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Welcome to the fork.
It’s time to do some thinking,
And if you think it will be easy,
You haven’t the tiniest inkling.
I stand before you on this plaque;
Two paths that lay beyond me.
One of them is beaten down;
The other one quite gnarly.
I urge you to consider both,
As each have their returns.
The one will be much, much more fun,
The other—you must earn.
The first you will have friends—so many.
And you’ll always be that guy.
But often when the moon comes out,
So will your demons come alive.
With the other do not fret,
The demons will not come.
But doubt will always plague your brain,
At what you could have done.
There are however instances,
You may find among the bramble,
Where the path you took forks yet again,
And yet again, I’ll ramble.
About the paths that you could take,
The beaten or the gnarly.
Each choice you make you may regret,
Just ask poor chained up Marley.
So take a minute, two, or three,
To think about your life.
The time has come for you to,
Make an ex or have a wife.
Or take that job, or buy that house,
Or go home with that stranger.
I promise you that every path,
Has it’s own unique danger.
I’ll see you soon,
You big buffoon,
I’m sure the choice you will regret it.
But I promise you the other path,
Once had—you’ll wish you hadn’t.
Sam walked up the stairs of his apartment and unlocked his door. As he turned around to shut the door and lock it he soon realized what he did. He quickly looked over at the clock he had hung on the wall. It wasn’t late enough or dark enough that the streets would be clear. He quickly moved to his bedroom and peaked out through the holes in the tarps that were still hung up to cover the windows. He looked down the street and noticed two guys get out of a car and cross the street. After they crossed the street both of them pulled out smaller hand guns. Sam cussed to himself. After he saw them pull out their guns he quickly ran to the empty bedroom and opened the window. He was about to climb out when he realized that he probably wouldn’t be able to return. The cops would continue to surveillance his place and he might not be able to sneak back inside again. Sam heard a banging on the outside door on the ground level. He quickly but quietly walked back to make sure he had locked his inside door. He heard one of the men yell that they were the police and they had a few questions for him. There was a small opening in the ceiling where a piece of the ceiling could be moved to gain access to the attic. It was right below his upstairs door. Sam pulled over a chair to slide the ceiling piece so that there was an opening. Sam had kept everything of value and importance up here. If a person hadn’t lived here before it was very rare that anyone would notice the small opening. Sam quickly went to his bedroom and grabbed a book bag. He went into his office and tossed in his laptop. He moved back to the kitchen area and placed the chair back next to the table. He heard the men at the bottom of the steps attempting to break the door down. Sam took a running start and leaped off the wall and up towards the ceiling. He grabbed the ledges opening and steadied himself before pulling himself up. He managed to close the ceiling piece back in place before the two cops broke down his inside door. There was nothing left but for Sam to be quiet and listen.
Sam heard the two men go through his place and clear each room. One of the cops saw that the back window was opened and he said over the radio that the place was clear and nobody was here. Once they didn’t see anyone running down the alleyways the two cops considered this a failed effort. Sam overheard the two of them saying things like: “this place was trashed, do you think there are people after him? Do you think he’ll come back?” Sam himself wondered how they knew to look for him or anyone at this area. It grew quiet for a while and it sounded like the two men had left but Sam knew that they hadn’t and was afraid they might have found his location. He nerves were calmed as one of them said something about the papers he used to have on the walls which were now thrown all over the room. The other officer then stated he was going to check out the bathroom. Sam knew this was his opening. In the attic Sam kept a safe with important documents, a black bag full of cash, a container that held a few small guns, and other random things that were significance to him and that were significant to pulling off his cons. Sam had already pulled out one of his guns and was loading it up as he heard the man approach the bathroom. He grabbed a ski mask and put it on his head. He also grabbed another one and placed it in his front pocket. Sam was still wearing his suit from the funeral and left the jacket in the attic. Once the cop was in the bathroom Sam opened the ceiling piece and quietly fell from the attic to the floor. He knew he wasn’t in the best location being in between both men but Sam decided he was going to go after the cop that entered his bathroom and at worst the bathroom was across from the empty room and Sam could make a run for it. Sam quietly followed in the direction towards his bathroom. Sam was lucky enough that the cop had left the bathroom door open. The cop was about to lift up the back piece of the toilet when Sam cocked his gun.
“Don’t move.” Sam said calmly. The cop stopped and had placed his hands in the air. “Put your hands on your head” the cop followed orders.
“Don’t do anything stupid.” The cop said. Sam quickly came over and took the gun from the cop’s holster.
“You’re the one who broke into my place. I have the right to protect myself.” Sam said. “Now turn around” the cop followed orders. He threw his other ski mask on the floor. “Reach down and grab that mask. Slowly.” Sam was a step inside the bathroom door. The cop grabbed the mask. “Now I need you to put that on backwards” The cop slowly followed these instructions. “Turn around and face the wall with your hands up.” Sam paused as he followed his instructions. “Now I need you to reach for your handcuffs and put them on behind your back where I can see them.” The cop slowly followed these instructions.
