Not a fairy tale short story by Christine Swiderski
Not a fairy tale Chapter 1
I left town right out of high school worked as a waitress to put myself through college, once I completed my Doctorate in Psychology and forensics I went to work for the County Sheriff's department where I lived.
I only had one real love in my life his name is Adam. He and I dated in high school, he broke up with me because I would not go all the way, hormones trumped love I guess. He said he was in love with me and if I truly loved him I would want to receive pleasure from him and give it to him. I simply told him I have plans for my life and do not want to take the chance and get pregnant. He said he understood but that he had needs. The next girl he dated was Prom queen by the name of Caroline, she had a reputation that transcended the crown. Adam married Caroline I believe because she became pregnant. Caroline's parents were well off, rumor has it Adam signed a prenuptial agreement that if the marriage did not last he would not get a cent of Caroline's money.
I have dated on and off deputies on the department I work for even dated the last Sheriff until he decided to marry the dispatcher, again because she was pregnant. It does seem like a pattern in my life, choosing the wrong men. The way I see it Adam chose the wrong girl, I still have feelings for him and think about him often. I received a phone call from a girl friend who still lives in the old neighborhood she asked if I heard that Adam was in the hospital where I live he and his wife Caroline were in a car accident, Caroline did not make it, I was stunned and conflicted to whether I should go see him. The decision was not all that difficult, I was on vacation for 2 weeks, and as I said I still have feelings for Adam.
When I walked in the room Adam looked like a life size rag doll with bandages and tubes coming out of him, the nurse tending to him said he has been in a coma for a couple of days.
I leaned over and kissed him on the cheek, whispered in his ear “I give now” Turning to see who walked in the room Esther, Adam's mom's face showed recognition and surprise when she said “Oh my gaud, Adam, Adam!” She turned and ran to get the nurse to tell her that Adam was responding, he was waking up.
Turning back to Adam I smiled lightly, he looked directly at me and barely audibly said “Celeste”
I leaned in again gave him another kiss on the cheek, the nurse who was in here when I arrived came back quickly, you could hear the squeaking of her shoes as she approached, she said “What is this a reverse Cinderella story, girl walks in leans and kiss prince charming and he awakens after being in a coma for a couple of days?”
Adam smiled his voice getting a tad stronger once he took a sip of water that the nurse offered, then said “This is Celeste my first love, do not tell my wife I said that.”
My stomach went into an immediate knot, realizing Adam does not know Caroline did not survive the accident.
Esther began to cry, Adam looked at her, the realization that something was not right was written on his face. He turned slowly to look at me. In my head I said “Shit”
Me: “Adam how much do you remember about the accident?”
Adam “It seemed like the car was aimed at us.”
I heard a familiar voice at the door I turned to it when I heard him say:
“Adam you sure it was as if the car was aimed at you?”
Adam turned to see who was speaking, I introduced them: “Adam this is Detective Alex Morgan he is the Detective from the sheriffs department.”
Me: “Hey Alex?”
Alex: “Hey Celeste, so you know our victim here?”
Me: “Victim of a car accident or more?”
Alex: “It may be more due to some witnesses saying it looked like the car was headed at Adam Arnold's car.”
I looked over at Adam he had fallen back asleep, I made sure it was sleep and not back into a coma, I whispered, his name, he grunted saying “I am really sleepy sorry”
Me: “Don't be sorry Adam, rest so you can get better.”
I am glad I am at the beginning of my vacation, I want to spend time here. I talked with Alex a while about what they already found out. They are looking for a black Tahoe SUV, he had a partial license plate number and a description of a man. I decided to walk Alex out go home grab some of my things so I can camp out in Adams room. I am not a police officer but I have taken training, I am telling myself it is because someone may be out to kill Adam, but I know differently, I am still in love with Adam.
Not a fairy Tale Chapter 2
Alex had told me there were no marks in the pavement which would show the vehicle braked. Witnesses said a white male approximately 6 ft, 210lbs dark hair, sunglasses, got out of the vehicle ran in the opposite direction; a few blocks down got into another vehicle with another male sunglasses dark hair. From all accounts 6 to be exact they all say he same thing “The car headed for that poor couple.” hitting the passenger side of the vehicle.
Now the questions that need answering is who were these two males and why would they want to hurt either of the passengers of this car.
