Grandma’s hand’s chapter 3

Grandma’s hand’s chapter 3

Grandma reached for her ice tea took a sip and continued her story. “Daniel came by before he left town had a loud heated word with your grandpa. Your grandpa came into the house shortly after Daniel left, Daniel’s truck was kicking up gravel as he barreled down the road. Your grandpa said to me ‘well I put the boy in his place he knows now why I had it in for him and Jessica dating’ I took a breath and hoped this was the end of it. When I heard that he left town after his spat with his dad I was relieved. “

After she sipped her tea she thanked me for her lunch and in between bites she continued her story.

“As time went by and your Grandpa passed on Ethan and I took up where we left off.”

I sat for a moment trying to comprehend exactly what she said. Grandma saw my hesitation as I got up to take our dishes back to the kitchen.

She continued: “Ethan and I dated before I dated your grandpa. Back then Ethan was a roustabout; he drove fast, drank like a fish, and brawled like a redneck at closing time. I was in love with him but I did not want to marry a boy I wanted to marry a man and have a family. I met your grandpa we were in the middle of getting to know each other when I found out I was pregnant with your mom. My dear Lou asked me to marry him knowing full well your mom was Ethan’s offspring.”

My ears started to ring my head felt woozy I tried to stand up but could not. I sat heavily down deep into my chair. I could not hide my discomfort from Grandma she knew me far too well.

Grandma asked: “Emma is Mike’s offspring isn’t she?”

I answered: “Yes, grandma she is. I had a big fight with Mark one evening at Tyler’s Pub. I retreated to the lady’s room when I came out Mark was in the men’s room and Mike was standing at the corner of the bar and he turned towards me when I walked out. I walked over and asked if he would drive me home. He did. I got what I thought would be revenge against Mark who took Bella Jean to Mio for the Mud Bog the weekend before.”

Grandma asked: “Does Mark know that Emma is Mike’s offspring?”

I said: “Yes, Grandma he knows he doesn’t care as long as Mike doesn’t know.”

Grandma reached for my hand took it into hers. Her skin was cold her fingers were boney but the warmth from her heart turned my fear into tears of regret.

Grandma said: “We all have our secrets I needed to bare mine to you. Your mom does not need to know that Lou wasn’t her biological dad but I needed to tell. It is probably selfish of me to tell but I am close to my end and I felt I should tell the worst of what I know. This part is not easy. I know you will keep your promise.”

I looked directly into my Grandma’s eyes they were clouded with age, she suddenly looked frail. I said: “Grandma is there something else besides the truth about mom’s dad? Grandma, you still have years to go before you leave us.”

Grandma patted my hand as she pulled hers away. “Yes, Madison there is more. I know my time is near, don’t ask me how I know I just do. Ethan should know the truth about Daniel. He never left town. The next day I went into town to pick up some laundry that needed ironing when I arrived back home your grandpa was washing down the backhoe. I walked over just as your grandpa grabbed his chest. That was the day your grandpa had a heart attack and died. It was also the day when Daniel was buried behind the barn. Your grandpa told me Daniel wanted visitation rights he wanted to be part of your mom’s life. They fought about it Daniel was not going to leave it be. Your grandpa made sure it was left in the past.”

I did not mean to say it out loud: “Holy Crap.”

My grandma sighed as she got up slowly she turned to me she said: “I need to take a nap.”

Grandma never woke from her nap. After the memorial service, I took my dad aside told him what grandma told me and asked him what I should do. He said he would take care of it. We had another memorial service for Daniel a couple of days later and buried him next to his mom.

Mark manned up and had a sit down with Mike. We let Mike have time with Emma. I was grateful that Mike just wanted Emma to know that he loved her. Mike figured from the start that Emma was his he was not about to get in the way of my happiness. Secrets are hard to keep and some should never be kept.

