Comments on this story can be sent to:

Missing Scene: Blindfold
Kerry OK

I couldn't believe it happened. In a split second life would never be the same again. Not for me. Not for her.

In the line of duty. Those words left me cold. No solace whatsoever came from them. My duty was to her, I had blinded her. The words the doctor said echoed in my ears "You shot her, now she's blind." I couldn't face it. I couldn't face anyone. Not myself, not my partner. I shut him out. He wanted to help me. Save me from myself. I couldn't, I wouldn't let him. I had to suffer the way she suffered.

It was a routine call, a jewelry store robbery. I exchanged fire with the suspect. A beautiful young woman lay still on the ground. Shot by me. Wounded. Blinded by my bullet. She would live, but what kind of life would she have? No comfort came to me in the fact she was alive, she was blind. That is all I knew and I knew I did it; I blinded her. I was inconsolable.

It was surreal and at the same time all too real. I remembered the last time life changed in a split second, in the line of duty. Three years ago I shot and killed a sixteen-year-old robbery suspect. I yelled to him "Stop, Police freeze" but instead he turned to fire at me and he was no longer a sixteen-year-old kid. He was an armed and dangerous felon who could have killed me and any number of innocent bystanders. So I fired. And he was dead. In the line of duty was a tough sell then for me. Especially when George Prudhomme decided I should pay by killing two police officers. I was ready to quit. Call it a day. But my partner, he wouldn't let me. He was there every step of the way. I made it through, thanks to my partner, Hutch.

Then a year later George was back with a vengeance. He killed the woman I loved. He tried to kill Hutch. I almost packed it in again. But Hutch wouldn't let me. He was there every step of the way.

Since the shooting that blinded Emily, day in and day out I wallowed in self-pity and self-recrimination. I sank into the depths of despair. I devoted my life to Emily, the young beautiful blind woman. I had blinded her. I had to be there for her. When I was with her, it seemed that all was right with the world again. But when I was alone, the world was the last place I wanted to be. I definitely couldn't do my job. My duty. My duty is what brought me to this dark place.

Now you might ask, "Where's your partner?" Well he was there all the time. Every step of the way. When my phone rang and rang and rang but I didn't answer, I knew it was him. When he came over to try to pull me out from my dark lonely place, I walked away from him. I couldn't let him save me. Not this time. When he told me he loved me, I knew he did. I knew it killed him to see me in so much pain. But I couldn't let him love me. How could I when I didn't love myself?

I still remember the look on his face when I told him I had walked around my apartment blindfolded for an hour. He knew where I was headed even before I did. Of course he would. He knows me better than I know myself. He didn't want me to punish myself. He wanted to save me from the pain. That's the way he is. He wants save the world. He tries damn hard too. He would've taken my pain or at least shared it with me if I would have let him. But I couldn't.

You see I get like that sometimes. I guess it goes back to when my dad was killed. I had to be strong for Ma and my little brother Nick. I was the man of the house now. So it came to be that when I hurt, emotionally, I kinda retreat into myself, recoil. Now physical hurt is a whole different ballgame. I have no problem letting that pain show. But in matters of the heart, well I try to work them out myself and more times than not, I don't do such a good job. That's where Hutch comes in. He knows just how to fix things. He knows just what to say. Trick is I have to let him and well I just couldn't this time.

So when Hutch finally realized there was no getting through my thick head this time, he did the only other thing he could think of, which he does real well, he did his duty. He investigated that case, he tracked down every lead, he was relentless. I heard it said that no one had ever seen him that way before. He was doing it for me, to try to make it right again, for me. To make a long story short, we got the suspects. Yeah I finally came to my senses and joined my partner in the arrest of the man who really caused Emily to get shot. We arrested him and his brother in an underground garage. Hutch's words echo in my ears, "I got you covered." I always knew he did. He always has me covered. I guess that is why I can let myself fall into the depths of despair, because I know all I have to do is call out Hutch, just once, and put out my hand and he will be there to pull me up and bring me home.

Now you might ask why I am sitting in this bar at 2:00 am wallowing in self-pity and self-recrimination again. Well I did a really dumb thing. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but it was dumb. Hutch had come over to my place. He was in a really good mood and so was I. You see, Emily got her sight back 100%. And the judge gave her a suspended sentence. Oh yeah I forgot to mention that is why Emily was at the scene, she was a lookout for the robbers. The one I exchanged fire with was her boyfriend.

Anyway I goaded Hutch into putting on a blindfold. He was saying that he could hack being blindfolded no problem. So I blindfolded him and he made his way around my place and ya know, he was doing really good too. Well I guess he would considering how well he knows my place, he's only been there a billion times. Hutch was really getting a lot of pleasure showing me how well he could hack it, he was pretty proud of himself. Hutch he can get that way, he likes doing things well and he does a lot of things well. I don't know why, but it bugged me and I decided to teach him a lesson. Why I thought he needed one I don't know but I moved a chair from its usual place in my living room. When Hutch felt for it and it wasn't where he expected he lost his bearings, when he did finally find it in its new spot where I moved it he started heading toward the front door, instead of the bathroom which was his original destination. I opened the front door and well you guessed it, Blondie took a header down the stairs. I know what you are thinking, what was I thinking, I wasn't. Like I said it seemed like a good idea at the time.

I expected him to be angry. But he didn't come back up to my apartment. I looked outside only to see him limp over to his car and drive away. I haven't heard from him since and that was ten hours ago. I tried calling him and got no answer and he wasn't home when I went over to his place. I'm worried now that he may have really hurt his back. He hurt it once a few years ago when he did a seat drop onto the roof of his car, banged the heck out of the roof and his back. His back has never been the same.

Oh ya gotta be going. Well thanks for listening. Take care.

"Hey Starsky. It's last call. I'm gonna call you a cab."

"Yeah Hug. I think that is a good idea."

"There you are partner."

"Hutch! There I am, there you are. I have been looking all over for you. Where have you been? Are you all right? Buddy I am really sorry. I..."

"Easy Starsk. It's okay. I'm okay. I went over to the hospital. I got some anti-inflammatory medication for my back."

"Aw Hutch I'm really sorry."

"I know you are. I found out that being blindfolded isn't as easy as I thought."

"Yeah, but you would've done fine if I hadn't moved that chair."

"Come on partner I'm taking you home."

"Hutch you are my best friend in the whole world, ya know that right?"

"I know Starsk. Me and thee."


As I stepped out into the chilly night, the world was spinning around me or I was spinning. I thought I was going to fall over as I staggered to Hutch's car.


"It's okay Starsk, I got you."

He grabbed me firmly by the hand and put me into the car and I knew I was home.