As we stepped out of the elevator, arms precariously loaded from clearing out Carl’s office, a police officer half-blocked the entrance. We maneuvered past, but I could feel his stare boring into my back as we turned the corner.
Stop being paranoid. Why would they stare at us?
Down the hallway by the front door, another officer moved into sight, squinted, and cocked his muscular neck over to speak into his radio. It sounded sort of like “He’s passing me now.” We were the only people in the hall.
Weird, I must be hearing things.
We walked through the lobby and stepped into the revolving doors leading outside, only to have him jump in behind us at the last moment.
That’s strange…it’s almost like he’s following us.
Carl paused in the entryway to put on his beret (going outside without your cover is a major no-no in the Army), and the guard appeared again at my elbow. He reached over and tapped the towel-wrapped bundle in my arms.
“Hi. What’s this?”
“Th…this? His old gym clothes.”
“Oh, good. The towel threw us off. We saw you on the elevator security camera and had to check it out.”
He walked away casually, but watched us from the other end of the parking lot all the way to our car.
We were on the elevator for all of ten seconds, and by the time we hit ground level a guard monitoring the cameras and two more from who knows where were on our tail. Lesson learned: Army hospital guards are impressive, though I don’t know what exactly they thought we were carrying – a weapon? a stolen baby from the nursery? drugs from the ICU? Then again, I guess a man’s used gym clothes are hazardous materials.