I Will Love You Forever Pt. 2 Ch. 11

bykalamazoo707©

"Kirei." He called softly as he touched her shoulder making her jump. "Have you started our trip without me?"

Patricia smiled at him and moved over on the blanket so that he could sit down beside her. When he was settled, she laid her head in his lap and closed her eyes.

"Where is our first destination?" Kenji asked stroking her arm.

They sat outside for hours making tentative plans for their first trip together. They finally decided to take a long overdue honeymoon with the money that Ralph had left for them. Just making those plans helped Patricia more than she would have thought possible. When they finally went to bed, she felt more at peace than she had since Kenji made his decision.

**********

Andrew made dinner for him and his father since his mother was at work. Even though his father was working, his mother kept her job at the diner. She no longer minded since she could quit when she wanted and she liked the extra money.

Andrew was glad when she made the decision to keep her job as it allowed periods of time when he would be alone in the house. He made the meat and cheese sandwiches, cut up two apples and poured two glasses of lemonade. His father hobbled in on his crutches in just as he sat the food on the table.

"Hey dad." Andrew greeted when Harlan came in. "I made some supper, it isn't much, but we won't starve."

"Thanks son." Harlan said as he washed his hands at the kitchen sink. "How are things?"

Andrew looked at his father trying to decide if he was being asked a trick question.

"I'm good, why do you ask?"

"No reason. I was just making conversation." Harlan replied as he sat at the table.

Andrew didn't believe him. He knew when Harlan had something on his mind and wondered what it was. As curious as he was, he decided not to tempt fate.

"I'm anxious for classes to start." Andrew said. "Three more years of med school and then I begin my residency."

"We're proud of you son." Harlan said. "Any idea of where you might go?"

"I would like to stay close to home, but I'll go where there's an opening." Andrew replied.

What he didn't say was that unless he hauled ass and improved his grades, he wouldn't be going anywhere. Andrew had come to realize that he had to learn balance. The melting pot had consumed him to the point where his grades suffered and that couldn't be allowed to continue.

He still had plans for them, but he needed to graduate too. He was slowly coming to realize that he had to be able to support himself and that if he didn't graduate, he would bring shame to his family.

"I know that your mother would like it if you stayed close by, but a man's gotta make his own way. Say, whatever happened to that girl you was seeing? What was her name?" Harlan asked.

"Becca." Andrew replied. "I heard that she got married and has a baby on the way."

"Well, you can't win them all can you?" Harlan asked taking a bite of his sandwich.

"I guess not, but you know; she wasn't the one." Andrew said. "I want a marriage like you and mom have."

It was the right thing to say. Whatever Harlan wanted to talk about was forgotten as he began to reminisce about where he met Andrew's mother Evelyn.

Andrew sat back and listened without interrupting. An hour later, Harlan had talked himself out and excused himself. Andrew waited until he heard the radio playing, washed up the dishes and crept past his father who had fallen asleep sitting in the recliner.

The day's newspaper lay scattered on the floor by the side of the chair. Andrew stopped to pick it up so that his mother wouldn't have to, and took it to his room. It was time to start looking for a gun.

*******

Isadora couldn't help but look at the dresses that Bella had helped her pick out for school. She still didn't feel comfortable with a man buying her clothes, but she couldn't deny that he was right about dressing properly. Out of sentiment and a need to remember, Isadora carefully cut the price tags from the clothes and tucked them away. One day, she was going to repay Jonah for his help.

She turned away from the closet and looked at her desk which was now covered with pens, pencils, notebooks and her textbooks. On the floor, next to her desk was a box of law journals that had been sent from home. On top was a small note of encouragement from Mr. Whitman, her employer from home.

"Isadora,

I hope that all is going well for you. Your mother stopped by and asked that I send these to you so here they are. I wish that I could help you more and will do all that I can. I'll try to help your parents as much as I can so try not to worry about them. I also want to give you a word of encouragement. Keep your eyes on the prize. Use whatever prompted you to choose this course of study to motivate you.

Isadora, you have the intelligence, the drive and the ability to succeed. If there is anything that I can do for you from this end, let Jonah know, and I'll do my best to help. I wish you the best as you begin your studies.

