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Esther Starsky had given the world as good as she had gotten, and it was time now to lay her earthly body to rest. Her funeral was held in the late afternoon at the family synagogue, the eulogy performed by the same rabbi who’d solemnized at her eldest son’s wedding. All or most of her immediate family were there, including her oldest son David, his preteen son Michael, his wife Hannah and her younger son, Nicholas, who’d come to the service with a flashy brunette in tow.

The service was a long and emotionally draining one and David Starsky felt as though his eyes were an arid desert. He couldn't cry anymore. Helping to ease him out a very emotional day was his best friend and former partner, Kenneth Hutchinson. He was there to pay his respects along with the other members of the family. They were sitting on the porch in the back of the house, both clad in dark suits with white shirts, their collars unbuttoned,sipping cups of coffee and talking softly to each other, while all the while friends and family feasted, children played, and everyone, each in their own way, celebrated the life of a great woman. Hutchinson studied his friend’s face, still curious as to what his plans would be concerning his possible return to Bay City and their partnership. He was eager to have him back, even if it did mean they’d see less action. Starsky looked on sheepishly as he listened to the blond man talk.

"That was a beautiful ceremony, Starsk. Really beautiful."

"Yeah, she was a beautiful soul. She deserved to go in style."

"No doubt about that. So, what’s going to happen now? Any plans?"


"Ah, yeah. Plans? Any thoughts about coming back?"

Starsky could hear the anticipation in Hutch’s voice. And he didn't know what to do about it. "Well, Hannah and I have been talking and...and…we…ah…think it’s best if we stay out here for a little while…at least until Mike’s out of school."

"Oh, that long.>"

"Hey, it’s just that I’m not ready to sell the house yet, and Mike isn’t keen on moving away from his friends right now. I asked Nick, but he’s got his own place..."

Hutch put his hand on Starsky’s arm. "Hey. It’s all right, buddy; you don’t have to explain your reasons to me. I understand."

He put his hand on Hutch’s. "Look, I am coming back, man, sooner or later. To tell you the truth, I’m seriously thinking about that teachin’ gig. I even had them hold the spot for me. I don’t know if a lieutenant’s job’s for me right now. But it’s not like we’ll be living out here forever, and you and I are still gonna to keep in touch, right?"

"Yeah, sure."

"I’m serious, Hutch."

"What are you going to do about your apartment? You had it subleased until the end of this month, right?"

"Yeah, I guess I’ll have to let it go. Get a refund on the rent. Maybe sell some of the furniture n’ stuff."

"No, no way, I can’t let you do that. Tell you what, when I get back there, Huggy and I’ll box things up and put the stuff in storage for you. That way if there’s anything you want to keep, it’ll still be there for you when you finally do settle in, whenever and wherever that might be. Now, what about the Torino?"

"Oh, yeah. I forgot about that. quot;"

Hutch gave it a minute then said, "Oh, the things I do for a friend," Then he smiled. "Okay, what the hell, I’ll keep the Tomato in storage, too. It should only cost me and arm and a leg. But what the heck, what are friends for?"