Chapter 1: ReunitedA Chapter by Sarah J Dhue
"We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools." -Martin Luther King
4 years later
David's brown eyes were focused on the clock. Every second seemed to tick by very slowly. He was ready to get out of class and to work. He'd been feeling tense and on edge all day. Work always helped ease his nerves.
Something else that was bothering him was that he was thinking about his twin brother, Jack. He hadn't thought about or heard from him since he'd moved to
"Class dismissed," the professor said, "Enjoy your spring break."
David hurried out of the room and up to his dorm. He wanted to get to work as soon as possible. Once he'd put all his books away and made sure his computer was turned off, he went out to the parking lot. In parking spot twenty-two was sleek, red and black Harley. He grabbed his helmet and rode out of the small campus. The town wasn't much bigger and he was to Papa John's in no time. He started cooking as soon as he got there. Usually the bustle of his job took his mind off everything else, but today it wasn't working. He just couldn't stop thinking about Jack. And he was so tense he was finding it hard to function.
He was sure his peers were noticing because they kept avoiding him and whispering things to each other. He was used to this; his albinism made him a novelty. But it just seemed different today. When he got off work, he was sweaty. And not because of the intense heat of the ovens. Because he was so stressed, he was even sweating in the cool night air as he whizzed back to campus.
He tried to focus on his math assignment, but it was no good. He was beginning to sweat uncontrollably and shaking slightly.
A little voice in the back of his head was telling him something was wrong; wrong with Jack. He'd been trying to ignore it all day, but it seemed like the only explanation. And there was only one thing he could think of the fix it. Go see Jack.
David could see the Statue of Liberty out his window as they neared
Once he landed, he found a payphone. He dialed information
"Hello, how may I help you?" a female's voice said over the phone.
"I need Jack Pohlerman's address," David said.
"Hold on a moment," he could hear typing through the phone, "Sir are you still there?"
"Yes," he replied anxiously.
"He lives at 243 on seventy-second street."
"Have a nice day, sir."
David entered the address into his phone so he could glance at it every so often. The streets were filled with cars but the sidewalks were almost deserted. He figured because it was really early. He was nearing seventy-second street when he saw him.
He was just as tall as David remembered. His face was unmistakable, so similar to the face David saw in the mirror every day, but with that sickening tan. His black hair was shorter than he remembered, but it was definitely him.
He was carrying a briefcase and heading for a crosswalk. Cars were stopped on either side of it and the sign read 'Walk'. David started to walk slowly to catch up, when he saw a car speeding towards the crosswalk. He knew the car was going too fast to stop and Jack was right in the line of fire.
David felt the adrenaline pumping through his veins as he ran towards the crosswalk. The car was getting closer and Jack still seemed oblivious. He reached out and grabbed the collar of his denim jacket (the same one, he thought, as four years ago) and pulled him out back onto the sidewalk. The car raced by, paying no mind to the traffic light.
Jack turned around, "Hey, what the-" but he stopped in mid sentence when he saw his twin brother looking back at him, "David," he said, dropping the briefcase, his face a mixture of surprise and fear, "What are you doing here?"
"I..." David wasn't sure how to explain, "I, uh, guess it's a good thing I showed up," he looked back at the crosswalk; cars were now racing over its surface.
They stared at each other a moment.
"We should go back to the apartment, we have a lot of catching up to do," Jack said awkwardly, picking up his briefcase.
They approached a tall building and rode the elevator to the third floor. Jack stopped at a door and began to unlock it. David looked down the hall while he waited and saw a young lady having trouble with some shopping bags.
He went down the hall to help her, "Here," he said, lifting one of the bags from her arms, "Let me help you with that." She looked around the bundle of bags to see who had helped her. She had blue eyes and shoulder length brown hair. Her face, in David's opinion, was beautiful.
"Oh, thanks," she said, smiling, "I was trying to unlock the door and I guess I was trying to do too many things at once."
"Yeah," he laughed, taking another bag from her.
