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Forever Eight: An Original Story by Dawn Collins, Part 4

Updated on November 28, 2012

The cigarette fell from Will Finley's lips. He looked shocked and more than slightly embarrassed, and it was clear he was unsure of what to do or say. After sputtering the beginnings of several sentences he finally managed, "I uh... I just never expected..."

"Me to look for you." Calvin finished for him.

"Yeah..."

"I didn't either... but I need your help."

Will looked even more embarrassed, "Well I don't have any money..."

"No. It's not that. Mom and I have plenty." Calvin sighed, knowing what he was about to explain would seem crazy, even to an intoxicated man, "It's a long story. Do you think I could come in?"

Calvin and his father sat on the old worn couch in the small studio apartment. It was obvious that the couch also doubled as Will Finley's bed. Will hurriedly cleared away the numerous beer bottles from the coffee table and floor. The place was still a mess but Calvin could see the man was at least trying. Maybe he could make an appeal to him after all.

Will returned from the kitchen and joined his son on the couch, "So I uh... I went to one of your violin recitals once. Sat way in the back. I figured if your mother saw me she wouldn't be too happy."

"Yeah she's not a big fan of yours." Calvin agreed, "It's actually both of us that need your help. There's this man who's... well he's going to kill us, Will."

Calvin was glad he used the straightforward approach. The effect of his statement seemed to have an instantly sobering effect on Will, "Who is he? I'll take care of him right now!"

"You can't do that."

"Why not?"

"He hasn't really done anything yet or even said anything."

Will's eyebrows raised, "Then how do you know he's going to kill you?"

"The evening news is on right?" Calvin picked up the remote and recited, "The Major League Baseball Association will go on strike, one hundred forty-two people have been killed in a church in Brazzaville, and Steven G Breyer has just become a Supreme Court Justice." Calvin turned on the television and watched the look of wonder on his father's face as each thing he said was reported.

"Are you one of those psychics?"

"No." Calvin replied, "I've just lived the same life way too many times."

"The same life..."

"Yes. This is the forty-seventh time."

"And some guy is going to kill you..."

Calvin nodded, "The day before my birthday. Do you know what day that is?"

Will Finley closed his eyes, "Not very far from now. Spring wasn't it? Early May or so." He smiled, "I remember. It was the only time she ever let me hold you. You were so tiny and perfect just like her... and I knew right then and there that I could never be enough for either one of you."

Calvin wasn't sure whether to feel happy hearing his dad speak so fondly of the day of his birth, or angry knowing that was the very day Will Finley had decided to leave his wife and newborn son.

"I know you must hate me, boy." Will continued, "But look around you. What kind of life would you have if I'd have stayed?"

"Maybe if you would have stayed, I wouldn't keep getting killed."

Will Finley took his son's hand for the first time since Calvin had been a newborn baby, "Maybe we can make it right this time."

"Maybe..." Calvin agreed, "But if you're going to help us you have to change a few things. For starters, you need to stop drinking and maybe learn how to use a gun."

"Well I've already done the second part of that!" Will exclaimed excitedly. Seeing the look of worry on his son's face he added, "And I promise to work on the other part too..."

Calvin nodded, only half believing his father's words. Will insisted on driving him home, or rather to the street corner near the Parks' home so his mother wouldn't see them. They planned to meet a few weeks later, to work out what to do on May 4, 1995.

Maybe things would work out this time, but at least for the first time Calvin didn't know exactly what was going to happen and he believed that had to be a good thing. He was feeling much better until he approached his house. His mother was waiting on the front porch looking very upset. Sitting next to her was the smiling form of Malcolm Samuels.

"Malcolm saw where you went today, Calvin." Calvin opened his mouth to explain but his mother interrupted, "Do you have any idea how dangerous that part of town is? And to risk your life just to see him!"


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    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Stellar chapter. Your writing skills are commended as you continue you hold my avid interest. Onto the next chapter.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 4 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      This is chair-edge stuff! Ever thought of expanding this for a full book - it could easily come to three-hundred pages with good background and action setting. That would mean each part built up to fifty pages. Can you do it, that's the thing...?

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Next chapter please!

      Graham.