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SM C10.3 11-04-23 (1594) NYC Mike calls Ed about Gwen ICU D2 7a – Mike

I pulled my phone out of my pocket and brought up my contact list. “Dawes… Dawes… Ed Dawes. Gotcha.

I had no idea how strange and dangerous the next few days would be. But this moment, this very moment, was pivotal. I bore my soul to God. I needed a divine intervention and something for me and my daughter to make it through incredible circumstances. I was dealing with a lack of sleep and tragic events I thought could not get worse. I was wrong.

I looked out the window to check out how it looked outside. As I bent a Venetian blind, I squinted as my eyes adjusted to the light. It was a typical fall morning. It would warm up soon. I really love New York. I guess I really like the city. I have a great part-time home here in Jamaica, NYC which doubles as my business office, and a condo in Maryland. I spend most of my time in my condo in Maryland with my girlfriend, Cresha. I needed to get out of the house and clear my head. I did not sleep last night and when that happens, I can’t shut my head off. I walked to the closet and pulled my light jacket off the hanger.

I grabbed my brand new Christian DiorXtrem sunglasses off the table.

Cresha would be waiting for me at the hospital, the same hospital where Cresha worked a lifetime ago and where our daughter was born. Cresh and I received a call last night. Our daughter, Gwen, was admitted to the hospital in Jamaica, Queens, New York. We drove for six hours last night. I am walking to the hospital and will meet Cresha in about an hour. I called out to Cresh to let her know I was leaving, but she was probably in the shower. I put my jacket on and turned off the lights.

It is a short 45-minute walk to the hospital. I was starting at 134th Street which runs in front of our home. I checked my phone for starting my walk and to check the time. As I shut the door behind me and checked that it was locked, I put my sunglasses on. I remembered that Ed gave me these glasses. The bright morning light was now managed. The day was a bit chilly but the sun gave a gentle warmth. I zipped up my sweat jacket and flipped up my hoodie as I prepared to call Ed about Gwen.

I pressed the call button for Ed.

I often refer to Gwen as my little girl but she is a very independent adult woman. Ed is Gwen’s godfather and they have been close for as long as I can remember. Cresh tried calling him last night without success.

No answer yet.

My mind was elsewhere and everywhere. I wish yesterday never happened. I am not tired, just sad. I can’t cry like Cresh. I tried to focus on the call. What is Ed doing? I imagined Ed walking in a park; I could hear two dogs barking. Ed loves to take early morning walks. I had not seen my friend in years, though we spoke at least several times every week. We both had busy photography businesses. I imagined Ed with a potbelly, greying hair, and maybe glasses. Of course, Ed was jacked with perfect eyesight; no one would believe Ed would ever get a potbelly like me. But for this moment, in my mind, I made him overweight with glasses. I was trying to keep my mind off Gwen and slow down my mind, no such luck. Ed once told me he was content with his life. He had helped my little girl work through depression and sexual addiction. I loved and appreciated Ed for being there for me and my family.

Still no answer.

I saw a nice couple kissing goodbye across the street. My mind drifted off again. This time, I imagined Ed in the park. I gave him back his six-pack abs. Maybe, nearby, a young couple was walking hand-in-hand along a path. More dogs were barking, perhaps explaining why Ed was not hearing the phone ring.

Ed and I had served in the military together. We both served in West Berlin, West Germany in the 80s. Ed liked to recall when we became friends on the military train called the Berlin Express; that train was hardly an express. It slowly traveled to and from Berlin and Frankfurt. We were both stationed with the U.S. Army, Berlin Brigade. We were in separate units and had taken leave to enjoy the nightlife. The train took the entire night to travel a very short distance, just 110 miles through East Berlin. Ed told this ridiculous story we ended up falling asleep in each other’s arms. It still makes me laugh. It was such a weird thing to say but it is a story that I have retold countless times. That was the start of our friendship.

Still no answer. I will keep letting it ring.

