The night air was alive
with the sound of rolling thunder as the rain poured down in
heavy sheets, allowing the streets to have an obsidian look, in
front of the small tavern. The storm itself seemed odd, for just
a moment ago, the sky had been clear, no sign of what now was
coming down on this small town. And yet, it seemed like this was
just the beginning. As if there was something, which waited
within its shadows to raise its motley head. The people in the
tavern sat within the groups they came in with, or at the bar
with the others, trying to forget the horrid tempest that was
raging outside. They all sat there drinking and talking among
themselves. Yet, the main conversation, which everyone seemed to
be focused on, was the storm. How strange it had rolled in
without any warning, and of course, when would it end? For most
of them there, just wanted to get back to their homes when it let
up, before the second wave of the storm hit. Everyone knew that
after an Indian summer like the one they had, they could expect
to have strange weather like this.
Leigh sat at a table by the window, staring out at the menacing
storm. The light blue and orange neon from the beer sign hanging
in it, softly glowed on her pale face, as she had the feeling
that something was coming for her. Something beyond the shadows
that yet had been revealed to her yet. She had no idea what that
could be or even why she was even thinking that way. Her hand
reached over and picked up the smoldering cigarette that sat on
the ashtray in front of her, then brought it up to her lips. She
could hear the people behind her talking about how the storm
would soon end and everything would go back to normal. Yet, she
had a feeling that once this did pass, nothing would ever be the
same again. She took a drag from her cigarette, as her eyes
continued to stare out into the stormy night. There was something
about it, which she found so serine about it, the way the rain
sounded as it tapped on the window. But this time there was
something ominous about it, which sent a chill down her spine. So
many questions ran through her mind as she sat there. Not just
about the threatening storm outside, but also things in her life,
which she was forced to deal with. Normally, she wouldn't be at
a bar at all, but especially on a night like this one. The only
reason that she was there was because Robert, her boyfriend,
asked her to meet him there. Saying that there was something that
he needed to talk to her about. But here it was, two hours passed
and he still hadn't arrived. She had tried calling his cell
phone, but there was no answer. At first when she got there, she
had felt excited, thinking that he was going to propose to her.
But now, she would just be glad to see him walk through that door
right now. Body soaked from the rain, hair plastered down, but he
would be here and she wouldn't have to worry about him. That of
course was not the case and millions of scenarios ran through her
head. One that dealt with him getting stuck or in an accident, of
course the one that truly haunted her was that he was having an
affair. All the signs of him cheating were there, yet she refused
to believe it.
Robert…. where are you?" she whispered to
alright Jessica?" a woman's voice said coming from the side of
she heard the voice, her jumped in fright, for she didn't think
that anyone was near her. When she looked to her left, she saw a
woman with short black hair, wearing a tank top and tight jeans,
standing by the table. Jessica just smiled as she tried to calm
herself down. The woman's name was Colleen Jacobs, a woman who
Jessica had grown up with in this small town of Mokena. If there
was one woman who would be able to tell when someone is telling a
lie, it was Colleen. She would always say that it was just a gift
that she had, with a playful smile and a joking tone in her
alright, Colleen. You startled me; I didn't think that anyone was
there." Jessica said and then took a drag from her
worried about you. Sitting here all by your lonesome, staring out
the window at the storm." she said, her hand touching Jessica's
shoulder, as a slight Southern accent was heard in her
seen Robert? He wanted me to meet him here, because he had
something that he wanted to talk to me about." she
"Oh…."Colleen said, then hesitated for a moment. "No, he hasn't
been in today. And from the looks of it, I don't think that he
will be coming here at all with this storm."
help but wonder what it was that he wanted to talk to me about.
When I talked to him on the phone, he sounded so serious…as if
something tragic was happening to him." she said in a worried
just stood there with a lifeless expression on her face, yet
Jessica had a feeling that she knew something about Robert. Heck,
in a small town like this everyone knows everything that goes on.
Especially if it is bad news that is worth gossiping
it's nothing to serious. You know Robert, he is always
over-reacting to just about everything in his life. You want me
to get you another beer?" Colleen said.
not. I am not going anywhere with that rain coming down." Jessica
as Colleen made her way back to the bar, as the thought that she
knew something still lingered in her mind. As she placed the
cigarette back in the ashtray, she reached into her purse for her
cell phone. Figuring that she would give him one last call before
giving up on it. When she dialed his number, there wasn't even a
ring tone, just that silence which was starting to get to her.