"Thanks," she said again, blushing before letting him in to sit the bags down, "I'm Grace. I haven't seen you before, you new here?"
"Oh, no, I'm David. I'm just staying with my brother, Jack," he said, sitting down the bags.
"Well, see ya around," she said, smiling before closing the door.
"So, you've already taken a liking to Grace," Jack said. He said it more as a statement than a question.
"She needed help, what was I supposed to do?"
Jack shook his head, laughing, as he opened the door, "Whatever." He flipped the light switch. The apartment had blue walls, with a kitchen attached to the living room. Two doors led off into what David guessed were the bedroom and bathroom. The leather sofa was positioned with its back to the kitchen, facing a big-screen TV.
"Home sweet home," Jack said, putting his briefcase on the top of the green recliner. He turned to David, the sarcasm gone from his face. He was studying David, as if he was seeing him for the first time. David studied Jack too. His hair was straightened, as usual, his bangs combed down over his forehead, falling a little past his eyebrows. His tan was the same; his eyes still the same, black-green. His chin was a little sharper, but everything about him was the same as when he'd last seen him.
"Your eyes are brown," Jack said suddenly. That was another thing; his voice was a little deeper.
"Contacts," he replied, his mouth twitching into a slight, momentary smile.
"Oh," he nodded. They stared at each other a moment longer, "So, why're you here again? You never answered my question."
"Well, I haven't seen you in four years and I-"
"David!" Jack yelled cutting him off, "Just cut the bullshit and tell me why you came!" he was pointing at David, with a frown on his face, breathing hard.
David clenched his jaw. He had no idea how to put this, at least in a way that didn't make it sound like he'd seen one too many sci-fi flicks.
"You've been on my mind for two days now. The second, I was so tense I could barely do my job. A part of me knew you were in trouble. That's why I'm here. That's why I was on seventy-second."
"That sounds pretty damn nuts," Jack replied after a moment; his voice was calmer, "David, I haven't thought about you in four years. And all the sudden, I start getting this feeling. The same feeling when see a Christmas present sitting under the tree and you just know what it is, even before you open it," he took a deep breath, "What I'm saying is, I knew you were coming David."
They looked at each other for another long moment.
"Intuition?" Jack said quietly.
"You believe that?" David asked, "We were thinking the same thing at the same time. And you think it was just intuition?"
"What else could it be?"
David stood there for a moment and looked down at his feet. He had the expression of a kid when he wakes up his parents to tell them there's a monster in the closet.
"A psychic connection..."
"What!?" Jack exclaimed. He reminded David of the father, telling the child there was nothing there, toughen up, go back to sleep.
"There have been cases where twins say they can tell what the other is thinking or feeling. It's because they shared the womb for almost a year, surviving together. There's a special bond that forms, to where their minds are in some way connected."
"Nice presentation," Jack replied, "But has it ever been proven?"
"No," Jack crossed his arms and leaned back slightly, a satisfied grin on his face, "You're an idiot," David said to him.
"I’m the idiot!?" Jack uncrossed his arms and leaned forward, his eyes on fire, "You're the one who comes in here saying we're psychics! I mean seriously, I can't read your mind. I couldn't tell anyone what I felt you doing for the past four years. If we're so psychic, why haven't we thought about each other til now?" David started to interject, "And don't try to lie, you hadn't thought about me since I moved after graduating."
"You're so difficult!"
"Then why'd you pull me outta the crosswalk if I'm such a pain!?"
"Because you're my brother!"
Jack's voice caught in his throat as he decided against saying what he was planning to say.
"Can I stay here tonight? I'll leave tomorrow," David said, shoving his hands into his pockets.
"Yeah, the couch is open," Jack said, going into the kitchen. David heard a door open and close. He returned with a pillow and blanket.
Jack walked out to the parking lot. He climbed into his blue sports car and headed to the office building where he worked. He walked into the elevator and went up to the fifth floor. He made his way to his cubicle.
