The Leaf Chapter 1

The Leaf

 

Today I moved furniture in my home and in my life. It is symbolic not just the need to clean in the corners although there are webs in my heart and my mind. I was there when he needed help to go to the bathroom. I was there when he took his last breath. I was there while the hospice nurse checked for a pulse and made the call that took him from me. I was there numbly watching as they descended the stairs and took him from our home.

I stood at the top of those stairs for the longest time trying to remember what my grandmother whispered in my ear when I had colic and would not stop crying. She whispered in my ear the same thing each time I cut or bruised myself. I searched within my memory just for the slightest remembrance of that special whisper that always gave me comfort. Why can’t I remember?

The cloth in my hand is soiled to the point of needing to be replaced; yet I cling to it and continue cleaning, not convinced I am accomplishing anything yet I cling. Finally after 8 hours of moving, arranging, and pitching things I believe I accomplished only one thing, emptiness. Shopping is the first thing which came to mind, yet I know the mere purchase of a new item will not fill the void I feel I need a change in my nest. This house used to be a home but to me now it is only a nest. A home you plan on staying in a nest is easily left by the wind beneath a wing.

It has been a year since Kyle crossed over to his new home and yet some evenings I sit tensing my soul trying to listen for that voice that kept the bad dreams away. What did my grandmother whisper in my ear?

Someone new has come into my life; this excites me and scares me all at the same time. I had the best of the best with Kyle no one could live up to what we had together, the good and the bad in each of us seemed nothing compared to what the world pressed against us we stood together stronger than any storm that came our way.  This new man seems distant yet close as though he is waiting to see if I am going to make a home with him or a nest. I really don’t know. I do know I am in love with him and at the same time, I don’t want to be in love with him. My confusion is what keeps him distant no matter what positive, loving things I say and do he knows my heart is not in it all the way. My toes are in the water but I am not ready to swim the current might be too strong this time.

In the Darkness

Within the realm of possibilities darkness only hinders true sight. Those areas in the day light are bright and substantially relevant. When darkness falls especially within one’s soul there is were evil meets its prey. I never really considered good and evil being relevant to me until I looked into the eyes of a stranger. I was on my way to work the traffic was lite as I slowed to stop at a light an arm appeared through my passenger window opening the door and climbing in with a gun in its hand. He pointed at me and told me to just drive. Tears stung my eyes fear gripped my entire body; I just drove. I looked at the clock it was 8:30 am when this man changed my life irrevocably. As I drove the car, my eyes searched for someone who was looking in my direction. I was hoping I could find a way to signal someone that I needed help. Everyone was focused on their own directional lives no one looked my way. As we were exiting the city the road became less and less populated. The man did not say a word I could smell his sweat and feel the evil lurking just below the surface.

After an hour he told me to turn right at the next road; I did what I was told without a word. The road ended abruptly, I stopped. He reached over and grabbed my hair after releasing my seat belt he dragged me across the seat and pulled me out of the passenger side door.
I focused on making my body limp hoping to keep him from hurting me and tiring him out. It did not tire him it only infuriated him. He screamed: “Stop resisting! Get on your feet and start walking until I tell you to stop.

I kept walking, stumbling a few times my body was weak with fear. We came to what looked like an abandoned mine. He pushed me harshly inside; there was a table with chairs to one side, a large bed near the back wall. He told me to go lay on the bed. I did what I was told all the while crying. My heaving body was aching for my husband. The man came over and with scissors, he removed my clothes. I do not know how long I laid there completely naked, my tears had subsided as though there were no more left to be shed instead I became angry nearly to the point of rage. When the sun went down the cave became cold, damp and dark. He threw a blanket over me. By this time he had burned my clothes. He offered me food which  I declined I was afraid I would not be able to hold anything down. Soon after it became dark he lit some candles, removed his clothes and proceeded to rape me all night.

Finally, his groping and grunting were replaced by snoring. I slowly lifted myself out of the bed the candles gave off an eerie hue. I found his shirt and socks which covered most of me. With all the self-control I could muster I search for my purse. I finally realized I will have to go without it. I took one of the candles in hopes it would light the path long enough for me to find my car. At this very moment, I was glad I had dated a guy who used to steal cars he taught me to hot wire a car.