“You find anything?” The cop yelled from the other room.
“Don’t answer.” Sam said and came closer to the man and made sure the handcuffs were tight and locked in. “Follow my lead and you won’t get killed. Don’t speak.” Sam led the man out of the bathroom and down the hallway. Before he could enter the room where the cop was the cop entered through the door and to the hallway. He quickly raised his gun. Sam made sure to stand behind his hostage.
“Put the gun down and let the man go. We are police officers.” The second cop pulled out his badge and showed it to Sam.
“Unload your gun and put it on the floor or else your partner is going to get a bullet in the head.” The second cop listened and followed orders. “Now slowly walk back to the room you were just in but continue to face me. “ The second cop followed orders as well. Sam grabbed the second pair of handcuffs his hostage cop was holding on his belt. He tossed it to the other cop and instructed him to handcuff himself in the front where he could see it. Then he told the second cop to get on his knees and Sam walked the hostage cop over next to that cop and told him to get on his knees as well. After both cops were handcuffed and on their knees Sam proceeded to bash the back of their heads once so that they’d pass out. He grabbed a pair of handcuffs the unmasked officer had and handcuffed the handcuffs together. Sam was fortunate enough that nobody was radioing these two officers. He needed some time to think.
Sam stood there for a moment trying to figure out the best plan of attack. He had some drugs to keep them sedated but he didn’t have the proper equipment to hook them up to. He didn’t want to risk either of them catching any subtle clues about him when they woke up so Sam decided he needed to make his getaway quick. He grabbed the wallets, radios, and keys from the two officers. Sam threw the wallet and keys in his book bag that he still had on his back and turned off one of the radios and tossed that inside it as well. Sam had stored an emergency getaway military bag in his attic in case he needed to leave in a hurry. It had the very minimum of stuff he needed. Two outfits worth of the most basic clothes, a few thousand dollars of money, and a gun. He went to his trash bag first that was in his kitchen and went back to the room with all of his papers. He quickly tossed everything he had in the garbage bag. He then walked it back to his back room and left it there. He grabbed the chair from his kitchen and hopped up to his attic. He grabbed all the documents from his safe, put the guns in a protective suitcase, and tied up his black bag full of money and tossed everything down on the floor. There were a few costume items laying up there as well. Sam grabbed a wig and a dress and tossed it onto the floor as well. He placed the documents, the money, the wig, and the dress in the large military bag. He made sure that the protective suitcase was locked and placed these items in the back room as well. Sam went back to the office room to make sure that the two men were still unconscious. They still were. He did a quick look around to see if there was anything he’d regret to leave and didn’t notice anything. He still had his wallet and keys in his pockets. It had gotten dark by now. Sam made sure to place the chair back next to his table as to not give away the location of his attic. He grabbed his items in the back room and headed outside on the roof. He calmly walked down the alleyway to his car and tossed everything in his passenger side. He took a quick glance back down the alley to his apartment for any signs of stirring. The lights were still off and he didn’t hear any screaming so he decided he was still in the clear. He started up his car and drove off.
The next day Sam woke up in an upper class hotel feeling like he only had gotten a couple hours of sleep. His mind was racing on what he should do next. He knew he needed to warn Charlie, Lauren, and his brother but he had destroyed his phone and threw it in a restaurants dumpster. He was afraid to call any of them on just any phone line. The night before he had parked his car across the street and checked into the hotel under a fake name. He paid with cash for two days. Sam sat at the end of his bed with a thousand thoughts running threw his mind. He knew he could just take off and disappear for a while but he wasn’t sure how that’d affect anyone he knew. He wasn’t even sure what the cops knew about him or why they were there. Sam saw a notepad and a pen at the desk in his room. He walked over and sat down at the desk. He had grown accustomed to writing everything he thought down and using that as a way to organize his thoughts. His first thing he had to do was contact Charlie. If he contacted Charlie he knew that was the same as indirectly contacting Lauren and his brother. Charlie was smart enough and calm enough to do this favor for him. The second thing he needed to do was figure out what these cops were looking into at his place. Was it something as simple as just being caught for house squatting or had he been tipped off by somebody about one of his cons. He underlined a name. Serrasi. This was the cop that he had helped before in exchange for clearing Nate’s record and he also managed to gain Amie’s medical files for him. With Sam’s help Mr. Serrasi had gained a promotion for cracking a big case. The two of them were probably even but Sam knew Mr. Serrasi might be willing to help him out if he could leverage something for him that could be of use. Sam pulled out the two wallets he took from the cops and glanced over them. The third thing he needed to do was get a background check on these two officers just in case they happened to be a dirty cop. Sam went down to lobby area and looked up the numbers he had saved on his phone through the internet. He wrote down his number and called him once he got back to his room. Sam also stopped by the small gift shop in the lobby area and bought shaving cream, a razor, and some girly sandals. He called the guy as soon as he got back and gave him the names and the addresses of the two cops and told him to rush anything he could find about them. The next part was the part he hated the most. Sam shaved all of his facial hair off. He also had to shave his chest and his armpits. He knew where he could find Sam but he also knew that it was going to be a very public place and it was going to be on the college campus. If they cops knew to look for him above the bookstore it would be of no surprise to find them hanging out on campus.
