Friday, December 22, 2006

Apparittion.....Part 2

“Damn it!” Jared muttered to himself. Where was that damn limo? It was supposed to be there fifteen minutes ago. Jared didn’t want to have to deal with one of his father’s lectures about punctuality, but as he was late he knew he would hear it. Being the son of Dominic and Natalie Cross had it pits falls. At thirty he was one of the most eligible bachelors in NY. Living on the east side of Manhattan in a loft wasn’t so bad to say the least. But Jared did not need his father’s money to survive, he need it for his two projects to survive. He ran two shelters for teenage runaways living on the streets in the city. Instead of sleeping on corners and being forced into prostitution and drug habits. Jared gave them a warm bed, food, a roof over their heads and offered other opportunities for the forgotten of the world. So if he had to listen to his fathers lectures to ensure a handsome donation to his shelter’s he sit and button his lips.
Shit! The word was spit out of him. He decided then and there it would better to go through Central Park to get to his parents. The lived not to far from one of the many exits of the park. He’d just hop in a cab on the other side and zip to their place. Dressed in a dark tuxedo that accentuated his large frame Jared crossed the street and headed into the park. He liked this idea better anyway of walking anyway, That way if he ran into any kids looking for a safe place to sleep, he could give them a card and directions to the shelter. Jared walked in front the traffic that was almost to a complete stop, he moved quickly. He smiled knowing that in New York when the traffic is read to move, you had better be not standing in front of it.
Shadows were already beginning to form from the setting sun. The trees made a canopy of shade and Jared walked through the park unafraid. He was six two and with long brown hair falling down his back he looked more like a sexy biker that the son of a shipping baron. It was just after Labor Day and the city still had a little humidity from the summer left. In a tux it was hell on wheels and Jared could feel droplets of sweat starting to run down his back. Sitting on a bench were two teens as he passed. He could tell by the wariness in their eyes that they were homeless. Jared knew the routine sit in the park like if you are just relaxing until it was safe from cops chasing them away. The twosome would try to find a place to sleep for the night. The next day the process would begin all over again. Jared hated to see it. But in New York kids like these were looked over. His aim was to do something about it.
“Hey guys, you looking for a roof and a meal? He stopped and asked.
“Listen asshole, we don’t do shit like that. Shove off!” the boy stood up with his fist balled just in case he had to defend him and his companion.
“Whoa calm down kid. I run a shelter. You and your girlfriend could stay there.” Jared replied. His hands were up to show the kid he meant no harm.
“She is not my girlfriend, she is my sister.” The girl did not even look up. She seemed withdrawn and scared. Her body language, her silence was the classic signs of brutality.
Making a mental not about getting counseling for her, he reached in his pocket and pulled out a card. “Look, go to the “Safe Harbor Shelter. It’s off Columbus Circle. That’s my place, ask for Max and tell him I sent you.”
“This ain’t no bullshit right?” The boy asked warily.
“No you guys will be safe there and as long as you follow the rules you can stay as long as you like.” Jared assured him.
The boy took the card and helped his sister from the bench and Jared watched them walk off. He call Max later to see if they got there and to sent up someone to talk to the girl. He looked at his watch again, he was over an hour late. “Damn it!” He said to himself and walked quickly lost in his own thoughts. Jared noticed his surroundings a few minutes later. He had been walking and not paying attention to where he was going, He was sure he made a wrong turn somewhere because this was not where he needed to be. Cursing softly to himself he turned on the smaller path to head back in the direction he came from. How in the hell did he end up in one of the bike trails? The part of the park the lanes were smaller and carried more dense bushes. Out of the corner of his eye Jared swore he saw a wisp of blue. The hair on the back of his neck stood on end and he turned quickly to confront who ever was behind him. There she stood dressed in a blue with bare feet. Her black straight hair blue gently but there was no breeze, everything seemed to go still. She could be no more than nineteen, her eyes were sad and Jared felt an instant amount of concern that over rid the wariness.
He took slow careful steps towards the small woman and reached out his hand talking softly to her. “Hi, are ok? Do you need help?”
Her response was to turn and run deeper into the wooded path. “Hey!” Jared called after her and followed. She moved quickly for a woman with no shoes on. She stooped suddenly and faced him once again.
Jared skidded to a halt. “Lady why did you run? If you need help, let me take you to the police or a hospital.”
The woman in blue stared at him with the sad brown eyes. This time it was her who reached out her hand to him. Jared stepped forward to take it but she steeped back .
“Help me.” She whispered. “Find me.”
“Find you?” Jared asked. “You’re right here, I found you al…….”
Jared words stopped as he watched the woman fade from his sight, her out stretched hand was the last thing to disappear. With his mouth gaping open Jared stared at the spot where she stood a few seconds before. What the fuck! This was not possible he thought wildly. She could not just disappear! Jared looked around expecting to see her standing somewhere else, but there was nothing she was gone. Jared walked away slowly looking back over and over again to where she last stood. His mind was having trouble comprehending what he knew he had just saw and talked to a ghost.
“Jesus Christ this had been an odd day.” He muttered. He found his usual path thought Central park and got to his parents building over an hour and a half later that he was supposed to be there. He kissed his mother’s check dutifully and even managed to smiles as she winked thought his father’s lecture about him wasting his life. But his mind was somewhere else. It was on the park and what he saw. She needed help, she needed someone to find her. Find her what? Her body, her killer? Jared didn’t know but by the end of the night, he knew he was going to find out.

1 comment:

Loretta said...

I enjoyed reading this so far. Wonderful work.

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