My mind was off to the races again. I remembered when we arrived in Frankfurt the next morning, we got off the train to go our own way but Ed caught up to me and we agreed to meet for drinks that night. That evening, Ed brought some girls he knew who lived in Rodenberg. That evening, we drank much too much; I have no idea what we did with the girls. The girls were gone the next day with a cryptic note left for me from a girl named Monika. Evidently, she had a great time. She left her number, but I never called. I still have the note in my desk drawer. When we took the Express back to Berlin, we were too tired to eat or anything and we didn’t even talk for months. Ed and I ran into each other during Oktoberfest. After that, we would meet at a local bar and play darts with some of the Brit soldiers getting fucked up on Jagermeister, Pils, and Sternberg. Not a great combination and a good reason I barfed so much.

The ringing stopped. Ed answered.

I could hear my friend talking but my mind drifted again. I imagined Ed walking two dogs. Dogs? Why was I thinking about dogs? “No man knows till he has suffered from the night how sweet and dear to his heart and eye the morning can be.” Whoa, quoting Dracula! I am really gone! This morning, I just wish I could turn back time.

“Mike, are you there?” My friend’s voice firmly registered in my brain. I looked up and saw a barefoot portly man behind me with his hairy chest and manboobs exposed. This guy was without a shirt walking two poodles that were up on their hind legs barking crazily at me. The man smiled and waved.

I spoke into the phone, “Give me a minute, Ed.” I half-heartedly returned the wave and started walking fast so I could get out of earshot.

“Oh, Hi Ed. I’m glad I finally got you.”

Ed laughed. “Hi! I’m glad you got me! What’s up?”

“Ed, bad news… Gwen is in the Queen’s ICU in Jamaica. She’s in a coma. Don’t worry, the docs are optimistic… There’s more to tell you but Cresh and I will be at the hospital all day.

Are you there?” I waited for a response.

“Ed….. Gwen is in the Queen’s ICU.”

“Yes, I’m here. Gwen is here in New York? She‘s in a coma?” Ed’s voice was breaking.

“Don’t worry Ed, the docs are optimistic…. There’s more to tell you. Cresh and I are here in the ICU when you get here. I will text you the address.”

I was expecting sobbing to follow; Ed is sensitive. However, a short sob was followed by an explosion of, “Oh God! It’s my fault! I-I’ll be there soon.”

“Oh, God! It’s my fault!! It’s my fault!!!” There was a long pause. “I’ll be there soon.”

“What are you talking about, Ed?” Ed was losing his mind. “This has nothing to do with you. Let’s talk when you get here. Talk to you soon.” I lingered on the phone before dropping the call.

Gwen was Ed Dawes’ great love. I was not completely aware of the depth of that love. All I knew was that Ed adored my little girl and Gwen adored Ed. They spoke on the phone a lot. Gwen was always telling me, “Ed this” and “Ed that”. I love my daughter, but she would sometimes talk and talk and talk. I often tuned her out. But I would do anything to hear her voice right now.

It was 9 am when Ed entered the hospital room, quiet except for the sounds of apparatus beeping and humming. I was at peace. The quietness and whiteness of the dimly lit room were pronounced even amongst the colorful flowers and cards, trapped dark corners with drawn curtains, captured noises, and the muffled sounds from the TV. Within the white room lay my little girl under a white sheet. Lights of green and red brought beauty and serenity transporting this antiseptic room into a chapel for dignitaries. The patient was lying in state, awaiting release to their home or to their maker. On my way to New York, I begged God to heal my daughter. I felt the presence of angels and an answer to my prayers. Gwen will be restored.

SM C11.3 11-04-23 (1658) The Angel Investigator D2 8a – Ikart

“I am Ikart reporting for a Special Edition of the Earth Times. Again, the spirit realm appears to be in turmoil, according to a reliable source in the High Court. The leadership council has been working to discover the facts surrounding the disappearance of two angels in the Earth region. The spokesperson for the High Court has worked closely with community leaders and the Earth Federation of Angels to lower fears and increase confidence in the security of Earth. Back to you, Raka.”

