Monday, December 12, 2016

PICKPOCKET

He is on a weekend excursion in the French Quarters of New Orleans. He strolls along the streets, now and then, stops where the sound of music emits or a specialty store of peculiar things or the smell of food draws him to a delicious meal. During these stops, he pays by removing his wallet from a back pocket of his trousers, holds it with one hand while the other hand handles a bill that he gives to the receiver then accepts the change. He returns the wallet to the pocket.
The pickpocket does his thievery with stealth amongst a crowd. He is sure that the man shall not notice for minutes.
In a secluded alleyway, not even a dog gives him away to others. He gets the wallet from its concealment then reaches into the cash compartment and feels a prick against his finger that only gets an "ouch" from him. He takes out a bill, notices something not right about the fifty dollar currency. He examines it, sees that the other side is blank with words written on it. 'If you're not the punk who ruined my family's vacation this past summer well, I'm not sorry.  He has trouble breathing so he coughs to remedy the problem. He stops breathing.  

Sunday, October 16, 2016

THREE IN LOVE

"What is this shit I hear," Marty says in competition with the happy hour celebrators.
"I told you when you went up that I won't wait for you," Sandy says.
"With my best friend?" Marty asks.
"You're the one that kept opening the door; I told you to stop it," Sandy says.
"That's a bull shit excuse."
"I told you that would happen."
Janis, the other bartender stands behind Sandy.
"I got work to do so please leave because there is nothing more between us," Sandy says.
"I'm going to see my supposed best friend and change this bull," Marty says.
"Leave him alone," Sandy says.
"Why should I?" Marty asks.
"He's good to me better than you ever were," Sandy says.
"Not any more that is going to change," Sandy says. He makes a fist, pounds his chest with the bottom on it then walks out of the tavern.
"What did that mean?" Janis asks.
"I don't know, maybe, some prison stuff," Sandy says.

The public defender sits beside Marty. Philadelphia police detectives Jack Browne and Betty Johns look at them both. "Did you say anything to these detectives?" She asks Marty.
"Yeah, I told them that I did not kill Larry," Marty says.
She looks at the detectives.
"We have your knife that an attempt was made to wipe it clean of blood," Jack Browne says.
"I was drinking and I got drunk," Marty says.
She stops Marty with a hand on his shoulder without taking her eyes off the detectives. "What else do you have?" Public Defender asks.
"You were drunk, got into an argument with Larry and from your pocket you pulled out a knife then used it to commit homicide," Betty Johns says.
"Because, we found out that your used to be girl friend dropped you after you were sent up and started dating Larry," Jack Browne says.
"You sure drive a hard bargain," Public Defender says.
"What do you mean by that?" Jack Browne asks.
"Unless you can come up with more evidence than that, we're going to leave," Public Defender says.
"You're a person of interest in this case so don't skip on us," Betty Johns says.
After Marty and the public defender has left the room.
"I wish  that DNA on those blood sample would hurry Jack Browne says.
"We just have to wait; I told you that," Betty Johns says.

Janis looks at the two detectives sitting across from her. "What did you say?" Janis asks.
"DNA founded on that knife belonged to you and the victim; you served time and that is how we got your DNA," Betty Johns says.
"It could have only happened when you saw Marty drunk that night, got his knife, then knowing Larry was waiting to meet Sandy, you attacked him. There was a struggle where you got cut but you were able to stab Larry to death and somehow got the knife back to Marty," Jack Browne says.
"Why would I want to kill him?" Janis asks.
"You're a lesbian. We know that from Sandy; she told us that you both had a fling before she started dating Larry," Betty Johns says.
Janis weeps. "It wasn't a fling for me."
"That's what Sandy called it," Jack Browne says.
"We don't believe Marty skipped on us so where did you put him?" Betty Johns asks.