I stumbled and fell over what I thought was a rock I burst into tears realizing it was my purse. I grabbed it, got up and started to run towards where I thought the car was. I suddenly remembered I had a small flashlight in my purse. As I was running I was rummaging through my purse and finally came up with the flashlight. I stopped to catch my breath when I heard breathing behind me. I was not going to turn around. I did not want to look at his face again. I grabbed my cell phone dialed 911 the operator came on asked me how she could assist me. Breathlessly I told her of my situation. She asked what my location was. I told her the best I knew and said that my abductor was closing in and that I made it to my car. I was searching for my keys when an arm came inside my window holding my keys. I screamed, “Please help me!” I took my fist and hit his wrist the keys dropped to the floor. As I reached down he reached for my hair and grabbed it. I took the keys and plunged them into his right eye. His scream sounded like a wounded animal as he cursed I withdrew the keys and started the car. In my panic, I drove forward instead of putting it in reverse. That was a stroke of luck I hit him, backed up and ran over him again and again. I do not know how many times I ran over him by the time I finally stopped screaming and rocking the car over his lifeless body it was day light. I heard someone call out but I could not make out what they said. Suddenly a hand reached through my window and pulled the keys out of the ignition I turned ready for another fight when I realized it was a police officer.

My husband was at the hospital when they brought me in. I was so glad to see his handsome face. All I did was cry out his name. That was 5 years ago I still cannot burn a candle without remembering that horrid night.

 

 

Sin Tastes Good Chapter 4

Sin Tastes Good Chapter 4

A meeting was set up for all the girls, Jason and his dad with a mediator and each family were asked to bring an attorney with them. The atmosphere was tense everyone knowing that what we say could be used against anyone of us. The kids just sat smugly pouting as though the adults were out of control. Except for Jennifer, she seemed to be embarrassed. 

The Mediator entered the room and sat at the long table we were sitting at. Andy and I decided not to bring an attorney nor did Fred Beck, but the other girl’s parents each had an attorney with them. 

The Governor was the first to speak: “ I get boys will be boys I also know that sometimes that phrase is taken too far. With that said girls will be girls each one had their expectations I just want to get to the truth of the matter and know for sure what part Jason played in all this.”

To make an already long story short the facts did not come to surface until after the two parents who brought their attorneys took matters to court. Jason had made a bet with the others on the football team that he could do every cheerleader in the school. His insistence was not for want of sex but wanting to be the conqueror. This revelation pissed off Jennifer enough that she said she wanted to be a nun. 

I went to counseling with Jennifer hoping to meet with some of my demons once and for all. I found out I did not have demons just was as promiscuous as my daughter with no remorse. I guess it is a plus for Andy that I am insatiable, I had to deal with a daughter with the same lack of inhibition.

The other three girls went on to college one became an attorney, another a psychologist and last but not least one became an illegal pharmacist (drug dealer) Jason followed in his father’s footsteps and became our state’s attorney. Jennifer thankfully gave us 2 grandchildren and both boys. I was relieved. 

Sin Tastes Good Chapter 3

Sin Tastes Good Chapter 3

Andy was the first to speak: “Fred, the encounter between Jennifer and Jason was consensual that does not mean we approve but that is the facts as we know it.”

Fred sat back in his chair, took a breath, I thought he was either ready to vomit or throw his beer at Andy. Jennifer spoke up immediately noticing the change in Fred’s behavior.

“Mr. Beck, first I want to say I know you are upset and afraid that Corey was wronged. I know Corey we are in three classes together and also are on the same debate team. Jason has a following, he is handsome, smart, football player and his dad is important. Corey and the two other girls would talk about Jason in the locker room after gym class. Their conversations were no different than any other girl who wanted to marry into an established important family. I know the three girls talked big but they were not ready for the follow through. When Jason invites a girl to the other side of the fence he makes his intentions clear. I am not sure what Corey or the other girls expected but Jason had expectations and he is always clear as to what he wanted. Once Jason believes he made himself clear and the girl goes with him, he expects his expectations to be met.”

Fred was livid when he said: “Are you saying Corey asked for it?”

Jennifer answered: “No sir I believe Corey is nieve and Jason had expectations. He probably thought Corey was being a tease. I know what I am going to ask will sound insensitive but sir I know Jason was there penetration or just angry groping?”

I was stunned by what Jennifer was saying. This was the first time I could not read my husband. Fred just sat there not saying a word. Finally, he asked for another beer. 

I grabbed three this time and gave Jennifer a cup of coffee. Jennifer noticed the tears in my eyes and said: “Sorry mom I promise I will never do anything like this again.”

My heart ached and hope she would keep that promise. 

I sat down next to Andy. Andy told Jennifer to come to the table so we could talk this over. Fred admitted that groping was all that happened Corey’s clothing was ripped she felt violated. He said he would ask the other two girls if this was the case.

Andy suggested:”I believe all of these teens need counseling including Jennifer. This is out of control going beyond the normal teenage quest to be adults before they are ready.”