She looked at the digital screen and saw the words caller
disabled. Just seeing that brought a sense of fear running
through her, for if he was fooling around, she would still be
able to get his voicemail. There was something else that had
happened to him, now she was sure of it. In her mind she pictured
his Mustang flipped over in a ditch somewhere and he lay there
dying. Jessica Sarah Patel that is the silliest thing I ever
heard. You have a case of an over active imagination. the
voice in her head bellowed. But it wasn't just any voice; it was
the voice of her mother, who she had often heard when she was
thinking something ridiculous. And in a way this was something
that was just that, for she had no idea what it could be that had
happened to him. She shook her head slowly, trying to get those
thoughts out of her mind, for she knew too well that it would do
her no good. Then her eyes went back to the window, wondering
what was out there that was making her so
At the bar
Colleen stood at the far end, waiting for Candy, the bartender,
to come over to get her order. Her eyes looked back at Jessica
who was sitting there staring out the window again. A feeling of
sorrow came over her. For she felt helpless with whatever was
going on between Jessica and Robert. Colleen knew that Robert had
been acting strange the last couple days, trying to hide
everything from everyone, and become so isolated with the people
that he had called his friends. Which was not the way Robert
normally was, for Colleen should know, since he was her brother?
She tried to forget about it as Candy made her way over to
need Colleen?" Candy said in a cheerful Southern
beer for Jessica." she replied.
what's the deal with her? Why is she sitting there all alone? I
thought that she would be up here at the bar talking my ears off.
Like she does when I call her on the phone." Candy
asked her to meet her hear, to talk to her about something. He
was suppose to be here two hours ago." she said in a serious
looked across the room to where Jessica was sitting with a
concerned expression on her face and then back to
she doesn't know about Linda? My God, I thought he would have
came out with that already. A couple days ago he told me he was
going to come clean with Jessica so he wouldn't hurt her any
more. "Candy said.
remember, he was also wasted when he said that too. He probably
didn't have the nerve to say anything about it till now." she
your brother for you. Never able to own up to his
responsibilities." Candy said as she handed Colleen the beer.
"Tell Jessica, this one is on me."
took the beer and nodded and then walked back over to Jessica.
Unsure if she should be the one who should reveal Robert's dark
secret. In a way she wanted to, because half the town already
knew what was going on. Since a lot of people had seen Robert
sneaking away with Linda Stroger, a cashier at the dollar store,
to motels just outside of town. Figuring that they were being
smart and no one would fid out about it that way. Of course that
was not the way it had worked out at all. After the second
rendezvous, someone from town caught them and then the gossip
grapevine had something new to talk about. She wanted to tell
her, because she was her childhood friend, but how could she do
it. This was something that she just couldn't bring up in polite
conversation. The only thing that she could do was to wait and
see if Robert would show up, which was very unlikely. Colleen
figured the best thing for her to do was to just wait and see
what would happen. As she made her way closer to Jessica, a
strange feeling came over her. Not really sure what it was that
she was feeling, or why, only that the sensation was there. A
feeling of dread, which slowly consumed her, to the point where
she could not ignore it.
forget about it. What Robert is doing has nothing to do with you.
It is none of your business." she thought.
But in a
way it was, for she knew about it, so that meant that she was
involved with it no matter what. Still, there was nothing that
she could do at the moment, except wait and see what Jessica
would do next. When she reached the table, she placed the beer in
front of her as Jessica smiled up at her.
that this one is on her. Is there anything else I can do?"
