Cooper walked slowly to his hotel room and smiled. He ran his fingers through his hair out of habit. If his dad were here he would tell him to get a haircut. Cooper paused at the thought of his dad and shook his head to change his thoughts back to his plan. The night had been what he would consider a success. His plan was working. So far anyway. A week earlier he didn’t touch one thing in the casino. Not even a slot machine. He spent his time observing and making mental notes. It was time well spent. His first night sitting at the tables he won $10,000. Not too much to draw attention. Just enough. Vegas is a big town with plenty of casinos. All he needed was patience and he would leave town a very rich man. Not that becoming rich was his goal. He planned to donate most of his winnings to charity. No, this was a game to him. He was doing it for the simple reason he could. And he was bored.
VII. 16 years ago
Liz Baldwin stood at the kitchen sink washing dishes. She had a dishwasher but when she had a lot on her mind, she preferred to wash dishes by hand. Keeping her hands busy helped with the racing thoughts. Her husband Jo was working late. Again. Conveniently enough. He had dropped a bombshell before he left for work that morning about a promotion. While a promotion seemed like a good thing Liz also knew it would involve a lot more work which translated to more time. More time at the office and away from home. Jo already devoted so much time and energy to the office. She preferred him to spend more time and energy at home with her and Cooper. Their son was growing up, he was already nine. Soon he would be a teenager and then all to quickly he’d leave for college. Liz knew now was the time for a father and son bond to develop.
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.
IV. One last look at 25 years ago…
Tony Layton was not a patient man. He had served two tours of duty and now worked as a member of the LAPD Swat Team. Despite many tedious and dangerous missions that required him to sit tight he still fidgeted when things seemed to slow down too much on a job. He never could learn to trust the quiet when experience taught him things were about to get noisy.
His team had been called in to save a well-known party girl who had made the fatal mistake of partying with the wrong crowd. The silly woman had chosen terrorists to mingle with and now they were holding her hostage in her hotel’s penthouse. His team was in position waiting to storm inside all they needed was the go order. But it was slow in coming. That made Tony nervous.
II. 25 years ago…
Just north of the Canada border, Henry Buttlefeld sat in the small office he used for his laboratory. He knew he needed to hurry but his scientist side recognized these things couldn’t be rushed. After so many failed experiments and tests he believed with all his heart he had perfected his pill. His creation he called the Samson Pill was ready for its final test subject: him. He trusted in his calculations and theories. This would work. This would fix his flaws. Comparatively, it was a rather big pill. But considering all it was about to do it wasn’t that big. He could swallow it once. That’s all it would take. Finally, he would become the man his dad could be proud of. Continue reading
I. 50 years ago…
We are all connected. In some way, in some manner, your very actions may affect me and mine may affect you. Even though we will never meet who is to say that my choice to cross the street and take a walk won’t in some way make a mark on your normal, daily routine? For example, who would have guessed that a decision made by a young high school teenager 50 years ago would determine a young man’s destiny today? No one would have guessed it but it did happen. This is the story of Henry and Cooper and how their lives became intertwined even though they never met and had no familial connection. Continue reading
We actually choose our heroes. Sometimes we make a hero out of someone for no good reason. Continue reading
In my opinion, we are born with a desire to trust our parents. Our love for our parents is innate. It comes naturally. It’s pretty obvious that not all parents continue to earn trust and love from their children. Some of us, are blessed to be born to good parents. Not perfect people because perfection in people does not exist. But we are fortunate to be born to parents who try. That’s all we really need I think. And in their efforts, they do a pretty good job. We are the lucky ones – if luck has anything to do with it (and I doubt it does).