2004-11-16 - 1:16 p.m.

Chapter 17, We're almost there...

Chapter 17

Gil closed his phone and stood in the darkness of the stairwell willing his hands to stop their shaking betrayal. He reminded himself that this was what he had always known. Waiting for his brother’s ultimate destruction was a part of life since the day Miles returned from his father’s charge. Believing that Miles death would somehow free him to live the life he had rarely allowed himself to fantasize was a foolish indulgence for which he would chide later.

“She gonna be okay? This whole thing would be tough for anyone to take, she looks like she’s been through enough already.” Ignoring the question Gil began searching the rest of the room. Creaking floorboards overhead told him Sara had gone.

The basement search turned up more photos of other women, some of whom Gil recognized, but his brother was not in these. He also uncovered a number of leather bound notebooks, each tied closed with a red, white and blue ribbon, each detailing the comings and goings of women somehow connected to Gil. Color-coded, each woman’s personal information, timetable, clothing style, job, address was entered in black. Written in neat blue script that mirrored his own Gil found detailed descriptions of his encounters with the woman in question along with his brother’s commentary as he watched the exchange. Finally in red, at the end of each book was a sloppy, scribbled message about her death, what she had pleaded for and how Miles had manipulated her into believing, even to the last breath, that he might, if she found the right words, let her live.

He searched for Sara’s book but found none with her name or details.

A door slammed upstairs and a boy’s voice reached the basement, “Dad? Dad, is everything okay?”

Officer Polk placed a hand on Gil’s forearm to stop him answering. Officer Baden led the way to where a boy of roughly 11 waited at the top of the stairs.

“Dad? What’s going on?” The boy moved around the officers to talk to Gil. “Why are the cops here?”
Officer Baden gently turned the boy to look at him, “What’s your name son?” “Miles Grissom, what’s going on? Dad? I saw Sara driving away when I was on my bike, you didn’t tell me she was coming.”

Gil’s head throbbed. Everything went black for a few seconds and he was certain he was going to pass out. The boy had dark hair and eyes, his features were not remotely like his own, but there was a vague resemblance to Trina.

“Miles, I’m not your dad. I’m your uncle. Did your father ever tell you about having an Uncle Gil?”
“No, Dad, that’s not funny. Uncle Gil is dead. What are you talking about? Why was Sara here? Is she coming back?”

The boy was near hysteria. Officer Polk took him by the shoulder and directed him to the sofa; the boy went automatically to the worn edge. “Son, this is your Uncle, your dad was wrong when he thought that your Uncle Gil was dead. Did he tell you that he was a twin?” The boy nodded his head, he had known. “Where’s dad?” Gil stepped in, taking his old place on the sofa, settling in next to young Miles. “Your dad is gone. He died a few days ago, I’m sorry.” And he was. He was sorry for this frightened young boy. “Did you live here with him? Did someone else take care of you?”

“I live here when dad’s home. If he’s away I stay with Kenny.” “Who’s Kenny?” Officer Polk asked the question, but when he saw the look in Gil’s eyes he backed away.

Tears were running down his cheeks but the boy focused on his newfound uncle, “Kenny Dillon, he’s my friend from baseball, and well, school I guess, but we’re in different classes. I stay with him and his mom when dad’s working. Is that why Sara was here? Cause dad’s dead?”

Gil swallowed past the rock in his throat, “How do you know Sara?” “I want to see my dad.” He patted the boy’s hand and left his own covering it, “I’ll find out about you seeing him, but right now, I need to know how you know Sara.”

“She’s dad’s girlfriend, but she never comes here cause she lives in Las Vegas. Dad goes there for work, sometimes he lets me come with him.” “And you get to go see Sara?” “We play a game, I’ve met her once but we couldn’t tell her who I was, she was supposed to guess, but she couldn’t. Usually dad and I play a game where I try to sneak and take pictures of them without them seeing me. I want to be a reporter so dad says it’s good practice. If I get clear ones he gives me a prize - extra equipment and stuff.”

Now Officer Baden stepped in “Do you play that game with anyone else?” “No, just Dad and Sara. Did I do something wrong?”

“No, you didn’t do anything. Can you give me Kenny’s mom’s phone number Miles?”

While Officer Polk called Ms. Dillon, asking her to meet them at the station, Officer Baden helped Miles pack up some of his things, explaining to the boy that he might not be able to come back to his house for a little while.

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