Charlie was sitting at an empty picnic table outside of the student center reviewing some notes. A girl came over wearing a green sundress and sat down at Charlie table. Charlie did nothing but glance at the person and then went back to his notes until he felt like someone was staring at him and looked back at the woman. Except that it wasn’t a woman. It was Sam wearing a blonde wig and a dress staring at Charlie until he looked back at him.
“Sam? Is that you?” Charlie questioned
“Don’t laugh. I wouldn’t be dressed like this if it wasn’t serious.” Sam said quietly. Charlie couldn’t help but snicker a little bit.
“What on earth are you doing this time?” Charlie asked with a smile.
“Just listen. Two cops broke into my place last night after I got back. I tied them up and left them there. You absolutely cannot be seen going over there. I don’t know why they were there or how they found out about me. All I can tell you is you need to stay away from there and if anyone asks about me you’ve never heard of me. Remember their names or take their cards. I’ll find a way to get a hold of you and then you can tell me about them. I also need you to tell Lauren that I’ve disconnected my phone and all the same stuff I just told you. That is the easy part. Now the hard part is I need you to contact Nate for me too. I’m not sure what they know and if it’s really bad they’ll know my real name and they’ll know that recently my brother had his record clean and has moved from a shitty apartment to living on a small boat.”
“You moved your brother onto a boat? I thought he just went back to his apartment once he paid off his rent and bills?”
“I have a friend who lives on his boat and he knew an older guy who was retired and elderly and he moved into a retirement home and sold me his boat real cheap. I moved him and Lilly in there as soon as I could to get them out of Lauren’s hair. I’ll write down the location for you to find him. I just don’t know what to tell him. He doesn’t know what I’ve been doing. He’s completely ignorant to the actual truth.”
“Don’t worry about it. I’ll come up with something for him.”
“Yeah it’ll be good. I promise. But what are you going to do then? How are you going to figure out what they know? You going to spy on the police station?” Charlie asked.
“That’s not out of the question. I do have their ID cards but it’d be very risky using them.”
“Who says you have to use it? What if you just flaunt it?”
“What are you talking about?” Sam said with a puzzled look.
“These ID cards open doors but they also have a picture on them. What if you just replace the photo or make your own ID card and flaunt it. Play the part and ask around at the water cooler. Maybe somebody tells you something that your private investigator can’t?”
“It’s risky pretending to be someone inside of a police department.”
“I’m sure not all of the cops drink the coffee that is brewed inside their office. Just find the closest coffee shop nearby or small town diner. I’m sure if you scout one out for a while you’ll find the right officer or two to talk to.”
“Have you been reading some of the books I’ve been letting you borrow? Because you’re getting smarter” Sam said with a grin. Charlie smiled.
“Your books are more interesting than the actual books I’m supposed to be reading. That’s why I take extensive notes in class to cover up my lack of studying.”
“Well that’s all you really have to do. After a while you pick up on teachers’ tendencies and they basically hint on everything that’ll be on the test. That’s how I passed all my exams.”
“Somehow I think your skill for reading people is way more advanced than mine.”
“All you have to do is really look at something to figure it out. I have to go.” Sam said and walked away.
That night Sam had a message waiting for him on the answering machine in his room. It was his private investigator reporting that the two cops that had broken into his place were in fact clean. They also were new officers in their careers. Right away that relaxed Sam. New officers meant that his case could not be a very high priority. He also knew that as new officers they were most definitely embarrassed by the whole ordeal and probably were getting teased about it pretty bad among their other officers. Sam went to bed early that night knowing that tomorrow he had to get up early the next morning to scout out potential officers at a nearby coffee shop. His private investigator let him know which office the two guys were working out of.
Four seasons, four full seasons of television have been building to this series 4 finale. Like cockroaches, the Daleks somehow managed to survive, return to power and threaten the entire universe This time however, the Daleks returned with their creator, Davros, and have found a way to wipe out all of reality. By stealing planets and aligning them in the correct order, the Daleks have created a power source capable of enhancing their reality bomb (a weapon with the ability to destroy reality) to reach the entire universe. To save the day, the Doctor and his companions must band together and destroy the Dalek’s new empire.
