The story begins in Washington D.C. in a suburban neighborhood called Merylgrove Park on the west side part of town. It is night time, a few hours after the sun has set into the horizon. A beautiful white house is illuminated by the street lights. The house is two stories high with black shutters on the windows. A small cloud of smoke emitted from the chimney passed through the air over neighboring rooftops. Not a sound can be heard throughout the streets. You can see people in their homes watching television with their family, playing with their kids, or enjoying board games with loved ones. Although this eloquent house has a unique story which begins here, it is a story that will surely be remembered. The house belongs to the Lewis family. John Lewis, is the man of the house and is married to his wife, Julie Christine Lewis. Their two beautiful kids have been the centerpiece of their life and they loved them both unconditionally. Their oldest daughter, Jennifer, whom is only six years old, sits on the living room couch watching a cartoon as she giggles and laughs throughout the show. She begins to sing along to the tunes playing from the television as she glances over and notices her mother walking into the living room. Julie places their ten-month old son Skylar, whom they call ‘Sky’ for short, in his crib as she goes to the kitchen to fill the tea kettle with water. While she is in the kitchen she hears a deep voice screaming from the dining room, “Julie, have you seen my wallet?” Julie turns and yells back to her husband, “I think it’s over near the stereo where you usually put it!” John rushes into the living room towards the stereo and lifts up papers and CD cases to look for his wallet. As he pushes away some of the scattered things near the stereo, he finds his wallet. “I found it” he yells back. He placed it into his back pocket and gathered his things for a night shift at the Federal Bureau of Investigation where he works a desk job doing paperwork for several classified cases. He has now been out of the field for a few years now and enjoying his new position. John throws on his jacket and goes upstairs to grab his briefcase. A loud cry is heard from the living room and Julie rushes in to see what happened. She notices there is nothing wrong and Sky just wanted to be picked up and entertained. As Julie searches around, she finds a toy and takes Sky out of the crib to calm. Sky snatches it from Julie and grasps it in his tiny hands as he rattles it back and forth. He giggles in joy while entertained by the small multi-colored toy. “Come downstairs, Jesse should be here soon,” Julie yells up to her husband. John comes down the stairs dressed in a dark black suit with a blue tie on, which seems to be crooked around his neck. Julie places Sky down and asks John to come over so she can fix his tie. John trots over to his wife as she places her hands around the back of his neck to help him. Her loving touch to her husband was easily identified to anyone who had witnessed their love for one another in person. John stares deeply into her eyes and makes a comment to his loving wife that he has something to tell her. Julie’s face had a smile smeared up upon it in joy and responds by explaining to him that she as well has something to tell him. She walks into the living room as he follows behind her and bends over to pick up an envelope of pictures off the crystal glass table. “I got the pictures developed from the fishing trip we took with Jesse and Marie,” she says. John takes the pictures and they both begin to look through them. Julie snickers as John gets to a picture of him holding a very small fish next to his best friend, Jesse Dean, whom also works at the Bureau with him. Jesse stood next to him holding, what appeared to be an abnormally large fish. He turns to her and asks what was so funny. Julie tries very hard to hold in her laughter and compose herself as she tells him that nothing is funny. She places her hand up to her mouth while forcefully trying to wipe the smile away from her face. John watches his wife cover her mouth and try to control herself from laughing hysterically at the picture. “Go ahead and say it! What is so funny?” he states to her. Julie turns to him and responds, “Nothing dear, it was just a really fun day and all those memories are coming back. Now what is it you had to tell me?” John sets down the pictures and reaches into his back pocket, pulling out a small jewelry box. He turns to Julie and opens up the box, “I went out and bought the children matching necklaces with their names on it. The jewelry store owner said I can come back and add more links to it, so when they get older it will fit around their neck better.” John approaches his son’s crib and takes the necklace out of the box that has Sky’s name on it and places it around his neck. “It fits like a charm,” John remarks. Julie turns towards John, “You spent money on collars for our kids!” she states. Sky looks up towards his mother with an innocent face as he giggles. Julie gives John a sarcastic look. It appears that she is not completely upset, but a little bothered by John’s decision. “They’re not collars; they are jewelry!” states John with a perplexed look upon his face. Julie stands next to the couch with a look of disapproval on