I went back to Adam's hospital room, with a pillow, blanket, thermos of coffee, packed a few things to eat in a mini cooler, book, laptop, now I am hunkered down, telling everyone except myself I believe Adam may still be in danger. Alex said he had agreed with my assessment and it would be wise to keep an eye on Adam, the department did not have the funds to put a deputy outside the door. I told Alex, that I would take a leave of absence if I have too. Alex did not think it would be necessary he would let me know.
Late that same evening Ivan Jacobs walked into Adam's room, eyes were swollen from the grief of losing his daughter Caroline.
Me: “Mr. Jacobs, I am so very sorry for your loss.”
Mr. Jacobs “I am sure your not!”
Me” “Excuse me?”
He did not say another word to me nor did he make eye contact, he looked directly at Adam, with a stare that if his eyes could do the deed Adam would be dead.
Just as quietly as he entered the room, Mr. Jacobs left the room. This interaction left me wondering if Mr. Jacobs thought I had anything to do with this. I know it was no secret that I had a thing for Adam, but it would be lunacy to think I had anything to do with this.
The newspapers had a field day with this story being that Ivan Jacobs was a man well known in our community, his philanthropy, also he employed 30 percent of the residents in this small county, construction, landscaping, and also owns a 7 eleven.
Rumors started to surface some believe Adam was the target and not Caroline because Caroline was having an affair with one of Mr Jacobs partners. The other side of the rumor mill said the intended target was Caroline because the prenuptial agreement was only viable if the marriage ended in divorce not death. I have to admit the latter had me concerned, it had been a long time since I had been in contact with Adam, people change, he may have found out about the affair. I just do not want to believe it.
Two days after this accident another similar situation happened to another couple, the witnesses all agree on one point “The car seemed to be aimed at the poor couple.” Sad in this situation neither of the victims survived. Now this raised another question, is this terrorism? Again the driver of the vehicle got out ran in the opposite direction got into another vehicle with a driver at the ready.
For the time being since this incident happened identically Adam would not be considered a suspect, yet that did not get us any closer to what was going on.
Alex came in to fill me in on the current investigation, all the evidence points to this second incident being done purposefully, the only difference this time is the guy getting out of the car looked at the license plate, took a picture of it and the victims.
Me: “Took pictures of the victims, proof of death?”
Alex: “It could very well be or may be saving it for a web site if it is terrorism, they will want to brag.”
Numbed by the new information wondering what our Country is coming too, and why pick on Innocent people, why not be brave enough to do it militarily instead of as cowards, hiding in the shadows.
Adam is awake more now we are having a chance to catch up. I am able to ask some questions as a friend, not someone who works for the Sheriffs Department.
Me; “Adam, did you know Caroline was having an affair?”
Adam: “Only found out definitely that day, I had confronted her in the car on the way to lunch with her dad and mom.”
Me: “Did Caroline say it was serious or just a fling?”
Adam: “She said it was serious that she was in love with Floyd Jergenson.”
Me: “Do you mind if I tell Alex, Detective Davis ?”
Adam: “No I do not mind if you think it will help.”
It has been 5 days since the accident, it was a bit curious Adam did not shed a tear at hearing of Caroline's death. He just stared at the wall shook his head sighed and closed his eyes.
Later we found out after the autopsy Caroline was pregnant, the corner was asked to do a DNA test on the baby due to the latest information about Caroline's infidelity, some lovers are not keen on having children.
Not a Fairy Tale Chapter 3
A week after Adam's accident, Caroline's funeral was attended by the who's who in the state, and nearly every resident of her home town. It left me wondering if people came to pay condolences or merely to rub elbows with the mucktey mucks.
Adam is now sitting up in bed, most of the tubes have been removed he is eating a mush diet and complaining about it.
Adam: “I really could go for a hamburger and fries from The Tipsy Bear Bistro.”
Me: “If you do not tell on me I will go get one for the both of us when Alex gets here.”
Adam: “My lips are seal and drooling.”
Five minutes later Alex came in, I made a phone call for 3 burgers with fries for pick up.
While I was gone there must have been a long discussion between Alex and Adam, I could tell by their demeanor that neither were happy campers.
Handing out the goodies, including ice tea for Adam, which I remembered was his favorite beverage with a burger besides a beer.
We ate in silence till I could not stand it any more.
Me: (with my mouth full) “What the hell is going on, what did you two talk about while I was gone?”
They said in unison “YOU”
I swallowed hard and said “Never mind I do not want to know.”
Alex and I never dated, so I am left wondering what it was about, but I only half wanted to know. I wonder if the nurse over heard, I could go to the nurse's station and ask her to tell me, since we are both girls, she may just do it.