“Did you get that?” I could feel my editor’s spirit and he was anxious about something. Angels are not supposed to get anxious or worried but that is human imagination, but it is normal for many spirits to get nervous. Humans make shit up when they don’t know. There are a few humans that do know about spirits but they usually are very low-key or become controllers. But anxious angels do happen… like this wing-ette, Kisit. I took out a pack of American Spirits and was looking for a lighter to light up a cigarette. Kisit was a relatively new angel and looked at me disapprovingly.

“Yes. We are done. But, I just need to ask you a favor… please!”

“Can we do this later, Kisit? I need to go to another stakeout.”

“Wait. I just want some more background information for Salina in the AmerAsia Local 400? She is keeping the angels informed of how the families are doing there and trying to get volunteers to assist there on their off time. I told her I’d ask you. She’s giving me a recommendation to get into the security academy.” I sensed something more. And regardless of Ikart’s motivations, I needed to keep some things close to the vest.

“So this has nothing to do with you liking Salina? Maybe a previous life or something like that? And you know, she might be flirting with you just to find out what I am doing and tell the bad guys. Have you thought about that?”

“I am going to ignore your distrusting words. Angels are not supposed to have relationships. I just want to get my GA wings. Remember, Kelel says that Guardians are precious in His sight.”

“Oh, that stings! Do you think my role is minor? Journalists are never approved of by the masses until they need the information we dig up. We all deserve to know the truth. And Kelel really needs me now to do this right.” I know that wasn’t what Kisit meant. He just didn’t like me prying into his business. “Do you have a light?”

“I don’t know how Kelel works with you.”

“No problem, Kisit. You are always here for me.” I said jokingly. I blew a flame and started up my cigarette. Humans don’t think spirits have a sense of humor. They are so wrong! “Kisit, in the spirit of helpfulness, I will read my notes to you.” I was breaking myself up.

“That won’t help…” I wasn’t listening.

“According to Ziccona, her GA, Maria left the house at 6 a.m. wearing a light overcoat over a gold button-down blouse, black slacks, and a nice comfortable pair of black walking shoes. It was a beautiful day but Maria felt like there was something not right. I made a note that she had some fear. But she just stuck to her daily routine: she left her home in Jackson Heights, meditated, grabbed a coffee and lunch for later, and caught the E Train to the Van Wyck Station in Jamaica New York City. Jamaica is a well-to-do neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens.” I paused reading for a moment and took a puff.

Kisit was looking down shaking his head.

“Don’t mention these exact locations… I should not have read those out loud. I don’t want this information to get to the community leaders there. It might start a panic and Kelel will be mightily upset with me… but mostly you!” I looked up at Kisit with a sly look. “He might even suspend you. But I know he approves of me sharing the information.”

“Ikart, I won’t mention exact locations, but Salina knows the area where you are reporting. This is not what she is looking for anyway.”

“These are my notes… important stuff. Let’s continue. Her mother, Cristina Withers, Maria’s mother, watched and waved to Maria from the kitchen window. Cristina, is a recent widower. I do not have the most important fact here. This is a job that Hiwen completely botched. He is the one who left Aaron unprotected!”

“Yes. But Hiwen left them unprotected because something happened to him. The Angel Council suspects Lucifer.” Kisit was acting pretty naively; he didn’t really care about this investigation, he just wanted something to take back to Salina. Angels know that Lucifer is credited for a lot of things that he never did. Hiwen was probably eliminated because he knew something or was in the wrong place. And I was pretty sure it wasn’t Lucifer because the person doing this had to be a master controller. Lucifer is a rogue controller and can only control weaker minds. It was still a possibility to keep in mind. But whatever it was, I was going to find out. I was investigating this and I was not about to tip my hand. I liked Ikart but I did not trust Salina to keep the information confidential. Loose lips sink ships. I looked at Kisit; he was not listening carefully. “What are your thoughts, Kisit?”

“I don’t know. That is why I am asking you. You are an investigative reporter and you are telling me garbage. Salina says that she has it on good authority that Lucifer wants to show Jehovah that he can get to anyone he wants.”