Mr. Whitman"

Isadora reread the note and put it with the tags from her clothes. She changed into her nightclothes, got into bed and immediately got up. There was one more thing that she needed to do. She went to her desk, took a sheet of paper and wrote six names on it. When she was done, she looked at the list, added two more names and put the paper in the drawer with the note from home and the tags from her new clothes.

She crawled back into bed, turned onto her side and cried herself to sleep.

********

Ty sat in the brightly lit room and looked around. Charles, Nick and Briscoe sat across from him assessing him, but not speaking. They had already decided to wait and see what Ty had to offer them. They hadn't even asked him to confirm his identity. It took Ty less than an hour to start talking.

At first, he tried to convince them that there had been a misunderstanding to which there was no response.

"Come on guys." He said smoothly, "I meant no harm."

Nick broke silence first.

"You meant no harm, but your car has been seen parked in front of my house at least three times a week for several weeks. You've also been spotted at Will Mahoney's. Care to tell us why you were watching us?"

"What are you going to do for me?" Ty asked.

"Not a damned thing." Nick replied leaning back in his chair.

Ty looked at Charles.

"What about you government man? What are you willing to give me?"

Charles gave Ty a cool smile. This was what he was waiting for. He planned on giving Ty the bare minimum of his requests.

"That depends on what you have to say." He replied.

What he didn't say was that they already had information on him and that they knew about the murder that he told his wife about.

"Tell us about Lawrence Goodman." Charles said.

"If I tell you what I know, I want to walk out of here a free man." Ty replied.

Charles couldn't help but laugh.

"You've got a sense of humor, I like that but there's no way in hell you're walking out of here. We know that you're being investigated for a murder..."

"I didn't kill anyone!" Ty yelled.

"We heard that you told your wife that you killed someone." Briscoe said. "Why would you tell her that if it wasn't true?"

"I was just trying to keep her in line." Ty said. "I didn't think that she believed me."

"Obviously she did." Briscoe said drily. "Was telling her that Lawrence Goodman was going to be living with you also a lie?"

Ty thought fast. The lesser of the two evils was to go with some semblance of the truth he decided.

"That was true." He said. "Mr. Goodman was going to stay with us for a short time."

"From what we understand, he was going to be a long term house guest." Charles said. "I don't know if you're aware of this, but the President has a committee investigating the lynching and treatment of blacks in the south.

I'm sure that you're wondering what that has to be with you so let me explain." Charles said leaning forward. "If you participated in any killings, you'll be tried for it. Don't think that you can't be convicted. Lawrence was and others will be as well. It would be in your best interest to tell us what you know."

"I didn't kill anyone." Ty repeated.

"Who is Ellen Percy?" Briscoe asked.

"I don't know any Ellen Percy." Ty replied.

His heart was hammering as he tried to stay a step ahead of his questioners.

"That's odd because when we called down to South Carolina, they have record of a marriage certificate dated for 1943. According to the certificate, you were her husband. How do you explain that?" Briscoe asked.

When Ty didn't answer, Briscoe continued.

"It seems that your wife disappeared in the spring of 1946 and hasn't been seen since. Do you know what that means? It means that you committed polygamy... unless of course, she divorced you or she died. She wouldn't happen to be dead would she?"

Ty found himself wishing that he hadn't told Becca about the murder, but what was done was done. Any thoughts that he had about keeping Lawrence's secrets were gone. It was now about self-preservation. He was also aware of something else; he couldn't serve out any term that he was given in South Carolina. If word got out that he talked, he would be dead within hours. But still he fought.

"No one's found a body yet have they?" he asked. "For all you know, she could be on the other side of the planet."

"Possible, but I don't think so." Briscoe replied. "I've been doing this for a long time and I know a lying son of a bitch when I see one. You my friend are a lying son of a bitch. I think that you killed your wife. What happened? Did she step out of line?"

Seeing that Ty was rattled, Charles stepped in.

"We know exactly who you are." He said looking directly at him. "Tyrone Morgan, felon, scam artist and white supremacist. You and the late Mr. Goodman were much more than casual acquaintances. "You were his point man. Your mission was to come out here and pave the way for Goodman. Becca Cartwright is willing to testify to everything that you told her."

