By Sissy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
“Bill, I appreciate you asking, but I think I’m just going to go home.”
“Come on, Alice, you’ve got to eat; just have dinner with me, after work, and then I’ll take you straight home. I’m worried about you. Your life consists of going to work and going home.”
“Bill, you know my circumstances, why I can’t get involved.”
“Yes, I know. I know that you lost your memory in an automobile accident, that you have no idea who you are or what your life used to be. But it’s been almost two months. You’ve got to get on with your life.”
“Bill, I do know that I have an engagement ring on my finger, which means someone loves me, and may be looking for me. I won’t make any commitments that I have no right to make.”
“Alice, I’m not asking you to make a commitment, just to start living a little.”
He is persistent, as she has turned him down many times before. She finally smiles at him, tenderly, “All right, Bill, I’ll have dinner with you but that’s all, okay?”
“Great, I’ll pick you up at 7:00. I know a great Chinese restaurant.” Standing, “Guess I’d better let you get back to work.”
Alice is working her usual post at Gate 10 when Wendy comes up to her, “Alice, they want you on Gate 5. I’ll finish here.”
As she walks to Gate 5, one that she’s never worked before, she’s thinking about whether she should have agreed to have dinner with Bill. She goes to the booth and starts preparing everything for checking in passengers for flight 427 to Dallas, Texas. “DALLAS” A shadow crosses her mind, “Oh, God, now the shadows are coming when I’m awake!”
Glancing around to see if anyone had heard her, she notices a tall man wearing a cowboy hat, staring at her. He starts to approach her but stops when another man begins talking to him.
She turns back to work, picks up the mike and announces:
“FLIGHT 427 TO DALLAS, TEXAS NOW BOARDING AT GATE 5.”
Just then Wendy comes up to her, “Alice, they want to see you in the office. I’ll take over here. Wish they’d make up their minds.”
Dallas, Texas, Ranger Headquarters Company B
Walker comes in the door and goes straight up to Trivette, “Find anything, Trivette?”
“No, Walker, nothing, just like every other morning for the past two months. I check every morning because I know you’re going to ask, but, man, you need to face it, she could be …?”
“NO! No, she isn’t Trivette. I’d know if she was, and the spirits tell me she’s still alive. Just keep checking for me, okay?” He turns away and sits at his desk, his face devoid of all emotion.
Trivette turns back to his computer, ‘Man, I hope you’re right. You’ll never survive without her.’
When she answers the door to let him in, “Bill, I’m not sure about this, maybe I’d better not go.”
“Come on, Alice, don’t back out now. You’ll be back here in less than two hours. You need to get out, see something besides these four walls.
She glances around the room, “I guess you’re right. Let’s go.”
The ride to the restaurant was quiet except for a few comments about the weather. As he parks the car, he turns to Alice, “Just out of curiosity, how did you start working at American Airlines?”
“It was the first thing I saw when I started looking for work, just that simple.”
Standing in line waiting to be seated, Alice glances at a newspaper laying on the counter, the headlines seem to scream at her. “DRUG BUST IN TEXAS, LARGEST EVER” She picks up the paper and stares at the men in the picture. A shadow dances across her mind. Shaking her head, she starts reading the caption under the pictures. “Rangers Cordell Walker and James Trivette were instrumental in the capture of Antonio Esparanza, leader of one of the largest drug rings in the United States. In doing so, they prevented the largest load of drugs from making it to the streets. The drugs, it seems, were headed for Baton Rouge, Louisiana.” She keeps glancing at the picture as she reads. “Something….!?” She drops the paper as shadowy images start flashing, filling her mind. She grabs her head in her hands, shutting her eyes tight, trying to force the images away.
“Alice, what’s the matter? Are you all right?”
“My head. Bill, take me home, my head is splitting.”
Without protesting, he gathers her in his arms and takes her to his car, then to her apartment.
He lowers her to the couch, and goes to the bathroom, returning with a cold wet wash rag and lays it on her forehead.
As she leans back against the couch, “Bill, I’m alright now, you don’t need to stay.”
what happened? One minute you’re fine and the next you’re in agony.’