He sat down his suitcase as he sat in his leather rolley chair. He was about to start his computer when he saw a yellow sticky note on his desk. He didn't remember it being there the last time he'd been in his office. He leaned forward to read it. It said 'You got lucky. We won't miss again.' A chill ran down Jack's spine as he looked at the note again.
He grabbed his phone and dialed his apartment, "Come on David. Please tell me you're still there."
The phone ringing jolted David awake. He was sweating: he’d been having a nightmare. The blanket Jack had given him was on the floor. He sat up and grabbed the phone, "Hello?"
"David! It's Jack, we have a problem."
"What kind of problem?" David asked, scratching his head.
"I don't think the crosswalk incident was an accident."
"Because I just got a threatening note in my office. It basically said they missed once, but won't again."
David was more alert, "Don't touch anything. Just get outta there ASAP."
"But I need to,"
"Jack, no. If they were in your office, they could've rigged anything you would use to do your job."
"David, honestly, it'd have to look like an accident."
"Jack, don't argue with me. You called me for my help, now listen to me."
Jack frowned and paused for a moment, "Okay."
"How are we going to stay in touch?"
"I'll call you from my cell once I'm on the road."
"Okay, I'll be waiting."
Jack hung up and looked around before grabbing his suitcase and leaving. He walked down the stairs, watching everyone very closely. He didn't know who knew about the note on his desk or who had put it there.
He walked through the parking garage to his car. He was putting the key in the latch when he noticed a car running at the other end of the garage. It was black. He quickly turned the key then took off. The car started driving not too long after him. He pulled out his cell phone and called David.
"Yeah," David answered.
"I'm being followed. Looks like the same car as yesterday."
"Damn," he sat for a moment, "Why do you think these people are after you?"
Jack paused. Even though he couldn't see David, his face was pained, "Because I found something out I shouldn't have. There's a huge scam going on at McCormick's. About two-hundred thousand dollars have gone missing in the past six years from McCormick's profits. And Dad's death was no accident..." David tensed up when Jack mentioned Dad. So did Jack, "He found this before I did. Four years ago."
David was fighting back tears, "So now they're after you."
"What are we gonna do?"
"What can we do? I'm going to die David."
"No you're not, we can do something. We have to be able to do something."
Jack shook his head, then paused, "David... meet me at the Metropolitan Library." He hung up.
"Jack! Jack, wait... d****t!" David slammed down the phone and ran out the door, right into someone passing.
"Oh, I'm so sorry," he said and realized he was face to face with Grace.
"David," she said, smiling.
"Oh, hey," he smiled back.
"You're heading somewhere in a hurry."
"Oh, yeah, my brother needs me to do something for him."
"I see," she said, biting her lower lip and nodding.
"So, uh, where are you going?"
"Oh," he laughed, "I guess I keep forgetting that everybody else has to work. I'm just visiting."
"Yeah," she laughed and then looked up at him, "Do you need a ride?"
He was about to say no, then remembered he'd left his motorcycle at home, "Yes, actually, that'd be nice."
"So, where do you need to get to?"
"The Metropolitan Library."
"Okay, I know where that is."
Jack drummed on the steering wheel. What was taking David so long. He thought it was safer to sit in the parking lot; if someone tried to drag him out of his car, people would notice.
The black car had kept going straight after he'd turned into the parking lot, but he swore he'd seen it drive back past in the other direction.
He looked up and saw a tan SUV pulling into the parking lot, "Are you kidding me?" he laughed.
Grace pulled into the library parking lot.
"Thanks for the ride," David said smiling.
"You're welcome," their eyes met for a moment, "See you around," she said, breaking the silence. He was about to get out of the car when she leaned over and pecked him on the cheek.
"Yeah," he said, taken aback.
He started walking towards his brother's sports car. Jack climbed out when he saw him, "So, you got a ride from Grace. Wow, you really do like her."
"She's nice," David said dismissively.
"Obviously," Jack said every syllable slowly.
"Look, what did you wanna talk about?" David asked quickly.
"Ha ha," Jack laughed, "You don't feel like talking about your girlfriend?"
"This is serious, Jack, quit making quips about my social life."
