Rest Home Ricky (as he will forever be known as) left the building with a smile on his face. He cannot believe he actually did it! He did it!! He admitted to the crowd at the meeting that he was an alcoholic.
"Hello, everyone," he had said to the onlooking group of strangers, "My name is Ricky..."
"Hello, Ricky!" they shouted in return. This startled him for a second, even though it shouldn't have. He had been coming to the meetings weekly for 4 weeks now, not saying a word to anyone. He had witnessed their own trials and heard their own statements that sounded exactly like his own tonight. He had thought about leaving on many occasions, believing he was nothing like the others in the room.
But tonight it all changed. After 2 consecutive days of drunkeness and depression, and one good cry on a friend's shoulder, Rest Home Ricky was able to stand from his chair at the meet, step up to the microphone and say "...I'm an alcoholic."
For the next 10 minutes, or so, he told the crowd about the problems he had with his addiction. He told about how his life went downhill, how he'd lost one job after another. About how he lost Ansalong, the love of his life.
"And one day, I'll find her. I'll get her back."
At this very moment, Ricky walked down the street and started whistling. He was happy for the first time in a very long time. He knew things were starting to get better.
He was so happy, he didn't even notice the man who was following him quietly on the street. Once, Ricky turned around to look at something else, and then man hid behind a wall so that Ricky would not notice him.
Three or four more blocks later, Ricky stopped at a camera shop. He remembered how he used to love taking pictures of people with his polaroid camera.
"I'm going to take up that hobby again!" Ricky said to nobody in particular. He went inside and minutes later, he left the store with a new camera purchase in his hands.
He continued to walk home.
Just past the camera store, the man who followed behind Ricky stepped inside a nearby phone-booth and dialed a number. The phone rang in his ear, and then suddenly the other line picked up.
"Hello?" said the person on the other end.
"Yeah, boss," the man said, "It's me...Farley."
"Did you locate the man known as Rest Home Ricky?"
Farley watched as Ricky disappeared out of sight, and said, "Yes. I found him. Exactly where you thought he'd be."
"He just bought a camera. Maybe it's a hobby or something..."
"Really," the BOSS said to Farley, "That gives me an idea. I know exactly how I can get Mr. Ricky to come to New York for me."
"Is there anything else I can do to help you before I catch my plane back?" Farley asked the boss.
There was silence on the other end, and then the boss said, "No. I'll let Mr. Ricky stay where he's at for a few years. I've got other pressing matters to tend to with his wife here in New York."
"Oh," Farley added, "One other thing. I got word from Charlie that your plan worked successfully with Ralph Hapschatt. He got so scared, he moved to New Jersey to live with his brother."
"Excellant," the boss said, "My plan is coming along smoothly."
Farley asked his boss, "Can I ask you about specifics? What exactly IS your plan? And when will it all come together?"
The boss started to laugh, and then said to Farley, "In due time, Mr. Flavors. In due time. I promise you, the coming of the new millinium will be one to remember for everybody!"
In the next chapter, Macy gets threatened. Janet discovers Farley as she probes around to find her missing boy. What will she do when she learns he may have something to do with his disappearance? You'll find out in chapter eight...
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