The Midterm Elections 2018

Family-and-Friends-MainNew

DON’T FRACTURE your relationships over politics. At the end of the day, you don’t move out to live with your favorite politician. After these midterms you’ll still eat at the same table with your spouse, have your in-laws visiting to see your kids, go and see your mom when your siblings are present and ache when your cousin is in the hospital. When passionate conversations arise, you be the wise one to keep silence when the back-and-forth words gain too much weight. Life is more than this.

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Huge Problem – The HOUSE – 36

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( Continuation – Read “Back Underground” first )

Then it stroke me.

I clang to the rail and just stood there in disbelief. How in the world didn’t I think of that?

“What’s wrong?” The young man was still admiring his piece of art imprinted on the chewing gum.

“We are screwed.” I never used that word before, but it just came out of my mouth.

Phillip gazed in my face, still happy about his newest accomplishment. “I don’t understand.”

I couldn’t wrap my head around of what we’ve done without taking any precautions. “I’m sure these guys, whoever they are, have cameras all over the basement and they know we are here. They will report us to the police.”

That was a surprise to my neighbor, as well. I could see him getting nervous, and he bit his lips. Then he made a sign to move forward. But I didn’t want to go upstairs. I wanted to go back.

I passed by him and rushed down the stairs to the poolroom. Maybe I was wrong and the owners didn’t have cameras. But I needed to see and prepare myself for what to expect.

If I wouldn’t have been that stressed out, I could have sworn I heard the door we’ve tried to open, hitting the wall. But because of my erratic state of mind at that moment, I couldn’t guarantee that was what happened. The door was closed.

Phillip was one step behind me.

Then my heart fell into my stomach. There were at least four cameras on the ceiling, one in each corner. How brainless was I to put us in such a mess?

All my life I stayed out of trouble. I taught my son to be a man of good character, to tell the truth, to respect other people’s property and the laws, and here I was becoming a criminal.

Our clothes were still dripping water on the floor and I was cold, so cold.

Phillip placed his hands on his hips and started pacing up and down.

“What now?”

( To be continued )

Back Underground – The HOUSE – 35

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(Continuation – READ “Wave Breakers” first )

Phillip didn’t leave me a moment to doubt. So, I followed him. At least I knew the way and that I wasn’t in danger of dying on my way back.

I was still shaking and my fast heartbeat was giving me a little fret, but I pushed through. Phillip looked at me once or twice to be sure I was on the track, and kept swimming forward up to that point where it was easier to walk than swim.

The smell of the chemical I sensed in the poolroom was strong.

“Something is not right here,” I said getting out of the water.

“Maybe we should check this door,” my neighbor suggested heading to the far area with a closed entering. I walked behind him. He went and knocked at the door.

“Is anybody here?”

He tried the handle, but the access didn’t open.

“This weird odor is much stronger here.”

“Maybe it is the pool, the antiseptic they put to keep it clean,” the man answered.

“It’s not the pool, event though there is some chlorine in it,” I added. “Definitely, the smell is coming from behind this entry.” I paused for a second. “I wish we have a key.”

At that, Phillip pushed with his shoulder into the wood. Not too hard, only to see if it would open. It didn’t.

Then this thought came to me. Did I want to become a felon and spend time in jail at my age? The horror of being put behind bars brought some common sense to me, and I started walking to the stairs. “We should leave.”

The young man strolled behind me and whispered in my ear, “I’ll be back with a key.”

That made me pay attention to him and slowed down. “How?”

“How what?” he asked me.

“How are you getting a good key?”

“I’m going to make it.” He pulled some chewing gum in a small bulk from his pocket and showed me the imprint in it. “This is the shape.”

I was amazed. “Aren’t you a smart young man? Just be careful.”

-To be continued-

Wave Breakers – The HOUSE – 34

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(Continuation – Read “The HOUSE -33” first )

While resting to gain my strength, my neighbor went on a scout. He swam to the end of the blocks and managed to get out of the water.

These constructions built from the shore to some length into the ocean were open for the public most of the time. But when the waves were too big or during high tides, the lifeguards on duty kept the people away. Otherwise, audacious tourists liked to take a chance to climb and walk all the way to the end.

 

I pulled myself up on another rock to try to see the shore. I couldn’t recognize the cottages afar. If we came on a straight line from the house to the ocean, the closest way to get to the water was under the street ending with a couple of palm trees. I looked for the palm trees and they were pretty far, at the end of the sidewalk.

From that point further there were the cottages with a semi private shore. I’ve never been there before.

Then I remembered.

 

There was one time when soon-to-be my ex took me to a beach party a while ago. It was dark when we got there and I couldn’t recognize the house, but it was on this beach, on the outskirts of Newport. When we got there, a few couples had had already too much to drink and looked overjoyed to see us. One man seemed sober though, my ex’s new business partner, as my ex introduced him to me.

“Phillip, ” I called as I saw the young man swimming back. “Did you find anything?”

“I don’t know.” He blew his nose and held on to the rock near me. “Everything looks normal, but one thing.”

I waited.

“Someone took the time to paint the end of the blocks in white.” He paused and waved his hand. “Anyway, maybe this is the norm and they do it to every construction, ” he continued.