“Whoa Kisit! This is just another conspiracy theory to throw people off. It seems these angels were nothing special and their clients were ordinary humans, also. On the other hand, Gabriel wants more training for GAs; he may be creating a problem to solve.” Salina was probably just regurgitating what was said at one of her council meetings. I wondered, ‘Why would they offer up a theory that is not remotely true? There were no facts suggesting Lucifer. Perhaps the person responsible was happy to have a fall-guy. Could that person be the all-powerful Jehovah? He had a large dominion. Jehovah would never approve of the elimination of his angels, but he must know what is going on in his backyard. Or his boy is keeping the sinner hidden, being his usual forgiving self.

“Earth to Ikart, earth to Ikarth… are you with me?”

I can’t read this. I wrote something important here. My writing is hard to read sometimes.” I was setting up another provocation.” Can you read this?

Kisit floated over to me and looked at my notepad. “No… it is complete chicken scratches.”

“I think it says, ‘Cristina has a slender frame and is quite elegant even in a bathrobe.’ “

“Ikart, you will never get an assignment if you continue to act like a human. You are an angel and cannot behave this way.”

“I am quite content with my assignment, thank you.” Kisit acted very proper and it was nice to tease him.”One of the Dalai Lamas said a simple life leads to contentment. And Philip said he has learned to be content in all circumstances. You need to chill my brother.” It was really Paul in his letter to the Philippians but I really loved poking Kisit.

“Just keep going, Ikart. I will figure things out by weeding out the garbage from your notes.” Now Kisit was trying to push my buttons.

“Hmm. Garbage, eh? Cristina’s code name is Nana during the day. And she spent the day taking care of granddaughter, Lakita.”

“This is common knowledge. Please, try to be a bit more direct and to the point. Is Cristina fearful? Is she praying?”

“Ikart, direct and to the point are the same thing. You are redundant. Also, many people pray. I was at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center at 7:30 am to check on Ziccona and Nurse Maria Withers. Ziccona told me that Maria had just prayed for protection for her family and friends, and the further spiritual development of a team she wants to assemble, especially Lakita. And FYI. Ziccona still has her halo up her …. well, you know where. Ziccona also said Maria was feeling a bit better once she started her routine today. So to answer your question, her fear has gone after meditation. I wrote some other notes here if I can read them. I was being more serious here.”


“Emortis is the GA assigned to Maria’s mother, Cristina. According to Emortis in her last prayer, Cristina is thankful for having two special people in her life and most especially her granddaughter, Lakita. Cristina is often lonely after becoming a widow. The Spirit Guide Laka is assigned to be the GA for Lakita. Telel has assigned Emortis to keep an eye on Laka while performing his regular duties. Emortis told me that every morning, Cristina waits for Lakita to wake up so she could fix her breakfast, discuss homework, and go for daily walks if the weather permits. That’s it.”

“I’m going to see Selina.” Kisit turned to walk away.

“Did I hear a thank you? We are always supposed to be thankful. We are angels! Remember?”

“Thank you.” Kisit sang out and continued to walk away while shaking his head. His characteristic up-and-down walk with a bobbing head looked hilarious as he muttered about what to tell Selina. Finally, he opened up his wings and disappeared.

I laughed as I threw my cigarette butt. I checked for my pack of smokes. I felt them; I could not believe I lost my lighter. I tested my wings and headed for my stakeout.

SM C12.2 12-31-22 (657) JHMC RM 326 D2 8:30a – Maria

When Maria arrived, Maria put her scrubs on and went to see Sharon Thomas, the nurse she was relieving. Two of Maria’s patients had been discharged. Ms. Gwen Garcia was assigned to Room 326.

Sharon and I went to answer any questions with the patient’s father and mother. As we entered, the father was with the patient and the mother had her head down, perhaps praying. The father looked up at us and turned to face us. We walked past the mother.

“Hello, Mr. Garcia?”

“No, nurse. My name is Mike Spiro. Gwen is my daughter. Cresha, here, is Gwen’s mother,” he said, pursing his lips and directing his head and lips to point towards Cresha.

