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HUTCH'S BLUE DAY
Hutch hung up the phone. The news he had just received from his tearful mother was still hanging in the air like a helium balloon. How could this happen so suddenly? He only saw his father a week ago! He had come out to visit Hutch along with Hutch's mother. He had been fine! A bit grouchy, as usual, but fine none the less. How he could suddenly die of a heart attack, was something that Hutch couldn't comprehend. As Hutch went over to the couch, an incredible sadness took over. Yet, he wasn't able to cry. The reality hadn't sunk in, Hutch reasoned, so that is probably why the tears were not coming. So much had gone on in Hutch's life recently, and this was one more awful thing.
He and Starsky had a big blow out fight just the day before and they weren't really speaking. Now, that is pretty hard to do when you work together, but they just went about their jobs and only spoke to each other when they had to.
As well, Hutch's girlfriend of less than a year had just broken up with him. Abby couldn't handle being the girlfriend of a cop. Not that Hutch blamed her. She had almost lost her life after being beaten by that crazy Tommy. Artie Solkin had been behind a vendetta that was aimed at Hutch. The detective, for that matter, had also had a bad accident. The trunk of his car was rigged and when he tried to unlock it, a bomb went off and his hand was badly burned. Artie Solkin and Tommy, again. Before the bomb, there was a rat in his refrigerator and a brick thrown through Hutch's window.
After they had arrested Artie and Tommy, the detectives spent the rest of that week taking care of any loose ends that would have prevented the case from sticking. Hutch wanted to celebrate by taking Abby out for a special picnic on a sunny Sunday afternoon. She had recently gotten out of the hospital and was feeling much better. But Abby had other plans. As soon as Hutch started opening the wine, Abby made her announcement. She was leaving him. She couldn't handle this anymore and wanted to go home. She had been very scared and had never thought about dying before. Hutch was shocked and tried to find the words that would keep his girlfriend there. She got up and walked toward the parking lot where her brother was waiting for her in his car.
Then the fight with Starsky happened. Starsky was ragging on Hutch yet one more time about Hutch's car. Hutch had just about had enough. He had said a couple of things to Hutch just before the trunk bomb went off, but Hutch wasn't able to really argue too much about it after the explosion. Starsky needed to help Hutch after Hutch had fallen to the ground and passed out from the pain. He was a good friend, and Hutch knew that. He was just tired of all the crap he had taken over the years about his car. Now they weren't speaking much, and all Hutch could think about was how he really needed his best friend.
The phone rang and Hutch slowly got up to go and answer it. "Hello?" his voice croaked out.
"Hey Hutch, how goes it, my man?" It was his other best friend, Huggy. Huggy had been keeping in touch with Hutch everyday since he had been burnt with the trunk bomb. Huggy had many times brought over lunches and dinners if Hutch was too tired to go over to "The Pits". Huggy was a good friend, almost as good as Starsky.
"Uh, not that great Huggy, I just got some bad news. My um, my father just died of a heart attack."
"Hutch! Oh, man! I am really sorry about that! How are you doing? Did ya tell Starsky yet?"
"I'm okay, Huggy, thanks. And no, I don't really feel much like talking to Starsk right now. I've got some things I have to think over. The, huh, the funeral is on Monday so I have to make reservations to get home, and my mom wants me to do the eulogy, so I have to write that, too. So, I don't think I will be seeing him. Can you tell him for me, Hug?"
"Sure, Hutch, I understand. I think you should tell him, but I'll do it for ya. You take care, bro, ya hear?"
"Thanks Hug, I appreciate this. I gotta go. Talk to you later."
Hutch hung up the phone and stood looking down at it. His best friend and he couldn't even gather up the courage to phone him. "Hutchinson," he muttered to himself, "you're a wimp."
As he scouted around his apartment for a decent pen and some paper to write the eulogy, his phone rang once again. He decided he wouldn't answer it, as he really didn't want to do any more explaining about his situation. If it was Starsky, he would understand. However, the phone just kept ringing. Hutch started counting after a while and smiled to himself when he realized that the phone had rung over 25 times! It stopped for a couple of minutes, and started ringing again. After the 15th ring, Hutch decided to answer it. The stubborn individual on the other end was obviously not giving up.
"Yeah?" Hutch answered.
It was his partner. Starsky was very sympathetic. "Hutch, why didn't you answer sooner? Man, I am so sorry about your dad! Why didn't ya call me as soon as you found out?"
Hutch was feeling incredibly tired and his voice mirrored that. He felt like his own life was being drained out of him. "I dunno, Starsk. I'm sorry."
"What can I do, Hutch, you just name it, buddy. I'm here for you, right? Ya gotta know that!"
"Starsk, aren't you just a bit upset with me? We did have a fight, and we barely spoke to each other yesterday."
"Listen, partner, that kinda thing gets forgotten when my best friend is going through a crises. I'm here for you now, and I would just as soon forget the dumb fight. I'm even gonna try and not put your car down so much, okay?" Starsky was trying to make amends, and just hoped that his pal would let bygones be bygones.
Hutch agreed without hesitation. He had enough to deal with and fighting with Starsky was not at all what he wanted.
Starsky cautiously continued. "Can I come over and help ya with anything? I have lots of free time tonight, buddy. You just ask and it is yours, whatever ya need."
"Sure, Starsk. I could use your help. I'll be glad to see you."
About 20 minutes later Starsky showed up at Venice Place. The minute Hutch opened the door to the impatient knocking and saw his friend, all his defenses were down. The tears started flowing.
"Hey...hey, buddy. It's gonna be okay." Starsky whispered softly to Hutch as he started to direct him over to the living room couch. After Starsky shut the door he sat Hutch down and held his partner close with his arm around Hutch's shoulders. "Just let it out, Hutch, just let it out."
After a couple of minutes, Hutch's crying was letting up and he wiped his tears with his shirtsleeve. "Sorry, Stask, I uh, I don't know what happened, there." Hutch felt a bit embarrassed, but it had felt good to let it all out.
"Hutch, ya don't ever have to be sorry about showing how ya feel! Your father just died! I know how that feels, remember?"
Hutch had never felt as much love for his partner as he felt at that moment. Of course Starsky understood! Having lost his own father as a child, Starsky would understand better than most. Hutch realized at that moment how dumb he had been. The fight, not wanting to talk to Starsky, not telling him about his father. All dumb moves. If there was one person who understood him, it was his best friend and partner. Hutch knew that he could get through this, as long as he had Starsky by his side.