Chapter 2

Las Vegas, Nevada April 20, 1955 11:00 PM

Sam was in Norman's dressing room passing back and forth. He had just
finished Normans act, and he knew he had bombed miserably. I'm not only
going to keep Sharon from marrying Norman, but I'm also going to get him
fired. Usually, he had no problem with singing; but his swiss cheesed mind
couldn't remember the song.

Where's Al?! I though for sure he'd want to do allot of observing on this
leap. So where is he?! It's been 8 hours since I've last seen him.

Then, almost as if on cue, Sam heard the swoosh of the imaging chamber door
behind him; and Al stepped out from the square of white light wearing a
purple suit, a black shirt, and a shimmering gold tie.

"Al!!! Where have you been??!! You said you'd be back hours ago!!! I thought
you were going to do allot of observing on this leap!"

"I know Sam and I'm sorry. But you're never going to believe what's just

"What! Did Tina jump out of your birthday cake?"

"No! Well, she did, but that's not what I'm talking about."

"Well, what happened then?"

"Well, I was sitting in my office finishing the monthly report for
Washington when the phone rang, and it turned out it was Maxine's lawyer
telling me that she was going to sue me for more alimony. So I told him that
he could tell her to forget it, and I hung up on the shister!"

"Oh, is that it. I thought it was something really exciting." Sam said

Al just looked at him.

"Oh. Ha, Ha, and I suppose you think that's funny?"

"I think so."

Al just glared at him while Sam smirked back.

"No that's not it."

"Okay, then what happened?"

"Well, after I told the shister off and hung up the phone, the phone rang
again. Of course, I thought it was Maxine's lawyer again."

"But it wasn't?"

"No." Al paused. "It was Beth."

"What?! Beth, you mean your first wife Beth?"

"Yes! What other Beth do you think I'd mean?"

"I don't know Al. You tell me so many stories about women you've just met or
used to know. I thought there must have been at least 100 other Beth's you
told me about."

Al just glared at Sam.

"Okay, Al, seriously, what did she say?"

"She wants to see me."

"See you?"

"Yeah, apparently, the poor kid thought I was dead all this time; and it was
only by accident that she found out I wasn't."

"She thought you were dead??!! I though you and the Navy had contacted her?"

"Well we tried. But, we couldn't find her."

"Couldn't find her? You knew she remarried, when, and to whom. I thought you
had talked to her."

"No. Well, yes we did find out that information from some of the people Beth
and I used to know, but no one seemed to know where she had moved to. After
she remarried they drifted and lost contact with her. They did know that she
and her new husband had moved, but they didn't know where."

"So how did she accidently find out that you were still alive?"

"She went to the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, DC; and when she
didn't find my name, she did some investing to find out why. She thought it
was a mistake; but when they typed my name into the computer, my file came
up still active."

"Was she upset with you for not telling her?"

"Well, no. That was the weird part. Apparently, my file stated just as I
told you. That we looked, but we couldn't find her."

"So, when are you going to go see her."

"In 2 days. She's flying to Albuquerque tomorrow, and I'm going to meet her
at her hotel the following day. I don't know Sam, it's weird. I never
thought I'd ever see her again, and I never thought in a million years that
she would call me. Let alone that she thought I've been dead all these
years. I always assumed that she had seen my name in the paper or heard it
on the news when I was an astronaut."

"What does her husband think about her flying out to see you?"

"He doesn't know; and even if he did, he wouldn't care."

"What??!! Why wouldn't he care Al?"

"Because that dirty dog ran off 2 years ago with what Beth discribes as a 20
year-old blond bimbo."

"He ran out on her??? Oh, Al, she must of been devasted."

"Well, she wasn't too happy about it."

"I wouldn't think so."

"What's Tina think about all this?"

Al started to act nervous. Trying to avoid eye contact with Sam and hoping
he wouldn't try to pry the answer out of him, but he knew Sam better then

"AAAALLLL. You haven't told her yet, have you?!"



"I'll tell her! Don't worry."

"Yeah, sure you will."

"Okay! So I'm putting it off. I just don't want her angry with me on my
birthday. I'll tell her tomorrow."

"You better. Or you'll have worse problems, and you know it. Tina knows how
much you loved your first wife doesn't she?"

"Well, she does; but that doesn't mean she'll be understanding."

"Oh come on Al! Give her a little credit. Maybe you'll be surprised. If Tina
really loves you, she'll understand and be willing to risk losing you."

"I hope you're right Sam."

They were both silent for a moment. Then Sam asked:

"So has Ziggy found out any new information on what I'm suppose to do?"

"I don't know. I've been so busy with this report for Washington, my
birthday, and then with this call from Beth that I haven't had much of a
chance to check it out. Oh, Tina threw me a surprise birthday party!"

"And Tina jumped out of your cake."

"Yeah, how did you know?"

"You just told me that a few minutes ago."

"Oh, I did? I guess everything that's been going on has gotten MY brain

"Well, can you look to see if Ziggy has come up with anything?"

"Oh yeah."

Al started punching in commands to the handlink and it squealed.

"What??!! This can't be right, Ziggy?" Al hit the side of the handlink and
it squealed.

"What's Ziggy saying?"

"Now she's saying that there's a 91.8% chance that you're suppose to make
sure that you keep this Butkis and Sharon together. I still can't see what
this Sharon sees in him. You'd think she'd wouldn't want to marry him just
on the basis that she would be Mrs. Norman Butkis."

"Al! If she loves him, it shouldn't matter."

"I know, but I still think you're here to change his name."

"Al! Will you stop!"

"I'm sorry. I just can't help it."

Sam just looked at him.

"Why is Ziggy now saying that I have to keep Norman and Sharon together?"

"Because if they don't stay together then she'll marry a jealous drunk who
will beat her and eventually kill her and then Norman out of jealousy. Seems
he keeps her a prisoner in her own house; and when Norman tries to help her
escape, this Bob, her husband, hunts them down and kills them."

"But if she marries Norman, she'll be miserable. He'll divorce her for a
younger woman, and she'll live the rest of her life alone."

"I know, but..."



"What if I'm not here to get her to marry Norman, but to make sure she
marries someone else?"

"Yeah, but who?"

"Randy Johnson."

"Randy Johnson??? Whose Randy Johnson?"

"This man I saw her talking to earlier. He's a lawyer whose on vacation here
with his brother. Apparently, she knows him from high school. Al, see what
Ziggy says are the odds that I'm here to get Randy and Sharon together."

Al punched the keys on the handlink.

"98.9%, Sam."

"I knew it."

"But how are you going to get them together when she's gaga over you?"

"I don't know yet, but I hope I'll know by morning."

Al punched the code into the handlink to open the imaging chamber door.

"And I'll go back and see what Ziggy and Beeks can come up with."

The imagining chamber door closed and Al was gone.


Washington, DC June 15, 2000 4:30 PM

Beth just stared at Al's picture after she had finished talking to him on
the phone. She couldn't believe that she had just talked to him, and that
she would be seeing him in 2 days. The best part of this was that Al wasn't
married. Then all of the sudden her phone rang and she answered it.


"Hi Mom. How's your trip going? Did you find Al's name?" The voice on the
other end of the line was her daughter, Christina.

"Hi Chrissy. Well, actually I didn't find his name."

"You didn't?!"

"No, so I went and checked into it and found out something that I thought
I'd never hear."

"And what's that Mom?"

"Well. When I didn't find Al's name on the Memorial Wall, I decided to go to
a naval office to find out why; and how I could get his name put on. So I
gave the receptionist his name, and his file came up being still active."

"What!!! You mean he's alive?"


"And he never tried looking for you?"

"Well, yes he did look for me. The Navy and him both. He was repatriated in
1973, and they searched for me for 6 months. The only things they were able
to find out was I had had him pronounced dead, remarried your father, and
moved; but no one they talked to knew where we moved to."

"So were you able to get a number or an address so you can contact him?"

"Yes. They gave me a phone number were he's stationed; and you're not going
to believe this, but he's an Admiral."

"An Admiral? Didn't you once tell me that he use to say that 'anyone above
the rank of lietentant was a horse's ass?'"

Beth chuckled. "Yes I did, and I made sure I reminded him of that too."

"So are you going to see him?"

"Yes, in 2 days. I'm flying out to Albuquerque, New Mexico, tomorrow. Then
we're going to meet in the lobby of the hotel. I just can't believe that I'm
going to see him again after all these years of thinking that he had been
killed in Nam. It's like a dream."

"Wow! Well, have a safe trip and call me after you've seen him. I'd like to
know how your meeting with him goes."

"Chrissy, you're not upset that I'm going to go see him, are you?"

"No. Why would you think that?"

"Because of your father."

"Listen, Mom, what Dad did to you was criminal. I say you go and see Al and
go with my blessing."

"Really, you don't know how much seeing him again means to me?"

"I know. I've known ever since you've told me about him and showed me all
those pictures of you and him. I know how much you've loved him."

"Thank you." Beth said sobbing.

"Well, I better let you go. You have a lot to do before you leave tomorrow."

"Okay Chrissy. I'll talk to you in a couple of days?


They both said their good-byes and hung up.


End of Chapter 2