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“I’m sorry Sam. There just doesn’t seem to be any way around it. The surveillance video clearly shows you using that civilian as a human shield. After talking to him, he says that you threatened him and his girlfriend. We’ve managed to keep it away from the press, but there’s no alternative. You’re going to have to resign.”
“Fine. If that’s the way you want to do this. Here you go.” Sam put his badge and gun on his captain’s desk.
“It’s not what I want but face it, man. You’re out of control. You need to get some help.”
“No,” he answered, “I just need to get out of here.”
It’s all that guy Cutter’s fault. Somehow his voodoo washed back on me. I guess I was a threat to him. Whatever it is that makes him the way he is, it has decided to eliminate me. Fine but I’m not going down without a fight.
He still has one weakness – that girl. At first, he thought he shouldn’t give him the info. He liked her. He honestly did. If she wasn’t a walking train wreck waiting to happen, he might have asked her out himself. But now she was just bait for the trap. He couldn’t get all sentimental now.
He had read her file. Unlike Cutter, she had a colourful history and a thick file. He knew that disaster followed her around like a lost puppy. She was like Cutter but his opposite. It was like everything bad that didn’t happen to Cutter somehow happened to her. The best punishment would be not to keep them apart, but to bring them together. He wondered who would win out: The immovable object or the irresistible force. He wasn’t going to wait around and find out. The last time the two of them were a few feet apart a building exploded.
Sam packed everything he could fit in his car and left the rest to cover the rent. I think I’ll head down south where cops still know how to be cops. he thought. Now there was just one more thing to do.
He took out his phone and called Cutter. He didn’t expect the man to answer his call after what he’d put him through. I guess it all depends on how much he loves that girl. He had a sudden stab of regret. Cutter can burn in hell for all I care, but that girl has had enough problems in her life. She’d never done anything to me.
I’ll let fate decide. Three more rings and then I’m hanging up.
This was a bad idea and I know I’m going to regret it. Getting these two together is going to be bad for them and possibly everyone else in this city.
Two more rings.
Fortunately that doesn’t include me. Without a job to go back to there’s no reason for me to stay in this city. So I’m getting out.
One more ring.
He was just about to hang up when Cutter answered. “Where is she?”
“Well, good evening to you, my friend,” Sam answered. “And how are you this fine day?”
“Cut the crap. There is only one thing I want to hear from you and that’s where I can find Hope.”
“I don’t know if I should tell you with that kind of attitude. Maybe I’ll just hang up and let you find her yourself. You’ve been doing a bang-up job of that so far.”
“No, please. I’m begging you. I’ve done everything you asked and more. All I want is an address…or a phone number.”
“Now that’s more like it. You’re lucky I’m in a generous mood. And I’m a man of my word if nothing else. So I’ll do you one better. I’ll tell you where she is right now.”
Cutter was silent but Sam could hear him practically panting in anticipation. “I take it from your silence that I now have your full attention. I don’t have to tell you it would be best if you just forgot her. It would be better for everyone concerned.” Sam waited for some kind of response from Cutter but apparently he was done playing games. “No, huh. You still don’t believe despite everything you’ve seen in the past few days Then go to that patio on King and Second. She’s waiting for you there.”
He hung up. Whatever happens, Sam thought, I’m sure he’ll get what he deserves.
The past couple of days have just been insane, thought Jacob as he marched down the street with his hands in his pockets. Maybe that cop was right; maybe there is something special about me. In fact, weird things have been happening ever since I first saw Hope. Something is keeping the two of us apart. Call it fate or destiny, he couldn’t deny the universe was conspiring against them.
But it can’t all be up to the invisible forces of the universe can it? What about free will? I refuse to believe i am just a pawn on a giant chess board. I make my own destiny from now on. And I’m going to start with Hope.
I know one thing for certain: I’m crazy for that woman. Maybe it’s because you always want what you can’t have. I want a normal life where people have lunch and go to movies. And I want to share that life with her. More than anything. Jacob quickened his pace, almost running. He couldn’t wait for his new life to start and the coffee shop seemed miles away even though it was only a few blocks.
He slowed for the last block. He didn’t want to seem desperate or stand there for a minute like an idiot trying to catch his breath. Anything could happen in the next few minutes and he would have to be ready. He was beginning to think this might actually happen. Nothing was stopping him this time. The universe would have to kill him but he was going to meet her today.
The sidewalk was full of people doing last minute shopping before the stores closed for the day. He couldn’t see her but he knew she was there. Suddenly the crowd parted for a moment and their eyes locked on each other. She rose up out of her chair and started walking towards him. Bursting with anticipation he could hardly keep himself from rushing to close the distance. With the last bit of his dignity intact he started walking to her. Finally they stood face to face but neither knew what to say.
There weren’t any words for this situation. It had never happened before. Hope clutched her hands nervously and bit her lip. When it looked as though she could bear it no longer, she exclaimed, “Oh hell!”
She threw her arms around his neck and drew his face to hers. His lips found hers, velvet and yielding. His hands found their way to her shoulders, slid down her arms and then across her back. He held her like he had been waiting for her for all his life. She felt soft and warm to his touch, better than anything he could remember. Remember. There was something important he had to remember. He felt himself slipping away. He was dizzy, he couldn’t breathe, and he felt like he was falling…
When he opened his eyes, there was a strange woman standing in front of him. She had a concerned, almost panicked look to her. She was talking to him but what she was saying didn’t make any sense.
“Are you all right. I thought you were going to pass out there for a minute.”
“No, I’m fine thanks,” he said. “I guess I’m just hungry. I don’t remember the last time I ate anything.”
“Are you sure you’re okay. You seem different somehow.”
This woman was starting to get weird. Time to make a quick exit, he thought. “Thanks but I’ve got go be going. Maybe I’ll see you around.”
“Jacob, you’re starting to scare me.”
“How do you know my name? Have we met before?”
“Jacob. It’s me. Hope.”
“Sorry. Doesn’t ring any bells. Did we go to school together?”
She came towards him and took his head in her hands. “I don’t know what happened but we can get through this together. We’ve been through too much to quit now.”
Jacob pulled her hands away and stepped back to make some distance. He felt a little sad for what was obviously someone with mental problems, but he’d had just about enough of this crazy lady and his stomach was starting to rumble. Maybe he would stop by the diner or just make a quick run to Mr. Wu’s.
“Sorry, miss. I’ve got to go. It was nice meeting you.” He waved and turned around to walk away. It was starting to rain so he zipped up his jacket.
From behind him he heard her calling out, “Why do these things keep happening to me?”