“Something I read in that paper must have triggered it, but I don’t know what. Bill, thank you for caring,” She sits up and looks into his eyes, “but I’m alright now.”
“I can’t help it, Alice, I care about you.” He slowly leans into her and touches his lips against hers, gently at first, then as he puts his arms around her and pulls her up against him, the kiss deepens.
She starts to respond, but a shadowy image flashes, again. “No, Bill, don’t,” She pushes him away and stands. “Bill, please go.”
“I’m sorry, Alice, but I think I’m falling in love with you.”
“I’m sorry too, Bill. I told you no commitments, I’ve got to know what my past is before I can move into the future. That’s very important to me. I feel like something is missing and that feeling just won’t go away.”
“All right, Alice, I won’t push. But I’m not giving up either.” He kisses her lightly, turns and goes out the door.
Ranger Headquarters Company B
Walker is busy filling out paper work, when the two Rangers come in. They had just returned from escorting a prisoner to Louisiana. Walker doesn’t even bother looking up, until one of the Rangers stands in front of his desk, “Walker, any word on Ms. Cahill?”
“No, Randy, it’s like she just disappeared. But I haven’t given up. I won’t give up.”
“Well, I don’t know if this means anything or not, but while we were waiting at the Baton Rouge terminal, I saw this woman that could have been Ms. Cahill’s twin. I was going to talk to her but someone replaced her just as our plane was ready to board.”
“What do you mean? She was working there?”
“Yeah, she was working the gates. Man, at the time I thought for sure it was her, but now the more I think about it, I’m just not positive.”
“Where was this? Baton Rouge?”
“Yeah, go figure.” Randy turns away and leaves Walker with a thoughtful expression on his face.
“Trivette, can you come here?”
“What’s up, man. What was Randy telling you?”
“He said he saw a woman working at the Baton Rouge airport that could have been Alex’s twin. I’m going over there and check it out. Be gone a couple of days.”
“Walker, you sure? This could be a wild goose chase. Besides, what would Alex be doing in Louisiana? I thought she drove to Memphis, Tennessee for her friend’s wedding? That sure would be a round-about way back to Dallas.”
“I can’t ignore this, Trivette. This is the first lead we’ve had since she disappeared. As long as there is even a remote possibility, I’ve got to check it out.”
“Well, I can understand that. Do you want me to go with you? Help with the driving? I take it you’re going to drive?”
“I’ll drive. It’s less than 500 miles, should be able to make it in less than a day. There’s no need for both of us to go but I appreciate the offer.”
“When are you leaving?”
“Right away. I’m going to the ranch and get some clothes first. I’d tell the Captain but he’s not in, would you talk him for me? When I get there, I’ll call you.”
“I’ll tell him. Hey, man, don’t get your hopes too high, okay? I hope it is her, Walker, I really do.”
“I know you do, Trivette. I’ll let you know as soon as I do.” With these words, he turns and walks out the door.
After Bill leaves, Alice goes into the bathroom and starts filling the tub with water, and a little bubble bath. After her bath, she wearily crawls into bed, hoping the shadows will stay away. But it isn’t to be. When they come this time, they are very persistent. Image after image flash in her mind, but none stay long enough for her to really see them. One image, a star, she picks out more than any other. When morning comes, she is just as tired as when she went to bed. She finally manages to get ready and leaves for work, but she feels like her body is made of lead.
Bill sees her when she arrives, “Alice, you didn’t get much sleep last night, did you?”
“No, not really. I’ve got to go, Bill, or I’m going to be late. Bye.”
The day really drags, she feels like it will never end. At lunch Bill sits with her, but he really can’t get her to do much talking, or eating. She finally gets up and goes back to work, barely managing to make it through the rest of the day.
Walker arrives at the Baton Rouge terminal around 4 a.m., and decides to park in the garage and see if he can a few hours sleep.
At first light, he is on his way to personnel to check the employee roster. They don’t give him any problems but there is no Alex Cahill listed. He takes the picture of her that he carries with him and shows it to them, “Well, that looks a little like Ms. Walker. But her hair is a lot shorter than that.”
When he hears the name Walker, his head jerks up “Where can I find this Ms. Walker? What’s her first name?”
