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idioms...sayings understood by native speakers part thirty two
Carl lay on the chase holding a bag of ice to the left side of his face. Jenny sat beside him in a lawn chair with her right hand in a bucket of ice. Lynn took the leftovers inside and was cleaning up in the kitchen while Rick, out of his suit and into a t-shirt and jeans, inspected the top rail, a two x four that had been shattered by Jenny's fist.
"Amazing, " Rick muttered to himself, then turned to Jenny. "Is your hand alright?"
"i think we will have to wait and see. I am so sorry, Rick. I did not mean to destroy your property."
"Um, well, better a rail, than Carl. Right?"
"Yes." She looked down, ashamed. "I lost control. Some karate master, I am."
Rick glanced at Carl who motioned him to get lost.
"I think I have a replacement plank in the storage shed. I'll just go look for it." And headed down the same stairs on to the same lawn that only an hour ago looked like a scene from a Jackie Chan movie. He laughed... he knew he shouldn't but the whole thing was so absurd and so needed for Jenny. I wonder how Carl is going to handle this. Smiling to himself, then he started to whistle all the way to the storage shed. He grabbed his cell, waiting.
"Lynn?" He spied the bikes.
"Change into something more comfortable and let's go on a bike ride?" He paused. "Just come around the back of the house from the front door, Carl and Jenny need some alone time."
He smiled at her answer. "They will be alright. They are too tired to fight anymore."
Grinning now, he answered her, "Fine, I will be waiting." As he hung up he thought to himself, I could use some alone time with Lynn right now.
"Carl, I am so sorry. I don't think I have ever been so blinded by rage quite like that before."
Carl spoke very quietly. "So I am taller than your stepfather."
"W w what?"
"Jenny, I am six foot four. How tall was your stepfather?"
"Um, about six foot, I guess."
"Had I been only six foot, you would have dealt a killing blow to me, by breaking my neck."
The truth hit Jenny like a ton of bricks, "Carl, I am so.."
"Don't want to hear it. That is not what I want to talk about."
Jenny grew quiet. She gazed at the man with a very angry bruise from his temple to his chin with such worried eyes, Carl sat himself up and swung his legs over the side of the chase, reaching for Jenny's sore right hand. He removed it from the ice and held it to his injury.
"What are you..?"
"Jenny. You hit your stepfather. You "killed" him, so to speak. Can you tell that little girl inside you there is no more reason to be afraid? Can you reassure her that you will protect her if needed and won't let anything happen to her again?"
Jenny's eyes filled with tears.
"You are, indeed, a strong, independent woman as you have always claimed. You have a great capacity to love others." gently stroking the hand to his face, he gave an encouraging, albeit painful smile.
"I need you to tell the little twelve year old girl inside you that she could do nothing to prevent what happened. The adults around her failed to protect her. She was in no way at fault." He removed her hand from his face, placing it in his left and as his right reached tor her left, he pulled her slowly close to him into a hug.
He whispered. "It is time. You must throw out that bad coffee and wash the cup clean. I need you to accept yourself. I need you to forgive yourself. I need you to love yourself." He held on to the woman and leaned back into the chase, pulling her beside him. As he cradled her, feeling her pull away a little in her surprise, he gently pressed his lips to the top of her head.
"Stop struggling. I am exhausted and need to sleep. So do you. Now settle down." As he closed his eyes, he heard her sigh.
"Carl? Why are you bothering with me? I almost took your head off quite literally today." Jenny felt the man say ouch. She looked up and saw a half grin/ grimace on his face.
"I only know that I need you more than you need me. And, since I have the habit of losing things I hold most dear, I do not want to let you out of my sight. Does that answer your question for now?" He regarded her sad blue eyes, no longer the pale dead look she had before at the church.
She only nodded.
"Time for a nap, Now go to sleep." as he closed his eyes and moved a little to give the woman some more room.
Jenny yawned, "I think I would like to talk to your friend, after all. Would that be all right?"
Carl pretended to be asleep, but inside, he was happy.
"Ready?" handing Lynn the bike helmet. "I have some things to do. The trip around the lake is about five miles."
Lynn nodded, wondering if it really was okay to leave Jenny alone.
"You sure it is all right to leave Jenny?"
"Yeah, I think Carl is the best medicine right now." He got on his bike and placed his helmet. "Follow me." As he rode to the lane, he thought, I am not without resources, either. As he turned right, instead of left to head over to the Hopson's house on the other side of the lake.
Lynn felt a gentle breeze coming off the lake, the sounds of canadian geese honking to each other as they waddled towards the water, the trees swayed gently and in this world that nature had provided, she felt peaceful and calm...
After about an hour of solid riding, Lynn was surprised at Rick stopping in front of a beautiul traditional ranch style house. Painted grey with black shutters, it seemed to be welcoming them.
"Don't worry. We are just going to visit some friends." He paused. "Lynn, do you know who Jenny's stepfather was? What was his name?"
