I HAVE AN ETERNITY AHEAD OF ME
(Intermittent Waves Recorded From The Transformed Heart Of A Woman)
AUNTIE YONNY: HELLFIRE AND BRIMSTONE
David jerked in his sleep. Something had startled him, but, his mind was still in its dream state. He thought that he must still be dreaming. Since the shooting, he had been having nightmares, from time to time. He had never taken a man’s life before. His nightmares would always take him back to that crucial moment, when he instinctively pulled the trigger. Although, the man died instantly, in the dream, the man would collapse in slow motion, while he watched his life being drained from him, for what seemed like hours.
The nightmares were so disturbing that his sleep pattern began to change, as if his mind wanted to avoid further torture by avoiding going to sleep. Staying awake and thinking about things was just as bad as having nightmares and it was wearing him down. Knowing that it was a risk, with his heart condition, he talked his nurse into giving him sleeping pills, anyway. But, last night, he had refused the pill, in order to stay alert and on watch. He wondered. Could it be another nightmare?
Louder and more rapid firing made his body jerk again. This time his mind was able to recognize it as an outside source. He realized that he was hearing gunshots. Not realizing where he was, he rolled over and fell on the floor. Just as the reality of the here and now began to sink in, to further injure himself, he accidentally hit his head on the coffee table trying to get up.
“I’m some kind of bodyguard.” He mumbled. “The enemy won’t have anything to worry about. I’m going to kill myself!”
Keeping low, he called out to Rachel.
“Rachel! Rachel! Are you all right in there! Get on the floor and stay there! RACHEL?!”
“Y-y-yes, I-I’m alright. Okay. I’m on the floor, now!”
When Rachel heard the shots, she became tense and froze. Holding her stomach, she was afraid for her baby’s safety, but, she couldn’t move. David’s voice made her realize that she had to do something to help save her child and herself. Quickly, she got out of bed, crouching down low, then, laid down on the floor, sticking part of her body under the bed.
David, peeked above the window sill to see if he could see what was going on. The sun was coming up and he was able to make out figures below. The blast of a shotgun let him know that it wasn’t over. Sirens began to blare, letting him know that help was on the way. After the police arrived and positioned themselves, there was rapid firing like the end of a fireworks display.
“WE GOT HIM!”
“Where did the other one go?!”
“HE GOT AWAY!”
“He can’t have gone far. I think we wounded him.”
“Start checking the buildings and get some more squads out here to check the residents!”
“Was this a gang war?”
“I don’t know. Find out who this thug is under the car. He’s got some wire cutters over there. See what else he had on him and run these plates to find out whose car it is.”
David knew whose car it was. It was Rachel’s and it was shot full of holes like Swiss cheese. The guy under the car must have been trying to sabotage Rachel’s car. She definitely wasn’t safe anymore. He looked for any of their men, but, they had left the scene. How would that look, he wondered? But, they hadn’t killed the man. The police killed him and wounded the other man. David hoped that Steve and Jake knew what they were doing.
Rachel…the police would find out that was her car and come knocking on the door. He remembered the gunman waiting for him outside of the jail. Did they want Rachel to be involved with the police, not knowing who they could trust?
David rushed to Rachel’s room.
“Rachel! Rachel!” He tried to whisper. “Come on! We’ve got to get out of here!”
“B-But…but, the police…”
“We don’t know who we can trust yet, Rachel. We’ve got to go, NOW! Show me where the back door is. Just throw on a robe or a coat and some shoes. Lord, help us!”
Rachel quickly grabbed her coat and purse, then, slipped on some shoes. Opening the door carefully, holding onto his gun, David peeked out of the door and looked around. Then grabbing Rachel’s hand, they crept down the hallway to the stairwell and out the backdoor before the police had finished running her license plate and finding out exactly where she lived.
