Crook Takes Pawn Part 22

While returning from his successful business trip, Greg saw the letter taped to the front door of his shop. Gregs balls clenched in reflex. What was this now? A summons? A creditor or something? He still owed on his hospital bills. It had been over 90 days. Greg was still on edge sometimes. Although hes overcome a surprising amount of his ordeal, there was always the feeling that a single piece of bad news, or bill could ruin everything. As Greg approached the letter closer, he saw his own name scrawled across the heavy-weighted envelope paper. The writing is wavy andfeminine. A womans writing???
    Greg snatches the envelope from its scotch tape perch. Greg frowns and fumbles with his keys to unlock the door. The letter is thick, written on heavy quality paper. There is a decorative border pressed around the edges, which resembles flowing vines. The letter is written in that same elaborate cursive, in neat, precise spacing:

Dear Greg,
    My name is Rebecca Drake. I was the one who ran into your store screaming like a madwoman. I meant to reach you sooner, but I didnt know what I would say. I visited you in the hospital, but I dont know if you remember. You were in pretty bad shape. That was by far the worst day of my life. I figure it wasnt exactly a red-letter day for you either, sir. You put your life at risk, because of a crazy psycho, and paid a price for doing so. I am sorry you were injured, it is an unfortunate result for such bravery. I visited you in the hospital, but I dont know if you remember. You were in bad shape. Had we waited to take action, my daughter would  be dead, there is no question in my  mind. I looked into that mans eyes. There was nothing there. Just a black hole waiting to cave in on itself. I was willing to give him my vehicle, all I wanted was to save my child. I failed to do so. Terror is an understatement to describe how I felt to see my baby stolen by a crazy psycho. I cant express in words how much my daughter means to me. Your actions were heroic, and I hope things are not too dire for you now. If there is anything I can do for you, please call me on my cell number listed below.
Her number was neatly printed below, the only piece of writing not in that streaming script of writing style.
    RebeccaA sultry name befitting her looks. It suddenly strikes Greg that he never even knew her first name until now. Gregs mind snaps back to that day. The events are etched into his recall, forever to remain. Even though Rebecca was a ravaged mess at that time, she was still gorgeous. Greg once again imagined what she would look like once her wounds were healed, and makeup applied. It took a while for Gregs mind to make the connection between that beauty and the letter. This woman wanted him to call her? It seemed preposterous.
    Greg began to contemplate the situation. He crawled deep inside that place within every guy, a place of cold, hard logic. In bars and restaurants throughout time, the male visits that space, where love and wars are fought.
    He surmised the situation. Greg was fat and bald. His chances with women were somewhat limited, to be honest. Yes, confidence played a part, but when comparisons began between Greg and other available guys, certain flaws became evident right away. Humans like to think theyre not shallow, but there is evidence to the contrary.
    Many times, like guys, women will judge upon looks upon their first impression. But, with Gregs interaction with Rebecca, his first impression was quite different. She seemed to envision Greg as some grand conquerer of evil, or something. Her lofty esteem of him could be deciphered in the context of the letter. an unfortunate result for such bravery? The letter was something of an ode to Gregs feat. In truth, Greg always felt he was lucky he was not murdered then and there by Jessie. The only reason Greg isnt testing in a coffin, or sitting in a wheelchair, shitting in a bag, was because Gregs clumsily slipped and fell on his face. His klutziness was beneficial only that once, when Jessie had him in his aim.
    Perhaps Rebecca was lonely. This writing seemed to be lengthy and thought-out. She had taken a lot of time to communicate her thoughts properly. Being a single mother was a unique type of seclusion. A pretty girl like Rebecca surely attracted men all the time. That high note would most likely change as soon as Rebeccas little girl came into the picture. Having a child from another relationship is always baggage to most men. Sure, she might acquire the occasional one night stand, but what if she didn't even have that? Her options were limited. But Greg already had a son with his ex. He understood the precarious balance that could be maintained. It was difficult for some to welcome children into their lives, but it was doable. In Gregs reasoning, it would be like gaining two really neat gals into his life, where he had none now.
    Greg shook his head. Lets not get ahead of yourself, there buddy, Gregs inner coach says. Dont get attached too quick, dont let it build up inside of you quite yet. That was easier said than done.  Greg was already involved with this woman, in ways beyond his control. Their lives intertwined on a chance happening, something brutal and violent. Now, the fallout from those events was dissipating and Greg was still standing amongst the debris. And she was there, grateful and waiting. But, was she even single? What if she had a husband, or boyfriend? Perhaps Greg was reading this wrong, and the woman is merely looking to thank him in person. But then again, there was no ring on her finger as he recollected.
 WellThere was only one way to find out.
    Greg glances at his watch. It was 6pm, somewhat late for a workday, but she may have just gotten off her job, wherever that was. It was almost certainly the perfect time to call a stranger. But then again, she wasnt that unknown to Greg. They had both been on channel 9, albeit in her case she was blocked out digitally. Perhaps she didnt want to relive the scenario. It seems to already have taken a stern toll on her life. Greg recalled the whisps of fresh grey in Rebeccas hair. Rebeccas daughter was an important aspect of her life. That would seem to indicate that Rebecca spends most of her time with only her daughter to accompany her. If Rebecca was feeling repressed and isolated, this worked all the more in Gregs favor. She would be eager for interaction, eager to go outEager to repay him
    Gregs heart was beating faster. He hadnt phoned a woman in 2 years, as pathetic as it sounded. The prospect of calling a cute girl filled Greg with anxiousness. The emotion was compounded by everything that came to pass that fateful day. She wants you to call, Greg whispers to himself, gaining his courage. He flipped open his cheap phone and navigated the numbers with a slightly shaking hand.
    The phone began to ring


Uploaded 01/27/2012
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