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Grandma’s hands Chapter 2

Grandma’s hand’s Chapter 2

 

When I arrived at Grandmas, my mom was just leaving. Mom comes by in the morning to see if Grandma needed anything from town or if she wanted to go to town. We live in close proximity from each other. I sometimes drive over just for convenience so when I leave I can go to town to do errands, but today I decided to walk over because Grandma made it sound like I needed to spend some time with her so she could tell me her dark secret.

We sat with our lunch and Grandma started her story.

“You did not know your Grandpa long before he passed on, you were young. When your Mom was growing up she was his special prize. Nothing was too good for your mom. In fact, her name Jessica was your grandpa’s favorite aunt’s name. When your mom started to date your grandpa always made sure the boy came from a good family and he insisted the boy would pick her up at the door and deliver her home on time and walk her to the door. There was one boy your grandpa did not like and your mom was smitten. Your grandpa did his best to scare him off. I understood his reservation but I told your grandpa if he just let it be the whole thing would run its course. He finally listened to me and backed off.

Then your mom met someone new and he started to come around instead of the other guy so your grandpa and I gave a sigh of relief. I liked your dad right from the start he was always polite, clean and respectful of the rules of the house.

One night your mom went to a party with your dad, the problem was when your mom came home from the party, she was with the boy your grandpa didn’t like. You know Ethan Knorr; the man who owns the farm down the street. Ethan had 3 boys Daniel, Joseph, and Justin”

“Yes, grandma I know Mr. Knorr I went to school with his grandson Mike. Mike and I dated for a while before I met and married Mark.” I said

“You dated Mike?” Grandma asked

“Yes, grandma I did,” I said

Grandma stopped for a moment, the silence seemed to last forever before she started to her story again.

“Well, your grandpa was none too happy to see Daniel, Ethan Knorr’s oldest son.”

I asked: “Isn’t Daniel the one who left town without saying goodbye. I heard Mr. Knorr and he had a big fight about something and Daniel got up and just left never to hear from him again.”

Grandmas Hands Chapter 1

Grandmas Hands Chapter 1

My grandmother always greeted me with ‘Oh Madison it’s so good to see you, grandma loves you very much’ I could always depend on her smile and warm greeting. When I cried she held me when I couldn’t sleep or had bad dreams she would add a prayer. It wasn’t until I was 10 years old that I started to notice grandma’s hands. They had wrinkles and she would never wring them instead she would rub them or open them wide to stretch each finger. I still did not give it that much thought until I became a mom.

 

Once I became a mom I realized everything my hands do, wash everything that has a surface, change diapers, and bathe my children, my hands stay busy. By the time I had my children my grandmother had reached the age beyond being called a senior she is considered an elder. Over time her hands changed, they became more wrinkled, age spots and translucent in color. Lackluster comes to mind, her knuckles stuck out more and she no longer stretched them nor did she rub them they were too sore for either. I would reach for her hand and gently rubbed them for her, just as she used to do for me when I had a boo-boo, or if my head hurt she would gently stroke it.

 

One day I asked her about her hands, she smiled and said: “My hands have put in their time without the same conveniences we have now. I had a wringer washer rather than an automatic washer. I hung my clothes out on the line instead of throwing them in the dryer. After taking the clothes off the line they needed to be ironed. Floors were washed on hands and knees there were no Swiffer mops, no vacuums. I used a dust mop for the hardwood floors and a broom for the tile. I took in laundry and babysat children as well as taking care of the children I had. My hands were always busy. My mind was always busy. There was never enough time to be bored there was no time to complain I just kept at what was set before me. The time now seems to stand still. These days it there is so many that have time to complain. Their hands need to get busy I earned every wrinkle, age spot, and aching joints. I earned it with my hands, feet and aching back. I would not want it any other way.”

 

One day she surprised me when she said: “Madison I want to tell you something but you have to promise me not to tell anyone until I have passed on from this world.”

 

I said: “Of course grandma you can tell me anything. I will keep any secret you have to share with me.”