Jennifer stiffened when she heard her dad say this and she knew Andy never says anything that he does not mean. 

I thought: “Brace yourself little girl life is going to change drastically for you.”

Andy excused himself from the table grabbed the phone and came back to the table to sit down. He searched for a phone number on Google and dialed. 

Andy said: “Chief Mason please, this is Andy Fournier, Jennifer’s dad.”

Chief Mason came on the line Andy proceeded to tell Chief Mason what Fred Beck had told us he also added the things Jennifer had said about the girls and about Jason. Chief Mason said he would speak with the Governor and ask how he would like to proceed. When Fred left he agreed to speak with the other two families and see if they are on board with our solution.  

Sin tastes good Chapter 2

Sin Taste Good Chapter 2

New developments

The next day we were contacted by the father of a girl Jennifer went to school with he had asked if he could come over and have a chat with us. Andy took the call and agreed to a conversation that neither of us knew what the subject was going to be.

Andy answered the door when Fred Beck knocked as he walked his shoulders were slumped but his head was up and his eyes fierce.  I knew instinctively this man was under a great deal of strain. He sat down and I asked if he would like a cup of coffee he asked for something stronger.

I brought him and Andy a beer we sat at our dining room table and waited for Fred to tell us what he needed from us. 

Fred took a pull from the beer, giving it a moment to hit bottom before he began the tale of what happened to his daughter Corey. It seems Governor Clark’s son Jason has a way with the girls but not the sort of easy way as he had with Jennifer it seems Jason would lure the girls to a secluded place and demand being pleasured or he would not take them back to the main road. The girls would accept the invitation because Jason is on the football team and his father is the Governor. Prestige is an aphrodisiac to some but a lure to others. 

Jennifer was sitting on a stool at our counter listening to the conversation. To her credit, she did not say anything she just listened. 

After Fred filled us in on all the gory details which included two other girls that had a similar experience he was hoping Jennifer would lend her story to this fray to add credibility to their assertion that Jason was a predator.

Sin Tastes Good Chapter 1

Sin Tastes Good

 

I have heard the old saying The Grass is Greener on the other side of the fence. When I was a young girl I played leap frog with the neighbor boys, while they were just above me I would reach and touch. The boys would scream like girls but I knew they loved it because they kept coming back for more. Yes, I knew it was wrong I was brought up to be a good Catholic girl but idle minds are the workshop of 10-year-old girls.

In my teens I was a tease, not wanting to lose my virginity but loving the thrill of the feel up foreplay. Looking back I was lucky none of the guys pushed further, I am guessing they were as inexperienced as I was. Amusing as all that was by the time I made it to college I wanted more, alcohol gave me the nerve. Sure enough, after a couple of beers, I was stripping down and ripping the guy’s clothes off as well. Birth control was cheap and easy to get. I made jokes that I should buy stock in condoms and birth control pills.

Now that I am married and a mom some of my adventures have come back to haunt me by way of my own daughter’s proclivity to the taste of sin. Is this self-destructive behavior in her DNA? I never asked my mom about her conquests or if she was pre-dispositioned to the same behavior. May be it started with me and this is my karma. I try to analyze these latest events to no avail.

My husband and I walked into the police station by now they know us by our first names. At this stage, I do not know what to do with my daughter Jennifer she was brought here because she seduced the Governor’s son into performing oral sex on her in the park near their school. Jennifer is 13. We found out last time she was getting her birth control from the school nurse. The school contacts you if your child has a headache and wants an aspirin but they say nothing about birth control because the child has the right to privacy.

Jennifer was seated on a bench outside the Chief of Police office I could hear a male voice yelling. When the man emerged from the office his face was beet red with fury. I guess the Governor was pissed.

My husband Andy sat on one side of Jennifer I sat on the other.

Andy asked: “What the hell were you thinking Jennifer?”

Jennifer answered: “He asked for his first I demanded my happy ending which just finished as the police officer approached. We would not have been caught if the shit did not protest five minutes before he gave me my turn.”

I said: “Jennifer! How callous of you!”

Jennifer said: “Oh please mom don’t tell me you didn’t do the same things but may be worse you just did not get caught.”

Ouch, Karma just struck me between the eyes, now what? She was right my shock was not in her behavior nor her cavalier response but there was an edge to her response that put me on notice. She did apologize profusely for being rude, Jennifer has always been respectful and sweet, not perfect but at least she respected authority. Her attitude about these events came out of left field and that I took notice of as did Andy.

