The next time Nate saw Ebby, she acted as if nothing had happened. He was greeted with the same smile and gesture to come sit with her. He decided not to broach the subject of the dinner and instead, returned the invitation.
“I’m off tomorrow night,” he said. “Would you like to go to a nice restaurant and have dinner?” He wondered if things had changed between them when she gave but a quick glance into his eyes and coolly said, “no thank you.”
Did she think of him now as someone who had invaded her life? Was she afraid that maybe she had shown him a part of herself that she had so carefully tried to hide? Only time would tell if their friendship had suffered, but she now had become even more of a puzzle to him and possibly even more of a challenge.
Nate continued to drive by her place and eventually noticed a pattern. Ebby visited the cemetery every Friday at the same time, without fail. The same car was always parked at the church.
On the days he was on duty, he would take himself out of service for the few hours he spent watching Ebby.
Nate kept up his vigil for more than two months. It was impossible for him to surveil her and the area on foot, and he was growing impatient. He wanted to know the reason Ebby was there.
Bringing his binoculars solved the problem and he immediately realized that Ebby wasn’t mourning over a grave. She always stood behind the trees and just watched, and what she was watching was the same man who, like her, was there every Friday.
One day as Nate was watching, what he saw made his blood run cold. He watched as Ebby took a gun out of her purse, carefully attach a silencer to the barrel, and then point it at the man who was standing in front of a tombstone. He was an elderly man and it was he who seemed to be mourning.
Nate was unsure of exactly what he should do. Should he approach her? Should he try to stop her? If he did, she would know that he had followed her. Before he had to make a decision, she took the silencer off, and put the gun back into her purse.
He was rattled in a way that left him questioning his actions or more accurately, his non-actions. He was an officer of the law. He had a duty to act, and he had just witnessed a crime, although technically, pointing a gun at someone was just a simple assault.
He was thinking, “who is this man? Is he a random stranger or someone she knows?” More importantly, stranger or acquaintance, why was she pointing a gun at him?
Nate wondered what he was going to say or do the next time he saw Ebby. He knew she could read him, but he was just as adept as she at disguising his feelings.
He had skirted the law by following her, and his surveillance had not been warranted by any probable cause, other than his own personal interest. Now he had knowledge about her life and that knowledge was garnered by what he was sure she would consider to be…a betrayal.
To be continued_____________