 

“My dear Madison you truly have to understand that it’s very important you cannot say anything until I have passed on from this world even though it may be shocking and you believe it’s important for others to know. Promise me Madison you will keep this secret no matter what.” She said

 

“I promise Grandma,” I said

 

It was late so we agreed to finish this conversation tomorrow. I come over to grandmas every day to be sure she is up and about and make sure she has taken her meds. Tomorrow we made plans to have lunch together. Grandma said it’s a long story and she will tell it to me from the beginning.

I miss the America I grew up in

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I miss the America I grew up in:

 

Funny thing about time and hindsight it gives perspective in regards to what your parents told you. Every generation has their need to make their mark to rebel against the norm or the system. Many of the hippie generation has become part of the establishment they had bemoaned.

When I was a kid if the street lights went on it meant you get in the house. We did not lock our doors nor did we lock our cars. These days we have locks, bolts, and alarms.

Traditional values were touted even if they were not strictly followed because my parents knew it’s a slippery slope and there needed to be a line drawn in the sand so we would not cross over it. Rule of law was feared and respected.

I grew up as an Army brat, I went to 10 different schools. Some of the schools I went to were not in the States and many times the other brats like me understood firsthand what it was like to be discriminated against. I was taught we are in this together. I was told we were Americans no other titles were needed.  There were no special titles to differentiate between us such as African American, Chinese American etc. We were Americans.

My great great grandparents came here from Poland. They migrated to Hamtramck they taught my grandmother to take care of what you have even if you are just renting. My parents taught me that and added leave it better than the way you found it. The Hamtramck community was tight-knit when we moved there 3 years before my father retired from the Army. I went to a Catholic school ( that would take an entire blog to tell you about) The neighborhood was safe and clean. In fact, it was so clean you could eat off the streets. That doesn’t mean there was no evil lurking in the dark this was only a couple of years before the riots broke out. We moved one week before the riots. It saddens me to see what decay has come to the streets of Detroit and Hamtramck.

Other things have changed; the adults I knew would be embarrassed to be on Welfare. If they were in need they could get help from family, a neighbor, the church but they would feel obliged to pay it back and would be embarrassed to ask for more anytime soon.

For the most part, there was no sex before marriage although that line was crossed and I am glad today there are more open-minded responses to this lapse in judgment when the girl got pregnant. I am not for abortion but I am for loving the person and giving a hand up not a handout.

It was also unheard of living together unless you are married. I crossed that line after my divorce (which was still frowned upon) But, our goal was to get married. I could not even imagine living with my boyfriend and his parent’s eek! If that boy could not share the expenses of an apartment or something similar then he is not marrying material.

I wonder how my life would have been different with the technology today. I was married to a police officer for 19 years. He cheated on me like it was a sport, smashed things in my face when I was sleeping, picked me up by my throat (once) that is when I hit the road. Why so long? Many reasons one of which was divorce was frowned upon another was I had gotten to the point I believed I could not do it on my own. Well, I did and I believe with hard work and tenacity everyone can.

I miss the America I grew up in. Respect was important and disrespect was not tolerated. Even if we disagreed with someone’s politics we agreed to disagree don’t get me wrong not everyone walked to the same beat and some were angrier than others. Those were the ones I was told to avoid. I still do.

The Prey Chapter 5

The Prey Chapter 5

The conclusion

I stood outside of Emma’s house wishing I had a key. The Sheriff left 10 minutes ago. I parked amongst some trees and waited until he left. I could not see much from where I was sitting. I did see him pass me and he was the only one in the truck. I remember Emma’s cellar where she kept her onions and squash. I was down there once briefly and now I wonder if there was a way inside the house from there. I need to get to Jake’s phone and computer. The cellar was cool but surprisingly dry. With a flashlight, I worked my way around the pallet of squash, potatoes. Onions were hanging in burlap bags; dill and other herbs were tied and hung for drying. I made my way to the back and found a trap door; I pushed up as hard as I could. Dust came down into my eyes. Something was heavy on it; I gave it a few more pushes hoping whatever it was would slide off.