I left the room after finishing my hamburger telling Alex I will be right back and he could leave, after I go to the lady's room.
I walked up to Maggie the nurse who has been tending to Adam since that afternoon I walked in.
Me: “Maggie can I ask you a question?”
She walked over to me at the counter and said “Sure what's up, as long as it is not about Adam.”
Me: “Not exactly, did you happen to over hear a conversation with Alex, and Adam? It has left the room with palatable tension in the room.”
Her face lit up with the biggest grin, only a girl with juicy information would use.
Maggie: “Well seems Alex has a crush on you, he told Adam in no uncertain terms you were off limits, and Adam told him to kiss his ass, there was more rooster posturing but that pretty much sums it up.”
The question must have been on my face “Alex?”
Maggie's right eyebrow went up small smile on her face and she shook her head yes.
Alex and I make a great team professionally, being a coroners assistant, Alex would come to me from time to time and ask for something in a hurray, since I do not have a social life I did my best to get what he needed. Alex is also good at listening to my woman's intuition, which has paid off from time to time.
Now this situation with Adam, I do not know if it is because I still have feelings for him, which keeps my intuition subdued or what, all I know is, it is not what it seems. I do not believe it was terrorism, and I do not believe Adam had anything to do with it. If I were to put my money on it I would choose the lover. Either one of the occupants of the vehicle could have been the target; Caroline for being pregnant, or Adam just to make getting with Caroline simpler than a messy divorce.
The information on the other couple was slow in coming, they were neighbors of Adam and Caroline's, I was in the room for the questioning of Adam this time.
Alex: “Adam what can you tell me about your neighbors the Schultz's?”
Adam: “Meira and Alfred are their names, they were a very polite couple, with a slight accent, Caroline and I used to argue about whether it was German or Austrian, I said what is the difference she would contend there was a big difference.”
Alex: “Do you know what Alfred did for a living?”
Adam: “I know he owned several business’s including the two car washes in town.”
Alex: “Can you tell me anything at all about Meira?”
Adam: “Meira, doted on her grandchildren, she volunteered at the rescue mission and library, that is all I know, I only know this because Caroline told me, I really did not have much contact with them except to wave as we were leaving the house, Alfred and I would leave for work each day at the same time, we both came home for lunch around the same time that was the extent of my contact with them. Caroline had gone with Meira on occasions to the library, or the mission when she was bored, other than that we did not socialize.”
Not A Fairy Tale Chapter 4
Floyd Jergenson came into the room, Adam turned his head looked directly at Floyd and yelled “So Floyd who were you trying to kill? You wife sucking fucking piece of shit!”
Floyd stopped dead in his tracks, stood silently for a moment. My gut was telling me he had nothing to do with it, now we are getting somewhere, my gut is finally talking. When Floyd finally spoke his face was wet with tears:
Floyd clearing his throat as he said “I am so very sorry Adam. I loved Caroline. I had loved her since she was a young girl. Her being your wife bothered me I think more than her. She told me she had already filed for divorce when we got together. I had asked her if that were the case why was she still living in the house? She said to maintain residency in the house for the divorce, that neither of you had to move out till the divorce was final, which take some time due to the money involved. I believed her Adam. I loved her and I did not know she was pregnant. Now I am wondering who's baby it is.”
Adam said: “Wonder no longer Floyd, I was just told it was not mine so I gather the baby is yours.”
At that moment Alex walked into the room and said “Nope it is neither yours nor Floyd's.” I looked at Alex with the same perplexed look as Adam and Floyd did.
Alex looked at me and said: “That is why I am late to relieve you. I had a hunch and asked your boss to run DNA on Alfred. Bingo, Alfred is the dad of Caroline's unborn child. You know what Celeste this is starting to sound like a soap opera.”
Now Adam and Floyd were both speechless. I spoke up right or wrong I needed to get my dig in.
Me: “Well Adam some people do not change. You married the Prom Queen, who was Queen of the blow jobs, a screwing the baseball, basketball, football players, now it is just men in power.”
Alex grinned at me and said” “Well Celeste tell us what you really think why don't you.”
Adam said: “Nah, I deserved that the way I left it with Celeste. One wrong decision after another.”
I left it at that. Feeling a tad ashamed of myself for lowering myself to that degree, by bad mouthing the dead. I apologized to all of them in the room.
