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Editorial

Andrew's Secret – Part V


02/01/2005 - Not sure what's going on? Read previous installments of Andrew's Secret in our online archive at ourtowncasper.com

Jonathan shook his head in disbelief as he watched Andrew creep up the front steps and let himself into the Cohen residence. The disbelief was more in himself, however, than in Andrew. Jonathan wouldn't call himself a skeptic, merely cautious. This wasn't like him at all. In fact, he honestly didn't know why he'd gotten himself mixed up in this mess in the first place. And he still wasn't sure what he thought about all this "time travel" NONSENSE either, though he had to admit it was uncanny everything Andrew seemed to know.

He stared through the front door, which had been left ajar, but his thoughts were a million miles away. On the long drive back to town he had given Andrew a long . . . interrogation. Andrew seemed to know all the right things to say. Jonathan was "creeped out" -- something he rarely experienced. He was so shaken, in fact, that he jumped when a car turned onto the road and the headlights shone in the rearview mirror. Getting just a little RIDICULOUS aren't we, now? he chided himself when the car passed without so much as slowing down. But he didn't feel like he was being ridiculous -- just careful. And he really wished Andrew would hurry up!

Jonathan peeked over his shoulder looking for a sign of life, but hoping not to find any. He didn't. In fact, the street was surprisingly still for seven o'clock PM . . . something that "creeped him out" even more.

That's when he noticed it . . . a small movement at the corner of the house. He squinted, but all he could see was blackness. Probably a cat or something, he told himself, but he felt no more confident, much less, in fact. He kept an eye on that corner and, sure enough, after a couple of minutes he saw it again. Then, something really caught his eye. The light of a nearby street lamp glinted off of something shiny or metal. He was just about to climb out and investigate when a car pulled up behind him and two people climbed out. He had been so distracted, he hadn't even noticed. Quickly he shifted to drive and slammed on the accelerator. A look over his shoulder confirmed his fears. They were going inside. Andrew was in trouble. Jonathan circled the block as fast as possible, but decided to park a few houses down from the Cohen's house, so as not to arouse any suspicion with whoever had gone into the house. He wondered who they were . . .

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Andrew stood shell-shocked inside his hiding place. His mind was reeling and he suddenly felt lightheaded. Gently, he set little Elijah down and leaned against the wall to avoid falling as the room seemed to spin around him. It couldn't be. It just couldn't.

"I wonder where they are?" the man's voice sounded concerned. Andrew heard the woman begin to cry.

He allowed his knees to give and slid down the wall until he was almost level with the toddler. "Go see Mommy," he whispered patting the boy gently on the back, "but don't tell her I'm here, okay?" Elijah toddled out and Andrew listened to the relief. His eyes filled. All his life he had longed to know what his parents were like. Why, oh why couldn't he jump into that three-year-old's body -- forget everything that had happened, lead a normal life, with a real childhood? But, no . . . it just couldn't be that way, and he knew it, so he tried to push any thoughts of the life he might have lead out of his mind.

"Look, there's a message on the answering machine," Mr. Cohen said. Andrew heard the answering machine click and a recorded voice came on.

The voice was that of a young lady, and sounded urgent. "Lisa? Lisa are you there? It's an emergency! Lisa? There's been a wreck on Madison Street -- just a couple blocks down from where you are. It was your parents, Lisa . . . they're alive, but please come right away!"

"The poor dear," Andrew's mother whispered. "She must've left to see her parents."

"Left our baby all alone?" Andrew's dad bellowed.

"She's only thirteen, David. She must've panicked," Mrs. Cohen's sweet voice could've tamed a lion. "She's probably the one who left the front door open and the car may have been someone who came to pick her up. I hope her parents are all right. Oh, David, surely you can't stay mad at her, not now . . . she's young and inexperienced and half-crazed with worry. She's a sweet girl."

"I'll go see if there's anything I can do to help," David said. "You stay here. Put Elijah to bed."

Andrew held his breath as he heard the man walk right past the very door behind which he sat. He waited until he heard Mrs. Cohen and the baby move further away from that part of the house. Then he ran his fingers along the door, looking for a knob. He found the knob, but he found something else, as well. It was a paper doorknob hanger. Once again, memories came flooding back. Andrew wondered if he could trust them . . . were they from reality? Whether they were or not, he remembered this doorknob hanger. It hung on his very own doorknob. That was where he had hidden . . . his very own room. He forced himself not to explore, but to tear himself away from the life he had wished for as long as he could remember . . .

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Jonathan could not take his eyes off that corner of the house. Even now the movement, the glinting light continued. Then a shadowy shape emerged and the light of a street lamp revealed it's form. Jonathan's heart leapt into his throat. It was a tall man with red hair, dressed all in black. In his hand he held a knife and with his other hand he motioned for someone to follow him. Another man came. He was also dressed in black and held a strange contraption. It looked like a small, black box with a computer keyboard on it. Hanging from the box was a small chain with a flat, metal square attached. Another man closely followed. He held a gun. Jonathan had never seen these men, but he knew who they were . . . Andrew had told him all about them. Even Dr. Patterson did not know the identities of these men, and Jonathan wished he shared the ignorance.

He had to find some way to warn Andrew. As quietly as possible he climbed out of the car. He didn't even shut the door the whole way, but pushed it to and crept forward, keeping close to trees and such things that hid him, but he hadn't gotten very far when something hit him on the back of the head and he fell back, helpless in the hands of his captor.

...continued next month

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