For chapter 11 click here: Chapter 11
To go to chapter 1 of the novel click here: Chapter 1
(Author’s note: This chapter has multiple pages. Please click the number at the bottom to continue reading the next page)
Demond took a late night flight from New York’s LaGuardia airport to Miami. He had made an appointment with Owen to deliver a package of cannabis cigarettes early the next morning. The plan was to briefly meet Owen at a designated spot on his running route, handover the package, spend some time in Miami and head back.
Demond got up early, skipped breakfast and headed straight on his mission. He was not familiar with the Miami suburbs. On top of that he wasn’t used to driving a car and it took some time to get familiar with all the features of the rental car. He didn’t own a car in Brooklyn. He didn’t need one. Everything was accessible via the Metro in New York City. Owen had provided him with an address. It was not his home address but a spot on his running route. In spite of the GPS it had not been easy. Demond missed an exit. When he thought he was getting close to the destination he hurried past the street he had to turn.
“In 500 feet make a legal U-turn,” instructed the lady on the GPS.
What’s wrong with me today, murmured Demond. He was getting worried that he may miss Owen. When he entered Owen’s neighborhood he slowed down and kept looking for anyone running and anyone resembling Owen. The streets were lined with two-story colonial homes with well manicured lawns. It’s so much nicer here than Brooklyn, said Demond to himself.
A block away he noticed Owen running towards him to his left. He picked up his speed a bit to wave at Owen to let him know that he had arrived as promised. Before he could do that, Owen had started to cross the street to chase a dog. He tried to maneuver his car to avoid hitting Owen but realized it was too late. Owen was right in front of his car. As soon as Demond heard the thumping noise he didn’t even look back. He just took off straight ahead.
“Oh my God, Oh my God,” Demond said to himself loudly. He was breathing hard. “What have I done? Oh, please God, save him. I didn’t mean to hit him.”
In normal circumstances he would have stopped his car and got out to help. But, he didn’t want to be caught carrying a banned substance. As much as he wished, he couldn’t stop to see what had happened to his friend. Demond had been so careful and lucky, one might say, during the times he was smuggling cannabis from Africa. Never had he faced a challenge in avoiding the lawmen.
As he was leaving the neighborhood, he saw, in his rear view mirror, a man running towards Owen. He started to sweat a bit. The whole day lay ahead of him. What could he do until the afternoon? There was no sense in driving around without knowing where he was. What if someone noticed him and notified the authorities. When he hit Owen there was no one on the street that he could see, except the man who walked towards Owen. But, he was sure there would be an investigation and sooner or later they would come after him. The police have their way. He had to act fast and get out of Miami.
Demond had driven a couple of miles when he noticed a police cruiser with light flashing following him. The officer was waving his hands, asking Demond to pull over to the side.
“I’m dead,” thought Demond. “I didn’t think they would act so fast.”
The officer approached him as he pulled over to the side of the road. The traffic was light and an occasional car drove by.
“Anything the matter Officer?” Demond asked, trying hard not to appear nervous.
To his surprise, the officer didn’t ask him for his driver license and registration, as they normally do.
“Not really,” said the officer. “I wanted to let you know that you are dragging a long tree branch. Looks like it’s stuck to your muffler. It could be dangerous.”
“Thanks Officer. At least it’s not a dead body,” Demond said to make a joke out of it, but suddenly realized that it wasn’t the right thing to say.
The officer smiled, said to take care and left. “That was a close call,” Demond muttered.