Martina was stunned. “You used to be an addict?” she asked. Randall said, “I still am. I’m a recovering addict. I’ll always be an addict. I’ll just…hopefully…be an addict who doesn’t do drugs.”
“What was your help?” she asked. He said, “I thought we had agreed to call it what it is, Martina. It’s not help. It’s a drug.”
She nodded, then asked what his drug of choice was. He took a deep breath and said, “Crystal Meth.”
Suddenly the conversation shifted and almost in a panic, she asked Randall about calling 911. “They’re going to trace the call and find out that we were there. They might even think we were responsible.”
Randall said, “don’t worry about that. I always carry a track phone with me. Something I learned from dear father. He uses them to communicate with his tramp girlfriends.”
“Do you have a tramp girlfriend on the side, too?” Martina asked. Randall laughed and said, “no. I don’t use it to mingle with tramps, but you never know. I might get robbed or leave my phone laying around somewhere. That’s why I always carry throwaways. They’re also good for calling 911 anonymously.”
For a brief moment, he made Martina smile, but her thoughts soon shifted back to Callie. When she began to cry, Randall said, “Callie left a note.”
Martina dried her eyes and said, “where? When? What…what…what do you mean, she left a note? How do you know?”
Randall said, “it was in her hand, and I took it. I haven’t read it. I wondered if it was a suicide note, and if it was, I didn’t want the police to get it and then have it on local television stations or in the newspaper. I shouldn’t have taken it of course, but I did. I’d rather have them think it was an accidental overdose. An accidental overdose is just that. Accidental. Suicide is purposeful and intentional…and even more tragic, I think. It’s the end game of defeat and desperation and surrender and I always wonder how alone and hopeless those victims must feel in their final moments of life.”
Martina looked at Randall and asked, “have you ever tried to commit suicide?” He smiled, but said nothing.
She said, “do you think we should read the note?” He said, “yes. Those are her final words and she obviously wanted them read. Do you want to read it or do you want me to?”
Martina said, “you read it,” and he began.
If I gave you my heart,
Would you break it?
If I gave you my trust,
Would you betray it?
If I told you a secret,
Would you keep it?
If I was a treasure,
Would you seek it?
If I gave you myself,
Would you take me?
If I broke your golden rule,
Would you forsake me?
If I told you I was broken,
Would it matter?
If I fell to the ground,
Would you let me shatter?
If I left you tomorrow,
Would you cry for me?
If I asked for your soul,
Would you die for me?
If I begged you for mercy,
Would you ignore me?
If I disappointed you,
Would you still adore me?
If I was in the ground,
Would you walk upon my grave?
And say that I was someone,
Not good enough to save?
Martina’s uncontrollable sobbing was interrupted when Randall said, “I think someone broke Callie’s heart.” Turning to her, he asked, “do you know who? Was it you?”
Martina said, “me? No. Why would you ask that? We weren’t lovers.” Randall asked if she thought that maybe Callie wanted them to be. She said Callie had never given her that impression. “Well,” he said, “do you have any idea who the poem might have been written for?” She said, “I can’t think of anyone…except maybe Joe Blow.”
“Excuse me?” Randall said, with raised eyebrows. Martina said, “Joe Blow. He was her…he was the one she got her drugs from, but aside from a remark she once made…that was the extent of their relationship, as far as I know. I don’t think they were together.”
“What remark?” Randall asked. Martina said, “I think she was teasing, but she said when times were lean, Joe Blow would sometimes trade drugs for a ‘BJ’.”
“Gotcha,” he said. “And he was your supplier, too, right? So you know him?” Martina said, “I never really met him properly. We meet behind the coffee shop when it’s dark. He’s always in a car, wearing a hat and sunglasses, and it’s a quick swap. I have no idea what he looks like. I’ve never even heard his voice.”
Randall said, “there were no signs of a struggle and her apartment was too tidy, so I really don’t think there was any foul play.”
“But the door has been broken down,” Martina said. “So the police are going to think something’s sinister, and start looking for suspects. We need to be each other’s alibi.”
“Will you stop worrying?” Randall said. “For all they know…or can prove…Callie may have locked herself out and broken down her own door. It wasn’t a very secure door.”
Martina began to cry again. “I had no idea that she was so desperately sad, and I just feel so helpless. I want to know why? Why did this happen to her?”
Randall said, “the brightest burn out the quickest. And through the years, I have found that the ones who seem to have the most strength are the ones who are the most vulnerable, because they are the loneliest and are hiding the deepest pain.”
“But she had plans, and hopes, and dreams,” Martina said. “She made me believe that I could have plans, and hopes, and dreams.”
Randall said, “you still can. You’re still alive. If anything, this should make you even more determined to follow those hopes and dreams you say you have. Live. Live for Callie. Let something good come from this. For whatever reason, and no matter if accidental or on purpose, Callie is at peace now. Honor her determination by fighting for your own path toward success. Show that determination to everyone who believed you’d fail.” He sighed and said, “I know I’m rambling, but I just want you to focus on today and tomorrow. I don’t want this to send you over the edge, if you know what I mean.”
Martina said, “you’re not rambling, and this may sound strange, but I think that’s what she’d want. She’d be telling me to get on with my life.” She laughed and said, “she say, get your butt out on that stage and break a leg.”
“Speaking of,” he said. “Are you going to be ready?”
Martina took a deep breath and said, “I am.” Then she looked at Randall and said, “will you come to the play?” He smiled and said, “of course, but only on one condition.”
“What?” she asked.
“You have to do it without any help from the shadowy figure behind the coffee shop. Promise? Say you promise.”
To be continued__________