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Rated: E · Fiction · History · #2279955
Two powerful families, an old money Boston and a Texas oil baron battle for the Presidency

It started on July fifth. The world as I had known it would never be quite the same. A day after the country celebrated its independence, it began with an error, and the declassified documents, ironically enough, were sent to the wrong John Adams.

I wasted a long day researching background material on "Honest Abe" to include in my new novel on Monday afternoon. Yea, right a book that currently has no plot, theme, or believable characters!

At least while at the library, I convinced the cute librarian that I was related to the original John Adams, the second president of the United States. I did not get any good research done, but the phone number for the cute brunette who wears glasses ~ is not a total loss for the day.

As I walk through the door, I almost trip over a substantial yellow envelope. Canary yellow, which can only mean the federal government, and I know I submitted my taxes a few months ago. I may have been a day late, but the IRS has no reason to send me a massive package.

I rip open the package and start reading the photocopies of the memo's outlining the various death threats against Senator Ted Kennedy going back to the late sixties and beyond. Nothing unusual in these documents when you consider that every celebrity must have multiple death threats on a routine basis.

I start reading the memos until the early morning when I notice something that jumps out at me. Reading the document several times and looking at other documents, I was amazed to find references to George Bush among the papers. I wonder if George Bush was listed as an agent of the CIA in the late sixties. Must have been the father, the first Bush to be president?

I fall asleep on the documents stretched out on my couch with a question. Was George Bush part of the CIA before becoming the director in 1976? If so, why has he been quoted many times as not having any involvement with the CIA before he was appointed director?

The following day, I woke up and, after doing the morning routine of brushing my teeth, pulling out the cleanest shirt from the corner of the floor, and making my way back to the library, focused more on this time, George Bush than Abe Lincoln. I remember stopping off at a local coffee shop as I recall the cute brunette liked that Frappuccino, and I knew that the cost of one would go a long way toward getting help.

"Hello there, Debbie; would you like a pick me up?"

"I would like one, especially from a decedent from the second president. Still researching Lincoln?"

"I should be doing that, but another project has fallen into my lap." I think the first two projects related to Kennedy, and the second connected to learning more about this young librarian. "What do you know about President Bush, the original one?"

She flips her long dark hair back and looks at me over her glasses. Flirting? It does not go unnoticed. I needed to refocus on her response. "Well, I know a bit about him. Most of what I know is what I heard from my father, obsessed with history" Her facial expression seems to change as she talks about her father, and her words become softer and harder to hear. I wonder if they are more challenging for her to say as well.

"Deb, as I understand it, the elder President Bush was appointed to the director of the CIA during the middle of the 1970s, yet I have also been reading some things that indicate he was involved with the CIA much earlier."

"Wow, now you are sounding like my dad! I think he has evidence that Bush was an agent or contractor working for the CIA as far back as the 1950s. John, I should also let you know that my dad is not a reliable source as he has been committed to an institution for several years."

"I am sorry to hear that, Deb. Was that hard for you? How old were you when he was committed?"

"Ahh, John, let's save that topic for another time, shall we? Perhaps this is a good topic for a first date!"

First date! Oh, I should have done laundry and worn a clean shirt. It seems she was and is flirting. "Sounds like a Deb; we can talk about our dysfunctional families on a first date? How about dinner tonight? I mean, would you like to have dinner tonight? With me on a first date?" I wonder just how lame that must have sounded. Why is it that women are always better at this than men? Or is it just me?

"Why, Mr. Adams, are you asking me out on a date, Sir?"

"I do hope so, but not as much as I hope your response is positive."

"Let's have a date, but if you don't mind, I have a suggestion that may interest you more than dinner this evening. Any chance your schedule is open this Saturday?"

If I had anything scheduled, it would now be canceled or postponed. "Yes, I am free and available this Saturday. What do you have in mind, Deb?"

"Well, this weekend, I was planning on making a trip to visit my father. He is in a home near Ocean City, about a two-hour drive from here. If you like, we can make the trip together and have a chance to talk during the ride each way. We can have lunch on the beach and perhaps dinner on the way back. Plus, it would allow you to discuss Bush with my dad too. So what do you say, John, to a road trip?"

The image of seeing her on the beach in a bikini is one that I could get lost with. I cannot believe my good fortune. "Sounds like we have a date, Deb. We need to work out the starting time and meeting place. The details?"

"Oh yea, the details, let's meet here at the library at 9:00 am? Oh, by the way, can you drive? My car is on its last legs, and I am more than a bit ashamed that I need a new car."