 








Saturday, October 15, 2016

TRAIN RIDE TO MIAMI

Tall, slender and pretty, she boards the Amtrak train in Jacksonville, Florida going south to Miami and all stops in between. The conductor assigns her a seat by the window. She is happy about that, then becomes more happier when she finds out that the aisle seat is occupied by an elderly fellow. "My name is John," he says.
"I'm Sheila," she says.
"Nice to meet you."
"Same here."
"I've been on this thing from Philadelphia on my way to Miami."
"My stop is Miami."
"That's good, no more change of neighbors." Then he goes about arranging his entertainment components to watch movies. When he finishes, he says, "see you later."
She grins. "Will do," she says.

After paying for treats at the snack bar, she go to the leisure car to eat and drink. The young man with a filled snack tray walks pass with a smile directed at her. Moments later, he returns and sits on the seat opposite her. "Hi," he says.
"Hi,: she says.
"Going far?" He asks.
"Miami," she says.
"Me too, my name is Henry and please don't Hank me because I'm not into nicknames."
"My name is Sheila and I won't."
"I saw you get on; I got on at Savannah."
"I guess that I missed seeing you."
He laughs then asks. "What are you going to do in Miami?"
"I am a dancer and I intend to dance. What do you do in Miami?"
"I'm a college student on my way back to the college."
She's puzzled. "What break is this?"
"My own, went to Savannah with some friends so when the party fizzled, here I am on my way back." He asks her. "What strip club do you dance at?"
Taken-aback, she says, "I dance with a troupe and we're dancing in the forum."
"Damn, I'm sorry," he says.

She listens to music with earphones, enjoying the scenery that flashes by until she feels a tug on her shoulder; expecting to see John, she's bewildered to look at Henry. "Been looking all over for you," he says.
"That somebody's else seat," she says.
"Whoever can find another seat the rest of the way."
"I don't think that he will want to do that."
"Look forget him let us you talk."
"I don't want to talk to you."
"Damn, you're lesbian,"
"No, I am not; I just do not want to talk to you."
"You're in my seat," John says.
"Listen, pop, I am a few cars that way so you can go and take my seat," Henry says.
"This has been my seat since Philly," John says.
"Give me a break, pop," Henry says.
"I'll get a conductor," John says.
"Damn, I'll see you later honey," Henry says.
"I'm not your honey and I don't want to see you later," Sheila says.

At a station because of a situation further up the tracks, the passengers are allowed to take a smoke break on the platform, just stretch their legs or get a feel of the weather for twenty minutes. Away from the others, Sheila feels a grasp on her arm. She looks at Henry. He shushes her while stepping backwards thus gliding her to follow him. "I found a nice quiet corner where we can be alone for a few minutes," he says.
"Get the hell off me," she says.
Her resistance only makes him pull her more with strength. It is fast, very fast, her freehand knuckles smashes against his nose; he steps backwards. The heel of her shoes strikes his torso that makes him fall then a powerful kick makes him moves into the fetal position and roll around.

The conductor announces the train's arrival at the Miami station. "Nice riding with you neighbor," John says.
"It was my pleasure also," Sheila says.
"By the way, I noticed that guy stopped bothering you even after that nice dance you did for him," John says.
Sheila grans.






  

  


 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

MOM'S DATE FOR ALICE

"You Mother is in the bedroom; she wants to see you before the other arrives," Father says. Alice goes to the bedroom and finds Mother at her vanity. "Hi mom," Alice says.
"Oh, Alice, my dear, I'm glad you're here before the others," Mother says.
"What's up?" Alice asks.
"I met a nice man the other day."
"Mom, not again."
"He's an pharmaceutical sells man."
"No mom, you didn't."
"He's nice."
"I don't care."
"Don't you see how happy your brother and sister lives are?"
"I'm happy with my life too, mom."
"People are beginning to asks me if you're a lesbian."
"Tell them I'm not; tell them I'm celibate for my career. God grief, how many times must I go through this."
"Honey, I just believe that you're not happy."
Alice restrains a nasty remark, sighs, then says, "I am happy being a single woman with a career."
"Okay, okay but I've already invited him to dinner."
"I thought this was just a family get together?"
"It is but I decided to invite him."
"So, he eats dinner with the family but if you start that matrimony stuff then I'll finish my dinner at some fast food joint."