Colleen said in a caring tone.
tell Candy that I said thank you and that I am sorry that I
didn't come over to talk to her. I have a lot on my mind and just
need some time to figure it out." Jessica
the way she said that, Colleen could tell that she was lost
within the thoughts within her head and the worry of Robert. If
she only knew the truth, then maybe she wouldn't be worried so
much about him. But who was she to tell her that?
you are probably feeling this way because of the rain. Bad
weather like this always effects people like that." Colleen
know. But there is something else. I am not sure what it is, but
I feel like there is something that is going to happen. Something
that is going to happen to me, but I have no idea what that could
be." Jessica said, then giggled slightly. "Maybe I am just going
crazy. Worrying about something that probably isn't going to
not crazy Jessica, just worried about Robert, that's all. I'm
sure that he is alright." Colleen said.
tried to call him just now and it said that his phone was
disabled. Don't you think that is weird?" she said in a worried
really, he told me that he has been having problems with his
phone for the last couple weeks. But he is too lazy to do
anything about it." Colleen replied.
knew that was a lie, for Robert always was cautious when it came
to his phone. Just in case his construction crew would call about
a job that would come up suddenly. But when he wanted to be
alone, he would pull the battery out so that way no one would
bother him. And if that was the case, then she knew exactly where
he was now. Jessica just looked at her smiling, not saying a word
for a moment.
probably right. He is probably trying to get here right now.
Either that or he just can't find a way to call me." Jessica
"Yeah…"Colleen said and then looked back at the bar. "I should
get back, still got some work that needs to be done. I'll come
back in a little while to talk to you."
then walked away, leaving Jessica sitting there by herself once
again. In a way Jessica was grateful for that, for she still had
a lot of things on her mind that she needed to deal with. Things
that she had buried deep within her, so that she would never have
to worry about it again. But the one thing was, the past always
found a way to come back and smack her in the face. Or at least
that was what she thought would happen, for it had had happened
to many times before in the past. She looked away from the
window, her hand crushing the cigarette out in the
It was then the front door
to the tavern opened, the wind blowing the rain of the storm in
as a stranger walked into the tavern. A man wearing a long brown
trench coat and a brown fedora, the rim of it partially covering
his eyes, or so it looked like. Everyone in the room had become
silent as their eyes glanced over at the stranger. The door
slammed shut by itself it seemed, as he stood there looking
around the room. Then made his way over to a table across the
room from the door. He sat in the chair so that his back was
against the wall and he was facing the door. It was as if this
stranger was expecting someone else to enter the tavern and was
going to make sure that he saw him. Jessica found herself unable
to take her eyes off of this stranger for some reason. As if
there was something about him, which drew her attention to him.
All that she could see of him was the tip of his nose, his mouth
so straight and cold and unshaven chin. Normally someone like
this man would be someone that she would have just passed by
without even taking a second glance. For seemed like someone out
of one of those action or horror movies. Droplet of rain fell off
the rim of his fedora and down his trench coat, as he reached
into the pocket of his coat and pulled out a pack of cigarettes
and a silver Zippo lighter. His head tilted back as he lit one,
the soft glow from the flame illuminating his rough face. She
could see his eyes staring at her for a brief moment so stern,
that she found herself turning away from his
"Why in the
world is this man looking at me? What could he want from me?" she
she knew the obvious answer, even though it seemed that this man
wasn't looking for that from her. Or maybe he was, but wasn't
going to make it that obvious to her or anyone else. Still, there
was something about this man that seemed almost familiar to her,
even though she was not sure what that could be. Maybe it was
just her imagination, the wanting to be with someone so
dangerous, so daring that would thrill her beyond her own
expectations. She loved Robert with her heart, but this stranger
suddenly brought about a feeling in her that she never thought
she could feel. Her eyes looked down at her hands, which rested
on the table, as she tried to get the thought of him out of her
head. The only thing was she couldn't. She could feel his stare
weighing heavy on her as she tried to find something else to
think about. Something…anything that would distract her from the
knowledge that the stranger was watching her. But no matter what
she tried she couldn't get the stranger out of her mind. She
could feel the fear building inside of her, stiffening her back
for a brief second as her eyes continued to stare at her hands.
Till finally she couldn't take it any more and stood up and made
her way to an empty barstool at the bar. She tried not to look at
him as she moved, for she didn't think that she could handle
catching his gaze.
sat at the bar, two men sitting on either side of her looked at
her briefly and then turned their attention to the other person
that they were talking to. The moment she sat down, Candy walked
over to her, smiling so friendly to her.
alright Jessica? You seem so distant tonight, so unlike the way
you usually are." Candy said.