It finally slid to one side just enough to open the hatch for me to push it off the rest of the way. When I got up into the room I found out there was a basket full of discarded newspapers neatly rolled and placed inside of the basket for recycling.

I went to where Emma had described the secretary and found Jake’s laptop and his cell phone. I used gloves and exited out through the cellar pulling the basket on top of the hatch the best I could.

While the Techs were going through the phone and the laptop I sat in on a meeting with the FBI and the Commander of the Michigan State Police. The agent was wrapping up his dissertation when the door flew open to the room and Sheriff Sheltron walked in steaming mad.

“What the hell is going on? Why am I the last to know that Emma is missing? Also why the hell are you here Deputy?” The Sheriff said

The Commander spoke up and said: “Deputy Klein is here upon my request he had in his possession Jake Preston’s laptop and the cell phone that Emma Preston gave him for the investigation.”

Well, technically it’s not really a lie she did agree not to touch it and let me retrieve the items. I do have the conversation on audio which I had told everyone in the room before the door flung open.

Sheriff Sheltron let out a gruff sigh and sat heavily down on a chair and said: “Well at least fill me in on what you know at this point.” He said

The Agent filled him in on what he needed to know and I could tell by the Sheriff’s expression he knew that was all the information he was going to get.

The sheriff looked over his shoulder at me and said: “You were never really a deputy, were you? You are still a State guy snooping around my department?”

Again the Commander spoke up: “Yes, at my and the Agents request, you are too close to the situation Ben.

“Ben! So now it’s Ben!? Like we are Fucking Friends!?” Sheltron screamed

The room became silent you could smell the earthy sweat from every testosterone male in the room.

The door opened slowly one of the Tech guys motioned for the Commander, the Commander, in turn, asked the trooper to step in and share what he had.

He said the only prints on the phone and the laptop were that of Jake Preston. He also said that the usernames Jake used were still in use. The interesting thing he found was dirt within the frame of the cell phone itself. The soil was similar to a construction site with multiple samples as though there was fill dirt and topsoil mixed. That rules out a farmer’s field which would have fertilizer and other organic materials.

The Sheriff spoke up and said: “My guess is you kept me in the dark because I was a suspect. But I did not do this. The only place in my county that has had any construction within the last 5 years is right next to the County building. They were going to put a parking structure there but I pushed against it not wanting to spend the money.”

We all left the room and headed towards the county building in hopes of saving Emma’s life. I did not know who had her and I know I am not the only one thinking that it was not Emma in the car. I looked over at the Sheriff and asked: “Is there anything going on tonight at the County building?”

The Sheriff said: “Yes, there is a commissioners meeting which started at 8:30 it’s only 9:30 now I am hoping they went late. Emma might still be alive and whoever has her will wait till everyone is gone to bury her.”

“I hope so Sheriff,” I said

The sheriff and I rode together when we arrived everyone dimmed their lights and approached from the side street. After parking, we walked between two businesses and made it to the side of the County building, in the moonlight a tall figure could be seen carrying something over its shoulder. Two patrolmen came up from the other side as they approached;. He dropped what he was carrying and started to run. The bundle hit the ground with a thud and a cry could be heard. Sheriff Sheltron was the first one there, wrapped in a sheet Emma was beaten but still alive.

They caught the person who attacked Emma. It was Jake Preston. Jake had been doing some online stalking. The bodies that were dug up were of men, There were multiple emails between them and Jake. The men believed Jake was a woman named Pricilla Jones. Jake isn’t talking except to say that he gave Emma plenty of time to stop acting like a whore. He said she had no business sleeping with Ben. Jake believed this was being disloyal to him because Ben was the enemy since he was a police officer. 10 bodies in all were found, some from across the county line. It proves my theory; the seemingly nicest people can be sociopaths.