The Doctor’s companions seem to crawl out of the woodwork when the Earth is stolen and humanity itself is threatened. Official companions Donna Noble, who is the Doctor’s companion for all of Series 4, Sarah Jane and Martha Jones, the Series 3 companion, ban together to help save the Earth. Unofficial companions also join the battle. Captain Jack, head of Torchwood, returns and puts his inability to be killed to good use. Mickey Smith returns from the parallel universe and even brings Jackie Tyler. Though it was nice to see all the mentioned characters again, nothing made me happier than seeing the triumphant return of Rose Tyler.
This hour long episode of Doctor Who was the most enjoyable hour of television I have had the pleasure of watching. Each character that returned was a wave of happiness and nothing was more satisfying than seeing the Doctor and his companions fly the TARDIS, and with it the earth, home. No episode better showcases the wit, skill and absolute brilliance of the Doctor Who team of writers. Everything that Doctor Who fans crave happens in this episode. Rose Tyler returns across a universe to see her Doctor one more time. Donna Noble finally realizes how important her role in the universe is. The Doctor’s secret army, his companions whose lives he has changed forever, ban together to save the Earth in the Doctor’s absence and they all survive (except for Captain Jack but death doesn’t really faze him). Despite all of this however, the show cannot leave us with simple happiness. Once again, the show left me devastated.
Last time it was Rose Tyler leaving the universe but this time it was Donna Noble. After a full season of self doubt and some fairly horrible events (getting a “fake” family in the library, having her history rewritten, destroying Pompei ect.) Donna is finally given her moment to shine. Inadvertently sparking some of the Doctor’s energy, Donna becomes the first half human half Time Lord. Using the knowledge she gained from the Doctor, Donna single handedly saves all of reality. Releasing the Doctor and his army, Donna helps to right the wrongs the Daleks caused and returned everybody to their rightful places. Once the day is saved and Donna’s rightful place in the universe is revealed, it becomes clear what sacrifice she must make. Reality could have only been saved by a human Tim Lord but there is a reason a human Time Lord has never existed. Donna’s mind cannot handle the knowledge and power that comes with being a Time Lord. To continue living, she must forget that she is a Time Lord which means she must forget anything that could remind her of the Time Lords. To save her life, the Doctor must erase every memory of himself and their time together from Donna Noble’s head.
Where Rose Tyler was originally stuck in another world without the Doctor, she at least had her memories with him. Donna is afforded no such luxury. Instead, to keep her alive, the Doctor himself must wipe every happy memory they had together from her mind. Doctor Who proves itself to be an outstanding television show. Easily taking me through a vast range of emotions in a single hour, this finale makes me wonder what is going to happen to this amazing show when David Tennant lets go of the reigns and the Doctor regenerates.
For a number of weeks now, I have been talking about and considering taking on the challenge of a 3 Day Water Fast. For quite some time now I have considered doing some type of a cleanse diet but all of them seemed to be based on insane concoctions that inevitably involve mixing Cayenne Pepper and water. Though a mixture of Cayenne Pepper and water doesn’t scare me (I’m a fairly adventurous eater that will try anything edible or drinkable at least once), I knew for a fact that I would be much too lazy to make concoctions and stick to a schedule. I have been attempting to start working out and have found myself to be feeling quite sluggish. I don’t know how to explain it but I have felt like my body needs a type of reset which once again piqued my interest in a cleanse. After doing some research, I only found one type of cleanse that suited my…laziness requirements: the 3 Day Water Fast.
The concept is quite simple, in theory. For three days, a person attempting this fast eats and drinks nothing but water. This suited my needs perfectly because to complete the fast I had to do nothing…except for drink water of course. I chose to begin my cleanse/fast last night at 8 o’clock, twenty four hours before I sat down to write this post. I figured a task like this deserves to be chronicled and Rainbowchair was the perfect place to share my experiences. I plan to write three posts three nights in a row. The first one is of course what you’re reading, written after I have fasted for twenty four hours. I’ll write the second post 48 hours into the fast and the final post will be written after I have complete the 72-hour fast.
I will admit that I am attacking this task as a complete amateur. I have done a fair amount of research but am by no means an expert. I say this for two reasons. The first is because I called this 3 Day Fast a cleanse but am honestly not sure if it can technically be classified as a cleanse. The second reason I admit to being an amateur is because as of 24 hours into the cleanse, I do not feel as terrible as I expected to feel. I knew that I wasn’t going to feel dead but I thought I would at least be feeling much worse than I do right now. I am a little bit light headed, especially when standing up after sitting for a while, and I am hungry but I am not starving. In fact, as long as I keep away from the kitchen and keep my mind focused on something else, I don’t notice my hunger very much. I’m much more tired than I normally would be at 8 o’clock but other than a small amount of dizziness and hunger, I am physically not as beaten up as I expected to be, though I am not at my happiest person in the world.