"I just got
a lot of things on my mind. I had to come over here because that
guy over there was giving me the creeps. He keeps staring at me,
as if he's waiting to do something." she said.
blame him for looking at you. I mean you are an attractive
woman." Candy said.
just looked at her with a smirk on her lips, knowing that she was
always the type of person who always knew how to cheer someone
up. Still, she couldn't figure out what it could be that this man
would want with her. Just the thought of it sent a chill down her
spine, which awakened her senses. And yet there was still that
strange feeling which brought about a desire so strong that she
had felt like right now.
sure that you are alright, Jessica?" Candy said and then
hesitated for a second. "I guess you found out about Robert. I am
so sorry, I can't believe that he would go behind your back with
looked at her with such shock on her face, as her bottom lips
started to quiver. A tear falling down her cheek, as she wanted
not to believe what she was hearing. Still in her heart she knew
that it was true. For she remembered the way he had been acting
so strange the last couple days, coming home late without an
excuse, ignoring her needs most of the time and now this. How
could she have been such a fool not to see it? Candy looked at
her with a surprised expression on her as she took a step
Jessica…I thought that you knew. I am so sorry that I was the one
to tell you. God, is there anything that I can do?" Candy
leave me alone for a moment. I need a moment to be alone." she
said as the tears began to flow down her cheek.
walked away, looking back at her only once and then going to the
other end of the bar. Jessica could tell that she had felt guilty
about tell her about Robert, but she didn't blame her, for she
was just being a friend. Still, the shock of finding out the
truth cut her like a knife. If only she could find someone who
would treat her with the respect and passion that she longed for.
But in this small town, it seemed that was something that was
impossible to find.
guess it's another night alone Jessica. Another night of trying
to get through the pain and suffering that I have to face." she
thought as she lit another cigarette.
moment, the bar door flung open as the rain and the cold wind
rushed into the bar, yet no one walked in. Everyone in the bar
looked at the door, wondering what it could be that had flung it
open. Everyone that was, except for the stranger in the fedora.
He stood up as if he was facing his most hated enemy. His hands
stayed by his side as he looked coldly through the doorway and
into the stormy night. Without any hesitation the stranger raced
to the door and slammed it shut. It tried to fly open a couple
times, but he forced his body against it, and then finally was
able to lock the door. Then he turned to the people at the bar,
who just sat there unaware of what was going on. None of them
said a word, as if they were waiting for the stranger to say
something. He just looked around with a cold stern expression on
his face, as if he had expected death itself to appear before
mister, you should calm down. That old door always comes flying
open once in a while. It's no big deal." a man at the bar
stranger didn't answer. Yet, the cold stone expression on his
face said enough to Jessica to make her fear him even more. She
watched as he made his way back to his table, the whole time
making sure that no one was able to see his face. There was
something about this man that made Jessica feel that she had seen
him before somewhere. The only thing was, she had no idea where
that could be. She turned back around to see Colleen standing
behind the bar, in front of her. She smiled softly at her, not
saying a word. Jessica knew what she was going to tell her and it
was something which she really didn't want to hear right now. The
only thing that she could do was to take a drag from her
cigarette and hope that she wouldn't bring up the subject of
sort of weird. And that hasn't happened before, because the owner
put in a new door just last week." Colleen said.
something out there in the storm that is trying to get in here.
Trying to get to me, for some reason." Jessica said in a
is nothing out there. You have to calm down, you are talking
crazy now." Colleen answered.
knew differently, for she could feel the presence of something in
the air pressing against her flesh. Something cold and ancient,
that came within the shadows and for some reason was coming for
her. Maybe Colleen was right though, maybe she was going crazy,
from everything she had to deal with. There was that possibility
and she had to consider it too. Yet, it didn't seem to be that
way to her, as if there was something else that she could not yet
stayed focused in front of her, staring at the rows of hard
liquor bottles on the back counter. The jukebox played Elton
John's Your Song, which brought back thoughts of someone from her
past, someone that she had loved so deeply and then lost from the
hands of another. The memory of it was faded and fragmented, for
it had been years since she had been in his arms, since that
horrible day when she had lost him forever. But the one thing
that she remembered the most was the one thing that he had said
right before his life was taken away. I shall find you even
after death. I will never leave you and my love for you will
bring us back together. She never knew what he really meant
about that, but always had a feeling that there was some way he
would come back to her. But years had gone by and the thought of
it slowly began to become nothing more than a dream. Now she was
lost within this nightmare that she felt was just starting to
come about. Or at least that was what she started to
this happening to me?" she whispered as she looked down at the
The only thing
that she found herself able to think about was the past. About
the one man who had showed her what true love really was,
touching her heart more than any man ever could. Jessica never
found out who his killer was. The only thing that police at that
time had told her was that it was more than one person who had
done it. But who, that was what had bothered her for the longest
time. Never able to find out who it could have been that had
taken her love away. And in a way she probably never would find
out. It was then the man next to her said something that she
didn't hear clearly, so she just ignored it. But had a feeling
that it was something that she really didn't want to hear in the
first place. She could still feel the stranger's stare upon her
as she sat there, trying to forget about her past. To forget
about the pain of what she had lost. The man spoke again, his
language was slurred from the drinking that he had been doing.