It took a month for Emma to completely recover, she told me that Jake kept yelling at her for not being loyal. She could not make sense of his rage and the man that stood before her was not the Jake she married. Sheriff Sheltron took a leave of absence to tend to Emma. We all celebrated when Emma and Ben were married. I figured Ben was the only man Emma trusted after what she had been through.

The Prey Chapter 4

The Prey Chapter 4

Emma and Deputy Klein

 

I am nervous about finding out the truth in regards to Jake’s death. I went next door to the Parkway Diner into the Drug store bought a couple of cosmetic goodies and a newspaper. When I came out I looked toward the street and Ben was driving by in a patrol car. He looked over and signaled me to wait a moment. I stood at the curb holding my breath and my nerves. He rolled the window down I leaned in on the passenger side and said: “Hey thanks for the quiet time this morning and the good time last night. I really needed that.”

“Emma you don’t worry yourself about any of this stuff about Jake. This will soon be sorted out and you and I can have a sit-down. I will handle it.” Ben said

I nodded and said: “I don’t mind so much. The deputy was very sweet about it all. He even brought over some chicken last evening. I noticed him walking into the Diner so I plan on buying him lunch for being so kind. Would you like to join us?”

He said he couldn’t he was on his way to assist an officer but he would talk with me later.

When I sat down I told Dennis about the conversation I had with Ben so he could just shrug the meeting off as a friendly gesture on my part. I also told Dennis that if Ben asks what we talked about I will tell him the weather and the upcoming harvest festival.

Dennis agreed that would be the best way to handle it. He then asked me: “Emma, I read over the report the night Jake was found, nowhere in the report did it list his cell phone. Also did Jake have a computer or laptop?”

“I never even thought about his cell phone even after all this time. He was forever forgetting it. We have a small secretary in the hallway leading to the stairway just outside of our bedroom. In the bottom drawer would be any correspondence of his and also his laptop. In the drop down desk portion is a small cubicle where he would put his keys and phone. Too often he would grab the keys but not the phone.” I answered

“Emma, I need to go through his phone and his laptop. I want to ask you to do me a favor. Do not touch the laptop or the phone. Let me handle it. Your oils will be fresh so please don’t touch anything. I will come over late tonight to get them if that is okay with you.” He said

First thing I thought Dennis believes I have something to do with Jake’s disappearance.  I asked: “Am I a suspect?”

Dennis answered: “Honestly at this point, everyone is a suspect. But realistically no, I do not believe you could not hurt Jake nor the other four people. It would take the strength of a man to do what needed to be done.”

“Other 4 people?” I asked

“Sorry Emma I forgot you did not know. At this time I cannot give you all the details being that this is an ongoing investigation.” Dennis said

I agreed not to touch anything and told Dennis that I expected Ben after he gets off duty to stop by. He will probably stay for dinner but that I will tell Ben I need the night to myself so he will probably leave before 9.

After leaving the Diner I went to my car to find a rose stuck to the windshield with a little note saying: ‘Until tonight my girl.’

I did more errands, drove for a while just to clear my head. When I arrived at home there were another 11 roses in a vase near my screen door. I placed the single rose with its partners and unlocked the door. What greeted me were soft music and a mixture of garlic and onion sautéing. It smelled like Jake was cooking. I almost cried. When I saw Ben standing at the stove with a chef apron on I realized he understood how I was feeling and decided to surprise me. Ben makes excellent spaghetti from scratch including the pasta. There was a bottle of Merlot and two glasses sitting on the dining room table. I set the flowers next to it and opened the bottle. After pouring two glasses I handed a glass to Ben, we clinked them together and took a sip. I smiled and thanked Ben for the surprise.

