A high-priced call-girl wants out of the life she's been leading, but the people she works for have other plans. They've made it very clear that if she tries to leave then she won't live a very long or healthy life. In fact, she won't live at all! Enter Derrick Olin, professional bodyguard-for-hire and Birmingham's leading White Knight. Through a mutual friend Derrick is brought in to help, and soon he finds himself once again surrounded by bad guys with guns and bad intentions. But he isn't deterred, and makes his position very clear to the other side: LEAVE THE LADY ALONE! But since when do the bad guys listen? So Derrick will just have speak louder the next time, and carry a very big stick!
So here I was again, sitting in a parked car in the middle of the night waiting for something to happen. As I had often mused in situations such as this, I did a lot of sitting in cars and waiting during the course of my life and work. By now I was pretty good at it. Nonetheless, I still hated it. This was the third night of my vigil. A Friday night at the end of the first week of March. The weather this week had been mild by late winter standards in Birmingham, low seventies during the day and mid forties at night. Tonight it was forty-four degrees. Actually it was this morning because right now it was a few minutes before three a.m. So really it was Saturday morning instead of Friday night. If nothing happened I'd probably pack it in around seven or eight, and maybe try again Saturday night. That was the problem when dealing with stalkers. They never gave you advance warning of their actions so you could better plan your life.
Inconsiderate bastards, the lot of them.
A few days ago I had been at home reading through a very old book of translated works by Nietzsche. It had been years since I had read any of his stuff and I'm not quite sure why I was trying it again. I was looking at books in a used bookstore last week and came across this large volume of his that was only fifty-nine cents. Who could pass that up? So I bought it. After a few pages I began to wonder if perhaps I had overpaid.
Some said Nietzsche was nuts for most of his life and others believe he lost his marbles only near the end. I've often been on the fence about this and have really never cared, but now I'm starting to rethink a bit and am closer to the side that thinks he was nuts for most of his life. The book's about a thousand pages long and I really wasn't sure that I would make it through the whole thing without going around the bend myself. Luckily, by page thirty-seven, I received a call from someone who was in need of my services. Or rather the call was from someone who knew someone who was in need of my services.
Reverend Tom Boone was the pastor of Saint Paul's Lutheran Church over on Sixth Avenue South in Birmingham. At present he is sixty- four years old with a full gray beard and a matching head of unruly hair. When I had first met him he was clean shaven and had a full head of neatly trimmed jet black hair. This had been more than thirty years ago and I myself had a full head of jet black hair back then. And I was about eight.
Tom Boone had been only the second minister of Saint Paul's in my lifetime, and at present he didn't show any signs of being ready to retire. He was still vital and all of his parishioners looked to him for guidance and help when their lives weren't going well. He was a man with a mission and truly believed in what he did, his work was everything, as were his family and his flock.
When I was a kid I had attended Saint Paul's with my parents be- cause it was the family church and that's what kids did. However, as I began to grow up I pulled away from the church and have never looked back. For me there is nothing in religion. I have nothing against those who believe, those who preach and pray, but it means nothing to me; and I'm quite com- fortable with that.
Over the years Tom has tried to reach out to me and get me to come back to the church. He is never brash or a bully, he never attempts the fire and brimstone routine, he simply talks to me and tells me what his faith means to him and how he has seen the power of religion and spirituality lift people up in their lives. I listen sometimes, I actually like Tom, but he has never swayed me, and he never will. Although I know he will never give up on me, I believe that some part of him has come to realize that he will never suc- ceed with me either. Even so, he and I have some great talks from time to time. And also, from time to time, when the occasion has arisen, he has di- rected a client or two my way. As was the case a few days ago when Tom called and asked me to come over to his office at the church.
Felicity Lowe is a thirty-five year old divorced mother of two. She works as a personal secretary at an office downtown and lives in a modest house in the Roebuck area on the east side of Birmingham. A month and a half ago she ended a five month relationship with a gentleman by the name of Tommy Beale, a salesman at Jim Skinner Ford in Center Point. However, Mr. Beale was not ready for this relationship to end and he kept coming by Felicity's house and even met her when she came out of work a few times, trying to talk to her, despite her firm statements to him that he should not continue do this. When Beale ignored her and kept coming by, Felicity contacted an at- torney and had a restraining order issued against him.
This order worked for about a week once it was served. Which, un- fortunately, is the case in a lot of these situations. Beale continued to come by her house, but only late at night when no one else saw him. A couple of times he slashed the tires on her car in the driveway and once he even broke into her home and trashed it when she and her kids were out. Felicity called the police and they came and took reports, but since no one actually saw who had done the break-in and the vandalism, there was little the police could do. Which, unfortunately once more, is usually the case in such situations.
Luckily for Felicity Lowe her mother is friends with Julia Boone, Tom's wife. She told Tom about the problem and asked if he could recom- mend someone who could help. That's when Tom called me. He and I met and then a meeting was arranged with Felicity a few hours later. She ex- plained the situation to me and as she spoke I realized that I was looking at someone who was on the verge of losing it, someone who was frightened to death for herself as well as her kids. Someone who really needed help. I was also reasonably sure that she couldn't afford to pay my usual fee for the kind of service she would obviously require. It's a good thing I'm a nice guy some- times. Or perhaps just a sucker for a damsel in distress.