He didn’t look old enough to be of legal age but he was. He was so shy and reserved as well. But he got the job anyway. He worked there for over fifteen years, too, before it happened. He started out as a driver and eventually worked his way up through various promotions. He was well liked albeit closed-mouthed. Single, good looking in the blonde, blue-eyed way that is popular with women.
He didn’t loiter around the work place but was out doing what he was getting paid for. Soon, he came to his boss and announced that he was getting married. This, as I remember it, came as a shock. He was dating someone? Seriously involved? Still waters, I guess. The office was invited to the wedding. All were so very happy and so very much in love. He became an instant father to three girls.
He was teased as being the only man in the house, and boy oh boy, wait until those girls hit puberty! He took it well, loving all his ‘women’. Soon, another announcement came, “We’re pregnant!”. A need to move to a larger place and time off, equipment borrowed from his job for the move. Work friends helped the family as well. The time came and the baby was born. Another girl for the family! He was so very happy with his first child. The smiles never stopped even when his eyes were sunken from lack of sleep helping his wife. He chauffeured the older kids to and from school, sport activities, and all the busy-ness that comes with a growing family.
Years passed and people changed. Another announcement, “We’re getting divorced.” Heartbroken but not beaten, he struggled to find a place to live that he could afford. Big enough still, for all the kids on his weekends. He still drove the girls around after school. He was such a good father to his harem. His employer helped whenever possible, giving him a dining room set that would seat all the kids. A couch set for lounging on in front of the television. The employer gave so many large and small items to his long time employee, trying to help in any way.
It was sad to see his once smiling face not so happy anymore. The divorce was ugly and things said never to be taken back. Hurtful, mean things and it was obvious he was struggling, emotionally. His girls were his lifeline.
One day, a few years ago, he came once again to work with an announcement. “I’ve been dating someone and I’m happy again. We’re also pregnant.” Now, some of his co-workers had met this new someone and they were not impressed. They didn’t say anything to him to cause him distress. If he was happy, then they should be happy as well. His employer wished him well. There didn’t seem that another wedding would take place, yet. Perhaps he had some misgivings along the way? Whatever the case, all was forgotten when his baby son was born. A boy! Oh boy!
Now he really worked his butt off, responsible for his five children. He still had his four from his first marriage on every other weekend along with his newest child and girlfriend. She stopped working to care for the baby. He had a lot of mouths to feed but he prevailed.
His job entailed him being at work very early in the morning several days a week. 4:30am comes awfully early on Monday mornings! The position that he had was a job that required honesty and integrity. His employer entrusted him with a large amounts of cash on a daily basis. He must deliver, count, and recount at the beginning and ending of his workday. Other co-workers did the recheck and yet others balanced out each day as well using his and other’s records. State laws regulated this company and all employees knew what happened to those who didn’t follow said laws. Surprise visits by agents, annual auditing by the state were some of the many ways for people to be honest. But the employer knew his employees. Most of them had been with him for ten years or longer. He trusted them to do right by him as he did them.
Soon after the year-end holidays, his employer got an early morning call. A very early morning call from a different employee. “He hasn’t shown up yet for work.” He told the employer. “Can you reach him?” The employer tried calling him but he didn’t answer his phone. His employer went to work troubled that the voice mail was full. His employee always picked up the phone when the employer called, but not this time. Hour after hour passed with no word from him. His employer went to his house to find the girlfriend and his baby. The last they heard from him was the night before around 10pm. And he wasn’t answering their calls as well. The employer called the employee’s mother.
“Have you heard from him? Do you know where he is?”
No. Everyone was looking. Everyone was becoming frightened. There was too much cash the employee was carrying to mess around with. Was he robbed? Was he kidnapped? So many questions and no answers. Hospitals were called. So was the police. A missing person’s report was sent out. More bad news came when his mother called his employer.
“His gun is missing.”
TO BE CONTINUED