“No first name listed, just A. Walker. She’s working Gate 10 today. She comes on at 8:00, so you’ve got a little wait I’m afraid.”
Walker looks at his watch and sees that it is just 6:30. He decides to go to the cafeteria for some coffee while he waits. He finds a small café fairly close to Gate 10 and sits back in a corner where he can watch without being too conspicuous.
At ten minutes to 8:00, he sees a uniformed woman with blonde hair walk past on her way to Gate 10. He just about drops his coffee cup. Alex! It was Alex. His heart is telling him that this is his Alex! He gets up quickly and starts after her, but then he sees her being joined by a man, who seems to know her very well. He stops and watches them. Alex is shaking her head, but the man keeps talking to her. Finally she just walks off and leaves him standing there. The man turns back toward where Walker is standing, but doesn’t even notice him as he goes by. Walker turns to follow Alex. He keeps himself hidden for the most part but does manage to get close enough to see her face, ‘God, Alex, what’s happened to you. You’ve lost weight, and you look exhausted.’ It’s all he can do to keep from rushing to her and taking her in his arms. He hears several employees call her Alice, but he knows its Alex. He waits until she takes a break and follows her to the break room. As he opens the door, he sees the same man sit down with her at a table. She keeps telling him no and shaking her head. Finally the guy gets up and leaves her sitting at the table alone. Walker slowly walks up and sits down across from her, “Bill, I told you I just want to be alone,” She looks up, sees Walker, the color drains from her face, and she faints.
Alex had gone to work feeling like death warmed over. Bill had stopped her, kept asking her if he could take her to dinner. She said no, but he was persistent. Could he bring in Chinese; she shook her head. Finally she had turned and walked off. When her break finally came, she went to the break room for coffee. Bill followed her and sat down, again pleading with her to have dinner with him. After repeatedly saying no, he had finally left. She thought he had come back but when she looked up, there was another man sitting across from her. The shadows flew around in her head, and then a face appeared in the shadows, the same face that was sitting in front of her. It was more than her body could take. It shut down.
Walker stands quickly, catches her in his arms and carries her to a couch on one side of the room. He gently lays her down, sits beside her, and takes her hand in his when he feels a hand on his shoulder. He turns and looks up into the eyes of the man that had been sitting with her earlier. “What did you do to her? Get away from her.” He grabs Walker by the arm and pulls him up.
“Take it easy, friend. This is my fiancée. We’re engaged to be married. If you want to help, why don’t you find a doctor?”
Bill’s face turns white, “How do I know that? You could be anybody.”
Walker takes out the picture he and Alex had taken shortly after they had gotten engaged and holds it up in front of Bill’s eyes. Walker sees him collapse inside and realizes that he has fallen in love with Alex.
“Where have you been? If she had been my fiancée, I would never have given up.”
“I didn’t give up. But we had no idea where she was. She just disappeared on a trip back from Memphis, Tennessee. I still don’t know how she got to Baton Rouge. Can you tell me anything?” He asks as he again sits down next to Alex, taking her hand in his.
“She lost her memory in an automobile accident, lost everything. The car was so badly burned, they couldn’t even read the ID# on it. She was thrown clear which is why she survived. All she had were the clothes on her back and a hundred dollars cash in her pocket. They did find her purse, what was left of it. All she found in it were two scraps of scorched paper. One had Al on it, and the other had Walker. So she called herself Alice Walker. What’s your name?”
"I’m Cordell Walker; I’m a Texas Ranger in Dallas. This is Alex Cahill. She’s the Deputy District Attorney of Tarrant County. We’ve been engaged for almost a year. She’d driven to Memphis to attend a friend’s wedding but never made it back to Dallas.”
“What if she doesn’t remember you? What will you do?”
“You’re in love with her, aren’t you? You don’t have to answer that, I can see it in your eyes. I’ve waited my whole life for Alex, and I won’t give up on her; any more than she would give up on me.”
Alex moans, raises her hand to her head, and slowly opens her eyes. The first thing she sees is the star on Walker’s chest. Remembering the shadows, she shifts her eyes to his face, searching for something, anything, to help her remember who he is. “You know me don’t you?… Are you my fiancé?”