"Too much like high school for you-"
"Jack," David glared down at him.
"Stop looking down at me!"
"Why, Jack?" David said, rolling his eyes and crossing his arms.
"Because it makes me feel short," he pouted.
"You're the older one, get over it. Now, about this scam?"
"Someone in the company has been 'dipping in the tip pool' so to speak. Money has gone missing in the past six years, all adding up to about two hundred thousand dollars. But Dad," he paused, "he found out first, back when it was a smaller, but still a measurable amount. He brought it to some people's attention and... well, you know what happened."
"Yeah, but how did you come across this?"
"I work for McCormick," he forced a smile as he said it.
"Wait... is that why you had your heart set on NYC all this time?"
"He promised me a job when I turned sixteen. He said as soon as I graduated high school, I could work in the main office," he was blushing and looking punished, "And I've always liked the Statue of Liberty," he shrugged and forced a laugh. David just glowered at him.
"Have you talked to Red in the past four years?"
"I see her off and on," Jack shifted uncomfortably, "she asks about you from time to time. I always tell her the truth: I haven't heard from you."
"I always wondered what happened to her after high school..." David said, his voice trailing off.
"She works at a café on
David looked at him incredulously, "Your lives at stake and you're talking about coffee?"
"Look, David, he gave me the job because-" he stopped short and cleared his throat, "if you still have feelings for Red, she's..."
"Available?" David finished his sentence for him, "you're unbelievable."
"I... I know. It's just-"
"What? You gotta act like you did back in high school? Always teasing me 'you're so in love Red'. It's dumb Jack, you know we were never like that and of all the times to start this up again."
"That is not what I was going to say!" Jack said defensively, "I wasn't gonna say 'you and Red were so in love and still are' or some other stupid bull crap. I was gonna say, I have to make stupid quips so I won't freak out about people wanting to kill me. It's very stressful when you know someone wants to use you to repave the street."
"I can see how that would be a troubling... I've been trying not to freak out about it either."
"So what're we gonna do?"
"Whatever we can to save your a*s. We'll take it as it comes. We don't have many leads right now about who is stealing from McCormick. I guess I’m Not leaving today," David smiled, a sly grin, "and you're going to get really sick."
"I am?" Jack said, frowning.
"So sick, you can't go to work."
"What am I getting?"
David shook his head and rolled his eyes, "If you stay away from work, until we clear this up, you'll most likely be farther away from who wants to kill you."
"Oh," he said, "and about Red, I just wanted to let you know the door was still open. Even if you just wanted to talk."
David just smiled and shook his head.
"And that coffee really is killer."
David started to walk down the sidewalk, "David..." Jack said. He looked very awkward, "Thanks for helping me. I know I wouldn't be able to figure this out by myself."
"No problem," David said back. He hesitated, "You are my brother, after all."
David sat on a bench under a sign that read '4th street'. He was glad he'd worn his leather jacket, it was freezing. A taxi pulled up and let out a girl. Blonde. A couple of brunettes walked into the café. A black Mustang pulled up to the curb. And she got out of the car.
There was no mistaking it; her red hair was the most vibrant thing David had seen all day in the gray rainy NYC. He stood slowly and began to walk in her direction. She didn't notice him; she was trying to get out of the rain.
"Excuse me, Miss," he said, but he got tongue tied when she looked at him. All of these years, he'd thought he'd have so many things to say but now he couldn't think of one.
Her eyes widened and she looked like she'd just seen a ghost, "D-" she stammered, "David?"
"Yeah," he could feel his eyes welling up as he stared at her face.
"What are you doing here?" she asked, a tear rolling down her cheek. But before he could answer, they flew at each other, meeting in a tight embrace.
© 2009 Sarah J Dhue
Added on June 10, 2009
Sarah J Dhue
In the author's lair, IL
AboutI am Sarah J Dhue. I am an author. I've been writing since I was in elementary school. I live in Illinois. My favorite genres are horror/suspense, paranormal, sci-fi, action thrillers, and comedy. My .. more..
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