"She never told me directly. But I remember when she cried out in her nightmare... His name was Joe... Joe Wilson. Why?"
"Is he still alive?"
"No, he killed himself when Jenny and I were in college. I was with her when the police notified her. I guess there was no other family. Jenny was asked to identify the body."
"Man, that girl really hasn't had any breaks." Rick looked up at the house. "Come on, we have got to get to the bottom of this."
As he knocked at the door, he noticed Lynn pulling away to another place in her head. He grabbed her hand. "I know this is difficult...seeing your friend in such pain. But you know more about her than anyone, and I need you to help me, help her. Okay?"
As the door opened a tall African American stood at the door. He smiled broadly, "Rick? Is that you? I haven't seen you in like forever, man. Come in... Come in."
"I wish this was a social visit, Dejuan. But I am in need of your help."
The man just shook his head. "Of course. And who is this pretty lady behind you?"
"Ah, this is my girlfriend, Lynn Johnson." He pulled her in front of him. "She has a friend in trouble."
"Ah, well," extending a hand to Lynn. "Pleased to meet you, Miss Lynn Johnson. My name is Dejuan Hopkins and I have known this guy here for a very long time... In fact, if he ever gives you any problems, just come to me." As he held the door open to let the two in, another man entered into the living room and grinned broadly. Lynn had to blink because he was the spitting image of Dejuan.
"Rick, God, it has been ages. Take a seat," turning to the confused Lynn, he grinned. "Hi, you are not seeing double. We twins, I am Deshaun." Taking her hand and shaking it, he added, "And who might you be?"
"Oh, I am Rick's"... "um, friend. My name is Lynn Johnson. Pleased to meet you."
"No, I think it will be my pleasure."
Rick narrowed his eyes at Lynn, why was it so hard for her to say, girlfriend? As he pulled her down beside him on the couch, Deshaun chuckled. "Ah, so that is how it is." He winked at his brother, "You know, Dejuan, all the good ones are taken. Ah, well, my loss."
Rick laughed. "Guys, I really need your expertise on this one."
The story unfolded and the two were in shock.
"Man, Rick, I always knew the Matthew were" pausing in search of word appropriate for mixed company, "bad, but, to go after someone like that? In church?"
"If it had been with our pastor, heads would have rolled."
"Guys, I need to find out how they got that message on to the program, and who Joe Wilson was.... his parents... anything that might connect him with the Matthews."
"Ah," Dejuan got up. "Then follow me to the magic room."
Lynn got up to follow with a quizzical look on her face. Deshaun linked arms with her. "I see Rick hasn't told you who we are."
"He said you guys were friends."
Deshaun smiled. "We grew up together. I will never forget the skinning we got from his mom when the three of us took some candy from Gerty's store." He smiled remembering. "But she never told my mom. Me and Dejuan could have been killed that day for sure. Instead, we painted her house. Rick, Dejuan and me... and then, she paid us for it, and said, "You boys know what to do with this money, right?"
"What did you do with it?"
"We went back and paid Gerty for the candy we stole, and then she made us work for her for a week."
"Wow. That seems a little extreme."
"No. Because after a week of that, she paid us. We learned it was easier to work than to steal."
"So now, you are going to see what we do for a living."
As they entered into a large room filled with computer equipment, Lynn smiled in appreciation of the layout.
"Welcome to our detective agency." Deshaun extended his arm around the room. "If you have ever used the net, made a bank transaction, or used a credit card, we will find you."
"Okay," Dejuan opened up his files. "First, do you have the program from the church?"
"Cool, I know this, we use the same print shop."
Deshaun went to his seat. "Rick, what did you say that man's name was? Do you have a date of birth or social security number?"
"HIs name was Joe Wilson. All I know is that he committed suicide some five to ten years ago."
"Fine, let's see what the newspaper had to say about him."
"Ah, please, call me Lynn."
"Fine, Lynn, why don't you go into the kitchen and make us some coffee, Everything you need is above the pot. I take mine with two creams and two sugars."
"I take mine with one cream and one sugar, Rick, he drinks his,.."
"Black, I know. Be right back."
"Ah, she knows how you drink your coffee, eh? I think this one is a keeper, what do you think, Deshaun?"
"Yeah, Rick. I think you might have found the one."
"Guys, shut up." Knowing it would be like this, he sat down with a dejected look.
"What?" As they kept hitting the key boards. "Tell us."
"There is so much shit at work and so little time to get all of this done."
Dejuan gave a knowing grin. "Deshaun, our brother here seems to be lost."
"Yes. He does."
"Why did you wait this long to come to us, Rick? You know that. we are more like brothers than friends."
"Yeah, why do you have to be a lone wolf all the time?"
"I don't want you two to get all that involved." He paused. "We are dealing with my relatives and it could get dangerous."
"Ah, but we are family, did you forget that?"
"Yeah, we survived your mom's wrath to earn that right. Remember?"
Rick shook his head and smiled. "Yeah, Mom was one powerhouse."
"Yeah, she gave a whole new meaning to tough love."