“Yes, Alex.” He murmurs as she stares at him. He takes a finger and pushes her hair back out of her eyes. His eyes are starting to mist over.
raises her hand to his beard, tenderly touching it, “I don’t remember you, but
something…. is familiar.”
He covers her hand with his, holding it against his face, and almost in a whisper, “Alex, I’ve missed you so much.” Then realizing they were the center of attention, “Alex, can I take you home?”
“Where is home?”
“Back to Dallas. You have lots of friends who love you and have missed you almost as much as I have.”
“Can we go to my apartment first, maybe talk a little. You can tell me about myself, my life. I keep seeing bits and pieces but they’re not connected.”
“Sure, anything you want.” Taking her hand, he helps her stand then slides his arm around her waist and starts for the door.
Bill moves over in front of her, “Alice, are you sure? I mean, you could be making a big mistake!”
She touches his face gently, “I’m sorry, Bill. I may not remember him, but, somehow, I know that this is right. I’ve got to find out who I am.”
“Yeah, well. If this doesn’t work out….?”
know. Thank you for caring. Your friendship has meant a lot to me. Take care of
yourself.” Leaning in and kissing him on the cheek, “Bye.”
As they walk to the parking lot where he had left the Ram, Walker takes his arm away, stops, and just watches her, still finding it hard to believe that he had found her alive. A smile slowly crosses to his lips as he watches Alex walk straight to the Ram and stop, waiting for him to unlock the door. Coming up beside her, “Alex, how did you know this was mine?”
She looks at him, puzzled, then at the truck, “I don’t know. It…just…seems natural.” He opens the door, helps her up into the cab, goes to the other side, quickly climbs in and then waits for her directions.
Unlocking the door to her apartment, she enters, waits as Walker follows her in then shuts the door. Looking around, he notices the sparseness of the room; it shows very little of her personal things. The apartment is extremely small, apparently only two rooms-a living room with kitchen facilities in one corner and a door that he assumes leads to a bedroom and bath.
Alex goes to the kitchen, “I’ll make us some coffee, then we can talk, okay?”
“Would it be alright if I use your phone. I need to call Trivette?”
He dials the number for Trivette at Ranger Headquarters. “Trivette.”
“Hey, man, I was starting to get worried. Did you find her, Walker? Was it Alex?”
“Trivette, will you be quiet for a minute! Yes, it is Alex. She was in an automobile accident, which resulted in amnesia. We need to talk before we come back, so I’m not sure when we’re going to leave here.”
“No problem. Take all the time you need; I’m just glad you found her. I’ll update C.D. and I’ll also call her Dad. He’ll probably be here before you are. Are you saying she doesn’t remember you? Or any of us? Man, why is she in Baton Rouge?”
“No, she doesn’t remember any of us. She’s been having flashbacks but nothing clear. I don’t know how she ended up in Baton Rouge. Just tell everyone she’s alright, and we’ll be coming home in a few days, okay?”
“I’ll do that. Lots of luck, partner.”
“Thanks, Trivette.” He hangs up the phone and turns as Alex hands him a cup of coffee. She sits on the couch and motions for him to sit, too.
sits, noticing her looking very intently at him. He smiles, causing her to blush slightly, “I’m sorry, I’m being
rude. It’s just…”
“Alex, you can look at me all you want if it will help you to remember.” He says softly, reaching for her hand, then pulls back before touching her, better to let her make that move.
“It’s just that your face was the only one that I got a clear glimpse of. Everything else is just shadows. Oh, and the star. I could see the star, it was very clear. But I didn’t know what it meant.”
“Can you tell me what you first remember after the accident? Up till now?”
“I don’t remember the accident. They told me it wasn’t my fault. Thank God for that. When they released me from the hospital, I was petrified. I didn’t know who I was or where I belonged. The only link I had to my previous life was my engagement ring but I couldn’t remember anything about it or you. The doctors told me that my memory may eventually come back but no one could tell me how long that might take. I decided that I had better look for a job and start putting together some kind of life for myself just in case my memory never came back. The first ad that caught my attention was the airline ad. I got the job, rented this apartment, and that’s been pretty much it for the last two months. Pretty basic, huh?”