The family begins to arrive and gather but Alice's brother, Thomas, is not in the gathering. "He was grounded because of that big storm all over the upper mid west," his wife says.
"He should have stayed in the air force," Father says more so to irritate Thomas' wife.
The date for Alice arrives, after introductions, moments of chit-chat, Mother rings the dinner bell. At the dinner table, Mother's guest sits next to Alice, between her and her sister-in-law. After dinner, there is more chit-chat then good nights are exchanged. Mother stops Alice. "He is so handsome, well educated and has this adventurous masculinity about him," Mother says.
"Yeah, just the type to interfere with my career," Alice says.

A year passes.
Thomas sits in Mother's kitchen with her. "Virginia is leaving me," he says.
"What? Why?" Mother asks.
"She met someone."
"Why did she do that?"
"Some stupid mess about she loves me but is not happy being with me no more."
"Who is he?"
"I don't know."

A couple of weeks later Thomas calls Mother. "Virginia and that fellow are going away for the weekend and she want to leave the kids with me but I will not be at my apartment in time so I told her to drop them off with you and I'll come there and pick them up." "Sure Thomas that will be fine," Mother says. She can now get a look at the man who broke up her son's marriage.
The car stops in front of the house. Mother rushes from the house to get a look at the man. The three kids believe she rushes to greet then but she pass by them then see the man behind the steering wheel. It is her date for Alice. She stands dumbfounded, stares. The car rolls off and she just stares at it.

CHRISTMAS CARDS

He unwraps a hoagie, places it on a plate then gets a sixteen ounce bottle of beer, sits down to feast. Half of the sandwich is eaten; the  beer level in the bottle is about half when the doorbell rings. "Damn it," he says. He stops his feast to see who it is at the door. He peeks through the security hole and sees her. He doesn't want to talk to her not now but she must have noticed that he used the peek hole. The doorbell rings; he opens the door. "Hi," he says.
"Hi," she says than asks. "May I come in?"
"Sure," he says then steps aside.
She walks into the living room. He puts his meal into the refrigerator then joins her on the couch.  She's agitated. He does things to avoid eye contact. "Why didn't you come to my wedding? She asks.
"I didn't want to be there," he says.
"Why?' she asks.
"I just didn't want to be there," he says.
She realizes his means to avoid eye contact with her; she makes a move to stop him. She reads his look. "Oh no," she says.
"Yes, oh yes," he says.
"I didn't see that," she says.
"I tries many times to show you," he says.
"It couldn't happen even if I saw it," she says.
"That, I never wanted to hear from you," he says.
"After the accident with Roy?" She asks.
"Way before that," he says.
"I love you in a camaraderie sense, not as a companion; it always been that way for me for us two; I thought," she says.
"Well, not for me," he says.
"After Roy's accident, I just thought you were a shoulder to lean on," she says.
"I see now that you've been holding this guy's hand all along," he says.
"We met and things happened," she says.
"Things couldn't happen with me?" He asks.
"I'm sorry," she says.
"Don't be sorry for me," he says.
"I'm not; I meant this, our situation," she says.
They look at each other with no words for a moment then she says, "You'll find someone better than me for yourself," she says.
Choked-up, he says, "makes no sense to look for someone that I already found and just can't hold onto."
She stands, steps to the door. "I have to go, get ready for our honeymoon trip tomorrow," she says.
"Roy junior, I can stop by your mother's to hang out with him," he says.
"There is no need to do that because my husband wants him to stay with his parents so that they can get to know each other," she says.
"Oh, oh okay," he says.
She opens the door, stops. "Christmas cards," she says.
"What?' He asks.
"Christmas cards to keep in touch," she says.
He sighs. Nods. Teary eyed, he says, "yes."
She closes the door behind her.