"A wife can't testify against her husband!" Ty exclaimed.

"That's true unless she isn't your wife." Nick said. "If Ellen Percy is alive somewhere, then Becca Cartwright isn't your wife. That frees her to testify, but even if she is legally your wife, she can still testify even if it can't be admitted into a court of law. Any and all information she gives will be thoroughly checked out."

Ty saw the trap closing around him and there was no way out. All he could do was try to bargain and keep Ellen out of it.

"What do you want to know?" he asked.

By morning, Ty had given Lawrence up. He had but one question. How had they known about the depth of his relationship with Lawrence? It had to have been someone at the prison, there could be no other explanation.

"Where did your information come from?" he asked.

"You don't need to know that." Nick replied. "All you need to know is that your ass is going back to prison and if there's a god, you'll be seeing your old friends again."

Ty panicked. He had visions of his body being found days after he had been killed.

"Don't send me back there! If they find out that I fucked up, they'll kill me. Keep me here! I'll confess to planning to kill you, the Jap, Lawrence's ex and her man. I'll do or say anything you want."

"Tell me about Warden Ellis." Nick said.

"I don't know much about him." Ty replied. "I was leaving as he came. I do know that he had it in for Lawrence."

"Why?" Charles asked. "Did they know each other?"

"I don't know to both questions." Ty replied. "Are you going to send me back?"

"You're not going anywhere for the time being." Nick replied. "But the disappearance of your wife is being investigated. If she turns up dead, there's nothing that will keep you from being extradited back to South Carolina."

Charles got up from the table and opened the door.

"Take him to a cell and keep an eye on him. He better be here, unharmed and alive in the morning." Charles told the agent. "I want to be notified immediately if anything unusual happens and if in doubt, call me."

"Yes sir." The agent replied.

Charles waited until Ty was taken away before speaking.

"What do we know about our source?" he asked.

"Not much." Nick replied. "He said that he shared a cell with Lawrence and remembered seeing my name on a piece of paper. He also mentioned Jacob Lincoln and a promise that he made to him."

"Jacob Lincoln? Is the source black?" Charles asked.

"I don't think so." Nick replied. "But I can't swear to it. The information was in a letter and when he called, the call lasted long enough for him to tell me that he sent the letter. I was going to call the prison to see if I could get the names of Goodman's cell mates, but I changed my mind after thinking about it. What if Ellis found out? Let's hope that we hear from him again. We're going to need him."

*******

As soon as Saul was released from prison, he made his way home. His mother and brothers and sisters were thrilled to see him.

"Saul!" his mother Lucy cried when she saw him. "You're home! You didn't run away did you?"

"No ma, I got out for good behavior. Are you alright?"

"We're struggling but we're fine." She replied.

She knew that Saul was keeping something from her, but she didn't care. He was home. Lucy warmed up leftovers from dinner and sat across from him to watch him eat. Satisfied that he really was alright and that he hadn't run away from prison, she asked for the truth.

"It's like I said, I got out on good behavior. The warden said that I deserved a second chance." Saul said. "Ma... I promised a friend that I would do something for him and I need your help."

Lucy gave her son a wary look before asking him what the promise was. Her eyes widened as he told her about Jacob Lincoln.

"I know that you don't care for the black people, but ma, he helped me when no one else would. He taught me how to survive and to keep from being used. If you won't help me, then I'll find someone else."

Lucy looked at her son with pride and fear. He was right. She didn't care for the Negroes, but it had been one who looked after him.

"What do you need help with?" she asked after a long silence.

It took some time to find Nick's phone number and address. Writing the letter had been more difficult than either of them had imagined. Saul wanted it to be short, but it also had to have enough information to be credible. It was Lucy who had suggested that they call when the letter was mailed. The next obstacle was finding a telephone.

Finally, Saul took the bus to the next town over, found a phone, called Nick and mailed the letter. On the ride back home, he tried to convince himself that he had fulfilled his promise to Jacob. By the time he arrived home, he knew that he hadn't even begun.

