Peter stood on the deck of his high-rise condominium, gazing at the lights that dotted the city below. How had everything gone so wrong, he thought. Two years ago, he had married Alison, the perfect woman for him. He loved everything about her – her quick wit, her intelligence, her lithe body and sensuous smile. The fact that she inherited a small fortune upon the death of her first husband was just icing on the cake. Once he and Alison had married and moved to the west coast, they built a small consulting business.
Peter thought of the day they met Dan Spencer at a business luncheon one year ago. Dan was promoting his high-rise condominium venture, offering large discounts and choice of floor plans to those who signed up early. Although Alison was cool to the idea of living in a high-rise, Peter had been able to convince her they should invest with Dan and gave him a deposit of 25% down. However, problems seemed to plague the project from the beginning. They were giving Dan checks for thousands of dollars every six to eight weeks to cover materials, fees, some permits or licenses. With each payment, Dan promised he would repay them from sales of other units. Peter even played golf with Dan and had him over for cookouts.
Six weeks ago, Dan never showed up for their weekly golf game. Dan’s home phone was disconnected; his cell phone went straight to voicemail. Peter had found out other business owners who attended the luncheon had pulled out of the venture well before Dan started asking for more funds. Dan’s townhouse was empty and he did not leave a forwarding address.
Alison was furious. She had every right to be angry – with Dan, and with Peter, himself, for talking her into the investment. Most of her inheritance was gone. Their business was in foreclosure. Now Alison was gone. Just got in her car and drove away. Peter thought she just went for a drive to let off steam but she never came back.
After weeks not knowing where Alison was, he received a note asking him to meet her at the vacant high-rise. Alison hadn’t shown up, but another note was waiting for him. He clung to that note as he jumped over the railing thirty stories down.
As Peter hurtled through the darkness to his death, Alison left this world in a small motel room, an empty pill bottle clutched in her left hand, a note on the floor next to her right hand. The note and the one Peter clutched read “See you on the other side, Love RC”.
Dan drove down the mountainside and through the valley all night. The next morning, he stopped at a rest stop. He made a call to the other side of the country, to his girlfriend, who worked as a guard in a female prison. When Shari answered, he said was “Tell Rachel all is well on the west coast”.