 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

THE NOTE

Daniel walks into the crowd celebration then mingles. After an hour, he sees his ex-wife, Jane, with another woman in conversation. He decides to go deeper into the mass of people to avoid being seen by Jane. The other woman sees him and points him out to Jane. "Isn't that your ex?"
"Daniel," Jane calls out.
He stops. She hurries to him.
"Hi," he says.
"Hello," she says.
"I didn't know that you still come to this," he says.
"I missed the last couple of years," she says.
"Are you with your son-of-bitch husband?" He asks.
She snaps. "His name is Richard."
"That's what you call him but I call him every name in a drunken sailor's manual," he says.
"I didn't stop you for this," she says.
"What for then?" He asks.
"Your son asks about you often," she says.
"I don't have a son," he says.
Stun, she says, "Daniel please."
"That damn bastard that you divorced me for to become your husband contaminated him," he says.
She snaps. "That's not true."
"I had a family however you wanted another so now I don't have a family," he says.
"You were hardly ever home," she says.
"I wasn't fucking around because I was working hard to keep my family fed, clothed and under a roof," he says.
"I will not let you stick me with a quilt trip," she says.
"I wasn't trying to," he says.
"Your son wants to see you to spend some time with you," she says.
"My family is gone so I don't have no son," he says.

Daniel leaves his job and goes to a tavern for dinner and a beer. He sits alone eating then he feels a presence behind him; he looks. "May I sit?" Richard asks.
"Hell no," Daniel says.
Richard ignores him and sits.
"You ruined my life now what else do you want from me," Daniel says.
"Your son wants to be with his father," Richard says.
"That's your job now," Daniel says.
"Jane had tears when she told me what you said," Richard says.
"So," Daniel says.
"Listen, you replaced Jane with your job," Richard says.
Daniel snaps. "That's a damn lie."
"Let's not get violent about this but that is what happened," Richard says.
"I worked hard to make sure that my family had happiness until you soured it," Daniel says.
"Your son needs to be happy now," Richard says.
"I don't have a son just like I don't have a wife so you have them both to make happy," Daniel says.
"Listen, I'm not going to argue about this anymore, now, come this Saturday morning your son will be waiting for you to pick him up so you two can be together that day," Richard says.
 "If I don't be there?" Daniel asks.
"Then, I'll bring him to your apartment and we'll keep doing going over this until you see the light that your stupid stubbornness is bull shit," Richard says.
Daniel looks at his first cousin stroll away.

Saturday morning, Daniel parks his car in front of the house that he used to call his home. He retrieves a folded loose leaf paper then lay it on the dashboard in front of the steering wheel then he makes sure the auto-pistol is loaded then stuff it into a pants pocket. He gets out of the car to make the long walk to the house on a short walkway.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

LUNCH ON A POND

The restaurant is on a platform supported by piles over a pond with a walkway leading to it. There is wild life for scenery while enjoying a meal and drinks. A waitress balances a tray with cups of coffee and sandwiches on plates for the two persons at a table. She places the tray on the center of the table then with a smile she walks away.
"You went away remember that so what was I supposed to do," Megan says.
"Wait for me that was all," Leroy says.
"I did wait," Megan says.
"Not long enough," Leroy says.
"I had no idea when you would be back," she says.
"I told you how long I might be," he says.
"Yes you did but when that pass I thought that you were dead," she says.
"The owner of the company would have contacted you," he says.
"I didn't know what was happening; I was scared," she says.
"Why did you have to go to him?" He asked.
"I wanted to know if you were safe and alive," she says.
"He couldn't tell you that," he says.
"He was your friend so I thought that he could help," she says.
"Not to find out about me that is for sure," he says.
"Stop it," she says.
"No. I'm not going to stop it," he says.
"He just became a shoulder to lean on and that is all," she says.
"You mean to rest your head on," he says.
They say nothing more, begin to finish their meal. Leroy looks at the pond and sees two ducks move through the water unaware of an alligator feet behind them. He expects to see a lost of ducks from nature but the alligator seems to have lost interest and turned to go another way. "Must have decided that it wasn't worth it," Leroy says.
"What's that?" Megan asks.
Leroy stands, reaches into a pants pocket, takes out a roll of bills, searches, finds a fifty dollar bill then drops it on the table. "Goodbye," he says.
   