Cresha picked her head up for a moment. “Hello Nurse.” she put her head back down.

“My name is Nurse Maria. There are two Marias on staff so my full name is Maria Withers. You may call me Maria or Nurse. I am relieving Nurse Sharon. If you have a question, I can try and answer it. But I will be back in an hour or so if you want to think about it and ask me then.”

“Maria, my friend Ed Dawes is very close with Gwen. He will be here soon. May he visit also?”

Sharon spoke up. “The visiting policy is two visitors who are immediate family members.”

I interrupted. I looked at Sharon and said, “Mike, we don’t have many visitors now in the ICU. It will be ok for now but this may change, ok?”

Sharon nodded. Mike replied, “Thank you, Nurse. Do you know my daughter’s status?” Cresha, who seemed to be resting, picked up her head and looked directly at me. But Sharon answered.

“The notes indicate that Gwen does not seem to have much trauma, but fractures were possible so a full-body CT was performed and we did a full blood workup. There is no evidence of any fractures but we did find that the patient is pregnant. It’s not unusual to see patients that have no evidence of injury in the CT. These things take time to develop and you have a team of doctors watching over your daughter. The primary doctor called neurosurgery. There have been several orders for several follow-up CTs and she is on an MRI schedule. The patient has had a complete neuro check every hour. Now, we are continuing to monitor. But the bottom line is that the doctors don’t know why she is still unconscious. The doctors did not report a neurological response but breathing is ok. The patient was assigned to the ICU and Dr. Swaggart decided to intubate. It is too early to discuss this but you may bring it up with the doctors when they come by on their rounds.”

“Thank you, Sharon,” I then asked if there were any requests or questions. Only Mike responded with a shake of his head. The mother’s head went back down.

Mike looked at me then at Sharon. “Nurse Sharon. You are telling us that my daughter has no problem.”

I replied, “Your daughter is under observation. It is common that an injury does not become apparent until later.”

Cresha looked up. “But it has been over 24 hours and you have seen nothing?”

Sharon replied. “Nothing to this point and she is doing well.”

Mike pretentiously wiped his forehead and was a tad bit sarcastic. “That relieves me.”

I replied, “Your daughter is in the ICU for a reason. It can be very serious. We have her under observation. I suggest you talk to the doctors when they come around on rounds.”

Mike stared out for a second. “Thank you for explaining everything to us.” Sharon was stunned and she turned and walked out of the room.

“Mike… Cresha, I will be back later. It was very nice to meet you.” I turned and walked back to the nurse’s desk.

SM C13.2 01-01-23 (839) Mike with Cresha in the JHMC ICU D2 9a – Maria

I was getting a cup of coffee from a machine down the hall with my partner Cresha, Gwen’s mother. I had no idea when Ed had last seen or spoken with Gwen. Gwen and I spoke all the time and I spoke to Ed a lot except for the last few weeks. After I talked to Cresh about Ed’s response to hearing about Gwen, she told me Ed and Gwen had been dating for a couple of months. How could she forget to fill me in on something like my best friend is dating my daughter? I knew that Ed loved Gwen, but I didn’t know it was like that, dating. Even if Cresh or Ed never told me, I thought Gwen would tell me. Recently, we had been getting closer. Maybe that is what Ed was telling me in his crazy outburst. A confession of sorts. Regardless, this accident was not his fault. But the pregnancy was making a bit more sense now.

Reconciling the friendship, mentorship, and boyfriend status with Gwen was not sitting easily in my head. Ed would spend a lot of time with Gwen when she was a kid. He loved to tell stories to Gwen when she was a little girl. And Gwen loved Ed’s stories. Occasionally, when Ed and I got together, he would reminisce, talking about Gwen. Ed thought his time with Gwen was magical. In the military, as a civilian, with men, women, and children… Ed Dawes was well known for his stories and storytelling. On Wednesday afternoons, Ed would go to the local library and share a story by memory or read a book. Often, it was standing room only. We secretly admired him and loved his stories. I love his stories.