Often times today I found myself wondering why I was trying to attempt this odd task. I tried to tell myself that it was to lose weight but my research taught me that I am just going to put on the weight I lost once I start eating again. Another reason I told myself was to cross doing a cleanse off of my Bucketlist, which is true but not necessarily a good reason to Fast for three days. The first good reason I could come up with was an intense need for change. I have been trying for years now to start up a good and healthy workout schedule and every time I try, my schedule falls apart. I want to use this cleanse as a marker, a marker for change in the way I treat my body. If I prove to myself that I can commit to and complete a 3 Day Water Fast, then I can easily commit to and stick with a workout schedule and begin to lose weight. This Fast marks the start of a change in my life, a change to making my life healthier.
Well, I think that’s going to be it for today. If you’re interested in how the rest of my Fast turns out tune in twenty four hours from now for my second installment. As of right now, I feel like I have a good shot at finishing. My mind is in the right place so as long as I don’t start to worry about my health (which shouldn’t happen) I should be able to complete this 72 hour challenge.
“Ouch” Charlie said as he entered through the back window falling to the floor of Sam’s apartment. “Sam you here? You haven’t been answering my text or phone calls lately.” Charlie said getting to his feet. “My sister is pretty ticked off you skipped out on your date.” Charlie soon drew quiet as he walked through the empty bedroom and noticed a chaotic looking apartment. The dishes weren’t done and some plates were even smashed against the wall. Charlie stepped over the broken shards of glass and headed back towards Sam’s other rooms. He peaked in his bedroom and noticed his mattress was standing up against the wall and all the papers he had tapped to his wall were now on the floor. He looked into his office area. His printer was broken and smashed apart against one of the walls. His laptop was nowhere to be seen. All the books he had collected were scattered acrossed the room and his coffee table had been broken into two pieces. Only his small couch remained untouched. Charlie assumed this was probably where Sam fell asleep after he let all his rage out or in a worse situation this was where Sam was sleeping when somebody broke into his apartment and came after him. Charlie went back to his bedroom to re-examine the chaos. There was a tie and dress shoes sitting next to Sam’s dresser that he had never noticed before. Charlie opened up his cell phone and tried to call Sam again but it went straight to voicemail.
Charlie decided he was going to go down to the garage and hoped that the guys there knew something. They were probably the next closest things that Sam had to friends other than the few older ladies he was having affairs with. After he went down there he realized they weren’t much help. All they could tell Charlie was that Marcus would never do any jobs around this time of year. He told them he went on his vacations and it was usually with his family or with one of the ladies he was currently having sex with. One of the guys gave him a number to one of the ladies. Charlie decided he was going to call her and see if she knew anything.
“Hi, I’m Charlie. I’m one of Marcus’ friends. I was wondering if he was with you or if you knew where he was?”
“I’m sorry who is this and who are you looking for?” a younger lady sounded on the phone.
“My name is Charlie. I’m one of his friends from school. I’m sorry maybe I have the wrong number.”
“Do you mean Sam?”
“Uh… yes I do. He didn’t tell you his name was Marcus?”
“No I know who he is. He’s told me a lot of things.”
“Are you, are you Sam’s new girlfriend?”
“Oh God no. I’ve known Sam for a while now.”
“And how do you know each other? I was told you’re one of his new flames but I guess it’s not a real reliable source.”
“I’m Sam’s former counselor.”
“Former? I didn’t know he had a counselor.”
“Well he hasn’t had any sessions with me for a while now. It’s been at least two years.”
“What was he seeing you for?”
“You know I can’t discuss that. It’s all confidential.”
“Ok yeah. Well I’m trying to find him and can’t reach him. He’s not answering his phone and he’s not at his place and it’s completely trashed. Do you have any idea where he might be?”
“He trashed his place? Hold on a second let me look at something.” Charlie could hear the lady flipping through some paperwork. “Oh no.”
“What? What is it?”
“Do you know where Sam’s hometown is?”
“Try looking for him there. If he’s not at the cemetery he’s at a bar nearby.”
“There was a death in the family or something?”
“Not in the family but someone closed to him.”
“I really have already said too much. If you find him though tell him I’d like to start up our session again. He’s a really smart guy and I’d hate to see him waste all his potential.”
“Alright I will let him know when I see him.” Charlie hung up the phone and headed back inside the garage. “Do you think I could borrow one of your cars for a few hours?” The guy looked a little leery about it. “I’ll give you my sister’s number.” The guy smiled and tossed Charlie a set of keys.
Charlie used a navigator on his phone to find his way to Sam’s hometown. The cemetery was not something that could be looked up. He stopped by a gas station and was directed towards the location. As Charlie drove by slowly he saw Sam standing in a suit. He noticed that Sam’s beard had grown back as he walked up towards him. Sam didn’t move as Charlie approached. He was in a phase where he was locked onto something and it was staring at a grave. Charlie just stood there for a few minutes waiting for something to happen. He was sure eventually Sam would realize he was there and say something. Charlie knew it was someone important because Sam never dressed up for anything but he didn’t want to say some insensitive.