her face. She walks over to John and closes the jewelry box that he is holding in his hands. His wife asks him why he had spent so much money on such costly materialistic items. “You don’t understand that I wanted to get something special for them.” John stated with a sincere tone. His wife looked at him with a distinct grin and replied, “You could have done something special without spending a lot of money is all that I am saying.” A car horn honks as John turns and tells Julie that Jesse is waiting for him and that he has to get going. Julie grabs his arm and asks him to hold on a minute as she gathers up the pictures from the fishing trip and hands them to him. “Give these to Jesse and tell him to have Marie give me a call when she can,” Julie asked in a soft voice. John nods his head and picks up his briefcase shortly before placing a kiss on his wife’s cheek. He walks over to his daughter, whom is steadily entertained by the cartoons on the television, and kisses her goodbye. On the way to the front door, John stops by the crib where young Sky is playing with some toys in his crib, and bends over to kiss his youngest child on the forehead as well. “What are you cooking for dinner tonight?” John asked his wife. Julie laughed at the comment considering how she had been working all day doing laundry and dishes. “Cooking? I am not cooking tonight. I decided to order a pizza for Jennifer and I. Maybe we will make it a movie night together once I put Sky to bed,” mentioned Julie indecisively. The car horn honks again and John turns around to give his last goodbye to his family before heading to work. As John walks out the front door, he hears loud rap music coming from the interior of Jesse’s car. John walks over and opens the door, leans in and tells Jesse to turn down the music. Jesse had the music so loud that he didn’t even hear John open the door. He sat in the front drivers’ seat rapping along to the hardcore rap that was playing. The music emanated from the car speakers as John forcefully reaches over and turns down the music himself. Jesse turns to him and apologizes to his friend. He impatiently signals him to get into the car so they are not to be late to work again. John gets in, closing the car door behind him. “My bad, boss! You know that was my favorite song,” stated Jesse with a solemn grin. “Well, let it be YOUR favorite song in YOUR neighborhood,” responds John sarcastically. The two of them snicker as they give each other a friendly grin. Jesse puts the car in drive and pulls off down the road. As the two drove down the neighborhood street, Jesse turns to John and tells him he has to stop and get some gas. “Alright, but make it quick. We are always late due to your quick stops,” says John. They pull into a local gas station called ‘Wheelers.’ The building was brightly lit with neon colors. There weren’t many customers in the lot. It seemed to be one of their slow nights for business. Jesse pulls into the gas station and gets out the car. He takes out his credit card and slides it through the machine. Jesse reaches over and takes the gas pump off the handle. John opens his car door and yells over to Jesse that he is going to go inside and grab a coffee. As he gets out of the car and begins walking toward the front door, a black SUV pulls up with tinted windows and three darkly clothed men get out of the car. The man driving the SUV gets out first and turns to look across the car hood at the two other men. “Drake and Jarvis, you have five minutes!” he yells to the two men. Drake turns to the man whom was driving and replies back with a stern response, “Alright Dominic.” John looks over towards Dominic. He notices the brute man yelling at the two other guys he was with. “Hurry the fuck up in there!” the man yelled out. John turns away and continues towards the front entrance of the store, ignoring the altercation. Drake and Jarvis rush into the gas station as John follows in behind them. The two suspicious men walk around inside that continue to glance over their shoulder towards the store clerk. John then made his way over to grab a cup to pour himself some coffee and take it to the front counter to cash out. Both Drake and Jarvis stood in one of the aisles, staring in the direction towards the front as they force a few items from the counter deep down into their pockets. John hands the clerk a few dollars for his coffee and is handed back the change in return. He picks up his cup and walks out the door right past Dominic, whom is standing next to his black SUV searching for a lighter for the cigarette that is loosely being secured by his lips. As John walks by, Dominic yells over to him, “Hey buddy, do you have a lighter?” John stops to turn around before responding, “Actually I do have one,” he replied. Slowly reaching into his side pants pocket, John pulls out what appeared to be a silver lighter with the American flag on both sides of it. “I recently stopped smoking, so you can keep it,” he says as he tosses the lighter over to him. Dominic was mesmerized by the patriotic looking lighter. It was similar to one he remembered from his past. “I used to have the exact same one,” Dominic mentioned. John then stepped in closer to engage the conversation more. “Is that so? I know that I got mine from my time in the