When the skies opened up and cried, you were standing there all alone. Everyone had gone and the only person left was you, Mariella. You were a good wife, and friend to your beloved husband, Antonio. He lived a long and prosperous life. He did not deserve to go missing the way that he did.
It all started last spring, when the earth was full of new life. The flowers and trees were blooming and the brook was flowing. Antonio was on his way home from a town meeting when he disappeared. There was no sign of a struggle or wrong doing. Just a simple disappearance.
Mariella was frantic for the week after Antonio disappeared. She couldn't eat or sleep. The police did everything they could do, but nothing led them to where Antonio could be found.
One week turned into one year. There was no word from him, nor any sign of his life. Winter came and went and upon spring's arrival, Mariella revisited the place where he had disappeared.
She often went to that spot, but somehow on the year's anniversary she found a clue.
There was tiny swan feather beneath the oak tree. She felt it was a sign from God that he was at peace now, and was happy among his angels. She sat quietly under that oak tree, holding the tiny feather in her hand.
"If this is a sign, please tell me what happened to my Antonio?" As she closed her eyes she saw a vision of a man and a woman embracing beneath the oak tree. She saw them kiss and walk toward a blue BMW sports car. They got into the car and drove away toward the mountains.
Mariella woke from her daydream, and began to sob. Never before had she thought that he might have left her for another woman. She was completely beside herself. Was this a vision or a warning?
Mariella drove to the police station to talk to the officer in charge of Antonio's case.
"Mr. Jackson, I need to speak with you about something that just happened. It is very distressing, but you said I could come to you anytime that I needed your help."
"Mariella, what is the matter, tell me what you know."
"Well, today is the one year anniversary of Antonio's disappearance, and I went to that oak tree, and I had a vision. I saw him with a woman and they got into a blue BMW convertible and drove off toward the mountains. What do you think of that?"
"Can you tell me any other details? Did you see what the license plate said?"
"I don't remember, but I know it was green and white and it looked like mountains on the plate".
"Ummm, that could be a Colorado plate; I will do a computer check on blue BMW's in Colorado. I will be right back".
Off Mr. Jackson went to plug in that information.
"He didn't even doubt me, or flinch an eyeball, when I told him what I saw. That was refreshing that I didn't have to explain myself and try to convince him that my visions are very real".
"Mariella, the computer spit out five names that fit the car's description. Let's see, the first one belongs to a man, Mr. Benjamin Campbell, the next one belongs to a woman, Lorraine Campbell, could be married , yup same address, two different years, here's one, Sonja Greenblatt, located in Denver Colorado, current registration and address. The other two entries are expired plates. One belongs to a man named George Barnard, and the other to a woman Minnie Westman." I will check all of these people out and get back to you as soon as I learn anything".
As Mr. Jackson was reading the information off, Mariella was writing everything down. She too, would be checking the names out. Time to call her friend Maggie Morelli, the only private detective she could trust.
Maggie called her back almost immediately, and said that she thinks that Sonja Greenblatt worked for the same company that Antonio worked for. She is still employed at the Denver office.
As Maggie and Mariella landed in DenverAirport, a feeling of doom filled Mariella's body. She felt that Antonio was somewhere very close. She began to shake and Maggie gave her a stiff nudge and said “Knock it off; you are a very strong lady, no need to be afraid!"
The ride to the hotel was quiet and very long. They checked into their rooms and Maggie made some phone calls to arrange a meeting with Sonja to discuss buying stock from her. She pretended that Mariella and her were partners in a business in New Mexico and wanted to add the company's stock to their portfolio.
"Maggie I don't know if I can go through with this, what if she recognizes me? If she and Antonio were lovers, then she might know who I am. I am going to stay here until you get back. I will take a shower and a nap."
"Mariella, you are right, I didn't think of that. You amaze me sometime. I really think you should get into this line of work, you could be the Visionary Detective!" Maggie began to chuckle at her own joke.
"Maggie, I could put you out of business, now what would you do then? Anyway, go and get me my husband back".
Mariella walked away into the bathroom for her shower. Maggie left to go meet with Sonja.
Sonja's office was impressive, as was the woman herself. She was tall, blonde and gorgeous. Nothing like any financial advisor she ever met before. Sonja introduced herself and shook Maggie's hand with a very firm handshake. "You have a very lovely office, Ms. Greenblatt."
"Just call me Sonja, no need for formalities here, we run a very laid back office. Now tell me what can I help you with?"
Maggie fed her a lot of crap about her partner and their business. Sonja looked interested and asked many questions. She gave Maggie her business card and private cell phone number.
Maggie promised her more clients and it was easy to get her cell number.
She left the office with a picture that was on Sonja's credenza. It was a picture of Sonja and Antonio. Mariella was going to blow a fuse when she saw this, Maggie thought to herself.
"Maggie is that you? I will be right out", Mariella came out of the bathroom wrapped in her robe and towel around her head.
Maggie always admired Mariella's beauty. She was born in Rome, Italy, and she was an Italian beauty. What made Antonio leave her for this other woman? The mystery just keeps getting more and more intriguing.