“You’ve always had a strong will to survive, Alex, to be independent. That’s who you are.”
“Can you tell me about myself; my life. You keep calling me Alex, what’s my full name.”
“What about my family, my life in Dallas, anything that might help me remember.”
your mother is deceased. Your father is
an attorney, just like you. He lives in
New York. Trivette is going to call him
to let him know that we found you so he’ll probably be waiting for you when we
get back to Dallas. You’ve been the
Deputy District Attorney of Tarrant County for the past 8 years and you’re very
good at your job. About a year ago,
just after we became engaged, you founded HOPE house, Help Our People
Excel. It’s a non-profit organization
that provides day care, legal aid, shelter and job assistance to the less
fortunate people of Dallas. You also
counsel groups of battered woman, helping them get out from under the pain and
violence of domestic abuse. You left
Dallas in June to go to the wedding of one of your close friends in Memphis,
Tennessee. I didn’t like the idea of
you driving that far by yourself but you insisted, told me I worried too
much.” Smiling, “you’re very stubborn
and independent.” As he finishes, he watches her try to digest what he has told
“Oh, my. It seems I have quite a life back in Dallas.” Tears start filling her eyes, “Why, can’t I remember?”
The tears did it; he reached over and pulled her into his arms, holding her tightly to his chest, letting her cry. Laying his head on hers, “Alex, give it time. It’ll come. You said you saw my face among the images in your mind so you know I’m in your memories somewhere. Right?”
She nods her head, but stays close. For some reason, she feels safe and secure in his arms. She relaxes, takes a deep breath and closes her eyes.
Walker slowly leans back against the couch, holding her tight. Within a few minutes, he realizes that she has fallen asleep in his arms. He puts his arm under her legs, picks her up, takes her to the bedroom, lies her on the bed and covers her with a blanket. He stands quietly next to the bed looking at her, then looking toward the heavens, closes his eyes and silently thanks God for bringing her back to him.
he turns to leave the room, he hears her moan.
She begins tossing her head from side to side. He moves quickly back to
her side and, sitting on the edge of the bed, places his hand on her cheek. Instantly, she calms. Knowing his touch is what has calmed her, he
pulls his boots off and lays down along side of her, putting his arm across her
stomach. Not having gotten much sleep during his drive to Baton Rouge, it isn’t
long before he falls asleep, too.
Alex wakes slowly, refreshed for the first time in a very long time. As she opens her eyes she feels more than sees, the presence of this…Walker, lying beside her. Without moving, she looks up; his eyes are closed. She stares at him, hoping that something will trigger her memory. The red beard, short, but it looks good on him; red hair, kinda on the long side, but not bad. A face that looks as if he has seen some very tough times, and probably a few losses. She remembers his eyes and the softness she saw in them. She knew in an instant that he loved her. If only she could remember. He moves closer, putting his head next to hers. She breathes in his smell, closes her eyes again and is soon asleep.
When Alex wakes again, Walker is gone. She sits up quickly, throws the blankets off and goes to the bedroom door. Slowly opening it, she sees him in the kitchen cooking. She watches him for a few minutes, “Hi, cowboy!”
Walker jumps. He turns and seeing her standing in the doorway smiling at him, his eyes light up with delight. He walks up to her quickly and puts his arms around her. “Alex, you remember!!”
She puts her hands against his chest and pushes him away, “No, I don’t. What makes you think I do?”
She watches his expression of joy disappear, “You call me that all the time, I just assumed…..”
“I don’t know what made me say that, it just popped out. I seem to be saying a lot of things that I’ve said before, but the memories just aren’t coming back and it’s so frustrating.”
“Give it time, Alex, I’m sure it will.”
“You slept with me this afternoon, didn’t you? Why?”
“You started getting restless after I laid you down. When I touched you, though, you seemed to quiet down. I drove through the night to get here so I didn’t get much sleep last night, either. I guess we both needed some rest.”
“Was I like this before. Did you have this same effect on me, back then?”
“Alex, we’ve always had a calming effect on each other, especially when we’re under stress.”
“Have you…slept…with me before?”