"Yes, I can drive." I will make a mental note to clean the car later this week. I still cannot believe my good fortune as I say goodbye and walk out of the library only to realize I had not done any of the research on either Honest Abe or the older George Bush and turn and walk back through the library doors. I know my face is red as I blush to watch her sip on her Frappuccino. "Hello again, are we still on for Saturday?" Despite my awkwardness?

She smiles as I walk back to the research room in the back of the complex and start pulling books from a shelve commence with the reading. I am looking for any reference that connects George Bush to the CIA. I return every day of the week and find little information beyond the feeling I get watching her move around the complex as I look over the top of a book.

At one point in the library's silence, I think I hear a minor chain rattling and discover it is a small ankle bracelet she has on her right ankle; Saturday cannot come too soon.

Saturday, July 10th, starts as a cloudy day with the potential of some showers, and I arrive about 45 minutes early. When I am only 30 minutes from our meeting time, I take a short trip and get caffeine fixes for both of us.

Having done laundry last night, I am in clean clothes, and as I wait for her arrival, I check my breath every two or three minutes. I watch for her through the drizzle of rain falling on my windshield and realize the potential to see her in a swimsuit has been dramatically diminished.

As I waited for her arrival, I looked through the mail I received the day before but had not taken it from my mailbox until I left. Among the mail was the regular junk mail, including advertisements for a local gym and riding lawnmowers. Ironic that we now sit to mow the lawn yet pay someone for a place to exercise. One envelope contains a letter from some government agency stating I have received a package intended to be sent to John Adams of the Massachusetts Historical Society with an address of Arlington Street, Boston, Massachusetts. I resided on Arlington Ave in Annapolis, Maryland.

What alarmed me most about this letter was a paragraph indicating that I should expect the return of "agents" to retrieve the documents and that it was against federal law to photocopy them. Checking the envelope, I noticed no postal marks, meaning that this correspondence was hand-delivered. Must it have been left while I was out getting the car washed? I ponder why documents that appear to have been released through the Freedom of Information Act could not be copied and, even more, what information is in them that would cause multiple visits from federal agents.

Making a mental note to reread the documents, focusing on discovering why the federal government would send agents more than once to collect the records, I place all my mail into the glove compartment.

Looking up, I notice her walking quickly toward my clean silver Nissan Altima. Matching her pace, I attempt to walk around the car to greet her and open her door, but she is much too quick and leaves me standing near the car's hood. I hear the door on the vehicle's passenger side close as she tosses a travel bag into the back seat. I returned to the driver's side and reentered the vehicle. Once inside the car, I can detect a delightful smell that was not there before her arrival, and I wonder if it was some fragrance she wore or perhaps just a reminder of the shampoo on her long dark hair. Either way, it is rather intoxicating.

"Hey there, Deb. I have a semi-hot coffee there if you would like, but I am also not opposed to stopping for another before we get onto Route 50. Your call?"

"How thoughtful, John, and what a nice clean car you have. Mine is littered and cluttered with who knows what. This coffee will be fine. Shall we get started? Gentlemen, start your engines," she responds with a smile.

I wonder if she realizes that once I press the button to start this keyless ignition, both of my engines will have been created. I suspect she is fully aware of it now that I have become convinced that women are much more advanced in these things than us men, but can they parallel park?

I notice her tanned legs extending to the car floor where her purse sits between her ankles, and I am more than thankful that she has chosen to wear shorts. Her light blue blouse matches her eyes. Another womanly trait ~ is color coordination.

Within minutes we are crossing over the Severn River Bridge when we both realize we are in the Saturday morning bumper-to-bumper traffic with the masses also wanting to make the trek to the comforts of the beach. We are at least five to ten miles from the cause of the bottleneck and the traffic slowdown, the Bay Bridge. I take the next exit.

"John, you know that there are two ways to get to the eastern shore, one is by the Bay Bridge, and the second takes us through New Jersey and is about six hours long, right?"

"Yea, Deb, but I know the way to the back roads that travel the same direction as Route 50. Plus, rather than spending the next hour or so inching our way to the Bay Bridge, we can be at the bridge in about 15 minutes. You can thank me for shaving 45 minutes from this trip later."

"How do you know of this path? Is it the Adams way?"

"Not at all; I was raised in a community along this quicker route; I used to jog along it, watching the traffic heading toward the eastern shore. As I ran, I used to daydream of escaping to a better place."

