Chapter 49

Jim had notified the police and handed out pictures of Trish in local shops and markets, but he felt he was not doing enough and it frustrated him and put Jenny further over the edge. Though she had stopped drinking, she still had issues she couldn’t resolve about Trish. Rawley came in second on her hating herself. Though Jim believed her, she couldn’t let go of the fact he had tricked her and was finally blackmailing her.

A rap on the car window startled him. When he rolled the window down he was face to face with Moonie.

“Take me with you, please. Mr. Martin.” Moonie didn’t wait for an answer but ran around to the passenger side and opened the door.  “Two heads are better than one. Please, it’s been a month and I’m going crazy.”  He was already in the car.

“Moonie, I appreciate you wanting to help, but it’s really my problem.” He looked into the face of the worried teen, and said, “but since you’re here I guess you can come along. “I warn you it may take your whole day. Don’t you have something you would rather be doing?” As an after-thought he said, “You even have a car. I can’t believe it. When I was in high school I had to rely on shoe leather express.”

“It’s my family’s second car. They don’t usually need it too much on the weekend. We’re not that rich, Mr. Martin, it’s not mine.”  he added quickly.” Even though we live on south side.”

Jim laughed. “Sorry, I just assumed…”

“Most people think just because we’re from the other side of the tracks, we’re wealthy.  Most of us are keeping our heads above water, just like everyone else.

“Another assumption. Why are you so interested in my daughter? Pardon me for acting like the father I am,” he chuckled.

“We don’t date…or anything like that, but your daughter helped me see that I was running with the wrong crowd.” Moonie squirmed in his bench seat.

“Oh? Sounds like her. She’s a good kid. It breaks my heart to think we’ve driven her away.” Tears came to his eyes and he blinked them away.

“I feel responsible, too. I feel like she was reaching out……” He got quiet.  “Give me some of her pictures, I can do one side of the street while you do the other. It will save time.”

“Thank you, Moonie. It’s good of you to help. I have a feeling this is going to be a good day.” He tried to sound optimistic for the boy’s sake as well as his own…

“Sure hope so, sir. Sure hope so.”  They both kept looking for the flower girls.

In the back of Jim’s mind was the upcoming meeting at the lawyer’s office regarding the fate of the foundry. There were several interested parties. Jim could only hope for a quick sale, something that would give the shareholders satisfaction and free Mike from this albatross around his neck. At this point it would also unburden his shoulders, which were already weighted down by a missing daughter.