"So, tell us."
Rick looked at the twins. "Fine. I got demoted."
"And that was a surprise? You knew you were only hired help."
"I have thirty days to improve sales by thirty percent, and my cousin has to get a new line of toys up, the winner gets the company."
"Ah, another brilliant plan by old man Matthews, eh?"
"Thirty percent? in this economy?"
"So, you have a plan, right?"
Deshaun became thoughtful, as he hit the print button. "Ah, well you can't take over a privately owned company, but you can destroy it... right?" He got up and pulled the papers off the printer... "Rick, you love that company."
"Yeah." He got quieter.
Deshaun and Dejuan looked at each other. "Rick?"
"There is another way, guys."
"What? Throw the competition and let your cousin have it?" Dejuan sat back in his chair, and turned to look at Rick.
"You trust him like that?"
"It is not the matter of trust. He will have fifty one percent of ownership if he wins. But that won't be enough to overturn the board, since the bylaws are written as such."
"So it comes down to your uncles, eh?"
"Ah." Dejuan gave a knowing smile, thinking to himself, you really need us. "Here we go. It looks like the print company got hacked just as it approved the program to go to print. No one would have questioned something that was already edited and proofed." He paused... "But they should have checked the hard copy before delivering it. Someone at the company had to either miss this or got paid to." He glanced at his brother,
Deshaun smiled. "So we need to contact Scott?"
"Yeah, it looks like it. This is gonna take the cyber police to find out who did this. Rick, I take it your friend would like to keep this a secret."
"Guys, the girl in question has been thru enough hell already."
"But it would help out a lot if we can find out who was behind all of this."
"Ah, no problem.." Then got quiet as he heard Lynn. She handed out the three cups and sat down beside Rick. "I think we are finished for today. After all it is Sunday, a day of rest. Let's go out to the kitchen. I think we should have some cake. We need to celebrate."
"Celebrate?" Rick said.
"Yeah. You finally got a girl." laughing Deshaun headed out with his brother and the other two following behind.
Later that night, the twins got on line and contacted Scott..
"What do you want, DD?"
"Just need to ask a return on that favor."
"Need to find a hacker who decided to write a hate message on a back of a church program."
"What kind of message?"
"Check the attachment. Found out he hacked into the print company's files and got it in. It went to print and the whole congregation got the message."
"Damn. This guy wasn't nice."
"Yeah, Can you help?"
"It will take some time, but, is the girl going to press charges?"
"No. We just need to find out who hired this guy."
"Good luck with that. Most Hackers don't do it for money. They do it for the fun."
"Yeah, some fun."
"Okay, I will check this out. but then we call it even. All right?"
"Even. It is. Will be waiting to hear from you."
Deshaun and Dejuan was in the midst of a game when the icon come up with YOU GOT MAIL...
"DD, found something. Your guy is a newby which in in our favor. Send him this attachment and then play good cop/bad cop. I hope this helps. If my superiors get wind of this though, it won't be pretty... so we are done."
"Thankyou, and yes, we are done. Good working with you."
Dejuan copied the info and looked at his brother.
"So what kind of emali title would lure our boy in?"
"Let's appeal to his pride. How about... Congrats to the genius that hacked the print shop. Would love to chat with you, about possible employment opportunities."
"Fine. Here we go."
The twins continued to play their game when the message of mail come back on the screen.
"Wow, that didn't take long."
Deshaun opened the mail and smiled. He punched a few keys and they were online with Mr. Hacker otherwise known at ChuckE.
"So you guys liked my hack job on the church?"
"How much did you charge for something like that? The job at hand will be similar."
"Pleeeeeaaaaase, it was a challenge. Anyway, we all know church goers are hypocrites."
"ah, so it is a free service?"
"Er, ah, well, the going rate like that is three thousand dollars.'
"Really? that is easy. How do you get paid?"
"I'll send you my account number after I get details of the job."
Dejuan got an evil grin on his face.
"Tell him we want to hack into the Matthews company computers and put a virus that will shut them down. Our sister got hurt by one of their toys and they won't pay up."
Deshaun returned the evil grin. "That might work to shake him up a bit." and typed in the message.
Silence was returned.
"Are you there? Maybe three isn't enough. How about four?"
"Are you playing hard to get?"
"No... DD, you don't want to mess with the Matthews."
Dejuan looked thoughtful. "This guy must be a local. He knows who the Matthews are."
"Who cares? They must be held accountable." Deshaun wrote in. "Bro, we need to play dumb. Dejuan nodded in agreement.
"Guys. I can't do it."
"Okay, four and a half, but that is my final offer."
"No, it is not about the money. Look the Matthews are really powerful."
"So? Isn't it the job of hackers to take on the most powerful?"
"Not this one. They own me hook, line and sinker."
"In what way?"
"In every way."
"You want an out?"
"Read you mail in about an hour. We will contact you then."
Scott got an odd message from DD. He read it over and over again. "Well I'll be a monkey's uncle."
to be continued.