Tuesday, November 7, 2017


Chapter One

Saturday morning and a quick cup of coffee, I headed for the garage. After several weeks of waiting for the right day, I slid my surfboard into the back of the Jeep. Jenna stood at the doorway waving her arms and reminded me of the chores there were needed around the house.
“I hire that stuff and you know that.” I didn’t bother to look up. There was no need. It’s like I can read minds or something. It’s always the same scenario with Jenna Her hands on her hips and her foot tapping restlessly. I could still hear her even though I did my best to ignore her.
“Yeah…well,” she said. “The painters are scheduled for today to start on the house. I told you three days ago and I also told you I don’t want them to be here unsupervised. Someone will need to be here and that someone is not going to be me.”
At this point, I stopped doing what I was doing and said, “I told you, during that conversation, Jimmy and I were planning on surfing this weekend if the weather was right. I also asked that you not schedule painters for this weekend.”
“My nail appointment is at nine.” She gave me her nose in the air look, turned and walked back into the house.
 Typical Jenna, I thought. Fight or give in, try to reason, try to compromise. You will lose every time. I dialed Jimmy from my cell phone to give him the latest update.
“You two are like watermelon and ice cream,” he said in his long drawn good ol’ boy cadence.
“Botha ya’ll are fun, but not together.”
He was right. Jenna was a lot of fun, especially in college but married life had seemed to dampen every reason why we married in the first place. It was apparent, to the most casual of observers, this weekend was now officially over. I pulled my board out the Jeep and put it back in the garage and decided I’d make a pot of coffee and wait the painters to arrive. Surfing today was out of the question and I truly believed this relationship had hit rock bottom and things couldn’t get any worse. Of course, they did. It always did.
The morning had passed, the painters didn’t show up, and I had drank enough coffee to fill a truck. Worse yet, these guys didn’t even have the decency to call and cancel. Of course, as if I could read minds, I already knew Jenna would blame me and say I called them and cancelled just so I could prove a point and it was my revenge for her ruining my surfing day.
By the time I figured the painters weren’t coming the morning was ruined and it was too late to load the board again. I called Jimmy just to see what was up and he had made other plans since ours fell through. The rest of the day was a loss so I decided a cold beer was in order. I drank into the evening and that was about the last I remembered of this day except for the thunderstorm forming to the west of us over the Everglades. It was going to be a slammer.
I awoke sometime later sweating. I could see the ceiling fan wasn’t spinning. Power was out, my head hurt, my eyes were on fire, and other than a dim light coming in the windows, I had no idea as to the time which didn’t surprise me considering the thunder just before I nodded out. I felt it was early in the morning and never felt as if I had really slept. Most of the time, beer or not, I could sleep like a rock and never had been one to dream or at least remember any dreams except one. I hadn’t had that dream in several years but back when it did, I didn’t like it.
It may have been the beer, or the thunder, or just that I was pissed with Jenna for screwing up my weekend but I awoke knowing one thing very clearly. The dream was back—the one about the little girl. Like clockwork, she would wake me and tell me a story. As far back as I can recall she would visit me. Seems she had always been with me, even as a child. When I was a kid I’d tell my parents. They said it was my imagination. They thought she was one of those pretend friend things since I had only a few friends and no brothers or sisters. Somehow it felt to real to be imagination. The dreams continued as I grew into my 20’s. Jenna said quit eating Burritos for lunch. Today, with everything I know, I wish friends, or siblings, or burritos had been the answer.
I got up, made coffee, and sat on the back porch overlooking the lake we lived on thinking about nothing. The moon’s light still shimmered on the water like a line of diamonds making a peaceful quiet setting. That should have been my second hint that my life was about to be turned upside down.
I left Jenna in bed but she was up by seven. I left for work shortly thereafter. In police work you wait until something happens before you respond so often we have little to do but investigate something that has happened in the past. When that’s done, we tackle the next problem if there is one. Recently my partner Jack and I were handed and a homicide investigation. A body found in a sunken van. I’ll get to those details later. I was thinking about the investigation during the drive into the station. We didn’t have a lot to go on and we had an appointment with the Medical Examiner that morning to talk about whatever he had found. Our morning would be filled with these details and we’d go about our business of investigating more leads and then head for lunch as usual but because we can’t see into the future, by the time noon rolled around, I was rolling towards the hospital in the back of an ambulance.
Some say life ends at death; your eyes close and everything just goes black. Some say there is a bright light that draws you in. I have also had some say to me your soul stays around to watch and protect the people you love. I don’t know. I have never died before and maybe it’s a combination of all three.
At one point in my life, I thought I had it all figured out. Now I’m not so sure about how life or death works after my own precognitions while recovering in the hospital after that day when I left for work.
This is the story of my life—the second one. If I had begun my story with my first life, you wouldn't understand my second life. Confused? Think about how I feel. 

I can tell you this much. In the end, truth floats to the surface through all the crud and crap called life. Sometimes it’s dumb luck. Sometimes it’s just good police work. Sometimes the dead come back and tell you everything, whether you want to hear it or not.