It's a Small Island, After All
Life on Grand Cayman moved at a slower pace. He normally liked to spend most of his time around Seven Mile Beach, either at the villa or walking the beach itself along with Johanna. But today it was a quick trip by himself into George Town to meet with the banker, then pick up a few necessities. He was already thinking about their plans for the evening; he and Johanna were headed to Hemingway’s, their favorite place on the West End, then catching a charter over to Cayman Brac to stay at the condo and get up early for some diving to one of the shipwrecks.
As he left the bank, he suddenly remembered that he needed to grab a new dive mask. Bert’s shop was the other way…
Steve Day? What’s Steve Day doing on Grand Cayman? He dropped off the face of the earth years ago.
He reversed course and headed back towards the bank. He went in the direction he had last seen Day, but the former CSWA Vice-President had apparently already taken more than one turn, lost somewhere in the small streets around the bank. Deciding to reenter the bank, he found John Ebanks still out in the lobby where they had left off a few minutes earlier.
“Why Mr. Chad, welcome back? Did you forget something?”
“I don’t think so, Mr. John,” Merritt responded in the island way. “But I did have another question for you.”
“Of course, of course. What can I help you with?”
“I thought I just saw an old friend of mine leave here. He must have been visiting the bank while you and I were conducting our business. His name is Mr. Steve Day. He used to work for me at the company.”
“Yes, of course. Mr. Day was being helped by young Mr. Stanley Bodden while we were speaking.”
“Not to pry, Mr. John, but would you or Mr. Stanley know if there was a way to contact him? I would love to reconnect with him.”
“I fear not, Mr. Chad. I heard him say that he was just on the island for the day. He apparently got off a ship that just pulled in and is pulling out again shortly.”
“Ah, well, thanks for your help as always, John. Hopefully I can catch up with him another way.”
“My pleasure, Mr. Chad. Give my best to Ms. Johanna as well.”
Former CSWA co-owner Chad Merritt left the bank and headed for his car around the corner. Seeing Steve Day out of the blue had been odd, but certainly not enough to account for the strange twinge in his gut. Day had left the CSWA after serving on the Board of Directors – last Chad had heard, he had gone on to work for a small dot-com that had gotten caught when the bubble burst.
Oh well. It would have been nice to catch up. But still, that strange feeling…
When the phone rang, the number on the caller id came as little surprise, thanks to that twinge in the gut.
“Brian? What’s going on?”
Brian Nord, a former CSWA wrestler and now road agent, responded, “Chad, long time no talk. You’re still in the Caymans, right?”
“Yeah, still here. What’s wrong, Brian? You don’t call me unless something’s wrong.”
“You’re right. I’ll get straight to the point. We were hijacked.”
“What!? What do you mean? Are you okay?”
“Yes, we are now. We’re on a small island just west of you, at the Tradewinds Isle & Resort.”
“I know where that is – you’re between here and Belize. What do you mean you were hijacked?”
“I mean the whole damn boat…the Parsons’ Cruise Liner II… was hijacked, with the CSWA on board. They forced us off the boat, just in sight of this island. And the Red Midget with us…”
“What the hell?! Listen – can you get a charter from there to here?”
“Already done. Thomas just left on the first charter out and Teri is setting up the logistics to get the rest of us home. But I went ahead and scheduled one over the Grand Cayman. I should be there in about 2 hours.”
“Alright. I’m already in George Town. I’ll grab my car and meet you at the airstrip. Hey Bryan?”
“Steve Day hasn’t been back around the CSWA recently has he? Thomas hasn’t brought him in for anything?”
“No. I haven’t even heard his name in years. Why?”
“I’ll tell you when you get here. Right now I’ve got to make some phone calls. See you then.”
It was too much to be coincidence. Steve Day here on the island. The PCL2 getting hijacked. And then Thomas and his employees being left on the very island that so few of them knew he had been on years earlier…
Oh well, dinner at Hemingway’s would have to wait. Johanna would understand. At least until he told her where he had to go next.