By A. Hosack, P. Berman & K. Hecht
It happened so fast. They are trusting me. This feels unreal.
Larry was so very tired, but his brain wouldn’t shut off. He couldn’t stop thinking about how different his life was now. All these people around him had such trust for each other. Why? He and the monks had been at the hospital for a day and a half. Only Larry had money, so he had bought food for everyone- they were so grateful to him. How could they be grateful to him? Didn’t they understand that he owed them his life? Larry was trying to feel grateful to them, but he had never felt this emotion before- except maybe after having sex with Claire. Try as he might, he couldn’t get rid of the suspicious thoughts that kept coursing through his brain.
What could they want from him? What might they be planning?
Larry and the monks were all sitting quietly together in the lounge. A doctor came out of the critical care unit and came over to them. He said the bus driver’s condition was stable, and he was resting comfortably. He would be moved out of critical care later in the day, but the doctor wanted him to stay at the hospital for a few more days at least. The monks talked together briefly- they felt it was safe to leave the driver at the hospital and proceed on to the monastery. Someone would return to get him when it was safe for him to leave. The monks had no money and no medical cards for the driver, but the hospital was just trusting the monks at their word that the church would pay all the medical costs.
As they filed out of the hospital, without asking him, the monks just assume Larry would resume his role of bus driver. They all waited for him to get in the bus first; this felt so strange to Larry. They then filed into the bus silently and took seats. Larry gave them a quick look, to make sure they will all seated and then, started the engine and they were off. He was suspicious that these monks might be like his dad, assuming he would be their free slave forever, working for them without pay.
Larry couldn’t abandon them and take off, the black car was still following the bus. It had waited while they were in the hospital, this made Larry’s blood run cold. The miles piled on. The monks fell asleep. Larry didn’t notice it, but the black car took the next exit and left the highway. A cell phone call went off to Philadelphia, “I think they are headed to Cincinnati boss,” Martin said. “Okay, we will turn back then.” Martin pushed all thoughts of Larry out of his head and headed home; thankful to be alive.
How could they fall asleep? Didn’t they realize I could just pull over right now and strand them all!
These monks were beyond belief. They had prayed nonstop in the hospital, showing no sign of fatigue. But now, they were all asleep- trusting him to get them home to the monastery. Larry saw a few towns he might have run off too but, he couldn’t strand them; for some reason, he had to get them home. What led all these men to become monks? What a weird life they must lead? The sun had just set when the first Cincinnati sign came up.
When the city finally appeared out of the dark, all of Larry’s fatigue seemed to disappear. It looked beautiful! The buildings had colored lights that were reflecting off the river. If it had the dirt and grime of Philadelphia, it was covered by the darkness. Larry drove the bus over the bridge spanning the river and headed into the city.
Was this a new start for him? Could life be better here?
As if by a miracle, a monk who knew the way to the monastery woke up and began to give him directions. It took about twenty more minutes before Larry had taken the last turn and they had pulled into their destination. The fatigue hit him like a wall. Larry was just slumped in the seat of the bus with his head drooping to one side as the monks filed off the bus. They were out and now another man- Ted came in. He kept patting Larry on the shoulder until he woke up. “Come this way, mister. You have to lie down; you must be exhausted.” Ted led Larry in through a side door of the monastery and brought him into a small room with nothing in it but a bed. “Just lie down and sleep as long as you want. I’ll come back later and see if you are ready to eat.”
Larry didn’t hear a word. He just fell down on the bed and went immediately to sleep.
Moving to a new location does give Larry the opportunity to change. His face isn’t familiar to the police or any gang members who might live there. No one had his address and he didn’t have a phone number. But, his traumatic childhood remains with him where ever he goes.
Larry could choose to face his past piece by piece and use strategies like his son Davy is learning. However, this would be even harder for him than Davy. Davy has been getting help to develop positively almost from the moment of his birth. Larry was the victim and has also been the perpetrator of complex trauma.
Larry is beginning to experience positive social and emotional support. This has been found to increase the quality of life and protect people from health risks. To read a scholarly article on the positive impact of social and emotional support go to: