(Intermittent Waves Recorded From The Heart Of A Transformed Woman)




Hal recognized some of the people who were arriving as board members and employees of Miriam who had been at various meetings. They paid him little attention and were more interested in getting in line to meet Derek Graves. He was about to go follow the line in when his bodyguard moved to block a young woman from his path.


"Excuse me, excuse me...uh...I just want to speak to Mr. Siegfried for a moment! He knows me! We talked on the phone. Mr. Siegfried! Mr. Siegfried! It's Natalie Tiledeler! We talked on the phone a while ago. I just need a minute with you. I'm sorry to bother you at such an inopportune time." 


Hal walked over to Natalie Tiledeler, guarded carefully by his other bodyguard.


"Hello, Ms. Tiledeler"


"Excuse me, Mr. Siegfried. I know this is not the right time and I should call your secretary, but, when I saw such a handsome man standing over there, I just knew that it had to be you. I...I mean...your voice on the phone...sounded so...so young and handsome, that's how I knew it was you. You do remember calling me, don't you?"


"Yes, of course, Ms. Tiledeler."


Hal didn't expect Natalie Tiledeler to be so young. She looked like she was barely out of high school.


"I'm sorry I haven't gotten back to you. There's just so much going on."


"Oh, my goodness, yes! Isn't it just dreadful? I mean poor Mrs. Barrett, her throat slashed and all. Who could have done such a barbaric thing? Cutting her life short like that. I mean she was old and all, but she still had some days ahead of her. And what an awful way to die. It's like something out of a horror movie. I know you weren't prepared for any of this to happen, but who's ever prepared for death? When I lost my daddy, I cried for weeks."


"Ms. Tiledeler, it's time for us to go in."


"Oh, forgive me. I said I was only going to take up a minute of your time. I'm so sorry. I just rattle on when I'm nervous, especially in front of handsome men. May I just walk in with you, Mr. Siegfried? I don't have an escort and I could use the support. I don't like funerals at all. They always remind me of losing my daddy. Can I hang onto your arm, just in case? I'm feeling a little weak."


Natalie Tiledeler grabbed Hal's arm and leaned her head on him before he could say anything.


"But, what I wanted to ask you, Mr. Siegfried...uh...can I cal you Hal?"


"Yes, I don't mind."


"Well, Hal, can I come see you?...uh..I mean on business; for a business meeting to talk about business...in a meeting that is."


"Yes, Ms. Tiledeler..."


Please call me Natalie."


"Yes, Natalie, I was going to get back to you about your newspaper. I'd like to invest in it and help you bring it back to life."


"Oh, my goodness! That would be wonderful! I can't wait to see you...and talk about business that is. I want to save the paper that my daddy poured his life into. That's what my daddy wanted. You see, my half sisters and brothers, well, they're all thirty years or more older than I am. My mama was daddy's last wife, she was a model, you know. That's where I get my good genes from. (giggle) 


Those Graves are always talking about good genes like President Graves did, but, he and the rest of those Graves wouldn't know a good gene if it jumped up and bit 'em smack dab in the face! (giggle). If you ask me, most of those Graves inherited the president's whacky genes. They have the nerve to call my great-grandfather the Mad Hatter, but, that President Graves was as nutty and crazy as they come. Don't you think so, Hal?


Anyway, they think that because they have money and go to the best schools they can buy class and decency. Huh! If they bought it, they wouldn't know how to wear it. Those Graves are a classless, vulgar, low down bunch of liars, bigots, con men and women. I wouldn't want to be one of them, would you, Hal?


But, where was I?...Oh!...the paper! My half brothers and sisters didn't want to run the paper and they don't see any point in trying to save daddy's newspaper, so, they won't help me. They all would sell it if they could, but, daddy left it to me. They all hate me because I was daddy's favorite. They say daddy spoiled me..." 



They were nearing the church doors, when Hal began to tune out Natalie Tiledeler's voice because he noticed Rachel in the crowd of reporters. He tried to tug his arm away from Natalie gently, but, she clung to him even tighter.


"Why me?" thought Hal. He pulled his arm again, but, there was no getting away. Natalie Tiledeler held on to him like she was a permanent attachment.


"So, did you hear what I said, Hal? You're my last hope. You've just got to help me."


At that moment, seeing Rachel, Hal was trying to figure out how to help himself.





Published by Mishael T