The absence of fear surprised me. I actually felt a unique familiarity to this man. He wore dark glasses and a black dress hat tilted low on his forehead. Before he even spoke, his voice penetrated deep within me. I undoubtedly knew at that moment he is the reason for me being in that Irish pub in the middle of the night. I felt a sense of anticipation as to what was to happen next. I realized that he was also waiting for me to make a move. I asked him to sit to my other side and so he graciously did. I asked the bartender to order him his usual on my bill. The bar tender complied promptly. The mystery man took a small sip of who knows what the bartender brought him. All I knew is that the glass was small and dark. He set the glass down smoothly and gestured to the envelope. My attention of the envelope waned with the appearance of this man in black. I quickly looked down at the envelope and back to…what! Where did he go? I looked at the woman sitting next to me, and…she just sat there immune to the impossible circumstance.
I finally opened the envelope within an envelope and found another address written on a paper filled with mountainous designs. I said out loud ‘not another wild goose chase’. I heard the woman speak for the first time saying, "It will be worth your time". Her voice carried a definite conviction concerning the matter. "What about the tire", I exclaimed, and she said, "Taken care of". I believed her and gave the barkeep two $20 bills and nodded at the woman and the Jamaican man sitting near by. The front right tire was fully in tact without a trace of the blood turned to milk. I headed toward the address written on the paper. I arrived fifteen minutes later and looked at the clock on the dash of my car. It read 2:33 a.m. I was sleepy, but intrigued by the turn of events. The address lead me to a house in Coral Gables. It was a large two-story house with carefully maintained landscaping surrounding the house. I parked on the front drive way and got out of my Accord with nervous anticipation. I approached the front door and pressed on the door bell. I heard the door chime echoing inside the house. No one was answering. I knocked on the door and rung the door chime for the next 5 minutes to no avail. I turned to walk back to my car when I saw the black Ford Mustang pull into the driveway next to my vehicle. I took a deep breath and walked to the black car.
The driver’s window rolled down and behold it was the woman from the bar at the wheel. She told me to get in. I did not even say a word; I just walked around the car to the passenger’s door and climbed in the car. I knew it would be useless trying to get some answers from her so I just sat quietly. True to character she also remained mum. She drove lawfully and skillfully to my amazement. We were heading north on Interstate-95. She broke the silence by saying that I was a lot like him. I knew she meant the mysterious individual I encountered at the bar. She offered no more and I did not persist either. She made an exit from the highway in Hallendale and arrived at a deserted harbor. We both got out of the car at the same time and saw and heard the same thing. The man in black was about 20 feet from the dock struggling in the water. He was crying out to me to save him.
It was about 3 a.m. when I was found myself in the deserted harbor in the dark. I looked to the woman and she had vanished, and so had the car. I fought a whirl of emotions as the desperation of his voice came to my hearing. I was tempted to flee the insane scene immediately, but was held there by some invisible influence. I started to walk to the edge of the dock when I heard him say something so absurd I thought I did not hear correctly. He said, "please save yourself!".As I peered at him in a state of shock, an immense flash blinded me. The next thing I know I was the one drowning in the water with a heavy anchor tied to my ankle. My lungs started to burn from holding my breath under water. The man in black now on the edge of the dock was saying something to me, but I could not make out the words. I was beginning to black out. The world started spinning lazily and was gradually coming to a halt.
Then it happened again just like the other time. A bright flash illuminated what seemed to be the whole harbor. Once more I was looking at him from the edge and he was in the final moments before drowning. I jumped in without a second thought to attempt to save him. I first tried to hold his torso up above the water so he might take in a breath. As I did, he vigorously resisted me making it impossible to help him. I yelled at him to cooperate with me, but he just continued to wildly swing his arms. I was starting to lose my breath trying to save him. The situation became hopeless. Then matters worsened severely. Another bright flash occurred, and now we were both chained to an anchor struggling for our lives.
I took in a much needed breath and braved a look at this man. I could not believe my mind. How could this be? This man is actually me! Seeing his expression caused me to believe he knew all along. I still did not understand. I noticed he was trying to tell me something amidst our predicament. I could only discern a few words. He said something to the effect of not giving up the fight. With those words he stopped struggling and sank. I then felt the weight of the anchor being released. In fact it wasn’t released. This man was on the floor of the bay carrying the anchor near the dock’s edge so I might swim to safety. I could not protest his plan given the circumstance. I reached the edge and he allowed me to pull myself up as he lifted the anchor over his head under water. He had to drag his own anchor while carrying mine to the edge. When I was at the edge my anchor barely appeared above the water. He held it for me to pull up and out of the water to free myself. I did so with a great struggle. Moments after while I lay on the edge panting, I saw bubbles rise to the surface.
I cried out in agony into the thick darkness. I knew in a very real way that part of my soul just died down there. I never have felt more helpless and utterly drained of life itself as I did in that moment. I sat there on the dock drenched and chained to a heavy anchor .I had an overwhelming sensation to jump back in the water and allow the same fate to overtake me. However, his last words interrupted my thoughts. He said ‘do not give up the fight’. More grief poured over me as I realized one crucial thing; I could not save myself! How could I go on from here I wondered. The now very familiar black Ford Mustang arrived back at the scene blinding me with it’s bright head lights. I was instantly relieved to know my ride had gotten there, but nothing could prepare me for what I saw next.
I shouted, ‘It is me!’ The man replied very calmly by saying yes. Interestingly, he had the key to unlock me from the ankle chain. He brought a change of cloth for me just my size (Of course). He said to me let’s go for a ride and I obviously obliged. We cruised the streets of Miami till about 6:30 a.m. We had a lot to talk about. Mainly it was my questions that sparked the conversation. He even let me drive the Stang for a while. You know I drove it like it was meant to be driven. I needed to get to work so he dropped me off at the house in Coral Gables where my car was parked. Most of what we discussed is strictly classified. Please understand my need to keep the matter to ourselves. I hope I see him again real soon, but I suspect it may take a while.
Is this really the end??? (Semi-sequel to "Meet Me")