In the last episode: Mark begins to doubt if Sunni has been completely honest with Celia and him. As his suspicion grows, Sunni invites herself over at his house. Sunni shares that Monica was drugged which resulted in her death. Sunni also admits that she hasn’t completely been honest with him. Before she removed them the safe contained a key, a ledger, a gun and a letter. She shares the letter.
Mark starts to read the letter. After completing most of the first page, Mark stops and peals back to the last page. He scans the last page. His forehead develops deep creases as his eyebrows raise and his eyes widen.
Mark turns back to the first page, “Have you read this in its entirety?”
“I have,” Sunni draws up close to Mark and reaches out offering her hand.
“As a black man, I experience prejudice and misunderstanding every day in some form or another,” Mark accepts Sunni’s hand.
“According to your father, there are wicked people everywhere who use divisions of all kinds – racial, political, religious – to their advantage.”
After just a few priceless moments of tender camaraderie, Mark squeezes Sunni’s hand and returns to the letter. Sunni watches his reaction as his glances dart back and forth across the page. The intensity increases with every movement of the eye.
Somewhere on the second page of this three page document, Mark’s reading stops, returns to reread the same line and then stops again. He looks up for a second into Sunni’s eyes to see if she feels what he feels.
He reads, “I have met them, dined with them and to my chagrin, trusted them. Men and women whose consciences are seared.”
His emotions are mixed as anger bubbles up through a realization that he himself has been manipulated. He senses that Sunni recoils from this unusual apparent ugliness in him.
Sunni’s recoiling encourages the gentle spirit of the man, yet not completely dismissive of the carnal monster. Mark apologizes for frightening Sunni by reaching out to her with both arms outstretched. When her body relaxes, he softly touches her.
Sunni carefully reaches up with one hand and clasps his shoulder. She feels the urge to give him a hug. She starts but then hesitates. That moment fades as Mark withdraws his fatherly embrace. Mark finishes page two.
Mark reads on hoping this letter names names. It doesn’t. Page three tells Reuben De La Croix’s story and how he learned of this plight on the county and how he knows that the “save America” and defending “Western values” are slogans to influence innocent people in joining in with people with wicked intentions.
Reuben admits these ideals lead a young, ambitious Reuben to befriend some powerful and influential men to use his good deeds to gain inordinate strength for their purpose.
Sunni’s father states that it was not some Appalachian Mt. based militant group, but his introduction to these idealists was after joining the local Country Club. Reuben confesses that the success and financial growth of his business had made him very egotistical. It also made him vulnerable to men who knew how to boost egos.
Mark found Reuben De La Croix’s tale fascinating. Mark is disappointed that it doesn’t provide specific evidence or people that can lead to justice. Revenge becomes the strength of Mark’s nature.
He reads on about how Reuben admired these men before he learned of their wicked hearts. In politics, their power got people elected from local leaders to Washington DC. Bankers, teachers, big business owners also owed much of their success to men with only egocentric interests.
Mark believes Sunni watches with some perplexity as Mark reads, looks up with eyes glazed, and reads again. He repeats this action a couple of times.
Mark reads, “I soon discovered a way for me and other just people to combat this wicked presence” and his eyes light up.
Sunni who anxiously awaits the self- controlled Mark to suppress that other spirit is only momentarily rewarded. As Mark reads on the light fades, the corners of his mouth turn downward and his shoulders droop.
Mark reads aloud, “Kindness, mutual affection, generosity, patience and self-control spawn justice. My hope is that you guard your heart. It is the best defense against all injustices.”
Mark places all the pages in order, folds them neatly and hands the letter back to Sunni. Without a word, he leaves her alone in the room. Sunni can hear him clearing the table and putting food away.
Mark is standing over the sink, the water running, staring out of a window, one hand holding a plate hovering over a dishwasher. He wakes from his stupor when he realizes Sunni is near.
“Should have used paper plates,” Mark pokes the plate into the dishwasher and closes the dishwasher.
Sunni reaches over Mark’s shoulder and shuts off the running faucet. Mark turns toward her. Their faces are so close they can feel each other’s breath. Poised momentarily in this position, Mark jumps when suddenly Sunni’s cell phone begins to sing.
“Yes, Celia, it’s me. What’s up?” Sunni turns and takes a couple of steps away from Mark.
Mark leans against the dishwasher arms folded across his chest. Sunni turns and offers Mark an apologetic glance.
“Calm down and just tell me what happened,” Sunni says and then listens intently.
When the call ends, Sunni turns to Mark, “They’ve arrested J.T.”
Mark pushes himself off of the dishwasher, “J.T. Mendoza? What’s the charge?”
“For Monica’s murder.”
I write about what I'm thinking or what I've imagined in an effort to regain that childhood imagination and marry with my many years of real experiences. I'm getting better at it the more I write.I am a published author of two romantic intrigue novels.My books can be found at Amazon.com or if you want a personalized copy, by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.