Due to the effects of global warming, it was chilly outside for June and it had begun to rain. As the cold, hard drops poured down relentlessly, flooding the ground, it made the conditions of their escape even more miserable and the need to find shelter more urgent. They hadn’t gone far when both of their phones rang. Still frightened, Rachel jumped. Thinking it was Derek, she was afraid to answer. Relief came over her, when the phone number came up as Hal’s. David was already talking to someone on his phone.
“Yes, I’m with her now….We left. I got her out of there before the police came. I wasn’t sure who to trust….okay…Where are we at now?…uh…uh…let me see…”
Rachel broke down in tears. “Ha-a-al! I-I-I’m so scared…I don’t know what to do!…Yes, I’m with your dad. We left my apartment. We’re on the street right now.”
David could hear yelling on Rachel’s phone so he bent over to talk into it.
“We’re trying to get her to someplace safe! I’m talking to Jake right now! They’re coming to get us. They’ll be here in a minute!”
“Jake, we’re at the corner of Spruce and Fifth Street and we’re going into a coffee shop to wait for you…okay, thanks, bye.”
David heard Rachel tell Hal that she would talk to him later. He grabbed her hand and felt it trembling with her whole body. He wrapped his arms around her, but, she couldn’t stop shaking. David looked carefully around them first, to make sure no one was watching them. Then, they ducked into the coffee shop to wait for their ride.
The limousine pulled up right after they had taken their seats. Watching the street from the window, the second they pulled up, David grabbed Rachel’s hand to whisk her away to the car. One of the other bodyguards jumped out of the car and into the store to help. It happened so fast that Rachel felt she had been lifted from her seat to the inside of the limousine. Perhaps, she was, she thought. She really didn’t know. Still in shock, she was scared, cold, emotional, drenched from the rain, and pregnant.
“Sorry, Mr. Siegfried, we didn’t mean to leave you behind for so long. Things got complicated when the police came. We didn’t know you would leave the building. The whole area is swarming with police, so, we had to make it look like we were coming into the area.”
“I did what I thought was best, Jake.”
“It was good thinking, Mr. Siegfried. You’re right. We can’t trust the police, right now.”
“Have you heard from Steve, Jake?” David asked.
“He had to fly to the west coast to one of our businesses. There was another break in, but, this time with arson, too. Someone set fire to a warehouse.”
“Oh, Lord! Was anybody hurt?!”
“A supervisor, a worker, and a night security guard were burned badly trying to get everybody out of the building. The guard is in critical condition…”
“Father, have mercy!”
“…but, we caught the guy! He’s being questioned by the police. Steve is going to see if there is a connection to our problem here. Your son has been furious ever since he found out, Mr. Siegfried. Now…now this…”
“What happened back there, Jake?”
“Our men caught two guys tampering with Ms. Montgomery’s car. They watched him walk down the street with another guy and then he slid under her car. When one of the guards yelled out to him, the other guy takes out a gun and starts shooting. The guy under the car pulls his gun out and its on. Four of our guys against the two of them. We would have had them if the cops hadn’t come. I’d like to have asked them who hired them for the job, but, its not hard to figure out. Still, I’d like to have heard it from their own mouths so that I could…oh…excuse me…Ms. Montgomery. I don’t want to upset you anymore than what you already are.
Anyway, we’ve got someone tailing the other guy who got away. He’ll lead us right back to the kingpin. It’s going to be alright. We’re collecting evidence, Mr. Siegfried. And, the more Derek Graves lashes out and tries to hurt us, the more evidence we have.
He’s so blinded by his arrogance and hatred that he can’t see that he’s injuring himself or that two people can play his game. He reminds you of his grandfather, doesn’t he? Oh, I’m sorry, Mr…”
David Siegfried laughed, taking no offense to what Jake was implying about his and Derek Graves’ grandfather.
However, Rachel didn’t like the sound of what Jake was implying, by, “two people can play his game.”
“W-what do you mean…two people can play…?”
“Well, Ms. Montgomery, voices rising from the dead seeking vengeance and trying to protect their own.”
