Cathryn looked at the time on the screen of her laptop when her phone rang. It was ten thirty at night and she had been about to shut down her computer and try to get some sleep. When she reached for her phone and saw who it was she became excited.
“Cathryn it’s me, Gary.” The man on the other end sounded hesitant.
“What is it Gary?”
“I think I found what you’re looking for but the person who may have your answers doesn’t want to talk to me. You may have to come up here. I think she would be a lot more likely to talk to you than me.”
“Gary do you really think this woman may hold the answers?” Cathryn didn’t want to get her hopes up. This was too important and she had been led down the wrong road before.
“Cathryn from everything I have been able to find out about this woman; yes, I think she might have the answers. She ninety two years old and lives in the same house that her parents lived in all their lives. It is also the same house her grandparents lived in. People I’ve talked to say she and her family have been here for about as long as the town has been here. Cathryn I think she may be the one you’ve been looking for.” Gary didn’t want his client going out on a wild goose chase any more than she wanted to go on one.
“Gary I know when I first came to see you that you thought I was some kind of nutcase but over time you’ve done enough digging to know that there is something to my story. If this woman knows anything about the past I need to get that information.”
“Cathryn I don’t think she just knows, I think she may actually be a part of it. Do you understand what I’m saying?” Gary held his breath hoping she would catch on. He was sitting in the middle of an all-night diner and he didn’t want to have to spell it out for her where he was, surprisingly enough the place was pretty full at the moment.
“Are you telling me this woman may honestly be one…?” Cathryn was cut short by the man.
“That’s exactly what I’m saying. She just won’t talk to me. I guess I asked the wrong question of the wrong person and it got back to her.” Gary should have been more careful but he really hadn’t expected this to get this far. He certainly hadn’t expected to come across anyone who might be connected to what Cathryn was looking for.
“You’re about three hours away from me. I’m going to pack me an overnight bag and head in your direction as soon as I can get up and get dressed. Can you get me a room where you’re staying for a couple of days?” Cathryn had already thrown the covers off and was heading to the bathroom to grab what she would need from out of there.
“Sure the room next to mine is vacant so that shouldn’t be a problem.” Gary hated that she had to start out this time of night but the sooner she could talk to this lady the better.
“OK, I’ll see you in a few hours.” Cathryn hung up the phone and finished dressing.
After she finished packing a bag she stopped a minute and wondered if she should call her daughter and then decided against it. She would call her tomorrow and tell her she got called out of town on business. If she called her now she would only be met with a hundred questions and Cathryn wasn’t in the mood to try and dodge them right now.
Cathryn got the remainder of the things she needed and stepped out into her garage. Shutting and locking the door behind her she carried the overnight bag and her backpack that held her notebook with all her notes in it to the car and put them in the trunk. She hoped that what was in that notebook would help convince the woman that Gary had found to talk to her.
Cathryn prayed for what to her was a miracle. To know that her only child would be safe from whatever it was that hung over her head was all she asked. Cathryn had been chasing ghost now for over ten years trying to find a way to save her daughter’s life. Emma didn’t know about the dark cloud that had hung over her father’s family for generations. Maybe Emma would never have to know all of it if she could confirm what she had begun to suspect. What Cathryn prayed for was that she could find the answers and stop her daughter from being claimed by the Rodger’s family curse. Right now the only thing she could do was hope.
Cathryn made her way out of Memphis and on to the two lane highway that was the most direct route. She could have taken the expressway but that would have taken her further out of the way and would have only ending up costing her more time.
She settled back in the driver’s seat making herself comfortable in anticipation of the long drive ahead. Cathryn really liked being out on country roads at night. You generally had them to yourself and if you didn’t get to lead footed the locals would usually tolerate you going five and maybe even ten miles over the speed limit. Tonight however she was sticking to the speed limit. She wasn’t going to take any chance of getting stopped by some local police officer and ending up losing a lot of time.
Cathryn had been making great time and was only a little over an hour from her destination. She thought about what this might mean for Emma. This might not be any guarantee of growing to a nice old age but it definitely improved her chances. To know that her daughter might actually be able to have a long and full life when no Rogers had managed that since the late eighteen nineties made Cathryn smile.
Cathryn had driven about a hundred and twenty miles out from the city when she topped a hill. She never had time to take evasive action because the car coming at her was going way too fast. It had crossed over the center lines and was headed right for her. Cathryn tried to find a way around but he was on her before she could even turn her steering wheel. The other car hit her head on. Not even her seat beat and air bag was enough to help her when the other car had been traveling at over ninety miles an hour. Between its speed and her fifty five the front end of her car flew into pieces ramming the engine into the fire wall of the car and the steering wheel into her chest.
Just before the two cars collided Cathryn screamed. The last thing she thought of before she passed into oblivion was of her daughter Emma.
When Cathryn hadn’t shown up by morning Gary tried to call her. When he got no answer after the third try he began to worry. It was at that moment there was a story that came on the news. A woman had been killed in a serious auto accident sometime well before dawn. The accident had happened about sixty miles from where Gary was. They weren’t releasing the woman’s name yet because her family hadn’t been notified but they did tell the reporters that the woman was from Memphis. Gary knew that the woman was Cathryn.
He would of course have to confirm that but deep down he knew. What he didn’t know was what to do now. The one thing that Cathryn had always been adamant about was making sure that Emma never knew what she had been doing.
Gary put his phone away and sat there on the side of the bed in the motel room. Tears started rolling down his cheeks and him hoping he was wrong and that that lovely woman would soon knock on his door. Cathryn had been his client for almost as long as she had been searching herself and they had become friends and would even on occasion share a meal and even been the others plus one once or twice. He thought about going to the old woman again and see if she would talk to him but he knew she wouldn’t.
Maybe in a couple of months when things had settled down he would get in touch with the Cathryn’s daughter and talk to her then. Hopefully the old woman wouldn’t up and die on him before that. He would go against the agreement he made with Cathryn but not now, now wasn’t the time. If he had known at that moment what would happen in the very near future he would have gone immediately to Emma and told her. Unfortunately by the time he did get around to it, it would be too late. Emma would have found the answers for herself, the hard way.