“You doing okay Sam?” Charlie asked. Sam didn’t answer. Charlie looked around to take in his surroundings and gave Sam a few minutes to reply but he didn’t. He looked at the grave Sam was staring at. “Who is Amie Fahl?” Again Sam didn’t answer. He took a deep breath. Charlie could tell he was fighting back tears. Sam reached out holding a folder for Charlie to grab. Charlie grabbed it and opened the folder reading through the files. The first pieces he went through looked like medical files. Amie Fahl would have been 26 years old, brown hair, brown eyes, and had no major surgeries before in her life. He skipped through a few MRI photos that weren’t in great quality until he got to a police report with photos of her. She had bruises to her face, arms, and all over her body. There were a few photos of a wrecked car. Sam closed the folder. It was obvious she didn’t survive. Charlie didn’t know what to say to him. He just placed his hand on Sam’s shoulder. The two of them stood like that for what seemed like forever before Sam turned and started to walk away on the road. Charlie followed Sam about three paces behind him. Sam whipped away a tear from his face and didn’t’ say anything. The two of them probably were halfway between Amie’s grave and the road where their cars were parked when Sam stopped. Charlie almost ran into him. Sam turned around and looked at Charlie.
“Why are you following me?” Charlie seemed surprised by the question and wasn’t sure what to say.
“I don’t think you should be alone right now.”
“But I want to be. Leave me alone.” Sam said calmly and then walked away. Charlie continued to follow him.
“Just tell me what happened. Tell me who she is and I’ll leave you alone.”
“You read the file. Now leave me alone.” Charlie ran ahead and cut Sam off from his path.
“Who is she though? Was she your girlfriend?” Sam pushed Charlie to the side but Charlie cut him off again and stopped him. When Charlie did this Sam punched him, out of natural instincts, in the face causing Charlie to fall back on the ground. Sam stopped and paced a little.
“I’m sorry for punching you. But you have no right for being here! Why are you even here?” Sam said upset.
“I went by your place. My sister was calling me freaking out because you stood her up and I snuck into your place to see if you were there. I saw your place was trashed and didn’t know what to think. I wasn’t sure if you were robbed or raided or if you just through an anger fit or something.” Charlie felt the area around his eye where he had been punched. “I went down to the garage and they gave me a chick’s number to call so I called her. She told me you’d be here or you’d be at a nearby bar.”
“Who was the lady?”
“She didn’t give me a name.”
“How’d she know I was here then?” Charlie sighed as he got himself to his feet.
“She said she was your old counselor you used to talk to.” Sam punched Charlie in the face again and then backed away shaking his hand. Charlie stumbled backwards but didn’t fall this time.
“What the hell man! I’m just telling you the truth. Something you’ve failed to do to me for almost a year now. Why didn’t you ever tell me about her? I’m your friend. I deserve to know!” Charlie said angrily
“You deserve to know? You deserve to know? You’re just a kid! I don’t have to tell you anything! This is my life! It’s none of your business if I don’t make your business!”
“Fine. Whatever. So you had a girlfriend that died a few years ago. I’m sorry that happened to you man but you have to move on. You can’t just stay angry about it and hide from everyone.” Sam went to punch Charlie in the face again but Charlie avoided it and then tackled Sam to the ground. “Stop! Just stop!” Charlie screamed and backed away from Sam. Sam just laid there on the ground. He had tears running down his cheeks.
“She wasn’t my girlfriend Charlie.” Sam took a deep breath. “She was my fiancée. I was in love with her. And she didn’t deserve to die.” Charlie walked over and offered a hand to pull Sam up. Sam grabbed his hand and Charlie pulled him to his feet.
“I’m sorry. For anything that might have upset you. If you don’t want to talk about it now you don’t have to. But I still want to know. And I think talking about it will help you.” Charlie said.
“Are you trying to be my shrink now?” Sam said sarcastically.
“Well I’m sure I’m not as good looking as the lady I called. She had a sexy voice.” Charlie said causing Sam to smile.
“Let’s get out of here. You hungry? Let’s go grab a bite.” Sam said.
“Sounds good.” Charlie said. The two of them walked to a restaurant and sat outside by themselves. It was Charlie who initiated the conversation after they ordered. “How’d you meet Amie?” Sam paused and looked at the table and cracked a smile. Charlie could tell he was visualizing it. Then he looked up.
“She went to my high school. She was a year above me. I had never seen her before until I got to high school. She was so pretty back then. Girls at that age are so self-conscious about how they look that they do whatever they can to look pretty but she was already gorgeous. She had this brown hair that went down to her shoulder blades. You know there’s always that one girl it seems in every class or every high school that just seems untouchable; a good athlete but also captain of the cheerleading squad. All the older guys want to hook up with her thinking that she’s just naive enough to fall for their lines but she wasn’t.”
