“We were switched at birth. Someone wanted a girl child and left the boy in the nest as exchange. No one knew. We didn’t find out for many years, and it caused the most wonderful suffering that anyone has ever known.”
“These little scraps of memory are like the old yellow photographs in the box. Just little glimpses and fragments. The visual images, like the photographs, are incomplete without the feeling associated with them, and I remember the feelings best.”
“Something clicked in me that moment, and I resolved to always be the best in Mary’s eyes, both in things physical and in the classroom. I wanted to have her look at me like she did Charlie.”
“Shark sent me to bring ya for a conference. Ya sister can come too if ya like or just ya. Either way suits me.” He gave me a big smile and opened his coat so that I could see his pistol. I was close enough to him that this was a mistake on his part, but other than kill him, there was not much I could do. I didn’t want any action to be right in front of Mary, and I, for sure, didn’t want her hurt.
“No hard feelings, kid. Just business. You did good,” he gurgled, then his eyes rolled back and his labored breathing stopped.
“Mary has her father’s eye, and he seems to favor her. I know that fathers and daughters sometimes attract each other, but I feel sorry for Mike who is left out a lot. He just stands there and watches them play and never complains, as long as Mary is within his reach.”
“Yes, that’s the impression I got also. She held things together and raised a son that even she thought was a stranger, but she never mentioned it and treated him like her own,” Jill said.
All these men with him had similar stories and experiences. Any of them could lead. Perhaps that was the point after all. No matter who died, someone was there fit to take charge.
“Get ready. Bayonets only,” Mike warned. They spread out, knives flashing in the moonlight, crouching down and merging with the shadows.
“I know that I should be grateful that I could be with her for all those years, but it wasn’t nearly enough time. If she leaves this earth first, I won’t be able to stand my loneliness and my loss. If I go first, who will be there to comfort Mary? I fear this moment, children, more than I have ever feared anything.”