The third and final chapter in the Voices of Resistance Saga.
Megan watched as Bob cleared the basement of all the weapons, having put them into storage on the other side of campus. Her heart cried out to him, only he couldn’t hear her no matter how hard she tried. She knew Bob wanted the arsenal far enough away as to be inconvenient for him to access, he no longer trusted himself.
Since returning to DC Mike had withdrawn into a bottle and Bob felt that any day, Mike would walk out the front door and not return. Bob was exhausted, so tired of the long days and empty nights, he was lonely and afraid. It was a beautiful Sunday in August; the neighbors were prepping their barbecue grills, splashing in pools, enjoying each other’s company, while Bob sat on the floor of the study watching Mike sleep on the couch—again.
“You are in too much pain,” Megan said. Bob did not hear her.
Mike knew Bob would find him again on the couch. He wanted to go upstairs and crawl into bed with Bob each time he came home. Instead, he would go into the study and stare at the picture of his family and finish off whatever bottle of whiskey he had in his hand, falling asleep again on the couch. He needed Bob, and he knew Bob needed him, nevertheless, he couldn’t get past the picture in the study. He imagined he could smell Megan’s scent or hear her humming, and it was eating away at him. Mike came home every day to an empty house, his shift at work ending as Bob’s started, so he would leave the house, go to a local bar and drink. On the one night a week he saw Bob, they rarely spoke, and they never touched. He loved Bob, and he prayed that someday, things would change.
Megan spent most of her time watching Mike. She was drawn to him because of the unborn baby, and though she tried to touch him, she only managed to send Mike deeper into the bottle, as he imagined she was there when she shouldn’t be.
Jackie was the only one who heard her clearly, and it saddened her to where she turned to anti-depressants and alcohol to ease her pain. After finally allowing Skip to intervene, Jackie lay in a deep coma-like sleep. She had battled withdrawals for three days and had managed to make it through with Skip’s unwavering support.
Jackie had fought Skip, raging at him, ranting incoherently at times, sobbing, pleading, and finally, worn out from the battle, she succumbed to the exhaustion. She dreamt she heard Megan humming, putting it down again as hallucination since she was having those quite frequently, especially during the detoxification process. Skip told her she would eventually tire out and sleep like the dead. Jackie thought being dead might not be such a bad thing.
It was Skip though who caused Megan to cry out for Joe. Since the sniper’s second shot, the only pain she felt was when she saw the look on Joe’s face as he held her as she lay dying. Skip’s heart was broken, and his mind wasn’t making sense, and the pain he felt resonated throughout her.
Jackie was finally sleeping, and Skip got in his car and drove off, not caring where he went. He wound up in Annapolis. The Sunday morning traffic was light with few cars at the Bay Bridge toll plaza. Skip handed his toll to the attendant and did not wait for the change from the twenty-dollar bill. The attendant looked at Skip as he drove off noticing the holster and handgun on the passenger seat. The attendant picked up the phone connected directly to bridge security. “This is West Plaza three, I have a possible jumper in a dark green Honda Accord. He has a handgun on the passenger seat. Guy paid the toll with a twenty and didn’t wait for his change.”
Megan needed Joe, and in a moment of clarity, realizing he was also dead, she called his name.
“Megan,” Joe replied.
“I’m here, mi amante.”
“We’re dead,” Joe said.
“Yes, my love.”
“Where are we?” Joe asked.
“I’m not sure, but it looks like DC.”
“DC.” Joe laughed. “You’re here with me, though I can’t see you, we’re dead, and you think we’re in DC? I’d say we got off at the wrong exit. Why are we here?”
“Our family is in trouble,” Megan said. “I’ve been watching them, and they are at the breaking point.”
“You’ve been watching them, where have I been?” Joe asked.
“Resting,” Megan replied sweetly. “You were so tired.”
“I’m a little confused,” Joe said.
“It will all become clearer, for now, you and I are together somewhere, we can watch our family, and it appears we may be able to help them. At least that’s what I am sensing,” Megan said. “I slept too, then I awoke and found I could see them. I tried calling for you, only, you weren’t, weren’t, well the best way to describe it is you weren’t awake. Then somehow I knew you were awake and I spoke your name.”
“What about Nena?” Joe asked.
“She’s still asleep,” Megan replied. “She’s here somewhere. Think about her, and you’ll understand what I mean.”
Joe thought about his sweet daughter, and as Megan said, he knew she was okay and asleep. He thought about Megan and felt her warmth fill him and render him slightly breathless.
“Wow, almost as good as having you in my arms,” Joe said. “Now, tell me about the others.”
Jungle tactics–for four American agents, the jungle is second nature. Chasing down intelligence for the US is also second nature. They had been in Central America in 1981 tasked to keep tabs on the Sandinistas and the Contra Rebels. Six set out in September of 1981. Four returned to the US at the end of 1986, where they discover that the deaths of two of the agents had raised the status of those two to legends among the Resistance Guerrillas of Central America. Eleven months later, the team is once again tasked with a mission in Panama. The remains of the two dead agents–ash gathered from their burial pyre in Costa Rica–are in the hands of the Department of State and their deaths are still keenly felt by the remaining four. Asked to return to Panama to gather more intel on a misbehaving General Noriega, the four head back to Hialita, Panama, this time accompanied by the spirits of their dead friends; ghosts to some, family to others. The four: Mike, Bob, Skip, and Jackie, go deep undercover in the Darien Province between Panama and Colombia to get the intel on Noriega. Discovering along the way that they too are the stuff of legends.
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