“And you were the one who got her didn’t you?”
“Not at all. By the time I was a sophomore and she was a junior we had some mutual friends. Some of my friends at the time tried to date her and get her to notice them. I think she dated one of my friends, and he was a good guy, but it didn’t last longer than maybe two months. I have no idea how long a normal relationship lasts in high school anymore. Maybe that’s impressive at that age. I saw her around at sporting events and dances but we were in separate crowds.”
“You never even talked to her in high school?”
“The most that was ever said was your typical meet and greet banter of hi, hello, how are you doing, how was so and so’s test. That was it.”
“That’s weird. So why didn’t you talk to her other than that?”
“I told you. She felt like she was one of those untouchable girls. So by the time I was a sophomore and all my friends were talking about her I just did the math. With all these guys wanting to catch her eye and have her attention the odds was against me. I just agreed to not go after it and go after all the other pretty girls I knew I had a chance with.”
“Oh yeah and how’d that go?”
“Oh it went pretty well actually.” Sam said with a smile. “I was kind of a heartbreaker for a while. Probably up until mid junior year.”
“What happened then?” Charlie asked.
“I don’t know. I guess I just got bored. The older girls were gone or I’d already hooked up with and the younger girls just weren’t enough for me. I guess I just started to grow up a little bit.”
“And what about Amie?”
“I think she was dating some guy her senior year and even freshman year of college. College is where I really met her and got to know her. By junior year school had gotten boring for me. My classes weren’t hard they just took up time. Girl’s kind of became an annoyance and sports I had given up on after I torn something in my knee my freshman year. So in my spare time I just started reading books and articles and eventually started writing my own ideas down. Sometimes the best ideas are the ones that you let fester for a while until finally they polish themselves in your mind and pop up and you can use them. But sometimes we forget about the littlest idea. That’s why I write everything down on my walls. You’ve seen my one room.” Charlie nodded his head. “Anyways it was my freshman year in college. I was interested in writing for the school’s paper and seeing if it was something I might be interested in and low and behold Amie was one of the editors for it. I remember realizing it when they had an event in their building. There was probably twenty or so freshman in there and Amie was there with the guy that was ahead of the paper and she was giving us this speech about how this was serious stuff and how everyone that worked for the paper was either an english major or a journalist major, or even a sports writer. And she’s standing up there giving us this speech and she goes:“’We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.’ Thomas Edison said that.”
And by now I had already developed my outspokenness and without two seconds going by after she said that I said. “No he didn’t.” And the place gets real quiet and they all turn and look at me. I of course am stunned because I didn’t really realize the magnitude of what I just said. I was just used to mouthing back to teachers when they were wrong about things. So I looked around at the people and then I look back at her and I tell her “Artistole said that. Edison said ‘The successful person makes a habit of doing what the failing person doesn’t like to do.” And she just gives me that puzzled look that tells me you might be right but I don’t want people to know that I’m wrong. So she says “perhaps” and hands out these papers and tells us to fill them out and turn them in by the end of the week and tells us we can go. Everyone just grabs one and leaves after this thirty or so minute meeting. I at the time wanted to be a teacher and only liked writing as a hobby so I’m glancing through this small packet of papers to see if it’s worth filling out and I’m walking towards the door about to walk out of it and Amie puts her hand on my shoulder. I turned around and look at her and she asks me if I’ve ever written before. I told her I like to write but I’ve never done it for a newspaper before. I was just curious about how running a newspaper was. She goes on to tell me all her credentials about how she dominated her freshman year and was promoted and how she worked on her high school paper while also being an athlete and a cheerleader and the whole time I’m just smiling in the back of my head.”
“She didn’t realize you guys went to school together?”
“I guess not. So after she’s done naming off all the things she’s done and her credentials about why she is where she is. I just smile at her and say if you want to be quoting Thomas Edison you should be reading The Wizard of Menlo Park and not be worried about me taking your job and I left.” Charlie and Sam both laughed at that.
“You had to go and make her feel stupid didn’t you?”
“It did feel pretty good.”
“So what happened next?” Charlie asked. The waitress had come and placed their food on the tables.
A few weeks went by and I’m in one of those big lecture halls for some general education class and I’m sitting in the back somewhere taking notes and she comes in and sits right next to me and places the Edison book on my notebook and says she read it. I’m in class so I just said “okay” and I ignore her. So she goes ahead and asks me why I haven’t come by the printing building or submitted any articles or stopped by any of the writing labs where her work study job is. I’m feeling really good about myself that this beautiful chick is all worried about me so I have a little fun with it. I ask her if she’s stalking me and she gets all defensive. I tell her I don’t need to write in the paper to feel good about my work. I write for myself. She of course tells me I’m dumb. She says how will you know if you’re any good if nobody reads your material? I tell her she’s too ambitious and she must be over compensating for something. She of course is offended and gets up to leave but then she sits back down and challenges me to write a paper about some guy I hadn’t heard of before. She tells me if I can turn it in to the writing lab in three days there will be a reward there waiting. I tell her I’m not interested and she leaves.