He took mental stock of the cash that he had left from Lawrence and then calculated how much he would need to make it to California. He would leave the bulk of it with his mother, hitchhike to California and find a job somewhere. While he traveled, he would try to plan out his future. Now that he had made a decision, Saul calmed. He was doing the right thing.

*********

Becca looked at her reflection in the mirror. She rubbed her large belly as she thought about Ty. Her father had already contacted a lawyer and divorce proceedings had begun. Never in her wildest dreams did she imagine that she would be divorced and a single mother at so young an age.

What amazed her was that she no longer cared about what people were saying. She also realized that the people whom she thought were friends really weren't. The only people who came to see her was her friend Susan and surprisingly, Ernie.

She could tell that he no longer cared about her as he once did, but saw her as someone that he wanted to make amends and become friends with. It occurred to her that she had never apologized to him for what she did. She took the opportunity when he showed up at her parent's house one evening.

She was helping her mother clean up the dinner dishes when he rang the doorbell. Initially, she thought that it was Ty, but then remembered that he was in police custody. Whoever it was, her father sounded pleased to see them. A few minutes later, she was sitting on the porch with Ernie.

There was a long awkward silence as they sat on the porch swing gently rocking back and forth. Finally, Ernie spoke.

"I just wanted to tell you that I'm not angry with you anymore and that I'm sorry that I hit you. I think that I was angrier at myself than you."

"I'm sorry too." Becca said softly. "I was wrong about so many things including what I asked you to do. It took meeting and marrying Ty to make me see that. Can I ask a question?"

Ernie hesitated and then nodded his head yes.

"Did you really believe that stuff that Andrew was spouting?"

Ernie looked away and then back at Becca.

"I thought I did, but that's not the way my parents taught me to think. I was enthralled with the fact that Andrew's father was a real war hero and that Andrew was actually paying attention to me. You know, in a way, you helped me." Ernie said.

"How did I do that?" Becca asked. "If I recall, you took a pretty bad beating."

"I did, but I think that it was the best thing that could have happened to me." Ernie replied. "At first, I didn't see it that way. I was furious with you, but then I came to realize that I didn't have to do what you asked; it was ultimately my decision.

I also realized something else. If I hadn't become involved with Andrew, I could have been friends with what he calls the melting pot. I did and said things to them that I will always regret and for what? So that I could fit in somewhere and Becca; it wasn't worth it. What about you? Did you believe what he was saying?"

It was Becca's turn to look away, but it felt good to talk to someone who had experienced Andrew Kelly.

"I guess I'm kind of like you." Becca said. "I thought that I was in love with him and that I had to agree with him. Also like you, I wasn't raised to believe the way that Andrew did although I have family that do. When I ....bribed you to harass them, I thought that it would make Andrew notice me more. I thought that he would fall in love with me.

I found out how he felt about me a few nights later. I actually accused him of having feelings for Patricia Takeda and called him a coward. The thing is, he denied the coward part but didn't reply about Patricia. But you know what? I've come to the conclusion that Andrew is incapable of caring about anyone. At any rate, I'm sorry about what I did to you. It was wrong, but then so much of what I did back then was wrong."

"Becca, do your parents know?" Ernie asked.

"They know about everything except that. It was bad enough telling them about my reputation, and telling them about that would kill them. They moved from South Carolina to get away from the racism, they didn't want me to think that way."

"I told my parents." Ernie said softly. "They were more hurt than angry, and if you ask me, the hurt and disappointment was worse than the anger. I have to admit that I felt better than I had for a long time. The next hardest thing was going to Kenji, Patricia and Joel to apologize."

Becca was speechless.

"I had to try to make things right. I talked to them at Milt's funeral."

They talked about the service for a few minutes since Becca hadn't attended. She got another shock when Ernie told her that he suspected Andrew killed Milt.

"The problem is that there's no proof. Andrew doesn't have a gun and even if he did, no one's seen it. The other problem is everyone knows that he did it and is too scared of him to say anything."

"Why would he kill Milt?" Becca asked.

"Control." Ernie replied. "Milt challenged Andrew's authority and called him coward. Milt and some of the others felt that Andrew was moving too slowly in dealing with what he called the melting pot."

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