But it was still clear enough for her to make out.
"Why is a
beautiful woman like you feeling so down? Whatever it is,
probably isn't as big a problem as you think." the drunken man
didn't respond, even though she knew who the man was. In a way
everyone in town knew everyone else that was one of the problems
of a small town. This man was Phil Montgomery, who worked at the
local bottling factory not to far from here. Even though he
wasn't being a nuisance to her yet, she knew that would soon
change. Men like Phil always wanted things their way and would do
anything to get what they want. But she was determined not to let
him get it from her.
you just go back to your drink and leave me alone Phil. Or maybe
you would want me to call your wife and let her know what you are
doing ?" she said in a harsh tone.
looked at her with a shocked and embarrassed expression on his
face as he just sat there looking at her. Jessica knew that he
was going to do something to react to what she said; the only
thing that she wasn't sure about was what that would be. But no
matter what, she was not going to let anyone hurt her, especially
someone like him.
shouldn't be talking to people like that. Before you know it, you
could find yourself in a whole lot of trouble." Phil said with a
wicked grin on his lips.
think so, at least not from you. We all know that you got
arrested for domestic violence and that you are on parole right
now. One little slip up and it's back to jail for you and this
time there will be no way for you to get out." Jessica said in a
"How in the
hell did you find out about that?" he yelled.
secret. The whole town knows about it. There is nothing anyone
does in this town that we all don't find out about." Jessica
looked at her with a disgusted look on his face, for he knew to
well that it was true. But still, he found himself trying to come
back with something that would put her in her place. But because
of his intoxicated state, nothing came to mind.
in this town don't know all my secrets. There are some things I
have done that no one knows about. Not even you." Phil started to
agreed to keep quiet about that. Don't go shooting off your mouth
about it. You don't need that kind of trouble." his friend,
Ronnie Peterson said, grabbing his shoulder.
felt that cold chill running down her spine again, this time
stronger than she had ever felt it before. Normally, she
wouldn't be afraid of him, for he would never lay a hand in a
woman. But now that he was drunk, she had no idea what he would
do. Before she could do anything, she heard the voice of the
stranger next to them. His voice was low and almost threatening.
Yet, there was something familiar about it. The only thing was,
she couldn't figure out why. She turned and saw the stranger with
the fedora and trench coat standing next to them. Shadows covered
his face slightly as his hand reached up and grabbed Phil's
shoulder. Phil instantly turned to the stranger, his eyes glaring
with such rage.
want to do that. It will be the biggest mistake you will ever
make." The stranger said.
are you to tell me what to do? You don't know anything about me."
Phil replied, glaring at him.
wrong, I do know you. I know about the dark secret you are
holding. About what you and your friend there had done to that
man years ago."
laughed, yet in his eyes was the look of terror which he was
trying to hide. He just looked at the stranger, trying to wonder
what he was talking about. His body started to shake slightly, as
Jessica started to wonder what was going on. She knew that she
should have gotten up and walked away from this, but something
kept her from doing so. It was as if she had to be there, to
witness whatever it was that was going to come
know what you mean. You have the wrong guy mister, so you might
as well walk away." Phil said.
you did it. Leaving that man to die in that ditch not too far
from here. You and two other men, just because one of them was
infatuated with the woman he loved. So the three of you killed
him, trying to make it look like an accident." The stranger said,
loud enough for everyone to hear.
there, not believing what she was hearing. For she knew that they
were talking about Tom Brolin, her beloved, who had been taken
away from her years ago. Could it be that Phil and Ronnie had
something to do with his death? If so, then who else was involved
with it….the third person…the one who was infatuated with
you know about Brolin's death? What do you know about it?" she
said to the stranger and then turned to Phil. "And id it true?