 

LUNCH IN A STEAKHOUSE

He looks at the hostess stand from the two chair table that he has been sitting for only a few minutes. He has been dating her for a few months but lately he detects a change in her feeling for him. She arrives with a grace that he admires. He glances around to see if anyone notices; a few seems to do so. The hostess leads her to him. He stands, kisses her lightly on her lips then they sit. "Why here? it's so crowded," she says.
He had called earlier too  reserve where they sit. "I took the liberty to order for us."
"That's good because a new order of shoes came in that I have to inventory and shelve," she says.
This gets him to recall. "That guy I saw helping you the other day when I stopped by," he says.
"Sam?" She asks.
"Yes, if that is  his name." The man irritated him with the way he ogled her.
"He is back in sports and crafts; he was temporary until they hired someone."
"That's good."
"Why did you say that?"
"It's good that they hired someone for you."
"Oh, okay."
"What's he like?"
"It's a she, a college student."
A server arrives with their meal. "My favorite," she says  then asks. "What's the occasion?"
"I wanted to see that smile; I missed it"
"What do you mean?"
"Lately, it seems that your desire for me is expiring."
She begins to eat. He waits for a minute then asks. "Well?"
"It's time to move on," she says.
"You mean for us to separate?" He ask.
In  manner he fears to asks but does so. "Are you seeing someone?"
"No, I would never do that to you or anyone else."
"How can I believe that?"
"It is not fair and I am a fair person also I am not a good liar."
"So, you're saying between us ?"
"It is time to move on."
"Why?"
"Because you believe in love, I do not; if we stay together then, your belief will become stronger, mine will not and that will lead to conflicts."
"I can think like you."
"You can never do that?'
""Damn-it, I love you."
"See what I mean."
"This shit sucks; I won't accept friendship."
"Then we must go our separate ways."
His stare displays  a verge of tears that prompt her to say, "please don 't do that; it is just that I was not fooled by Romeo and Juliet."
They eat their meal in silence.
Outside on the sidewalk.
"I hope you find what or who you're looking for," he says.
"I am not looking for anything or anyone," she says.
They walk away from each other.








Monday, October 10, 2016

WISHES


She examines dresses on display. The salesman sees her. They once were lovers. She steps his way, soon they will be in sight of each other. He braces himself mentally for the encounter. Her look is a glance then a double-take. "Michael is that you?" She asks.
"It's me; how are you," he says.
"I'm fine."
She looks better than the last time he saw her. "Shopping?" He asks.
"Not really, I'm just looking for now," she says then asks. "Do you work here?"
"Yes, I gave up the starving artist thing." That is how he met her in Rittenhouse Square park, attempting to sell a painting to her then convincing  her to pose for a portrait, almost nude, in the privacy of his apartment that became nude portraits. They became lovers.
"You stopped painting?" She asks.
"No, I just stopped trying to buy food with my paintings," he says.
She smiles.
He does not see a ring on her finger. "How has life been treating you?" He asks.
"No complaints and you."
"Other than not being a starving artist, I'm okay."
"That's good."
He glances at the wall clock. "I got lunch in a minute, would you like to join me in a goblet and sandwich." It was their thing when they were lovers to enjoy a glass of wine with a sandwich and bowl of fruit.
She hesitates with an answer.
"Just to talk about our old times together. It's on me."
"Well, okay."
Not seeing a ring of marriage encourages him to believe that the fellow who interrupted them being lovers is no more in her life. She has not stopped being in his life. He thinks of her often and wishes that she would return in his life so it will no longer be a wish. They eat sandwiches at a slow pace, share grapes from a bowl, between sips of wine with their conversation of their time together. He asks. "What happened that caused you to leave him?" She's stun. Her expression tells him that he asked the wrong question. He stares at her finger. She sees it then understand why he asked such a question. "He's having the ring replaced for a more expensive one like he promised," she says.
He sighs out not just air but his self-esteem; he looks around to not let her see his disheartenment.
"It's been nice seeing again but I have to go now," she says.
In a sad manner he says, "yes, sure, of course."
He look at her leave, wishes that he didn't have to.