“How about when you go surfing?” I asked. “Do you remember any of these blocks in Newport Beach being painted?” My question didn’t bring too much light. “I don’t remember. I don’t do surfing at the end of the wave breakers, but between them.”

Great! After the ordeal I went through trying to stay alive while swimming under the water, we had more questions than answers.

“What now?”

The man let his body in the water and called. “We go back.”

-To be continued –

On the Other Side – The HOUSE – 33

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CONTINUATION (Read “Shred of Light” first.)

Phillip saw the despair in my eyes and reached to my face, in a gesture of tenderness. “Sophie, I will not let you drown here. Be sure of that.”

I needed that. “Come,” he commanded and pierced with his body somewhere to the other side. I took a deep breath and said a short prayer. I followed him. Starfish and shells were attached to the blocks all the way. I fought to keep my mind calm and let myself watch the beauty under the waves. It didn’t take long until I started to swim up, to the sunlight. I could see Phillip’s legs moving under the water in front of me. Then they stopped.

I fret. The oxygen in my lungs was gone. Would now be the moment when my brain would blackout and I ‘d faint? There were a few seconds when my whole body moved chaotically to get out of there. I screamed from inside, but nobody could hear me. I struggled to move myself up pushing into the rocks on the side, when two arms reached to me.

“Adam,” I called without a sound.

“Sophie,” I heard like from a mile away, and I closed my eyes.

Shaking, I took my first breath of fresh air.

“Adam, ” I called again.

“It’s Phillip,” I heard and clang to him with both hands.

“Easy, easy,” and he helped me lean my body weight on one of the rocks. “Are you O.K.?”

I nodded my head, busy to take in more air. It was so good to hear his voice again. The imminence of unexpected death was terrifying.

I looked around. We were at the end of one of those rock constrictions built to break the waves. I couldn’t see where we were exactly, but somehow I knew we were still in Newport Beach.

 

-To be continued –

Shred of Light – The HOUSE -32

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-CONTINUATION – (Read “In the Tunnel” first.)

The young man motioned his head. “No. If I don’t find what’s going on here, I’ll try to come back again and maybe that wouldn’t be possible anymore.” His blunt answer rolled my feelings in a state of panic. I wasn’t sure for how long I could keep myself together and not climb on his back or something. I was cold and scared.

Every few seconds a new wave broke into the tunnel, moving the body of water up and down.

A few steps further, and we barely could feel the ground

anymore. I saw Phillip floating, and I did the same. I felt so scared that I could feel my heart curling into a ball. I realized there was no sense on focusing on the situation where I have placed myself. I tried to pull myself together and follow my neighbor. Far ahead, the darkness gave in to a shred of light.

“Are you all right?” he asked me.

I wasn’t all right. I was feeling half dead, but there was no other way to survive. I had to get to the end, whatever that end was.

The wall on my right turned into a rock structure made of huge blocks on top of each other.

“I know where we are,” Phillip said waiting for me again. “Are you able to hold your breath?” I was holding my breath most of the time since I was in the tunnel and taking in gasps of air now and then. Hyperventilation made me feel extremely tired.

“Why?”

“I think we have to go through a blanket of water to get outside

in the open. It looks like the end of the corridor is under the water.”

I saw the surface tilting, if that was even possible. Actually the wall on one side of the tunnel and the blocks on the other side were coming to such an angle that made the water pour inside to the ceiling.

Maybe that was it, I thought.

If the tide I had to swim through was too thick, I was done.

 

-To be continued –

In the Tunnel – The HOUSE – 31

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-Continuation- (Read “The Tunnel” first)

“Where does this tunnel go?” And the man walked in the channel. The ceiling was too low for him to stand and he started swimming.

“What are you doing?” I didn’t like he was leaving me behind.

“Come, we’ll get to the end of this.”

There were only two options: to follow him or go back by myself.

“Is it safe?” My questions didn’t seem to bother him.

The man stopped and waited for me. “Do you really think that we are in danger or something? I mean, to be attacked?”

That was a wild thought, “to be attacked.” I had no idea.

“Maybe it’s not out business to do this. We should call the Police,” I said.

“And say what? That we trespassed in somebody else’s house and wander around ? Come on!”

The darkness and the narrow space made my heart skip a beat. “I hope there is enough air.”

The young man took my hand. “We’ll be fine.”

In a few moments it was pitch dark, but we kept advancing. We walked on ground for a while until it changed in sand. “We are close to the beach. Maybe we are ending up in somebody’s basement.” My joke was out of place.

“I have the feeling that this tunnel is illegal,” my neighbor spoke out loud.

We were in the water for at least 5-6 minutes now. I was sure we were going toward the ocean. Walking on the street from Adam’s place to the shore would take about 3-4 minutes. Dragging ourselves through the water might take a few minutes longer. All of a sudden I felt the ocean breeze coming in. Then I felt the first waves, slowly in the beginning, and increasing its strength, as we kept moving ahead.

“Do you know how to swim?” Phillip asked.

“I think I can survive,” I assured him, but deep inside I was scared to death.

 

Why was I there? Wasn’t my life complicated enough not to

make it unbearable now getting into things that were not supposed to be my concern?

Unfortunately, there was no way to go back by myself.

“Phillip, we should go back,” I tried in a normal voice, but the squeal in my tone didn’t help.

-To be continued –