Mariella stared at the photo. It was taken at a convention that she attended with Antonio three years ago in Las Vegas. She blinked her eyes and she could see the big ball room that was filled with thousands of people from his company. She remembered there was one night that he was gone for over six hours. He claimed he was in a poker tournament with some of the guys from his office. She went to bed without even doubting his word. He was probably having sex with Sonja that night. How disgusting to think that was going on right under her nose. All she wanted to do at that moment was slap him so damn hard his head would spin. Maggie spoke and snapped her out of her trance. "Mariella, think, do you remember Sonja at all?"
"No, I really don't recall her, but the hair looks really familiar." I seem to remember a scent that went along with that blonde hair, sort of a lavender scent."
"Mariella, I smelled lavender today in her office, oh my, I think she is the woman you saw in your vision. Let's go confront her."
"No, she will warn Antonio, and he will go away and I will never see him again. Let's go park near her condo, and watch and see if he shows up or leaves the place."
"Good call; now see I told you that you were born to do this job!"
They staked out Sonja's condo. It was hours before anything happened. Just as it was getting dark, a couple came out of the condo.
Mariella's heart began to pound and her mind was flooded with all kinds of emotions. She ran out of the car and stood right in front of the couple.
"Antonio, it's been a year, so good to see you and your slut!"
Antonio's face went ash white, and he grabbed Sonja, and ran back into their condo. Maggie flew to Mariella's side. "What the hell, are you thinking, you just blew our cover."
"I couldn't help myself, look he's alive, the bastard, with that woman. How dare he! I just want to kill him, I hate him, what is going on here?"
Maggie grabbed Mariella and dragged her back to their rental car. "Come on, we have to think of a plan. Let’s call Detective Jackson. Get his butt here to Denver. It's amazing that we found Antonio and they could do squat!"
They were sitting in their car talking to Detective Jackson, when there was a tap on the window. It was Antonio with a gun, telling them to get out of the car. Detective Jackson could hear everything. Maggie left her phone on and slipped it into her pocket.
"Well ladies, you think you are FBI agents or something, well I got news for you, you have been made. Come on, let's go."
They quietly went with Antonio. They were brought up to Sonja's condo. When they walked in, Sonja yelled, "Antonio, that's the woman who was in my office today."
"Great, now you two know each other, this is just great." He tied them up to a chair, and grabbed a bag with some of their personal belongings and they both fled out the door and into their car.
When Maggie was sure they were gone, she wriggled out of her bindings and let Mariella free.She immediately called Detective Jackson back.
“Jackson, it’s Maggie, we are safe now, the two scoundrels fled by car.It’s a black Mercedes, 2009 with Colorado plates, VW1911.Put out an alert to the Denver police department.I am going to look for clues as to what they were up to.”
“Now Maggie, you need a search warrant for that, do not touch a thing, we have them via cell phone conversation that I taped while you were being taken.The police should be there any moment.”
Just as they were getting off the phone, the police arrived.
“Hello, are you all right? Who is Maggie?”
“I am, and you are?”
“I am Lt. Sam Waters from the Denver police department. Are you both all right?Here, go with this policewoman, Annette Longo, she will take care of you and get your statement.”
The ladies went into the living room to tell their side of the story.
Lt. Waters came over to the women and calmly said, “Ladies, I have good news, we have arrested the two suspects as they were driving across the state line.We will need you to come to the station and pick them out of a line up.Are you up to it?”
Maggie spoke first, “Damn right we are, and I speak for both myself and Mariella!”
The evening was long and tedious.They waited patiently to pick them out of a line up.Antonio and Sonya were arrested and charged with kidnapping with a lethal weapon, fleeing the scene of a crime, and attempted murder.
The story unraveled as Antonio and Sonya plea bargained.
Apparently the two were involved in a people smuggling ring.They lined up illegal aliens and charged thousands of dollars for their freedom to cross the Mexican border. They were minor players in a huge Coyote Racketeering operation.
They were both sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Mariella followed the trial with complete scrutiny. Due to the nature of the actual crimes Maggie and Mariella did not have to go back to Colorado to testify.
When the trial was over, Mariella and Maggie started a detective agency called “M & M’s Elite Investigations”.Their motto was: “Talk with you mouth, not with your hands.”!
Wikipedia defines People smuggling as:People smugglers are often used by refugees fleeing persecution, although many people who are smuggled are seeking to better their employment and financial opportunities. However, with the growing restrictions on refugee policies worldwide, illegal immigrants escaping persecution or extremely difficult living conditions are often interpreted as mere economic migrants. Interpol, in a recent communication, described people smuggling as follows:
People smuggling has become the preferred trade of a growing number of criminal networks world-wide which are showing an increasing sophistication in regard to moving larger numbers of people at higher profits than ever.
Wow Very interesting and very true
You think you know your soul mate
So you gave them all your trust
but wow to disappear and hurt the one that loves you
That way,I love that Mariella show strength
Wow she show those two-time scoundrel's
Sending you Peace Love and Light....Yolie
She was nobody‚Äôs fool
Outstanding story I truly enjoyed reading Thank You!!