A CONFESSION GETS AROUND


In a bar-restaurant , two women eat their meals, with cocktails.
"Why did you let it happen?" Denise asks.
"I just don't know," Helen says.
"Where was Lucy?" Denise asks.
"Her mother was sick so she visited her that weekend," Helen says.
"How did it happen?"
"It just happened that's all; there were no particulars about it."
"Well at least she was not a best friend just a neighbor in the building."
Behind them a waitress finishes wiping off a table. Before pushing the cart away, she asks the women. "You ladies are okay?"
"Yes. we're okay," Helen says.
"Good thank you," She pushes the cart into the kitchen.
"I didn't even notice her there," Helen says.
"I saw her," Denise says.
"You think she heard anything?"
"I doubt it, looked like she was to engrossed in her job."

Betty heard the confession, everything, now she knows why Mark broke their weekend get-away trip. "The son-of-bitch," she says.
"What's that?" a waitress asks.
"I got burnt for last weekend, now I know why, he was with someone else," Betty says.
"Well, you're young; you'll get over it."
"Yeah, thanks."
It's not like they are in an I love you relationship but she became horny waiting for that weekend to come, when it did, he calls to tell her that Lucy changed her mind since her mother called and told her that she felt better. "The lying bastard."

Two days later, Betty works a section. Mark and a male friend enter and the maĆ®tre d leads them to a table pass Betty's section. He winks as he passes but she ignores it with a eye roll.  Later, he excuses himself to go to the restroom. There, he calls Betty's cell phone; it goes to her voice mail since their phone are forbidden during work. "This is Mark and what was that shit with the eyes, call me."

After work Betty dials in her voice mail, there are two invitations to parties and then there is Mark message that she listens to then deletes. "To hell with him," she says.

Lucy prepares the bath for a long, lingering, bubble bath, with a romance novel. Mark wants her to hurry to close the door. She finally does.
"Hello," Betty says.
"It's me Mark."
"What do you want?"
"What was that shit with the eyes?"
"You burnt me that weekend."
"What do you mean?"
"You said that your wife changed her mind but I know that you screwed your neighbor Helen."
"How do you that I had sex with Helen?"
"You did what with Helen?" Lucy asks. She realized that she had read the novel that she selected so she stepped out of the bathroom to select another. Mark's back was to her. She grabs the phone from a stun, speechless Mark. "Who is this?" she asks.
"Sorry, tell Mark goodbye for me," Betty says.




























A CAB RIDE


James sit in a bar. With a frown of concern, the bartender respond to his request for another shot of whiskey.
"Don't worry, I'm not driving," James says.
"Okay, that's off my mind, but, now, I worried about you walking," Bartender says.
"The cabs are running," James says.
"When you're ready, I'll call one for you," Bartender says.

On the backseat of a cab, James closes his eyelids. Something he recalls is a very dangerous thing to do this time of night on the subway. He usually rides the subway earlier than now to be home with his wife, to do things together. Now, it is an apartment where he lives without his wife. Because of a fellow coworker's lore that enchanted her and afterwards, she did not want to stop at one infidelity. He found out and it became a sore on their marriage that separation could only heal, so he thought. It really tore into him hard since he ignored the warnings  of other coworkers. He trusted her that well,  knew her that good but not well enough, good enough to know what her curiosity would make her do. Here he is riding in a cab because he is not sober enough to ride the subway. He'll call her tomorrow to let her know that the spell put over her, should have dissipated. Since before this cab ride, before going into that bar, he killed  the charmer to stop his compelling attraction so they can go back to doing things together as wife and husband.  

BEING REUNITED IN PHILLY


He arrives at the police district to work the first shift as its crime scene investigator. After changing into his uniform he checks the assignment board and it is clear so he makes sure his equipment is ready. The sergeant enters the room, "you have an assist another agency."
"Which one?" He asks.
"ATF, their units are not available and they need a CSI right away."
"Where ii it?"

The agent points at a burnt out car on the bank of Cobb's Creek. "It was an illegal gun run we had under surveillance but it went bad when the punk lost control of the car so it went down there. Before we could get to it, the punk ran off then the car went up in flames. My partners went after the punk and I called the fire department but the flames sort of burned itself out then they made sure it was out. We need evidence that the ass hole was in the car," agent says.
"I'll give it a try," he says.