Floyd: “I never knew that about Caroline.” He was crushed, totally brought emotionally to his knees. Adam reached for Floyd, who's back was to him, patted him. Floyd turned to Adam, and said “So very sorry Adam.”
Adam was gracious and said “No hard feelings Floyd. You did not know any better. I actually have no excuse. I thought I could tame the beast. All I did was slow her down.”
I was feeling a bit numb. Alex came over to me put his arms around me and gave me a hug, whispered in my ear, “Go home for a couple of days. I have a couple of patrolmen who owe me favors. They will take turns babysitting till Saturday. You have 2 days to pull yourself together. I could use some of your intuition.”
I looked up at Alex and felt ashamed that I had not noticed he is in love with me. I answered him “I could use a couple of nights sleep in my own bed. A shower and a home cooked meal. How about coming tomorrow night for lasagne.”
Alex: “Wild geese could not keep me away.”
That was our secret joke. We had a case of a man who drowned. Everyone blamed it on his wife. Who was his second wife. 20 years his junior. His whole family hated her. Called her a bimbo. Said she married their dad for the money. She contended she married him for love. There was no money to speak of except his retirement and now insurance.
As it turned out, a vacationer took a video of geese, chasing a man into the water. They thought it was funny later when it showed this same man drowning. The wife was indited for his murder the ruling hit the papers. The vacationers brought the video in when they read it in the papers. It clearly showed that the man could not swim and drowned in the panic.
I walked over to Adam said my goodbyes. He squeezed my hand, at that moment I realized what I felt for Adam was not a crush but anger. Which needed venting, now that I did that, I pitied him not loved him.
Floyd walked out with me. Once we got in the elevator he turned to me and said “Tell me the truth was Caroline a good person?”
I said “Floyd I will answer that question with a question, does a good person cheat on their spouse, and cheat on her lover all at the same time.”
Floyd dropped his head and stared at the floor. We parted in silence once the elevator made it to the main floor.
What is it about when your adrenaline comes crashing down, you feel exhausted and dirty. I need a shower and some sleep. Even though I dozed in the chair, it was not that rem sleep people talk about.
After I had a salad, soup which I made and froze for just such a time, half a sandwich, I showered, set up the coffee for morning and dragged myself into bed.
Not a fairy tale Chapter 5
My dinner with Alex was amazing, I seen a side of him I had not seen at work. He understood my confusion when it came to unrequited, jilted love from high school. We swapped stories, the good the bad the ugly. As it turns out sex has a way of relaxing me to the point of sleeping for a good 10 hours. First time in my life I slept that long.
I felt refreshed, when I finally patted my bare feet and tush down the stair there was fresh hot coffee in the carafe. Flowers and cheese danish on the counter. Not sure where this is going but am enjoying the journey so far.
I went to the hospital, told the deputy that I will relive him for an hour. He was great full, he hates take out, loves his wife's cooking. This will give him time to go home and heat some left overs.
After we were alone Adam told me that his Father in law came in, apologized for being such an ass. Adam then said that his Father in law was generous in also telling him he will get Caroline's inheritance that her grandparents left her. Plus the insurance money. Here is where it got intense, mainly for me. I needed to take the high road. Adam asked me to run away and travel the world with him, saying we could reignite our love now that I give. That sat in my crawl bitterly, seriously, is that all he ever wanted in a relationship, then his marriage was perfect.
Me: “Adam, I enjoy my work, eventually after having hands on experience I want to become a forensic specialist. I have the degree, but I want experience. I am dating Alex, it is the beginning of something I believe will be special. I hope you will find what you are looking for. All that has happened I realize after you dropped me and went with Caroline, first I thought you chose the wrong woman and you would come to your sense's one day and chose me. It took your wife's death for me to realize that what I was feeling was unrequited love. The need for vindication, which I received when I blurted out all of Caroline's conquests. To be honest Adam I believe you got what you were looking for in Caroline all along. Sex with no real fulfillment. When you said if I really loved you basically I would give, that is not love just lust and want for immediate gratification and control. I am glad I did not give you what you wanted.”
I sat down, started to read a book to use up the full hour I gave the deputy. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a man walk past the room, slowed down, did not stop, but then repeated the same behavior.
I took out my phone and texted Alex as to the behavior of this man. Letting him know he met the description of the man who fled the scene of the accident. Alex texted me back said he was on his way up. He will stand at the nurses station and observe. That was a relief because as I said I am not a police officer. But have had some training not enough to take down and make an arrest. I am good at self defense and very accurate with a hand gun, but the latter is not something I am ready to use in a hospital. If I were to be honest, I have only used it once against a human. Luckily just wounded him. That alone bothered me for sometime.