Camera Chapter 3 conclusion

Camera Chapter 3

Finding Connie

While I was combing through three days’ worth of grainy video Detective Ross had Rose work with a sketch artist hoping it could lead to the identity of the man who claimed to be from missing persons.

Two days prior to the amusement park opening up a man with keys entered the back door of the woman’s bathroom he turned out to be maintenance. One day before the amusement park opened the same man entered carrying what looked like tools. The amusement park manager said he was fixing faucets and toilets. My frustration was starting to show when my boss came back he had with him coffee and sausage McMuffin from McDonald’s I said: “Thanks, but I need more than a McCrapper to eat.” I knew as soon as it came out of my mouth it was a horrible thing to say. He looked at me and said: “Told you to go home and get some rest.”

I apologized and then ate the McCrapper and pointed to the screen with a full mouth I yelled: “Oh shit there is a guy with a crow bar trying to break into the woman’s restroom!” I sprayed part of the Crapper on the screen. I cleaned it off slowed down the film and tried to enhance the image. Ross walked in the room while I was working on it. We compared the image to the rendering the sketch artist came up with. It was a match.

My job isn’t over I need to go back to the day of the disappearance to see if the same man entered that day. It took an hour and I found him he walked in like he owned the place, here is where I started to go slow to see if he exited with anyone. Finally, I saw him exit, it was dark but the moon was full that night I inched the frame ever so slowly until I got a glimpse of a second shadow shorter than the man. I did not see a struggle, just a silhouette walking with the man. I could not get it any clearer it was too grainy and too dark.

I took stills of each frame which showed the man; I took it to the police station. I showed them to Ross. Ross said they tracked down the man in the photo and he is indeed from Missing Persons part of the FBI’s special unit. I stood transfixed wondering what the heck was going on.

As it turned out Rose and Frank Mellon abducted Connie while she was playing in her back yard she was 3 at the time. When FBI agent Carpenter heard a girl fitting the description of the 3-year-old who was abducted seven years ago, it lead him to the amusement park where Frank Mellon worked as a grounds keeper. Carpenter kept hitting dead ends each time he thought he was close because the Mellon’s kept moving to a different apartment then they fell off the face of the earth except for Frank’s job. Turns out the Mellon’s were living in a Maintenance shed for a week before Carpenter caught up with them. The maintenance guy on the video said nothing to management because he had lived there when he had a string of bad luck; he was trying to help them out.

Connie’s real name is Marie Santini she will be reunited with her parents in an hour as soon as they arrive from Detroit.

I love my job. Now I am going to go home and sleep for 24 hours.

Camera Chapter 2

Camera Chapter 2

Getting to the truth

 

At this point, the ten-year-old girl had been missing for 10 hours her name is Connie Marie Mellon. Rose Mellon is Connie’s stepmother, Rose sat next to her attorney staring at her coffee barely blinking. Rose’s attorney was court appointed, he looked disheveled but he sounded sharp.

“Detective Ross we need to get to what evidence you say you have against my client.” Clark Rose’s attorney said

“I would like to ask Rose what happened after she went to the restroom with Connie. I would like to know why she went in with Connie but did not come out with Connie?” Ross asked

Clark looked at Rose nodded and told her to tell Ross what she told him.

“I went in with Connie, we each went into a stall when I was done I washed my hands and called out to Connie she did not answer. I checked the stalls she was not in any of them. I told the first officer who came when we called. It should be in his notes that he took.” Rose said

Ross looked at her his brow furrowed looking confused, Ross excused himself and walked out of the room, ten minutes he came back into the room and asked Connie; “What was the officer’s name and was he wearing a uniform?”

“No he was wearing a suit like you have on, he said he was from missing persons. He was tall heavy set, dark hair, blue eyes and had a scar just below his left eye.” Rose answered.

Normally if someone is lying their description would be vague and sketchy, Rose’s was precise.My gut tells me Rose did not do it and what she said sent a red flag up. Missing persons would show up so soon a uniform officer would be the first on the scene. I looked at Ross I know he was thinking the same thing. He again excused himself as he was walking out the door he mumbled: “SHIT”

I excused myself and walked out behind Ross, I called out “Ross”

Ross turned as I caught up to him I said: “I want to go back to the office and comb through the footage and see if I can find footage that shows if there are any back doors to the restrooms, a maintenance door or something. Ross said he would send a uniform there to take a look, we both believe something was missed.

I settled in and started combing through more footage even footage of the day before and the day before that to see if I could find anything. I looked at the clock on my office wall and realized I have been at this for 5 hours yet I do not feel fatigued I feel antsy and a bit cautious not wanting to miss anything. The phone on my desk rang it was Ross he said there indeed was a maintenance door on the restroom, the officer said it looked like someone had pried the door open.

