“We were through two years into our marriage,” Selina exclaimed. “Found out he had been cheating on me when the Bulls were on the road. One of his tricks gave him herpes.”
We were seated at a table in Sweet Georgia Brown’s Soul Food Restaurant. Smooth jazz emanated through the room as patrons either claimed or relinquished their tables. I was pleased to see that Selina had changed from her pant suit to a yellow and white summer dress with a low-hanging front. Selina smiled when she spotted me staring at her rack.
“That had to hurt,” I replied. My tongue took another swipe at the rib meat lodged in my back teeth.
“You haven’t changed one bit.” Selina tugged at the top of her dress. “Those eyes of yours are still as shifty as ever.”
I chuckled as I rested my arms on the table.
She continued, “I always liked you, J. I know I used to give you a hard time about being so quiet, but you were always good to me. I think of you often, you know?”
“Yes. Really. I even subscribed to the Post when the Bureau relocated me to Los Angeles. You’re an excellent writer. Loving your new book. It is opening my eyes to how unchecked power corrupts.”
“Glad to hear that,” I said, leaning in. “But I know you didn’t invite me here just to talk about my book. What’s up?”
Selina breathed in deeply. “I’m living in D.C. now, J,” she whispered. “Been here two weeks. Working a new assignment. Cold case division.” She took another deep breath. “That’s why I’m here, J. We just reopened one of those cases, the one I told you about at UT.”
“The one involving your grandmother?”
“Well, you’re going to be fighting an uphill battle, girl. I profiled Shuler for the Post, remember? When his father Watson retired from the Senate. The man is squeaky clean.”
“But no one has ever been able to explain how my grandmother’s body was pulled from the river in Montgomery when she had just gotten off work in Jackson. Remember, she never got on that two o’clock bus, J. Two and half months passed before they found her body.”
I noticed tears welling up in Selina’s eyes. “I was invited to the press conference as one of their special guests. But I’m tired of maintaining this façade, like everything is alright between us. It’s not. I’m just trying to keep my enemies closer than my friends. Did his announcement surprise me? Hell, yeah, it did. But I should have seen it coming.” Selina breathed in deeply as she used her napkin to wipe at her eyes. “This new assignment gives me the resources and authority to take him down, J. I’m also aligned with a group that believes better days are ahead for people like you and me. We just need a little help from a political insider. You game?”
Selina placed her napkin back on the table.
She continued, “The American Dream – the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness – is nothing but a façade, J. A façade that has been created to keep us in check, line the pockets of rich white men. Taking the Shulers’ down gets us one step closer to exposing what my benefactor calls the Corporate Cabal.”
Selina then reached into her purse to pull out a metallic business card with aluminum wording and graphics. She placed it on the table in front of me.
“What’s this?” I asked, studying the card. On one side of the card was the image of one, smaller, red circle inside two larger ones. A telephone number was centered in black on the other side.
“Call that number,” Selina exhorted as she stood. “With your help, Kyle Shuler will finally pay for what he did to my grandmother.” Then, as she turned to leave, “We know it as the Adinkrahene symbol. Google it when you get home. Once you take this first step, our hope is you will be more open to what we have to say.”
Copyright 2014 by Jeffery A. Faulkerson. All rights reserved.