Here’s the thing…
Every time I close my eyes, I see something different.
I’d like to think the cinema of my dreams is playing a double feature but it’s a bit like a comedy cartoon night on Fox.
But these dreams are nothing to laugh about.
Once again there’s a new installment of an old feature, and we’re back on the treasure hunt.
We have a situation
Home wasn’t home anymore.
I stood inside the front door, as I had many times in the past, but this time it was different.
Maybe it was the near-death experience, maybe I hadn’t been there for a few days, maybe I had irrevocably changed in those few short days.
It seemed that I was someone else, that the old Sam had gone away, and a new version had replaced him. Had I finally grown up, or was I still reeling from the ordeal and, more likely, mourning the loss of what had been my one true friend.
Right then, it felt like Boggs had never existed, and that Nadia had invaded that space.
Until now, right this moment, I hadn’t really thought about what I was about to do. Since being in the hospital, every movement I’d made felt mechanical, and someone else was manipulating the controls.
Wanting to leave was a knee-jerk reaction, and one that failed to recognize others may have a role in what happened, like my mother. I gad completely discounted her because of her association with Benderby, but what if that was no longer the case.
With Alex off the hook, they no longer had to worry about Nadia or what I might say or do, not that there was anything we could do. I felt for Charlene who literally was between a rock and a hard place, having to compromise her principles to uphold justice and her disappointment in her father.
To be honest, his actions came as a surprise, despite the rumors of corruption. It didn’t occur to me that it might have been the lesser of the evils, getting Vince off the streets, nobbling the Cossatinos, and to a lesser extent, using the situation as a bargaining chip with the Benderby’s.
But all of that was moot. Another rumor circulating, according to the newspaper I’d seen at the hotel, was that a third term for the current sheriff was looking unlikely. It was joined by an interview with Benderby on the construction of a new resort on the mall site. Noticeably absent were any reports on Boggs, the treasure, or Cossatino.
I considered briefly whether I should go to the newspaper and tell them the whole story. If he considered it had any element of truth, he’d publish it and be damned, but the thought of how his wife, an Ormiston, would take the news of finding her father, only for the body to disappear, would serve no purpose. If there was a body, I would not hesitate.
But, now, it was enough to make a decision on what I would do next. Pack a bag, tell my mother I was leaving, and call Nadia.
It was impossible to fit a lifetime into a bag. It was fortunate, perhaps, that my situation had not afforded me the luxury of too many possessions, or anything of value.
Even so, what fitted wasn’t much. I wanted to believe it was going to be a new start, but it seemed like I was just running away, that the problems I was running from would just come with me.
And, then, there was Nadia. I was today’s flavor of the month, but would I be in a month, or two?
That thought was interrupted by the sound of the front door opening. I stepped onto the passage just as my mother closed the door.
“Sam. Where have you been? I’ve been calling, and leaving messages.”
She wasn’t angry, but there was an edge to her tone. I should have at the very least sent a message to say I was OK. It didn’t help my phone battery had died. I’d put it in the recharge, and minutes later continually dinged with missed messages
“I had to get away. Either that or I would have done something I regretted. I thought you’d moved in with Benderby.”
“You thought wrong. This business with Alex. I remember you told me he was responsible for what happened to you and Nadia, and when I overheard him arguing with his father, I realised you were telling me the truth, and neither of them could be trusted. I just told him I needed some time to sort out some issues.”
“You’re not going back?”
“No. What are you going to do?”
“There’s nothing for me here. I’m not going back to the warehouse, nor do I want to be here anymore. Not while Alex is put and about. It’s only a matter of time before he comes after Nadia and I.”
“Then you’re still going to Italy with her.”
“For a while, see how it works out. You should come too, at least for a holiday, think about what you’re going to do. Personally, I think you should also leave, start fresh somewhere else.”
We both heard the screeching tires of a car coming to a sudden stop outside, followed by the slamming of doors.
Alex not waiting to clean up his mess?
A sudden pounding on the door revised that assessment, if anyone was here to do us harm they would have kicked the door down.
I moved my mother behind me, and the protection of the door as I opened it.
“We have a situation,” he said in his most serious tone
Warning us the Benderby’s were coming for us?
When neither of us responded, he added, “Elsie Boggs has the Benderby’s at gunpoint at the Blue Circle, and she will only talk to you.”
© Charles Heath 2020-2022