Max didn't think they'd be walking in to anything horrible. Of course, after listening to Bex talk about Nelson's drug problem, he wasn't so sure he wanted to go with Oliver.
"Listen, he's harmless, really," Oliver squinted as they drove there. "So maybe I got my little baggie of weed from him once a week. Used too. I don't anymore. You've met him at church."
"That was a while ago. Wasn't it your wedding?" Max remembered.
"Was that the last time I saw him?" Oliver shook his head. He knew the way, and they were there in a jiffy out on an old country road where a trailer house set back in the woods aways.
"I used to walk here all the time." Oliver told him as they got out of his car. They went up the steps of the wooden porch and tapped on the metal door. No answer. Just a warm calm breeze. There was no car around. It was hard to say if Nelson had just left or hadn't been back in months.
"His grandmother lives here. She has to be here." Oliver told Max.
Oliver called out her name, Mavis. He tried to look through the windows, but it was dark inside.
"I think some-body's in there," Oliver said.
"Maybe we should leave," Max said. But Oliver shouted out his name to her.
Finally, they heard someone come to the door. It was a very old woman who could barely walk with her cane.
"What happened?" Oliver knew that was Nelson's grandmother.
"You don't want to know," her voice was grave.
"Maybe you should come with us." Max helped her out the the door. She was in bad shape. He wondered if she'd eaten or had the medications she needed. "We should take you to the hospital."
They helped her into the car. Made sure things were locked up.
"What in the world is going on?" Oliver was concerned.
"That boy has gone and got himself in some trouble." Mavis just shook her head as they drove out of there toward town. "Thought he'd do better selling that cocaine. I guess. It was nothing but trouble."
"Where is he now?" Oliver looked back at Mavis.
"Lord help him," she shook her head. "I'd be the last to know."
They took her in to the emergency to get her checked out. Her blood sugar was high, and she had a lot of bruises on her that she wouldn't say where they'd come from. She was scared.
"Nelson didn't hit you, did he?" Max asked.
She shook her head, no. "Its those men who want my Nelson."
"How long has he been gone?" Oliver wanted to know.
"I can't remember. A long time." She stared at Oliver for a moment while they hooked her up to an IV. She was dehydrated. "It was the day that woman came out to talk to him. He left with her."
"A woman?" Max squinted.
"She'd been here before. They used to go out ever so often. Play Keno, you know." She nodded.
"Sounds like something my sister would do." Oliver smiled.
"That's who she was," Mavis said. "I remember Nelson telling me a while ago who she was. That was the woman he left with."
"Sounds like your sister is alive and well, somewhere." Max stared at Oliver.