military when I was younger. That’s CRAZY! What about you?” John remarked. Dominic paused for a minute as it was clear that his past was beginning to play in his head like a movie set on fast forward. “What the FUCK did you just fucking say motha fucka? Say that fucking word again!” Dominic harshly responded. John started to approach him slowly. “Oh I apologize. I don’t know if I offended you. I just meant that it was just strange how we either have seen or owned this exact same lighter,” he added. When John got closer he noticed that the man he was talking to seemed upset by something and not just by the lighter that seemed to be causing such an emotional effect that derailed him from their once smooth-going conversation. It was apparent that something else was bothering this man and John didn’t want to be confrontational. Dominic’s eyes were bloodshot red and watery while he stood there poised in a deep and yet seemingly dark trance. “Are you okay?” John asked as he responded that everything was fine once snapping back to reality. With a gentle response, Dominic grins and thanks him for the lighter. “No problem!” noted John as he heard Jesse honk the horn once more in the near distance. This truly was a strange interaction. John nodded his head to Dominic before telling him farewell. The darker truth about it all was the story that was about to be told between these two. They had crossed paths for the first time, but unbeknownst to the both of them; it wouldn’t be their last and final encounter. John continued back to the car and opens the door to get in as he places his coffee in the middle cup holder. He turns towards Jesse and tells him that he has something for him. John reaches into his inner suit coat pocket and takes out some pictures. “I almost forgot to give you these photos that Julie wanted me to make sure you got,” John says. Jesse takes the pictures and begins flipping through them. He gets to the fifth picture and stops as he stares at it for a moment. A burst of laughter emerges from Jesse as he tries to catch and compose himself. John leans over trying to see the picture that Jesse is laughing so hysterically at. “What are you laughing at?” John asks with a disdained look upon his face. Jesse shakes his head and replies that he is laughing at nothing as he snickers at the picture once more. “It’s just that the fish your holding is so small compared to mine,” as he shows John the picture. John looks at the picture and sees Jesse holding a huge fish in comparison to the small fish that he has. In short distaste, John sneers at the picture and turns away. “Maybe you caught the bait I used to catch my fish with!” Jesse continues to snicker. With little patience, John tells Jesse to wrap up his laughter and for them to get moving before they are extremely late for work today. Jesse puts the car in gear and pulls off. In the distance, Dominic watches them pull off as Drake and Jarvis come out of the gas station. Drake looks over at Dominic, “We are ready to go Dom, what’s the first neighborhood?” he asks. Dominic takes a puff off his cigarette and puts it out on the bottom of his shoe. “Merylgrove Park,” he responds with concise intent. They all get into the car to pull out of the gas station and around the corner. As they drive down the street, they eventually come to a stop and pull over a few blocks down the road before turning off their headlights as they begin to scope out the surrounding houses. A set of headlights moves casually towards Dominic’s car, while they lean back in their seats so not to be seen casing the neighborhood. The light grazes over their face as they turn their heads to the side into the dark shadows to further hide their identity. The three robbers then sit up and take notice to a local pizza delivery car coming towards them. Drake immediately recognized the illuminated signed on top of the vehicle. “Jay’s Pizza? I used to order from there all the time,” Drake noted before Dominic quickly told him to shut his mouth. Drake immediately stopped speaking as he had a distilled fear of Dominic. There was very little respect given to Drake by Dominic as he was seen more to be Jarvis’s friend and only an acquaintance of his. Plus Dominic didn’t come to that upscale neighborhood to have small talk. He wanted to remain focused. A plan to get some money quickly was formulating in his head. Dominic was plotting to find a way to take advantage of this situation and capitalize financially to his own advantage. The smallest mistake made could land them all in jail. The car then pulls into the driveway of John Lewis’ home that was only two houses down from where Dominic and his henchmen had parked. The young delivery boy that got out of the car appeared to be in his early twenties, clean cut with a few tattoos that were visible on his arm. He cuts off the engine, leaving the keys in the ignition, with his headlights still on and windows rolled all the way down. Dominic sits in the car with Drake and Jarvis trying to decipher what is taking so long for him to get out of the car to deliver the pizza. The pizza boy was clearly checking his phone to make sure he had the right address as a dim light could be seen reflected off his face.
A Legend's Story: Volume One
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