It was difficult for Ed to watch Gwen grow up. It was hell for me and Cresh, and for much of her life, I watched from afar. Ed witnessed and participated in Gwen becoming a woman. Ed started getting involved when Gwen entered into a secret love relationship with Arthur, her step-father. Soon after, she became a sex toy for ex-pats and sex tourists. Everyone used Gwen but she didn’t seem to care. At the time, Gwen was rather heavy and did not have good self-esteem. But Ed gently and patiently worked with Gwen. Gwen adored Ed and she knew that Ed cared about her, so she listened to his advice. Gwen believed him when he told her that she could do better. Ed was more than partially responsible for helping Gwen to think differently.

Ed has many sides to him, and this confuses me. For example, Ed is extremely religious, always talking about faith. I’m not religious. He would tell Gwen about how much our creator loved us. To me, it is weird stuff. But I don’t care about Ed’s religiosity. Ed and I are more than friends. Sometimes, like now, I start to think a bit differently. This accident is changing my thinking. Before, Ed and I just drank, talked shit, and did normal guy stuff. We have our relationship with Cresh too. Maybe we can talk about this religious stuff soon. But, for now, I don’t think I’m ready.

And there is another side to Ed. Ed has a belief in committed relationships and a faith that love always triumphs. That’s why we created a Club. We call it a club but this is not universal. We have membership criteria and a code of conduct so we call it a club. We don’t swap random women, but that’s what other people say about us. We have rules. We have a very tight circle of lovers and everyone knows everyone. We depend on each other and have committed relationships. We are honest with how we feel and what we do with our feelings… and especially, what we do with our bodies.

It’s funny. Our Club arrangement does not conflict with Ed’s religious views. Ed has faith in God and the angels that look over him and help him. When Gwen was acting confused as a teenager, he explained our way of life. Ed explained to Gwen about our way of thinking that allowed people to be in a committed relationship with all the people that they loved as long as there was commitment and honesty. That is the main rule. Some of us maintain an open relationship and have sex with others, but there are rules. You must have full disclosure before any activity, not just if a commitment is involved. You must let other partners know immediately if there is a sense of seriousness and partners have the right to meet prospective partners and discuss the Club. Partners may add their own stipulations. The rules come down to honesty and commitment and it has worked for us, … well, except for that asshole Arthur. But Gwen understands, last I heard, but now Gwen lay fighting for her life; Ed’s faith will be tested.

SM C14.2 01-01-23 (1176) Ed Arrives JHMC D2 10a – Ed

I went directly to the nurse’s desk to see Gwen and I was directed to Room 326. Gwen was the only patient in the room. When I walked in, I saw Gwen. She looked so beautiful and at peace laying there. Mike was at the side of the bed and Cresha was by the door with her head down.

Cresha looked up at me and Mike turned around and quickly walked over.

“Hey buddy!” Mike gave me a big bear hug.

“Hi, Mike. I got here as quickly as I could. How’s Gwen?”

I walked over to Cresha to give her a kiss. She stood up and we embraced. She smelled good. It reminded me of Gwen.

“I am so sorry, Cresha.” All of a sudden, my knees began to buckle. I was trying to not break down. I could only think about the last time I saw Gwen after our argument.

Cresha gave me a kiss. Then we all looked at each other as I wiped my face and said absolutely nothing. After a long awkward pause, “You both said you had more to tell me.”

Cresha and Mike looked at each other and Mike said, “Let’s step out into the hallway.”

“Can we first pray for Gwen?”

Mike looked a little stunned. “Really?”

“Cresha said that you were serious about God… we have talked about it many times.”

“Ok. fine. But you pray, please.”

“Ok, no problem.” We walked over to the bed and we held hands. I put my hand on Gwen’s legs but on top of the blanket she had and Cresha held Gwen’s hand.

“God, we thank you for bringing us together here. Gwen, we miss you and we pray for your healing. We ask you God to surround Gwen with your angels to comfort her. We ask that her Guardian Angel will protect and heal her. We are grateful that you grant us days to enjoy the earth and all that comes from it. Bless us and grant us peace.”