"Is that why you became a writer of fiction? You want to escape to a better place?" she asks while taking a sip of her coffee.

"Deb, is that not why anyone becomes a writer of fiction? Is that why you work at a library? You're looking for a better place?"

"Hey, I asked you first! Do you always answer a question with a question?"

"I don't do that do I?" Even before I finish responding, we both start laughing. I had forgotten what it was like to be with someone with whom I could feel this open and free. After a short pause, I continued, "I did not have the best childhood as my parents were often in open battle, and I found more comfort outside the home than I did inside it. So I guess I was destined to write fiction between my home life and my shaded career as a student. And what about the Deb stories? Now that I think of it, I don't even know your last name!"

"Well, Mr. Adams, my full name is Deborah Grant. My story is of a bit of heartache as my father was committed when I was eight. Many of my fondest childhood memories involved him reading to me. I think that is what led me to work at a library. I wanted to recapture the warm feelings of a father reading to a young daughter. I have found and lost a better place and am trying to find my way back."

"How long has your father been" I lost for the correct way to finish this question, I left it unfinished, and she bailed me out of what would have been an awkward position for me with a quick response; quick and playful.

"Is that your way of asking how old I am? If he were committed when I was eight and told you that was about twenty years ago, you would know I am 28, right? I think you were a lot better at school than you let on."

"Deb, can I ever sneak anything by you? I was rather good at school. That became my problem. I was always way ahead of the rest of the class and would often start daydreaming as a method to combat boredom. I guess I was a writer even then, although now of those stories ever found their way onto paper."

"That may not be a bad thing. Once my father started writing his theories on paper, he became committed. He may have been better off keeping them in his head."

"Do you know what his theories were? He may have just been before his time. Some of the things written as science fiction years ago have found their way to becoming a reality. Jules Verne wrote about men traveling to the moon more than 100 years before it happened. He may have been committed to such statements. I think it was not Galileo who was jailed for claiming that the earth orbited the sun?"

"My father once worked for the Washington Post and thought he had found some evidence related to the Kennedy assignation in Dallas. He also thought the assignation of Bobby Kennedy in California was related to this group. He became obsessed with assassinations. At his bottom, he even stated that some of his findings he discussed with Oliver Stone, who was involved with that movie JFK."

At this point, we lightened the conversation, which bounced between many topics from the weather, which had become brighter as we traveled east, to the music I played on my I-pod, which for the most part, she found to be depressing, hopefully not too painful to have her believe that I was also inflicted with depression.

The two-hour ride had happened so quickly, perhaps because of the conversation and the number of times I glanced at her, including the few times I caught her looking at me rather than the corn fields we passed. Despite the heat, I rolled down my car window, and we both enjoyed the smell of saltwater in the air, singling the ocean nearby.

"What first, Deb, a visit to your dad or lunch on the boardwalk?"

"Let's visit dad first. Then when finished, you can cheer me up with lunch on the boardwalk. I tend to become a bit like your music after visiting my dad. I tend to mourn the loss of the years we could have had with him reading to me. Can you tell I am kinda Daddy's Girl?"

I was somewhat surprised to learn that her dad was not in a hospital but a private care facility on prime beachfront property. We located her dad on the third-floor porch with a great view of the sunbathers and the waves breaking against the shoreline. We could hear the seagulls squawking at anyone willing to toss them bread from below. It was incredibly peaceful.

After hugging her father, Deb made the introductions, "Dad, this is John Adams, a new friend of mine who made the trip with me today. John, this is my father, Daniel Grant."

"Debbie, are you making your way through by dating only men whose last names are names of US Presidents? Let's see if I remember there was a Jefferson, a Jackson, and a Ford in your past, now an Adams?

"Dad, are you worried I will get to a Clinton someday?"

"I am not sure, but if I were your father, I would be more worried that you would find a Grant!" I injected.

After having a visit for about two hours, I could not detect any defect in her father. He seemed alert and able to converse on many topics, and I did notice he was more than halfway through Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. I wonder what caused him to be committed and, perhaps even more critical, why he remained committed.

"Dad, would you mind if John and I took a dip in the ocean? You're not a swimmer, but you're welcome to join us."

Within minutes I am making the trek to the car to retrieve her bag from the back seat and mine from the trunk. As I am making this trip to the car, I wonder if anything Mr. Grant knows about Bush and his CIA career. On the way back, I wonder how good Deb will look in a swimsuit.

