VI. 17 years ago…
The next few days after Cooper recovered from his illness he felt different. He couldn’t explain why but he noticed his world differently. Colors seemed more vibrant and sharp. Conversations he overheard between his parents he seemed to understand. Maybe he just never paid attention before and maybe that was the difference – he paid attention to everything now. Almost like he couldn’t shut his brain off. His brain’s computer was on and running all the time. He couldn’t explain any of this to anyone because he was still processing it. Was this normal and he just never noticed before? His mom noticed something was different but she wasn’t sure how to explain it either. Suddenly, her boy that liked to keep his hair trimmed in a crew cut style now hated getting his hair cut. He refused to let her cut his hair. That wasn’t a battle worth fighting so she let him grow it out. One other thing that was obvious to everyone was he no longer needed his inhaler. When his mom questioned the doctor, she was told that sometimes “children outgrow asthma.” She also mentioned to the doctor that he started coming home with stories of winning races at school. His energy level seemed to spike. The doctor’s response was to give him some meds which she declined. It wasn’t an uncontrollable energy; it was more of an intense, albeit focused, energy. At the first parent-teacher conference after his fever she was told that he was exceling in every subject. His teacher commented on his outstanding performance. Even the PE teacher remarked on his ability. At the previous conference, the PE teacher couldn’t remember who exactly Cooper was. Up until then, Cooper blended in with the background. Not anymore. He was getting noticed, remarked on, and remembered.
V. 17 years ago…
Cooper Baldwin looked out his bedroom window. The other neighborhood children played tag together and ran in and out of front yards. How he wanted to join them in their games but he couldn’t go out to play. His father had made some house rules, if you stay home from school sick you stay inside. Basically, Jo Baldwin didn’t want his son to use any excuse to stay home sick. What he didn’t realize was Cooper really didn’t want to stay home either. Sometimes he just couldn’t help it. He really was sick.
IV. The Wrap Up
I followed Deputy Marks back down the hall unsure of what the next step was going to be. The thought of my grandma spending any time in jail sickened me. I never claimed to know everything about my grandma but this whole revelation was way too much to absorb in one night or early morning. I felt like I didn’t know her at all. Apparently, my drifter cousin Petey knew her better than me. I just couldn’t process all this information. Continue reading
III. The Rise of the Silver Hair Robin Hoods
“I never did ‘misplace’ anything again while your grandpa was alive. After he died however…” she clicked her teeth, “well, that was a different story.
“After your grandpa died I was so angry with God. Angry that He had taken my daughter and her husband at such a young age and left you without parents. Then He actually took away my husband. My little rebellion was the only peace I could get. It was as if I was saying, ‘you may have taken away my loves but I can take things, too.’ And I did. Continue reading
II. The History
I walked into the Sheriff’s office and a tall deputy nodded at me. “Mr. Horndecker, I presume?”
I nodded. “Deputy Marks?”
He nodded and straightened some papers by tapping them on the desk a couple of times causing a Lebron James bobble head to bob. “First things first, let me take you back to your grandma.” Continue reading
I. The Call
My phone buzzed on the nightstand.
I have it set to DO NOT DISTURB between the hours of 10:00pm and 6:00am every night to eliminate telemarketer and occasional drunk caller rudeness. If this call was getting through at 1:00am it indicated a second call within three minutes. This was a deliberate attempt to reach me. Not a good sign. Continue reading
IV. Will She Come?
Dakota finished his story and gently rubbed his palms on the table as if flattening it.
May nodded her head slowly. “So, you’re waiting for Cheyenne with no last name to come through those doors in,” she looked at the clock, “five minutes?”
He swallowed. “Yes, yes I am. I mean, she will come. She will, I can feel it.”
III. The Complication
It was a few minutes after ten when I walked into the yogurt shop. She was already at a table waiting.
“I am sorry I’m late,” I sat down at the table.
“No problem,” she said quietly. Her demeanor was different than when I last saw her.
II. Dakota and Cheyenne’s Meet Cute
I was working at the Tech Team counter at the department store You Got It. As usual, it was a rather slow afternoon. Most people fancy themselves IT experts. At least, they use YouTube to fix their problems until their problems get away from them. That’s when they come calling.
It was one of those days where the minutes felt like hours and the hours felt like days. I could hardly wait for my shift to end. About five minutes before I clocked out she walked in. Actually, that’s not accurate. She more like tumbled in with her arms full carrying her laptop. I watched as she made her way to my counter and set her computer down. All she said was, “Fix it.”
“Can I help you with anything?” the young clerk asked while wiping her hands on her apron.
“No, thank you,” he replied glancing at her for a moment then turning his gaze toward the door.
“Look, be honest,” the clerk continued while clearing cups off the table next to him, “are you casing this place or something?”