He shouts for the agent to meet him at the car. The agent and two partner agents hurry down the embankment. He recognizes one of the partner agents. Partner agent looks at him with surprise. They know each other but do not want to be reintroduced.
"What do you have for us?" First Agent asks.
He tells him then shows them. They agree that the evidence is good enough for a report. After taking custody of the evidence, the three agents leaves him to pack his tools. The partner agent walks slow then stops when his is sure the other two agents cannot hear him. "She is okay; she in here in philly. I'll tell her that I saw you." He does not want to hear the partner agent.

In the squad room, he fills out a report. The sergeant interrupts him. "There is a woman at the front desk asking for you."
He has no family and is not in a relationship so he goes to the desk puzzled. He sees her and his heart skips a beat. She looks the same, like all the thoughts of her, these past years.
"Hi, " she says.
"Hi," he says.
They just look at each other for a moment.
"Let's go to outside," he says.
In the parking lot there is a early morning chill so they go to his car to sit.
"He told me that he saw you the other day," she says.
"Yes," he says.
"We're separated; our divorce will be final soon. Our marriage begin to slide away after that trial," she says.
He says nothing.
"Browne, do you remember her?"
"Yes I do."
"One day, she told me that the office always believed that you were being a cowboy that day when they told me our world had ended. After that trial, then, everyone understood that you were protecting your partner, doing it alone, because if you had called it off he would have lost his credentials. That day, he didn't come clean about it to management, so after the trial it became clear of what really happened. They put a freeze on any further promotion. The crew tagged him a dirt bag. He requested a transfer and they sent him the furthest they could but the tag followed him. He began to bring his frustration home."
He sighs then asks. "How is your son taking it? I mean the divorce."
"He is old enough to understand."
"That's good."
"I thought that you were still in witness protection?"
"I walked away from that after a couple of weeks and stopped here. I studied crime scene investigation at the community college; the police department hired me. I've been here ever since."
"As if you were waiting for me."






.


RELIVING HER


Downtown on a crowded street his cellular telephone rings.
"Hello." He uses a finger in the other ear to try to block what he can of the street noise.
"Yes, it's me," he says.
The female voice says, "she's her sister." He remembers the sister.
Sister sobs. "She was in a car accident."
"What?" He asks.
"The other car ran a red light, hit where she was sitting; she had a seatbelt on but it still did no good. She got the worst but her husband didn't," she says.
"Is she dead?" He asks.
"No but she is in a coma. We can't get her out of it but the doctor says maybe if she heard a familiar voice that might help her out of it. I tried, my mother tried, even her husband but she is still in the coma; I thought maybe you might be able to," she says.
"What hospital?" He asks.
On the subway train he recalls that it was twelve months after they walked away from each other that they saw each other on a subway platform.
"Hi," she said.
"Hi," he said.
"What are you doing now a days?" She asked.
"I'm still a writer for the magazine," he said.
"I'm still a para-legal," she said.
"That's good," he said.
"Yes it is and good for you too," she said.
She moves her shoulder bag to rearrange it. He saw her wedding ring.
"I see that you're married," he said.
"Yes, three months ago," she said. She peeked up the track. "It's coming."
"May I ask you something?" He asked.
"It was the last six months of our relationship," she said.
"Why him?" He asked.
"It was love at first sight for us," she said
He looked away from her so she would not see him fighting back tears.
"Are you dating?" She asked.
"No," he said.
"You should so you can have your love at first sight," she said.
"I already did, I heard that it comes once in a lifetime," he said.
The train rumble to a stop. She stepped onto a car; he did not. They waved goodbye to each other.
Her sister meets him the corridor, walk with him to the room.
"I want to thank you," her husband says. He does not reply.
He looks at her; she seems to be asleep with medicine tubes, wires attached to a medical machine. He sits on the side of the bed then lie prone beside her. He leans close to her ear then wiggles her nose, at the same time whispers, "wake up sleepy head." Her eyelids flutters then open wide; she blinks, looks at him, smiles. Doctor, nurse, sister and husband crowd him off the bed, away from her. He and her exchange a glance then he walks out of the room.