Cresha stroked her hair and started playing with her ear as she teared up. I am not sure why I looked at Mike but Mike started to visibly shake. He was looking at Gwen and mumbling to himself.

“Mike are you ok? I waited about 10 seconds and Mike did not respond. “Hey buddy, this is the second time your mind just went whacko; the first was on the phone this morning. I know this is a difficult time …”

“No, Ed. I’m fine” Mike’s demeanor went back to normal. Mike and Cresha walked out into the hallway.

I kissed Gwen and followed my family out into the hallway.

Mike looked devastated. “Ed, Gwen had a serious accident. A car hit her, we think. It was a hit-and-run if it was. Gwen was heading to our place in Queens to cool off and talk to Cresh on the phone… about you, evidently.”

I started feeling emotional. I turned away and tried to wipe my eyes so the others did not see.

Mike continued. “ The good news is that the doctors cannot find anything wrong with Gwen and that she should be fine. We are all just waiting. Also, I need for you to not blame yourself. We know that the two of you were having issues. Gwen told Cresh that she had a bad argument with you, but listen. Just before the accident, Gwen told Cresh that she trusts you; she just felt frustrated. Ok?

Ed nodded.

“Ed, I need to ask you an important question. Are you ready?”

“Of course, Mike. What is it?”

“The doctors say that Gwen is pregnant. Do you think you are the father?”

“I imagine I am the father, Mike. I don’t think Gwen was seeing anyone else but me.”

“Gwen told me she was only with you,” interjected Cresha. “She is serious about a partner marriage with you.”

“Did you tell her about us?” I am not sure why Mike does this with us. He tried to do this “look straight into my eyes” thing like he has a truth detection system.”

“Of course, Mike. But she already knew. And I think you already know that. She wants to meet Mary.”

Mary Johnson is my second partner in a polyamory open triad. My first partner was Cresha’s sister, Nikki but we separated because I moved back to the United States to open my photography business office in NYC. When I left, Nikki’s found Arthur. Nikki did not follow the rules; none of us were ever on board with this creep. Arthur was a real shit and was fucking everything that moved after Nikki became sick. He disappeared real quick when I learned that he had been intimate with Gwen too. Gwen and I were very close before Nikki’s death and we grew closer after I dealt with Arthur.

“I’ll tell you more about what happened another time, but I didn’t even know it was Gwen when we first hooked up. She had a disguise.”

Mike and Cresha looked at each other quizzically.

I continued. “Gwen called herself Sara. I did not recognize her until she told me who she was. I told Sara,… I mean Gwen, about my wife before anything happened. I followed the rules. Mike, I followed the rules! I felt so connected with Sara that I asked her to meet Mary.”

I paused. Mike looked like he had seen a ghost.

“Disguise?” Mike was mumbling after that.

“Sara, …. I mean Gwen, was so excited and happy and agreed to meet her, but she confessed her identity. At first, I was really pissed! I did not appreciate her dishonesty. But I could not be mad for long with Gwen. Of course, Mary knew about my love for Gwen. She knew I loved her since she was a kid. Mary asked me to give it 6 months and if we still were serious, then they would meet.”

Mike’s brow furrowed like a Bullmastiff. “Cresh, did you know all this?”

“No, babe.” Cresha hesitated. “Well, I knew something was going on with Gwen. I didn’t know she was pretending to be someone else.”

I wanted to set everything right. “Mike, we were so in love that after two months, Gwen was begging me to talk to Mary to change her mind. I told her that we needed to follow what Mary requested from us. And Gwen flipped out! I think I should have listened to her. This is why I said Gwen’s accident is my fault!”

Mike came over to me and gave me a hug. “No, my friend. This was an accident that has nothing to do with you.”

Mike let go after a short while and smiled at me. “Ed, Cresh, and I are going to take a short walk and get some coffee in the break room they have down the hall. We will leave you with Gwen. Let’s talk later.” I nodded. Mike and Cresha got up and walked out. And I went over to Gwen’s side.

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