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Please note:  The copyright on The Sentinel and all it's characters is owned by Pet Fly Productions and Paramount.

Ordinary Days:
The Chronicles of a Sentinel and His Guide
Entry #3

by (Written: 10-19-99)

Disclaimer: They're not mine - but I sure wish they were. Pet Fly and Paramount own 'em but should they ever decide to get rid of them - I'll gladly adopt....

I am sitting here, like a dumbass, staring at my shoes. I hate this crap worse than anything, but there is not a damned thing I can do about it. This started happening to me after I died. Yeah, I said after I cashed it in, man. Bought the farm, kicked the frickin’ bucket, there are a million euphemisms for what happened to me. I prefer to just say that I died. That drives Jim crazy of course, but I am the one that experienced it ...and I don’t feel like mincing words about death.

So here I sit looking at my feet. Most guys would be planning the next move. In fact, it was not long ago that I would already have been making that move. I am an expert in some of these things you know.... no brag, just fact. To make matters worse, she is simply magnificent. I know that sounds like *so* chauvinistic, but I don’t know how else to describe her. She is beautiful, funny, kind, intelligent. In fact, she has all the qualities anyone would love for their *girl* to possess.

So what’s the deal, then? Well the *deal* my friend is.... I can’t do this anymore. Everything is so important now... every feeling, every conversation, every person, every moment. How do you explain that to someone you meet? Hell, I can’t even explain it to Jim, and he knows me better than anyone... better than my own mother. I can’t even make him understand. So, here we go again.

That beautiful woman is off in the kitchen getting wine and glasses. I know what she expects. She is a person accustomed to the dating game. She thinks she has it figured out. I am getting ready to blow her image of all that sky high as well as her perceptions of me, but that is what I have to do. There is no way in hell I will hurt her. So it ends now.

The question is... how? How do I get out of here without looking like a complete jerk? I should have known better, I realize this. I always manage to figure it out again at about this point. Someday, I will just take my new life a little more seriously and quit putting myself and others through this torture. Someday, I will face my fears and work on all those things that I need to work on so I can move beyond this. That day is NOT today, man. I gotta think of a way to get out of here. I know I can’t be what this woman wants me to be. Not now. It stops right here.

I guess it’s my desperation or maybe it’s my complete nervous turmoil that brings the phone call. I no longer believe in coincidence. It has to be something else. The thought that *it* is the thread of the bond he has with me jolting him into action scares me, as it always does. The cell phone rings several times before I can gather my wits enough to answer the damned thing.

As I hang up the phone I look up into her amazing eyes. I feel like seven kinds of an idiot, but I know I am doing us both a huge favor. I want to tell her to wait for me, to give me time in my new skin. I want to tell her that I am so overwhelmed with what I have become that I could not be the kind of person she needs, not now anyway. If she would just hold on...if she *could* wait for me. These thoughts are holding court in my head, but what is coming out of my mouth is totally different.

"Yeah, it was my partner. Right... the detective."

"He needs me to come by the station. There’s been a break in a case."

"I had a great time... and I am *really* sorry about this... ummm... maybe I can see you next weekend? Uhhh, well how about... nah... I understand, I tell ya what, can I give you a call sometime?"

So it goes.

The night air is crisp and it awakens my logical mind a bit. As I slide into the Volvo, the notions that I have failed at my attempts at a normal life threaten to overwhelm me. I start feeling that a shroud of depression descending. It has become a familiar sensation and I let it envelop me completely as I mourn the life that was once mine and can no longer be.

I drive to the precinct in this blue funk. I am aware that I need to get in control of myself. I take my role as guide and shaman very seriously and I would never want Jim to think I had regrets. I know in my heart that there are none, but I do need time to grieve. I am not sure that Jim is cognizant of such a concept, but I know for me, it’s a reality. I park the Volvo and mentally gather the strength I need to enter the building. You know, it’s just like that now.

As I exit the elevator, I am completely absorbed in my thoughts...so much so that I gasp when I suddenly encounter a large immovable object directly in front of me. That object has hands, apparently, because one of them grabs my arm and propels me to the break room. Just before I have the coronary I realize it is Jim. Man, I am not ready for this right now. My insecurities and inadequacies are in full bloom. I keep my head down and wait for him to launch into me for some failed duty or perceived affront. I am not up to defending myself and I prepare for whatever penance will be acceptable and will make things right again.

You can imagine my shock when all he does is take my chin in his hand and move my head so that I have to look into those crystal blue eyes. I don’t resist and I meet his gaze. I am ready for the questions and, God forbid, the accusations... if that is where this must go. Instead, he surprises me again. He reaches his other hand up and pushes the stray curls from my forehead and then moves it back into my hair, slowly rubbing my head. His eyes are soft and inquisitive.

"Are you okay, Chief?"

I swallow and attempt an answer, but when I start to speak my voice cracks and then that, of course, is the end of that. I feel the tear at the corner of my eye before I have a chance to recover. It traces a hot trail down my cheek and I feel his thumb slowly smudge it away. I am falling apart here, man. I try to look off... to rescue what little self-respect I have left on this night, but his hand holds me firmly. I force a smile and make a crack, "I guess you can tell my night *has* been one of my dreams, huh? The nightmare variety."

He looks at me and shakes his head. A slow smile spreads over his face and his eyes begin to sparkle. He moves his hands to my shoulders and squeezes them as he remarks, "Buddy, someday you are going to start learning how to be a little easier on yourself. You *are* going to be all right. I know it isn’t easy, and I know I can be less than understanding. It might take some time, hell, it might even take a lot of time. Either way I am here. So get this through your thick head, you are *really * going to be okay. I won’t let you be anything less." Gently, he folds me into his arms in a warm embrace. All the cares of the evening vanish as I remember who I am and who he is. I realize right here, right now, I cannot ask for more.


The End

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