didn’t want to live here without you, so I waited until you were ready.” She had known Owen for just a few months, but it felt like it had been years even on that first day down in Mexico. She kissed him and said, “I love you.” Owen got this lost look on his face and said, “I love you too.” Ana looked at the door and said, “show me the house…… Start in the bedroom.” Owen asked, “feeling tired?” Ana responded by putting her hand down the front of his shorts and saying, “I’m feeling something, just not tired.”
The construction site was in full build mode with the old motel gone and a new almost out of place building going up. Alice said the place would be something akin to a prairie-style ala Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House with long low flat roofs to keep the sun out of the windows and plenty of brick. Alice and her contractor took a simple rebuild and made it into one of the largest projects built in the area since the highway. Alice stayed back in Arizona leaving the daily work to a contractor named Gregg Wright. He wasn’t related to the famed architect. When he went into the business, he legally changed his name hoping he could find work in projects designed with Wright’s aesthetic. He was also an architect and had planned out many of the homes he built for Alice in the small planned communities across Arizona, Nevada, and California. Gregg saw this place as his masterpiece and wanted everything to be right or as he would say Wright by emphasizing the W making it almost sound like white. As the building went up, Wendy started to understand she couldn’t run this place like it was a side job or cover for their other operation, so she made it her job to find someone else to do the job of running the place.
A shot rang out across the desert. “low and to the left…... I don’t see what’s wrong with that floral print guy…. You know…. what’s his name?” Cathy lowered the binoculars and looked at Wendy laying in a firing position with her new rifle. Wendy worked the bolt and said, “the fact that you can’t remember Smith’s name is a sign on just how good of a candidate he was for the job.” Wendy fire the rifle. She asked, “or was his name, Jones?” A metallic ping rang back to them as Cathy said, “up and on the left but you did hit it this time, and it was Smyth with a Y.” Wendy quickly said, “as in why hire this guy.” Wendy worked the slide and fired. Cathy said, “hit” just as the metallic ping came back. Wendy said, “the new scope is making it easier to hit at two-thousand, but I think we can do better if we use our own loads so we can tailor the rounds to the job.” Cathy replied, “well no shit and stop changing the subject we need to find someone soon.” Wendy worked the bolt and fired again.
Wendy let the next applicant into her office. She had spent the last two interviews tapping on his application wondering if thinking about him was more about his daughter than his ability to run such a program. Juan Cassio came in wearing a slightly wrinkled suit that seemed too small on the big man’s frame. Juan worked as a carpenter going from job to job never knowing when he was going to be home, but with his wife’s death, he had to be home every night for the children making his living that much harder. He was working as a framer on the job site when he heard about them looking for someone to run the business side. As an independent contractor, he ran himself as a business something akin to a subcontractor working with other contractors making sure as he put it, “shit got done.” Wendy liked the idea of hiring someone that knew how to make things happen and not just rely on others to do the work while they sat in an office. Juan sat down and said, “I know I’m a little out of the box when it comes to such a project, but I know how to work people, and I think that’s what matters.” Wendy handed him a set of files and said, “I’m going to take a chance, but that chance I’m giving you comes with a caveat…... Fail, and that failure will follow you forever.” She tapped the top file and said, “this is your contract, and the other files are potential employees as well as nannies.” Juan looked up from the files and asked, “nannies?” Wendy replied, “this isn’t a 9 to 5 gig, and we’ll need to send you to a school to learn basic medical information so you can understand the business.”