While Deb is off changing, I have an opportunity to question her father, but before I can start, he does. "John, please don't take this wrong, but Deb mentioned that you had a curious nature and have an interest in George Bush and his resume. Let me save you some heartache; let it go. I had researched various federal government components and found myself in grave danger; I hate to see something like that happen to you or anyone else."

"Sir, what do you mean, what happened to you? What were you researching?"

"Just let it go. Let me say this; I had to get classified as mentally incompetent just to protect my wife and an eight-year-old girl who is now changing downstairs. So, John, please do not make my last 20 years a waste by placing my daughter and yourself in danger."

Before I can even think about what he said, let alone respond, Deb returns. "OK, guys, what do you think of my new Fourth of July bikini?"

Turning to see her in a bikini with a blue top with white stars and red and white stripes on the lower part of the swimsuit was much more than I could absorb. She was and is very attractive.

"Debbie, hopefully, you got that one on a discount as it seems they reduce their manufacturing cost by not using enough material."

"No, dad, this is how they make them now." Turning toward me, she asks, "John, this is the first time you've been this silent all day?"

"Deb, you know you look great, and my silence only proves the point. Now I shall go and change, and we can go for a swim where every guy on the beach will envy me for being with you, and every woman on the beach will become angry with their dates for watching you a bit longer than they should."

Saturday Evening, July 10th, finds us making the return trip back. Had we known each other better, I may have suggested we get a hotel room and enjoy the beach on Sunday. But I did not want to tell it and have her think I had only motives toward getting her into a hotel room; plus, as this is summer at the beach, we may have taken more time to find a room than it would have taken to return home.

It is incredible how an afternoon in the sun can drain you of any energy reserves. The heat and the sun or the huge meal we had at her favorite Chinese restaurant robbed us of any resources we had.

The exhaustion combined with the dark drive through miles of corn fields caused Deb to fall asleep with her head leaning on my right shoulder, her arm resting on mine. I could not be happier. As she slept, my thoughts returned to the package I had received and the advice her dad had given me. I decided not to pursue the meaning of the copies in the package sent to me and focus on the mystery of Deborah Grant. I only needed to know whether I should kiss her when dropping her off or not. What is appropriate?

"Hey, Deb, we are almost to the library; I can drop you off at your house if you can give me some directions if you like?" I whisper ever so softly to wake her up gently.

Within a few minutes, we arrived downtown at the location of her townhouse, one of the expensive units that I could not afford. I walk her to her door with her bag over one shoulder and her hand in mine. While she slept earlier, I tried to think of something unique to say that would warm her to the idea of a goodnight kiss, but I had forgotten that women are more advanced than men or that she was more advanced than I am.

"John, as this is the first date, I cannot invite you in even if there is a part of me that would like nothing better. Would you kiss me goodnight, and perhaps we can have a second date tomorrow, lunch?"

Under the dim light above her door, with the crickets making noises that would be an annoyance under other circumstances, I place a palm on her cheeks with each thumb rubbing lightly against her cheekbone. My head moves toward hers, or is it that she is moving toward me? My eyes close before I can feel her breath on my lips. Can she feel mine? My heart rate increases as, once again, the fragrance of her hair invades my nostrils. Our lips touch, and I swear I can feel a bolt of electricity. Does she think it too, I wonder?

She breaks the kiss. "Now, John, go before I break my rules about first dates."

Slowly I back away, keeping her in view as long as I can as I work my way down the stairs to my car. She remains to stand, watching me depart as long as she can.

Once in the car, I drive home with a true feeling of contentment. Can there be a better mate for a frustrated writer than an attractive librarian?

Once inside my apartment, I am shocked to see that everything has been tossed aside, and nothing is as I had left it. I have been robbed, yet I cannot find anything missing. The cushions of the couch and the recliner had been torn. The documents came back for them! Had one team followed me until they knew I would not return anytime soon with the trip to the beach, and another group tossed my apartment looking for the documents? Oh no, was Deb just a decoy to draw me away? I find that hard to believe, but yet is it possible?

I start to clean up the apartment and debate calling the police, but as nothing is missing but the envelope with the documents, I am not sure what the police could do anyway. Placing the phone back on the receiver, it starts to ring.

"Hello, this is John Adams," I answer the ringing phone.

"John, this is Debbie. Can you come over?

"Sure, Deb, what's wrong? You sound upset?"

"I have been trying to reach you for over a half-hour, John; it's my dad." She pauses, and I wait for her to continue.

"My dad, as we drove back from the ocean, he was murdered. They killed him."

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