“Ben, I need to say something and I hope you will understand,” I said

He waved me off and said: “I know you are going to want space tonight. Everything is in an upheaval and you must feel as you did when I came and told you about finding Jake.” He said

I nodded, we chatted as he finished the sauce. We sat and had a pleasant meal. I walked him to his truck.

“Deputy Klein, Commander Brown, what can I do for you, sir?” Deputy Klein said

“Deputy, I need to know when the last time you saw Emma Preston.” Commander Brown asked

“I had coffee with her earlier today. Why do you ask?” Klein asked

“We found Emma Preston’s car on route 100 just ten minutes ago. It had been torched and the remains are that of a female. That is all we know right now.” Brown answered

 

 

 

The Prey Chapter 3

The Prey Chapter 3

Sheriff Ben Sheltron and Deputy Dennis Klein

I walked into the sheriff’s office as he had commanded me to. When I walked in he said: “Sit down Deputy Klein, you and I need to have a heart to heart discussion about protocol.”

I sat down knowing full well what he wanted to talk to me about. I know he has been seeing Emma and that they have known each other for a long time. I am ready for everything he might say and I am sure he will not be happy with what I have found out.

“Now young men, first off all investigations are commanded from this office. No officer under my command starts up his own investigation into a matter that has already been closed. I know you know  the protocols this is not your first rodeo. You came to us from the State Police post when were shorthanded and decided to stay on as a deputy. I remember it clearly since I was the one who placed that badge on your chest. Please explain to me why you took it upon yourself to reopen a closed case.” Sheriff Sheltron said

“Sir, the Michigan State Police had done an independent investigation into the death of Jake Preston out of respect for Jake’s Uncle Clay. You know Clay; he is a retired decorated State Patrolman. Recently Clay asked to have the remains of the person who was found in Jakes truck exhumed, the DNA came back to a vagrant named Paul Houghton.” I said

The Sheriff was none too pleased. He got up and left the room without saying a word. I did not know what to do, should I stay or should I go. I chose to sit and wait.

I left for a moment to get myself a cup of coffee and when I returned to the Sheriff’s office he was sitting behind his desk talking on the phone he motioned for me to sit. The motion was an angry one. I sat back sipping my coffee waiting for the fallout. If he is angry now wait till he finds out I was planted here to look into Jake’s death on the inside. I am not going to tell him, but eventually, he will either figure it out or find out. The scuttle in regards to Jake’s death is that it was an inside job. Meaning within his inner most circle of friends and acquaintances.

I sat and waited until he hung up the phone. The Sheriff cleared his throat visibly trying to calm himself.

“I just had an interesting conversation with your ex-commander he told me that they had looked into Jake Preston’s death due to some recent information that the FBI brought to the table. They have re-opened the case because of this new information. The commander was not forth coming as to what this information is maybe you can enlighten me. I am none too happy to be the last to know the FBI is nosing around my county without my knowledge.” He said

“Well, sir, from what I understand my buddies at the State Police Department say there is a pattern emerging. Jake’s was the fifth body burnt and left In a vehicle determined as a suicide without getting DNA or other forensics. Now that I am in this department the agent in charge asked me to talk to Emma Preston privately trying not to raise any red flags. I apologize, I should have consulted you about it, sir. It won’t happen again.” I said

The Sheriff seemed to relax after I apologized. He probably believed I was put in my place and now on board under his command. I need him to believe that especially since he is so close to Emma. No one is ruled out as a suspect not even Emma. Her grief seems genuine but I have met seemingly nice sweet people who turned out to be sociopaths.

The Sheriff asked me to tell him everything I know. I told him what I thought he needed to know. All victims were found at night only 5 miles from their homes. When forensics was done and DNA was completed the results were that the victim in the car was not the victim who left the suicide note. The thinking is this is being done by someone who may have gone through a traumatic loss of a parent or a spouse to suicide. They place another body in the vehicle and torch it in effigy or as a surrogate. What they do with the so called suicide victim is still being analyzed.

