Saturday, March 19, 2011

Goodbye Stranger

We talked for 3 hours. The waitress became a waiter at some point. Neither liked Breann and I very much. I think our bill was 30 bucks, maybe a little more, but we were there for so long, we should have tipped them more than we did. I called my wife as we left the restaurant, "Hey, how are the kids?" She was in bed but not sleeping, her anxiousness was unlike her "they're sound asleep. I let Esme sleep with me. I know you hate that, but we miss you too much to care about you being mad at us. Plus, she's so warm, I don't need sheets. Tell me everything." she said. My chest hurt, I had little to no circulation in the fingers on either hand, and I needed ibuprofen. I responded with forced enthusiasm, "Breann and I are going to try and get in touch with the other four babies, or, well, you know, people. I have a light day in meetings tomorrow, so I can meet up with her after work, and we can do some private detective work. Shane, I think I may have finally answered the question you asked me the night before we got married. I think I know who I am. You have to have a hot dog from Serendipity. When we go to New York in the spring, this is our first stop." Exasperated, my wife obliged my long day and said, "Ok. Go back to the hotel and get some sleep. You can't solve this mystery tonight like Magnum P.I. or Scooby Doo. This feels right, sweetie. I'm giving you a lot of rope to hang yourself with, don't make me wish this didn't happen. I need to know more. I love you forever. Call me before you go to sleep." I laughed, and hung up my cell phone. Breann was ending her call at the same time. She looked at me and stated, "I'm not sleeping tonight. I know you're not. I'm guessing Shane said ditch the strange girl and go to bed. So that's what we're going to do. I'll text you later, ok." The fact she respected me told me something. I didn't have the time or energy to figure out what, but I hugged her and got in the cab she hailed. "I'm going to walk over to bookstore across the street and hit their computer. You fire up your work laptop when you get back to your hotel. Maybe we can find Lena tonight or tomorrow. She lived in Austin, Texas as much as five years ago. Here," she dropped 3 Excedrin pills in my left hand. "I know you need these as much as I do. From now on, both of us better have headache meds on hand or we slap each other silly for being stupid. See ya later, ok." she said. I smiled and closed the cab door. As I rode down 60th street, I felt strangely content. The pain in my chest started to subside.

Lena Cosburn was too easy to find. Her mommy blog was seven years old. She was in contact with thousands of people through the web. I didn't even bother contacting Breann. I assumed she had messaged Lena, talked her way into some agreement to a phone call and we were in with the Texan stay at home mom of two boys who wrote under the name Georgina Shush. I started working  Lucas Bonner. All I had was a forwarding address of 57 Mount Pleasant Street, Colorado Springs, Colorado. That led to a listing of Air Force Academy baseball team players from 1988-1992. There he was, Lucas Bonner, in his only google appearance, an outfielder on the Falcon squad, hitting .289 with 4 homeruns and 26 rbi in 1992. Before I could call Breann, my cell phone vibrated. Shane was calling. "Hey you. I can't stay up any more. I hope you're not mad at me but I decided nosy Shane should make an appearance and I looked Breann up on the internet. She's a really good writer. Not as good as you, but she really writes well," she was rambling. "yeah, I know. I've read her stuff. Listen sweetheart, do you still talk that girl you worked with last year whose dad was a Colonel in the Air Force" I asked. "No, but her number is still in my phone and her roommate is scheduled for a nose job next week. Why?" As trusting as Shane was, telling her that a former glorified fourth outfielder for the Air Force in the early 90s might be my brother and I wanted to invade the guy's privacy to tell him he was a robot who might die, just wasn't going to work. "I just found something weird online that might connect me to a guy in the Air Force. It may be nothing, but when the girl comes in next week, ask her what your friend is up to. It may be cool for later. I love you, good night."

It was rare for my phone to ring at 6am and it not be my wife or kids. Breann was a morning person like me. She rose at 5:30am every morning. I surmised that she sat by her phone until the clock hot 6 0 0 am. "Hey, so, Lena's in. I talked to her online for almost two hours. I'm supposed to talk to her over the phone around 10am eastern after she takes her kids to school. Did you see her blog? I learned more about childhood dietary habits than I ever knew existed. I'm sure most of it is crap, but still, the woman is thorough. She's gotta be one of us. Lena has a heart murmur, circulatory problems, and migraines like me. How do you like you eggs?" I was starting to regret ever accepting her twitter follow, and defintely rethinking meeting her in Central Park. "Over easy, but never before 8am. I have a 9am work meeting at One Plaza," I tried to offer an excuse to not see her. "Can you be ready in 30 minutes? We can do breakfast and I can get you to the Plaza by 8. We need to talk. I think we can get some stuff done today, even while you earn a paycheck." I wanted to say no. For some reason, something deeper than the sleep in my eyes, I said "pick me up in the lobby at 6:30, you're buying. Oh, and Lucas Bonner had an on base percentage of .331 his senoir year for the Air Force Falcons. He has to be in. He drew too many walks for a normal person." She laughed and I rolled out of the hotel bed to take a shower.

*blogger's note* This is a continuation of the story I am writing. There is no prompt from @Studio30plus / or @velvetverbosity / . Please still look those sites up. They do great work, and help any writer with their creativity. I will be writing two or three entires  week, headling episodic fiction. I hope you like what you read. Here's are the other links of things I have written:






Today's song is something I heard on a classic rock station here in Atlanta on my way to gym this morning. This was one of favorite songs when I was 10 years old. It helped me not be shy around other people. It fits the storyline as Caleb and Breann find out the truth about themselves and the others. Here's Supertramp's Goodbye Stranger......


  1. Yep, I'm officially sucked in to your web. And I LOVE the name Esme ;)

  2. So, I really love just-left-of-reality sci-fi stuff, kind of dystopic but in a corner-of-your-eye way...

    I like where this is going, can't wait to read more, and if you're ever interested in some concrit, I have lots of thoughts. Either way, I'll be back to check this out as it progresses.

    Yay, Studio30+ and Megan for landing me here!

  3. You're doing a great job building the characters and creating a sense of anticipation.

  4. Good stuff. Now I will need to venture back adn find the other pieces, damn it.