Did you have something to do with his death? Did you kill
voice had become panicked, eyes burning with such rage, as she
waited to hear what Phil would say. Yet, he just sat there,
refusing to even show any concern about what was being said.
Ronnie tried to say something in his defense, but before he
could, Phil turned around and told him to shut up. Then his
attention turned back to the stranger as he stood
hell are you stranger? How is it that you know about me?" he
asked as his firsts clutched tightly into fists.
stranger's hand lifted up and slowly removed his fedora,
revealing his identity. There stood a man with short brown hair
as his hazel eyes glowed with such anger at Phil. The moment Phil
and Ronnie saw his face, terror appeared on theirs. Phil took a
step back, his body shaking wildly as he tried to utter something
to say, but couldn't. For now they were staring at the face of
Brolin, not sure what he was going to do.
dead…we killed you.!" Ronnie screamed.
didn't. You left me there to die. I ended up in a coma for the
last couple years because of you. When I came to, I swore revenge
on you. I already took care of one of you, now all that is left
is you two." Brolin said harshly as his hand reached inside his
trench coat and pulled out a gun.
our fault…Robert told us to do it….We had no choice…He was going
to frame us for something that we didn't even do if we didn't go
along with him." Phil said in a scared voice.
for excuses. Now you have to pay for that you had done to me."
Brolin said as he fired.
hit Phil in the chest, sending him flying backwards against the
bar. He tried to scream, but it was already too late. His
lifeless body fell to the floor, as Brolin turned to Ronnie.
Before Ronnie could say anything, Brolin fired, the bullet
hitting his head, making the side of it explode as his body flew
off the bar stool. He just stood there looking at their dead
bodies, not moving at all. Jessica sat there in shock, not
believing that her one true love was before her again. How she
wanted to rush into his arms and feel his lips against hers, like
he did so long ago. But she wasn't even sure that this was really
happening. That this was real or just a figment of her
that really you?" she asked in a scared voice.
to her, those hazel eyes staring at her so lovingly as they had
done so many times before in the past. He smiled as he placed the
smoking gun inside his trench coat.
love, it really is me. I am alive, and I have come back for you."
He said as he moved closer to her.
The police told me you died. They said that there was no way they
could save you." She said as a tear ran down her
that told you that were working with them. They had this all set
up to take you away from me. So that way Robert could have you
all to himself." He said.
Robert's not here. He wasn't having an affair, you killed him."
She said softly.
her in his arms, her head resting against his chest as she could
smell the aftershave which he had always worn once again. Even if
he were to say that he killed him, even though she watched him
gun down Phil and Ronnie, she didn't care. For she still loved
him, deeper that she had ever loved any man
"I did kill
him. He was the one that wanted you all to himself. The one who
planned the whole thing. But he was having an affair too. I
caught him at a motel just outside of town with another woman. I
hope you forgive me for what I done. But this was something that
I had to do." He said.
looked up at him, her eyes sparkling with such excitement as a
smile formed on her lips. Even though she didn't say anything, he
knew exactly what she was thinking.
I do. I hope you can forgive me…for being with Robert. But I
thought you were dead. I had no idea he had done this." She
"I know my
darling. But now it doesn't matter. All that does is that we are
together again and nothing shall ever keep us apart." He said,
then held her close as their lips met in a tender
wrapped around him, feeling the passion once again flowing
through her veins as if she had been reborn. And in a way she had
been, for her true love had resurrected itself and come back to
her. Now she could walk out of the shadows of her own despair and
live within the warmth of love and joy once again. When they
walked out of the tavern, the storm had suddenly ended. The
warmth of the damp air surrounded them as the disappeared into
the shadows of the night. Ready to continue the life that had
been taken away from them those years ago. And live within the
joy of their undying love. Right before their bodies disappeared
from the sight of the people in the tavern, who came out to watch
them. They heard him say something which seemed to hang within
the night air for all to hear. I will never leave you. Our
love has brought us back together and not even death can separate
us, ever again.