The Prey Chapter 2

The Prey Chapter 2

Emma and Sheriff Sheltron

 

Ben called and asked if I wanted to go out for a burger and some boot scooting. I actually wanted to stay home after the day I had. I am still a bit out of sorts because of Deputy Klein’s suspicions. If it was not suicide that would mean someone killed him. If someone killed him; it begs the question who and why. Oh well I told Ben yes, just the same I am not the type of person to sit around and mope.

Ben’s truck pulled in the driveway I smoothed my shirt and clicked my cowgirl boots to ready myself for the night’s festivities. I turned to lock the door and Ben came onto the porch, his right elbow was crocked for me to take, I took hold and he walked me to the passenger side of the truck. He opened the door and as I climbed in he gave my backside a tap. I sighed and said to myself; well I guess he wants more than boot scooting tonight. Any other evening I would not have a problem with a romp but somehow tonight seems to be different, I miss my Jake.

The burgers at the Southern Town Bar are premium; fries are perfect the beer is cold. Ben and I ate first and then we worked on our thirst out on the dance floor. By the time Ben brought me home I was chilled from the sweat of dancing but I did not feel better emotionally. I miss my Jake.

After we showered we climbed into bed to finish the boot scoot. Lying next to Ben I could not help drifting off thinking about Jake and me under the maple tree out back, one late night when it was too hot to sleep. Ben rolled on his side and propped his head on his hand and asked: “Hey Emma, what is going on tonight with you. You are not yourself.”

I said: “Sorry, just thinking about Jake. I thought I was past the grieving until today my emotions are in flux.”

Ben replied: “It’s that darn Deputy Klein stirring up the old stew. I am going to tell him to back off!”

I said: “Please don’t Ben. If he is right then Jake did not commit suicide, with as hard as that was to deal with it would be easier to deal with someone murdering him. I think it would be easier. I do know this I want Klein to finish what he started.”

Ben pulled me to him and we lay there quietly until we fell asleep. Ben left before I woke. That was unusual but I was glad he did. I just did not feel like dealing with anyone this morning especially the romantic notions of Ben. I know he is in love with me and he wants to marry me, I do not feel the same way about him. I have known Ben since I was 17, he lived down the road from my family’s farm and I think Ben was smitten with me even back then. I always considered him a good friend I guess that is why the relationship we have now seems natural.

I finally pulled myself out of bed, dressed and went downstairs to make fresh coffee. Ben had made coffee and he was nice enough to rinse out the pot and set it up for the next brew. Standing on the porch with a steaming cup of coffee I starred across the yard at the barn. I still have some harvesting to do but I decided today I will just wander around in the daze I am in. Today I do not want to be an adult or even feel myself I will let myself grieve all over again.

Around noon the temperatures rose to a nice 55 degrees, I decided to finish pulling out the debris left from the squash and throw it onto the compost heap. As I threw the last stalk and leaves onto the heap a sheriff’s car pulled into my driveway. Deputy Klein waved as he stepped out of the car. I waved back and hollered: “I will be right there.”

I noticed Deputy Klein had a large brown paper bag with him. As I approached he asked if I had my lunch yet. I told him I had not. He said he brought over tow lunches from the Cluck and Pluck. My mouth watered at the thought of their fried chicken and Cole slaw. I smiled and motioned for him to come into the house.

I set the table and Dennis placed our portions on the plates, we sat, said grace and started to dig in without a word. After the first few bites we started to talk about the weather predictions for winter and Dennis asked if I had finished my harvest. I told him yes but canning needs to be done.

Once we finished cleaning up Dennis said: “Emma we need to talk about the night Jake left the house. I do not believe he committed suicide.”

Before we could have that chat Dennis’s phone rang he excused himself and answered it. After he hung up he apologized and said he had to leave but he promised we would talk after his shift. I need to busy myself so I do not obsess over this revelation.