A photo of an empty hospital room.
Photo courtesy of Martha Dominguez de Gouveia/unsplash.com

An all-points bulletin is put out about Louis Henley in New York City, and near Times Square Manhattan, homeless men talk about the once-great prize fighter. As they pull out pints of gin and whiskey from their back pockets and take large swallows, they try to sing the blues in unison and sound like a bunch of sick wolves.

One homeless man gets up and tries to do a dance. He raises the whiskey bottle up to his mouth to take a drink and falls backward with a loud crash. He hits the ground hard and is out like a light.

Meanwhile, back in Baltimore, Walter Lacey has come around. He looks around the room and wonders where he is and how he got there. Suddenly, a nurse named Rita Garrett walks in.

“Well, good morning Mr. Lacey!” she says. “How are we feeling this fine morning, sir?”

“Excuse me, nurse, but who did you say I was?” asks Walter, perplexed.

“Walter Lacey, sir. That’s the information that we have,” Rita says.

Walter Lacey is confused. He has come out of his coma and is suffering from amnesia. His memory is lost.

It is late evening and Odell Lacey, Marvin Hammerman and Anna Jackson arrive at Mercy Hospital in Baltimore.

“Excuse me, miss. My name is Odell Lacey, and I am the father of a patient here,” Mr. Lacey says to a receptionist. “My son’s name is Walter.”

The receptionist looks up the information and finds that Walter has been moved out of intensive care to a private room

“He is 446D, on the fourth floor,” she tells the group after checking Odell Lacey’s ID. “Take the elevators across the hall.”

Odell Lacey, Hammerman, and Anna Jackson arrive at Walter’s room and see doctors and nurses surrounding him.

“May I help you?” asks a nurse.

“That patient is my son,” says Odell Lacey. “Can you tell me what is going on with him?”

“One moment, sir.” The nurse summons the head doctor, Dr. Peter Craig.

“Hello, Doctor,” says Mr. Lacey. “I am your patient’s father, and these two people are friends of mine. This is District Attorney Marvin Hammerman and his assistant, Anna Jackson.”

“It is my pleasure to meet you all,” Dr. Craig begins. “Mr. Lacey, from what I can gather, your son now suffers from amnesia after coming out of a coma. What led to the coma was an altercation with another person at a homeless shelter.”

“Dr. Craig, may I see my son, please.”

“Absolutely, Nurse Garrett, this is Mr. Odell Lacey. I am allowing him to see our patient.”

“Hello, Walter,” Odell Lacey says softly as he approaches his son’s bed.

“I am sorry, sir, but do I know you?” Walter asks his father.

“Yes, you do. I understand that you have lost your memory. Your name is Walter Harold Lacey,” Odell explained. “Your mother’s name was Diana Rogers Lacey, and she passed away when you were 12 years old. I am your father, Odell Foster Lacey. This young woman standing behind me was a classmate of yours, and her name is Anna Jackson. She is now an assistant district attorney. The gentleman standing next to her is her boss, Marvin Hammerman.

“Walter, you are my son and I love you with all my heart. I am truly hurt because you are my only son. I am hurt because of our argument five years ago, when you walked out, and I stopped hearing from you. And now I see you here, and you have lost your memory.”

As Walter Lacey struggles to regain his memory, Louis Henley is treated and released from Sinai Medical Center. It is early morning, and Henley wants a drink, so his first thought is to hit the first liquor store that he can find.

Coming up in next month’s of Street Sense, Walter Lacey continues to struggle with amnesia, Louis Henley commits his first break-in and New York authorities are still unsure of Henley’s whereabouts.