I looked over at Adam, realizing Cinderella did kiss Prince Charming hoping to wake him from his slumber, instead, I woke up a child that I hope will look for something more in his life then a piece of ass. Turning back to my book, just a bit too late I noticed the man who paused in front of the door. He stood just inside the door, Adam stared motionless, I sat still and said:
“What can I do for you sir, who are you here to visit?”
Man: “ I am here to ask this man what he knows about Alfred and Meira Schultz.”
Me: “Do you have credentials, are you from the police department.”
He moved his jacket to show me his credentials, in the waistband of his dockers, I glanced there, at that moment Alex came up behind the guy, placed his forearm around the mans neck, gun in his back. Introduced himself as Detective Alex Davis, read him his rights. He had just finished when the deputy whom I relieved came back.
Alex, patted the man down, took out his wallet, cuffed him, and handed him off to the deputy, telling the deputy to take him in for questioning, for the murder of Caroline Arnold, and Albert and Meira Schultz.
When the man heard that he asked “Who the Fuck is Caroline Arnold?”
I looked at the man and Alex, with the huh? Look on my face. Alex was good at not registering his thoughts. He politely informed the man; “It was the first car you rammed into on purpose”
The man replied: “Oh the mistake, I will pay with my life.”
Now all of us stood in silence, Alex said to the deputy “Hold on, I have another question.”
Alex: “What mistake was that?”
The Man: “The license plate was almost the same, it was only one number off.”
This hit us all especially Adam like a ton of bricks, mistaken identity.
Not a Fairy Tale Chapter 6
Mistaken identity was only half the story, as the man whose name is Ken Albert a known hit man for the Russian Mafia ie Cartel, was being transported to lock up, he got a jump on the 2 deputies. Thankfully he did not kill them, but he did get away.
I am no longer babysitting Adam. This has taken it up a notch, FBI is involved now. The FBI are going through the financials of Alfred and Meira Schultz's there's already enough discrepancies to warrant a hard look at where they were funneling the money and for who.
Before it was known that this was a mistaken identity plus the tie to Alfred through his DNA in the child Caroline was carrying; Adam's and his father in law, Ivan Jacobs financials will be gone over as well. Adam will have to wait for his inheritance, all except the insurance money which is sizable.
I have a babysitter since I was seen with Adam when Ken Albert came into the room. Ken Albert's intent seemed to be, finish the business even if it was a mistaken identity. Alex asked to be my babysitter, hope we are not caught with our pants down. Although there is no better way to go.
Floyd Jergenson is the one I really feel sorry for. Floyd's financials will be gone through as well. Floyd is probably wondering what next. He thought Caroline was in love with him, only to find out she was not leaving her husband and she was having an affair with her neighbor Alfred.
As time went by Adam got out of the hospital. The FBI found that Caroline had been funneling money for Alfred; FBI came to the conclusion quickly due to the fact the book keeper of the Schultz's spilled the beans in a plea deal. Witness protection for the book keeper.
All Schultz money was seized as was the accounts Caroline's name was on. Ivan Jacobs had a good attorney so far so good for his financials. I bet the IRS will look closely after this.
Alex and I were enjoying our time together him being my babysitter. I went back to work, with Alex in tow. Late one night a victim was brought in all hush hush. It was my turn to play, pulling back the sheet I gasped, Floyd Jergenson was lying on my gurney. Clearly garroted, went through all the steps, he was murdered.
As I sat down, with a cup of coffee still had 3 hours on my shift to go; another hush hush came in, my stomach knotted, pulling back the sheet, this one was a present, Ken Albert was garroted. There was a note stuffed in his mouth; it read “Sorry for the inconvenience which Mr. Albert created, rest well all is done.”
Placing the note in the proper bag, tagging it I then passed it to Alex first. Alex looked at me with a touch of disappointment, we have enjoyed our time together. The FBI agent who was waiting for the results walked in, took the bag from Alex looked at it at me and said,”You got lucky sister.”
Don't I know it! I am well, my financials are not in the hands of anyone other than me and my creditors. also I ducked a big mistake not hooking up with Adam in high school. To be honest I would not change a thing. Alex moved in his first day off. We are slowly considering more options. I am not ready for marriage. I am ready for Alex.