Sometimes, the pursuit of finding the truth in a secret is not worth the pain from the answer.
Repeat Offender - publisher page
Henry Hall's life was on the fast track to success until his employer moved his job to another country. Now he's working two jobs to pay bills and take care of his ailing wife who is need of a new Kidney. He hates his life but pushes through until some good news and the hint of a secret come his way. Now his journey to find the truth behind the secret causes a decent into a personal nightmare and a result that will change his life forever. Repeat Offender is the personal narrative of Henry Hall during a crucial 15-hour period that goes from an extreme high to a tragic low. Each chapter is another hour in his life as he battles personal addictions and outside problems. Rather it was 15 hours, 900 minutes or 54,000 seconds; to Henry it is an experience in his life that will take him to the brink of madness.
Chapter 9 PM
Before I answer there is a loud bang at his door. Itzal is perplexed and glances at me. I shake my head; I didn’t invite anyone over. That would be rude to come over unannounced and then invite others into the foray. Itzal heads to the door and puts the cup on top of the microwave.
“Who is it,” he calls out.
“Martin Thornberry, from upstairs,” the voice on the other side responds. Itzal frowns, scratches his head and flings the door open.
“What do you want?”
I could see Martin and he’s shorter and smaller then me. Maybe 5’7”, with some decent heeled shoes. He’s is thin like a swimmer and has thick shoulders. Outside of that, everywhere else was rail thin. He looks up at Itzal with widen eyes and swallows hard. He’s never seen Itzal before. So Itzal has only met Martin’s girlfriend.
“My girlfriend and I,” he stutters. More swallowing and then he take a deep breath. “We wanted to know if there was a problem? We heard the banging.”
I start to walk up to the door. There’s no telling what Itzal might do. “Yea,” Itzal exclaims. “You playing that game or dancing every night and loudly might I add.”
“I didn’t think we where that loud,” Martin says and looks down at the ground. “We can...”
“Stop playing every night. Keep it to once a week.”
“Once a week. Now wait a minute here,” Martin begins. He looks at me standing near the door but at an angle to where the two men are standing. “What you and your boyfriend do is none of my business, so it’s none of yours what we...”
“Did you say boyfriend,” Itzal yells. Before Martin could respond Itzal punches him in the stomach, then slams his other hand into his back, grabs Martin by the shirt and thrusts him into the side of the doorframe. Itzal holds Martin there by digging his forearm into the man’s neck and upper chest. Martin is trying to push him away but Itzal swats his attempts as an Elephant to mosquitoes.
“You callin’ me gay,” Itzal demands. Martin can barely talk, might alone breathe. I place my mug of mysterious juice on the microwave and pull on Itzal’s shoulder.
“It’s ok Itzal, there’s no need for this.” Martin is choking, face getting red with each passing second.
“Naw Henry. He’s attacking my man hood.”
“He doesn’t know you Itzal,” I respond and begin to pull Itzal away from the choking man. “You know we’re not gay, just going through marriage problems.” Martin with what energy he has left nods his head.
“See Itzal, he’s not calling you anything,” I say. Wow, this guy is strong. “Let him go.”
“Come down here again and call me gay,” Itzal says and presses harder into Martin. “And they’ll be taking you away in an ambulance.”
Martin nods. Itzal lets him go and the man immediately drops to the floor, coughs violently, and tries to take deep breaths. After about ten seconds of this, which felt like a lifetime, Itzal grabs the man by the shirt and raises him up.
“Stand up and be a man, boy,” Itzal orders. Martin is now getting his color back but his hands are still on his knees. He looks up at Itzal and me.
“You okay?” I ask. Martin nods. “Apologize to this man Itzal.”
“I’m not apologizing.”
“Say you’re sorry,” I continue.
“Say it, apologize to him.”
“I’m not apologizing,” Itzal yells back.
“Do you want him to call the cops for being assaulted? Then you’re in prison and Inez will never take you back,” I say. Wasn’t trying to give Martin any ideas, but Itzal went a tad bit overboard.
“Sorry.” Martin stands up to respond but Itzal slams the door in his face. I shake my head. It’s too long of day for this mess to be happening.
“That was extreme,” I say. Itzal walks over and forgets his juice, so do I. It was good but weird. I guess I can’t get over the random stuff he put in there. Now if Rum or Gin were added, that would be a different story.
“Yea, well he got the message. Sometimes extreme is what’s needed.”
“Hmm, you think,” I ask.
“I know.” We sit in the same spot before Martin interrupted our conversation. “Why aren’t you happy with Stacey possibly getting a transplant?”
With Martin coming over, I actually forgot why I was there. “Something’s been bugging me.”
I tell Itzal some of my day. I went into detail about Pastor Colley. Something about his tone was as if he desired to tell me something but it ended up being about forgiveness. Which makes sense and flows with my problems, but something else was different. I couldn’t figure it out. Then there’s the bizarre dream I had and of course, Doctor Smith telling me to love Stacey regardless of what I hear. What am I suppose to hear? I know that Stacey drank a lot. I was there with her. We have no secrets.
“That’s a weird dream,” Itzal says at first. He looks uneasy.
“Yea, especially you playing the drums. You don’t know any instruments.”
He chuckles, a little. Almost nervously. “No, not at all.”
“So you see, this is why I needed someone to talk with. I was going to get a drink...”
“No reason for that,” Itzal says.
“I know, that’s why I’m here, I think it’s stuff in my head is all.”
“What do you think the doctor meant by the regardless of what you hear stuff?”
“I don’t know,” I respond. “Like I said, Stacey and I have no secrets.” Itzal takes a deep breath and looks over at our cups. “What’s the matter?”
“I forgot my drink,” he responds.
“No, something else is the matter. I’ve seen this expression like someone is hiding something. What’s going on Itzal?”
“Stop playing games man, what’s going on? Is there a secret?”
Itzal sits back in his chair. He stares at the ceiling. Bet he’s wishing for Martin and his girlfriend to continue again. That would help break the awkward silence. He takes another deep breath and then looks at me.
“There is a secret, and I’m not proud for keeping it.”
“Although nothing big, I used it to advance at Gordon-Hirschel. It ate me alive and the guilt made me just...hate the man to this day.”
“Pedro?” Itzal nods. So there’s something about Pedro. Strange I thought there was something with the Pastor, but that’s not true. He did talk about forgiveness. I wonder if I need to forgive Pedro.
“There’s no delicate way for me to say this.”