Tom gave him a steaming hot cup of strong tea with four sugars.
“Get that down you lad and we’ll soon have you back on your feet.”
Ray never said a word. He kept looking around him trying hard to make sense of what was happening.
Doctor Steele took his pulse.
“Well it seems you’re okay. But what the bloody hell you thought you were playing at running through the streets at this time of the morning, I’ll never know. Look at the clothes you’ve got on, more suited to summer, not a bloody freezing winters night.”
Tom felt sorry for him.
“Take it easy on the kid Simon, he’s done no harm.”
The Doctor was having none of it.
“No harm? If I hadn’t come across him when I did he could be dead by now. Dead from the bloody cold. Silly sod!”
Ray looked up at both of them. Still confused.
“I’m sorry. But I don’t know what’s happening to me.”
Doctor Steele calmed down. He could see that the young man was distressed.
“That’s okay son. It’s normal. Extreme cold can make you feel confused and weak. It’ll come back in a while.”
He looked over at the Seargeant.
“Tom, make him another cup of tea. Have you got any spare clothes out the back?”
Tom nodded and walked out to the store room at the back of the station. He found an old pair of trousers and a jumper. He brought them out and gave them to Ray.
“It’s not much but it’s all there is. Put them on and you’ll feel better. They might be a bit big but not to worry.”
Ray put on the clothes over the top of his running gear and sat back down. Tom once again wrapped the blankets tightly around his shoulders. Ray drank his second cup of tea and for the first time began to feel the warmth come back to his fingers and toes.
Doctor Steele stayed for another 20 minutes then decided it was time to leave. Just before he left he whispered to Tom.
“Over to you now mate, if you need me for anything give me a call. But let me get some bloody sleep first.”
Tom smiled and nodded, then went over and sat down beside Ray.
“Okay lad, let’s start from the beginning. Where do you live, and what’s your address, someone is going to be very worried about you.”
Ray closed his eye tightly, desperately trying to remember something, anything.
“I’m not sure. I’ve got a number in my head, 0708765678. I think it must be my phone number but I’m not sure.”
“Well it’s a start son, and a bloody good one. I’ll call it and see what happens.”
Tom walked to the reception area and picked up the phone, he dialled the number. It didn’t ring, it didn’t exist.
“No good son, anything else come to mind?”
Ray closed his eyes desperately trying to remember. In his mind he saw a house, a woman and a little girl by her side. He jumped to his feet. He remembered.
“Yes, yes, I know where I live, I live in Romford in Essex, that’s it Romford. 278 Malvern Road, Romford. I live there with my wife and daughter.”
“Well you’re a long way from home lad, what you on holiday or something?”
Ray was excited by his recollection.
“I don’t know, but I know where I live and that I have a wife and a daughter.”
“Okay, good, one step at a time. Let me call the local Police in Romford and get them to make some enquiries, see what we can find out. You sit there and get some rest, get your strength back.”
Ray sat back in his chair and fell asleep. He was exhausted.
Tom made a call to the station Sergeant at Romford. He explained about the young man being brought in suffering from hypothermia. He said he was around thirty years old and was called Ray Samuels and lived in Romford. He gave him the address. The Sergeant said he couldn’t do anything until the morning but he’d send someone round to the address first thing.
Ray slept like a log. His body was suffering from complete exhaustion, it was as if he hadn’t slept in years.
While Ray slept, Tom decided to make some enquiries of his own. Why on earth would a young man go jogging in the early hours of the morning in freezing cold conditions, and so far away from home? It just didn’t make any sense.
He logged onto the Police Computer System and entered the name Ray Samuels. There were four. One was in prison for drug related offences. One had died in a hit and run accident in 2003. One was awaiting sentence for GBH. But, there was a Ray Samuels, missing person since 1982. He double clicked to get the full report. Ray Samuels had not been seen since March 1982; he had gone out jogging and disappeared. There was a photo. Tom looked closely at the photograph on his screen, then, at the man who was fast asleep opposite him. He couldn’t believe what his eyes were telling him.
It was the same man……