Saturday, March 13, 2010

"Sign this one, it a non disclosure agreement." I looked up at her. "Think of it as the Las Vegas claus what you learn here, stays here."

"I can do that," I said signing the paper.

"This is a background information form all new employees fill out for the bar association." It was a two page form. It was going to take a while, so I put it aside while I signed two tax forms and a direct deposit form, so that my pay check could be deposited.

With no more easy forms, I started on the information thing. "You know this is just temporary," The office manager said.

"Yes and that's just fine. I don't like the drive over here to work."

"She needs some real professional help to deal with what happened to her. She doesn't need someone to hold her hand." The manager said it but I agreed.

"I'm no expert, but I have been told that professional help ain't worth spit, until the patient is ready to ask for it. With a little luck she will decide that she needs it on her own. Maybe trying to beat her over the head with it so soon, isn't such a good idea."

The old bat just glared at me. I knew she was thinking that I was trying to milk the cow for all I could get. She was entitled to her opinion. I planned to find a way to earn my keep, for as long as I stayed. She made photocopies of all my identification papers. My civilian carry permit had come through at the last minute, so she had to find it on the computer to make the copy.

"Would you make me a copy as well? I might need to show to someone someday." It was the last thing on her list so she dismissed me. It was irritating but I let it ride

"Are you through with the dragon lady?" Mary asked as she saw me wandering away from the office manager's desk.

"All through and ready to work. What is next?"

"We are going to the courthouse. I want to show you off. I'll be the only lawyer there with my own bodyguard."

"And I thought I was your driver, companion, and friend," I said with a smile.

"Ouch," she said smiling. "I am so glad you wore the suit. I can have you sit at the counsel table.

"I would prefer to mingle with the crowd," I saw her expression then added, "But today I'll sit with you."

I knew for a fact that almost nothing ever happened in the courthouse. It was going to be a boring day and I couldn't even read a book. I might as well be on jury duty. On TV you see body guards doing all kinds of interesting stuff. Someone is trying to kill their client every minute. Well that just ain't the way it really is. It is almost like watching grass grow. There is seldom the need to even move from your position, except to go to the bathroom.

That's what my time in court was. I stayed with Mary all morning. It was truly a boring time. When we arrived back in the office I was ready to run out the door screaming. Mary was in her office behind closed doors, when I walked to the old man's office. He didn't look too busy so I knocked.

"Come in Abba," he said in response.

"Mr. Seymore, this isn't going to work out. I am going to fall asleep in the courtroom and that isn't any help to anyone. Let's get her into counseling instead."

"John, I don't expect you to be a white knight. You and I both know that the odds of what happened to my daughter happening again are about the same as her being hit by space junk. We understand that, but she doesn't. Let's give her a little time to figure it out on her own. She is no idiot, she will get it."

"I need real work to do Mr. Seymore. Can you get her to stay out of the courthouse and here with you. I think I can convince her to let me go out to serve papers or something, at least while we are in the office." It was my last hope for a compromise.

"She has cases already scheduled, but I'll see what I can do. I'll try to set up a schedule to ease her back into court, rather than throw her in. If you convince her to cut you loose, there are always things you can do."

"Fair enough," I replied.

"Whenever you have some time, just see the office manager for things to do." I just nodded as I left his office.

Mary and I were back in court after two hours for lunch. After that I checked in with the office manager. "Mr. Seymore suggested you might have something I could do during the downtime."

"I see, well if you want to be a process server, I have one or two that nobody has been able to get served."

"I would like to take a crack at them." The plan was to take a look at them then make a plan. I didn't expect to go out to work on them that minute. There were three people who were avoiding service. All of them were being sued by exwifes. It looked as though men would pay just about anyone before their exwife.

The other things these three had in common was that they were all business executives. They all had separation agreements that didn't require a division of assets until the final divorce settlement. The longer they could put it off, the more assets they could add to a personal portfolio using the disputed assets as collateral. That explanation came from Mary.

"You know you don't have to do process serving. My dad would be just as happy if you kept me company all day. He thinks I might be headed around the bend. I'm just afraid all the time now."

"I want to see what is involved in process serving and why people hate it so much. As for you Mary, you need a little more time. Then you might want to take other steps to help you figure out how you really feel."

She went back into her office while I sat in the small conference room reading the notes of the last people who tried to serve the papers. There was no sense in me just running off to the guy's office he would just use whatever dodge he had used before. I began thinking of all the things I had ever done, or heard of being done to con a suspect. There were a ton of cons that could be worked but most were yo expensive or so involved so that they would be counter productive.

The plan I formulated was going to be dependant on my computer and about an hour of time on it. Then a good print shop was going to be needed. That was the downside, the upside was that with a little luck, I could use it on all of the papers. It might get old but not before I had cleaned up the Seymore office files.

While I looked over the file I munched on the sandwich I bought when Mary bought hers. I stayed with my dry egg and cheese on a hamburger bun. It was working for the diet and I wanted to stay at it. I was having a very late breakfast and thought it would hold me till dinner.

When Mary finished her courtroom time, she stopped at the clerks office for some additional paperwork. While she was in the clerk's office I waited outside with the commoners. The day ended with me returning her safely to the office.

On the drive home I put the finishing touches on my plan. Part of the plan required a trip to the local thrift store. I had been planning to buy a bicycle anyway for my photo hobby, so I didn't even bother with keeping a receipt to give to Seymore. I bought an old 12 speed bike. No one would be inspecting it. Even if they did, it would fit the image. I didn't care if the gears worked or not so of course they worked just fine.

I drove the bike home in the truck of my car. I did make one stop along the way. I stop at WalMart for a bicycle rack for the trunk lid of my car.

At home I cooked a hamburger patty. I still had a couple of bags of unopened salad. I opened one of those and devoured it with the burger. I had finally gotten used to the meal, so I wasn't starving right after. While I was finishing my meal at the wooden TV tray on the deck, Misty walked onto Molly's deck.

"Hello, Sergeant Abba," she said.

"I'm not a sergeant any more. It's either John or just Abba."

"Okay John, how was your day."

"Boring as hell, how was yours?"

"Mostly boring, but I do like the course. I just wish we could wet more ride along time."

"Oh really how much do you get?"

"We do two evenings with each of the local departments. There are three departments in the area."

"Are you over 21?"

"Yes but just," she replied.

"Hold on," I used the cell phone to call the patrol lieutenant for D squad. "Al, it's Abba," I said into the phone.

"I thought you were dead," he said with a smile in his voice.

"Nah, I might as well be. I'm retried."

"Well, if you are going to be pushed out of the plane, it's the best way to go."

"Yeah, at least I got half a parachute."

"So what can I do for you?" he asked.

"I got a friend, who has a daughter in rookie school. He wants to convince her to drop out. How about arranging a few ride alongs, so she get the real picture of the job."

"What you mean your friend doesn't believe the TV image?"

"Yeah, he is the one who doesn't.'

"So whose name do I leave the authorization in?"

"Hold on I'll ask." I turned to Misty, "Give me the name on your driver's license."

"Amy Louise Renfro," she said simply.

"Make it for Amy Louise Renfro. It would be nice to have it open, so she can fit it into her school schedule."

"Tell her to call ahead and be sure D squad is on the line."

"Thanks Al, now be nice to her, but not too nice."

"Damn Abba, it's guys like you who take all the fun out of the job."

After the call I explained it all to her. Her face lit up and I realized again what a natural beauty she was. Another kernel of an idea began moving around inside my head.

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