Sunday, November 18, 2007

Chapter Forty-Eight

Peter’s drive back to Charlottesville was uneventful. The miles passed quickly as he mulled over the situation with his Mom. He would have preferred to stay remain at home until her memory came back but the Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Med Program was more even more demanding than he’d expected. He knew if he missed more than a day or two of work he would fall hopelessly behind. Pete was a dedicated student but not a particularly gifted one. His Pop said it was because he was easily distracted, but his Mom said it was because he was blessed with an active imagination.

When he got back to his apartment Pete had to resist the temptation to take a quick nap before hitting the books. Instead he made himself a pot of strong coffee and tackled the most difficult assignment. His Mom always said to eat the biggest frog first. “Pete,” she’d told him when he was only twelve years old trying to whether to do his arithmetic or vocabulary first, “if you’re stuck in a roomful of frogs and you can’t leave until you’ve eaten every single frog, the best thing to do is to eat the biggest frog first. After that it will be a cinch, my boy.”

He’d been at the books for a few hours when there was a knock at the door. “Who the hell is that?” he said shoving the books aside. He hated to have his concentration interrupted. He pushed away from the table. There was another knock. More insistent this time. “Keep your britches on! I’m coming already.” He realized he was grouchy. He was grouchy because he hadn’t eaten since breakfast. He promised himself that as soon as he dealt with whoever was banging at his door he would head down to The Mousetrap for a pizza.

“Hello. What can I do for you?” Pete didn’t recognize the man who was standing at his door. It was an older guy. A little older than his Pop. He was a small guy with a decidedly grim expression on his face. He stood there just glaring at Pete. Not at him exactly – more like through him. The man was making Pete very nervous. He surprised himself by impulsively pushing the door closed but just as it was about to click shut the man blocked it with his foot and pushed his way in. The first thing Pete noticed was the knife.



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