The Self Leader Secret
Jake part 1
The old man sat alone at the edge of his dock. His body slumped in his lawn chair; his fishing line hung limply in the water. Such was his daily routine. Emma had loved it here. It had been their weekend escape from the noise of the city, their home base for their retirement dreams. After the cancer took Emma his pristine lake had become his refuge.
On this morning an irritating noise broke the stillness. He looked up in time to see a wave runner careening wildly. As the craft drew closer, to his horror, Jake spied a small child, about 4 years old, clinging to the driver of the PWC. The wave runner made another quick turn; the child lost his grip and tumbled into the water. Unaware of his loss, the man sped away.
Jake pulled off his boots and dove into the water after the boy. He moved with the swift steady strokes he had developed through years of competitive swimming. Within moments he had reached the child, who bobbed up and down in his life vest.
“It’s okay son, I’ve got you.” Jake secured his big hand around the boy’s chest. “I’m going to take you to shore. You’re going to be fine.”
“Daddeeeeee!” the boy screamed. “Daddy come back.”
“Just relax son, and let me swim for both of us. It will be easier to get you back on dry land.”
Moments later the pair arrived back on the shore. Jake picked the child up. He carried him into his house and sat him down in the kitchen. He grabbed a blanket from his bed and wrapped it around the child’s shivering shoulders.
“My name’s Jake Colver. What’s yours?”
“Nicky.” The boy sniffed. “Where’s my Daddy? Where’s my Mommy? I want my Mommy.”
“Tell you what Nicky, do you like hot chocolate?”
The child nodded and a slight smile crossed his lips. “With little marshmallows?”
“Always,” Jake smiled. “Why don’t you go into the bathroom and dry off. I’ve got some old clothes that my boys outgrew. They will be kind of big but at least they are dry. I’ll be right back.”
After he had changed, Nicky wandered over to the fireplace and poked the flames. He looked around the room then turned his gaze toward Jake. The old man sat on a stool next to the wall phone. He spoke in low tones to someone on the other end.
A few minutes later the whistle of the tea kettle let them know that the water was ready to create hot chocolate. Nicky came over to the table as Jake set down two steaming mugs. “So, young man, how many marshmallows do you want?”
“Ten it is.”
Just then a car pulled into Jake’s driveway. A moment later a heavy hand knock on the door. Tom Bresler, the county sheriff stepped into Jakes kitchen.
“Nicky, this is Sheriff Bresler. He’s going to help you find your folks.”
“Hi, Nicky. Do you know your last name?”
The child smiled, “Harris.”
“Do you know your dad’s first name?”
“Daddy.” Tom shook his head. “Do you know where your daddy lives?”
“He lives in a RV. He goes all over.”
“What about your mommy. Do you know her name?”
“Daddy called her Mare. She doesn’t live with us. I lived with her and Bill, then Daddy came and took me away. I miss my mommy.”
“Do you know the name of the town she lives in?” Tom sat down next to Nicky. “It would be a big help if you could tell us about her.”