Hal had told his father about the letter from Auntie Tanya and that there would be more to come.
“Jake! Did Hal get another letter today?!”
“Yessiree, Mr. Siegfried, and there is nothing we can do about it. It’s already done.”
Jake looked at the rain on the window and wiped it to clear the fog, obscuring his vision.
“Water can put out most fires, but, tomorrow, for Mr. Derek Graves, hellfire and brimstone is going to come raining down on him on Wall Street. And since he likes bonfires, so, much, we’ll see how he likes watching his money burn. There’s no dousing this flame. If Satan could have put out hell’s fire, he would have done it a long time ago.”
Rachel looked out of the window at the rain with Jake. She was thinking about Derek too, but, not in the way Jake was. She twisted her wedding ring off of her finger and slipped it into her pocket, thinking that any fire Derek had kindled within her heart had fizzled out in the rain.
My Dearest Hal,
I hope you have attempted to visit my associates on Wall Street. They need to meet you. They can be of great help to you in the future.
On June 14, we have proclaimed D Day for Derek Graves and a few others. My Wall Street associates, along with some other high profile business associates will be paying back a few debts they owed me and my husband, Ilya Yanovich. Things might get pretty crazy and dangerous. Members of the Graves Family who have opposed us will not be very happy at all.
My advice is to prepare for the unexpected, keep your head down, and protect your family. Since, this is a concerted effort to stop Derek Graves, he won’t know who to strike back at first. However, he’ll probably come for you first. Don’t worry, you have allies in strange and high places. If all goes well, Derek will be out of the presidential race, soon, financially bankrupt, and cut off at the knees. He’ll come begging to our lenders and we’ll own him.
This is how my father fell into the hands of the Russians. However, he didn’t go kicking and screaming. He worshiped them and what they could do for him. The pieces had been placed on the chess board exactly where Putin had wanted them and due to his corruption, arrogance, and ignorance in business, my father had no choice but to play along with Putin’s game. Putin was there to help him at every turn.
No one will be able to help Derek without exposing themselves as having a part in his corruption and crimes. The measures I and my associates have taken may seem to be cold and calculating, which is why I could not ask you to take them. However, I have accepted my fate and made my peace.
I am an old warrior, Hal. Warfare is not the same as it was hundreds of years ago. War never was fair or honest, or, armies would lose the element of surprise. Fairness would defeat the purpose of victory over one’s enemy. Someone has to lose. Someone has to win.
What gives me the right to try and decide who wins and loses? I don’t know if I’ve truly figured out right and wrong, when it comes to war, but, I’m finally seeing the difference between good and evil.
As always, to thwart evil, sacrifices have to be made. Perhaps, I’m the Judas given over to perdition, or, perhaps, by the Grace of God, I’ve been given the role of the avenging angel. Whichever it might be, I too am a chess piece upon the board and even if I stand still and do nothing, the object of the game is to win. Therefore, I must make a choice to surrender or advance to victory. I’ve given enough victories to the enemy and through my weaknesses, others have suffered. It’s time to be on the winning side. I can only pray that God will have me. My dear nephew, your love has given me hope. I thank you with all of my heart.
Love, Auntie Tanya
Last night, he couldn’t even go in and lay beside Zenobia in their bedroom. He went into his study and rested on one of the sofas. Unable to sleep, he had gone into the office early as the sun was coming up.
Tanya’s letter had been placed in the center of his desk, so that he would see it and read it immediately. After reading it, he laid down for a while, until he got the call about the shoot out. Panic set in and he’d been pacing the floor, waiting to hear if Rachel, his father, and everyone else was alive and well.
He tucked away Tanya’s letter inside his jacket and thought about her words carefully. Going home to Zenobia yesterday, after seeing Rachel had placed a lot of guilt within him. He was still hurt and angry, knowing that Derek and Rachel were married.
“No, war isn’t fair,” he thought. “And, I’ve complicated this one and made it personal.”