“Really? That doesn’t sound like you at all. Someone challenged you and you didn’t rub it back in their face?”
“I wrote the paper. And I turned it into her three days later when she was working in the writing lab.”
“She liked it didn’t she?”
“Oh she loved it. She loved that I wrote her English paper that was due in two weeks in two days all to prove myself.”
“She tricked me.”
“Yeah she tricked me and actually started my career of writing for other kids. I saw her a month later and she had to rub it in my face that she got an A with my paper. I was so mad. I ended up sitting in on one of her classes and got the roster of the kids in her class. Through some parties and other kids I knew I ended up writing some papers for the kids in her class. They of course had to change bits and pieces to make it fit their tone of voice. I did them pretty cheap too.”
“I couldn’t stand that she pulled a fast one on me. So I made sure that she wasn’t going to get the best grade in the class anymore. So when the end of the semester came around and I found out I got a 99% on a paper I wrote for the class she was in I went and found her in the girls dorms. I asked her how she did on her class final paper. She told me she got a 91% on it and asked why it mattered. I of course smiled and told her I got a 99% on it. When she didn’t believe me I went on to explain what my paper was about and what the grading criteria were.
“How’d she take it?
“She wasn’t even mad. It was like she was impressed. She told me she had an actual project for the paper for me. Now that she knew I had the skills to write she wanted to see if I could get an interview that none of her editors could. It was about the dorms and basically trying to find dirt that it was the maintenance people’s fault for something. It was that moment when I realized I was falling in love with her.”
“What do you mean?”
“I didn’t want to do the interview. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to help the newspaper but I realized if I didn’t I had no other reason to continue communicating with her. The funny thing is I got the interview that they couldn’t. Instead of getting dirt on the maintenance people I wrote an article defending them and saying all the things they do that go unnoticed and unappreciated and blamed the administration for not providing them with enough people or enough funding. The other interesting thing about that was that article and that interview are what led me to meeting Andy. He hired me to work for him that second semester and soon after he started opening my eyes to other things.”
“That’s amazing. And what happened with you and Amie?”
“How about you do some talking so I can do some eating” Sam said.
“Sorry. Yeah go ahead and eat.” After the two of them finished eating they got into Sam’s car and they took a drive over to Sam’s old house. Sam knew it was safe now since his brother have previously told him his Dad had moved away. There was a park bench across the street that the two of them sat on.
“So did you ask her out after your article got published?
“I was dating some crazy chick at the time. As interested as I was in Amie I was invested in this other girl.”
“Invested? Girl’s aren’t stocks.”
“It’s a long complicated story, which happens to be the story I told your sister. It wouldn’t be all that interesting to you. Basically hot crazy girl but I stayed with her because the sex was good until she eventually broke it off with me for being an ass. That’s the summary of it.”
“What about after you guys broke up then?”
“She was with some dude for about another month after I broke up with my girl. She had a more mature relationship with him though than I did with her so I had to give her time to get over him. We were friends by this time. We’d meet in the library and work on homework, or the newspaper, or she’d pick my brain about stuff. It wasn’t until that summer that we finally got together.”
“What happened then?”
“A lot happened then man. All type of stuff that happens in a real relationship. We would get in fights and then someone would apologize. Go on small trips away from here and school, spend holidays at each other families and got to know them pretty well. She was even there for me when I got kicked out of school.”
“So how long were you guys together then?”
“34 months, 1 week.” Sam said without having to think about it. “She was fortunate enough to graduate college in her lifetime. She was proud of it so I was happy for her. After she had finished school, and I was living with Andy at the time, I saved up enough to buy a ring. I took her out on a boat ride and in the sunset I proposed to her and she accepted.”
“That sounds amazing man.”
“It was. How’d you get here?”
“I drove a car that one of the guys let me borrow at the garage.”
“Ok we need to go drop that off then.”
“Right now?” Charlie questioned
“Yes right now.”
“But I want to hear more about her.”
“No. I want to think about the good times.” Sam said heading towards his car. Charlie realized that the story must be coming to an abrupt end and decided not to push it. Sam drove Charlie back to the other car and the two of them drove back to the garage. Sam drove back to his usual back alley parking lot spot and the two of them parted ways. It was evening by now and the sun was almost down. Sam was in a phase that he entered his apartment through the front door instead of the back window. Sam also didn’t realize that there was an undercover cop car parked up the street that happened to be surveilling the bookstore.
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