The amusement park opened 2 days before the Mellon’s visited it so I went back to the day before the park opened hoping to find someone hanging around the woman’s restroom.

My boss came in to tell me to go home and use fresh eyes after a couple of hours of sleep. I told him I couldn’t sleep even if I tried.

He said: “Suit yourself I will see you in five hours.”

 

Camera

 

Camera

I am a detail person that is how I landed a great job with a security company. I can look at a camera feed and catch details that others miss. Our company is used for surveillance; police use us to comb through footage too grainy for their techs to do anything with.

I love the challenges my job gives me when I am doing my job I am in my element. Recently I was tasked with a job that would rip the heart out any person, a child abduction. The camera was the cheapest on the market it was placed at an amusement park to give parents a sense of security. The image is extremely grainy, I have to take it frame by frame enhance it, zoom in on faces and hope we can identify the person who snatched a 10-year-old girl.

Everyone around me is on edge I know they are trying not to rush me, they know that I realize the seriousness of time. The longer she is missing the less likely we will be able to get her back home.

As I am scrolling through the feed something struck me as odd, the parents walked into the park stood in lines for rides, always together. I have not found where they were separated from their daughter. Too many times the parents are involved with the disappearance of their child. Tears sting my eyes hoping that the parents were not involved that is the worst betrayal to a child that and abuse. Trust forever severed from a young soul.

I write down the location on the film where the child is seen. Five hours into this grueling process I see the mom and daughter enter a restroom. I do not see the father anywhere. I mark that as a priority and continue to scroll slowly and then I notice the mom came out of the restroom without the daughter, I kept scrolling  the time mark on the film it was 10 minutes, still no daughter.

Writing my thoughts down as well as the location of the separation from her mother I call my boss. Jake sat down I showed him the stills of parents with the daughter and the moment of separation. Jake called the detective that heads the investigation. Detective Ross sat down where Jake was I take him through the stills as I did Jake. He nodded and asked if I would be willing to be in the room when he questioned the mom. I agreed to be there I am curious to hear what she says.

At the police department, I was ushered into a large room with a long table and chairs. Coffee and doughnuts were available for consumption, I poured a coffee black and took my seat at one end of the table. Soon afterward the mom and her attorney came in and took a seat along side each other at the other end of the table from me.

Detective Ross walked in carrying a thick file, he set the file down and walked over to pour a cup of coffee. You could measure the tension in the room, all except for Detective Ross who seemed cool as a cucumber. This is my first experience with Detective Ross he replaced Detective Morris when Morris retired.

I want to get started, I want to say stop eating that damn donut and ask her where her daughter is. I have a bad habit of tapping my foot against any inanimate object when I am nervous or anxious, that brings attention to me everyone looked at me I apologize and squeeze my muscles to keep that darn foot from twitching.

 

Late for Work Chapter 2

Late For Work Chapter 2

The aftermath

 

The television reporter was standing a block away you could see over his shoulder smoke, dust and debris strewn everywhere. A police officer came over asking all the reporters to move even further away because they did not have the scene contained nor was it considered safe.

The reporter nodded and as the crew walked another block away the reporter did a re-cap of the events.

The reporter said: “As commuters were traveling to work, some were parents driving their children to school or day care; two bombs went off that were placed on two separate over passes. The overpasses collapsed sending projectile debris in all directions. Store fronts and private homes were damaged. Vehicles were trapped between the overpasses. Fender benders were the least of the damages done to vehicles and their passengers. At this time we do not have a total count of those who survived and are missing. Someone called in and said they saw a man in Muslim clothing using a cell phone he was on the shoulder of the expressway. After the explosion 2 men got out of their cars and started after the man. The 2 men grabbed the man who they believed used his cell phone to blow up the overpasses. They proceeded to beat the man until he did not move. This was told to me by an anonymous caller.”

I listened in horror as the fatality count came in with the reporter stating these are approximate figures as first responders push through the rubble. 36 dead, many are still trapped some are calling out for help.

They brought the reporter back on who is on the scene and he continued to tell his impressions of the situation, he described it as Ordered Chaos.

It took 6 months for everything to be cleared up 70 dead 50 injured. Many are still reeling from the event. There are terror groups taking credit, FBI was still investigating the possibility of a home grown terrorist, while Home Land Security was combing through the intel.

Our office had become busy with people wanting to know who they could sue for the loss of their loved ones. Others wanted to know who is responsible and if there were any legal recourse. We said no to all of the requests not wanting to add insult to injury.

I am grateful for that morning when my alarm was set for PM instead of AM.