He smiles, “A few times.” He takes her by the hand, “Come here, have something to eat. I’m not much of a cook, but I can fry a mean egg.”
As she sits down, he brings two plates full of bacon and eggs and sits down beside her. He waits for her to start, and it isn’t long before both plates are wiped clean. “Not too bad, huh?”
“It was delicious.” She watches him as he clears the table then gets up to wash the dishes. With Walker’s help, it doesn’t take long to clean up.
She goes to the living room and sits on the couch. Walker picks up his jacket and starts looking for something in the pocket.
“You’re not leaving are you?” He looks at her and sees the panic in her eyes.
“No, I’m not leaving. I just wanted to show you something.” He finds the picture and returns to the couch, sitting beside her. Handing her their engagement picture, he watches her eyes fill with tears, her hand going to her mouth, “Oh, Walker, it’s really true isn’t it?”
“Yes, Alex, it’s true. I love you very much. It took me a long time to say it, but I’ve loved you almost from the first time I ever saw you. I just wouldn’t admit it.”
“Because of my job. Just knowing me often puts my friends in danger, especially you. But we’ve become pretty good at handling the rough times together. We help each other get through the tight spots. If anything, I’d say it’s brought us closer. That’s why I know that in time you’ll remember everything.”
Tears are running freely from her eyes, now. She knows that even if she doesn’t get her memory back, she’s falling in love with this cowboy all over again. She slides closer to him, “Please, hold me.”
He takes her in his arms, pulling her close to him. Loving the feel of her body against his, her smell, even her tears. She looks up into his eyes and he slowly lowers his head until his lips meet hers, touching lightly. She puts her arms around his neck, bringing his lips tighter against hers. Her mouth opens to his probing tongue and she caresses it with hers. As the kiss intensifies, and the desire builds in both of them, Walker breaks away, “Alex, I can’t, not like this, it wouldn’t be right.” He murmurs against her lips.
Looking up at him, disappointment showing on her face, “Have we……been together before?
Smiling down at her, “Don’t be. Everything’s going to be all right. You’ll see.”
“You seem so sure about all this.”
Suddenly Alex squeezes her eyes closed, her hands reaching to hold her head.
“More shadows?” She nods.
Pulling her close, “Don’t fight it, Alex. Relax. Tell me what you see.”
“I see balloons, some kind of party. I’m arguing with someone, you! Wait, now you’re kissing me.”
Pulling back, she looks up, “It’s gone.”
Walker is smiling at her, nearly laughing. “What’s so funny, Walker?”
“Figures you’d remember that.”
“What was it?”
“It was the New Year’s party at C.D.’s about three days after we met. That was nearly eight years ago. Let’s just say that our first meeting wasn’t perfect. I was testifying at a trial where you were the prosecutor and we didn’t exactly get off on the right foot. We were both pretty steamed and had been avoiding each other like the plague. When we bumped into each other that night at C.D.’s, well, we started in on each other. The clock struck midnight, everyone was yelling Happy New Year and on an impulse, I grabbed you and kissed you. I’m not sure why I did it but I certainly wasn’t sorry I did. When I let you go, you were a little flustered and took off. After that, we seemed to put the past behind and started to become friends.”
“Do we argue a lot?”
“I wouldn’t say we argue. We both have pretty strong personalities and we’re both pretty stubborn. Sometimes when we don’t see eye to eye on things, we let each other know. Neither of us is very good at staying mad at the other one, though, so when we do disagree, it doesn’t last long. Alex, I know you’re scared but I think if you come back to Dallas with me, see your apartment, your office, the ranch, your friends, things will start to come back to you. It’s obvious your memory is starting to return. As long as you can tell me what you see when the shadows come, I can help fill in the gaps. Will you come home with me?”
“Yes, but can we wait until tomorrow before we leave? I’d like to talk to my boss and my landlord. They are both aware of my situation and knew that there might come a day when I would need to leave but I’d still like to tell them personally.”
“Sure. No problem. Why don’t you pack your things tonight and in the morning, we’ll talk to your boss and your landlord and then we can start back to Dallas. We don’t have to rush back. We can take a couple of days. Give you some time to think about things, maybe remember some more.”
“Will you stay here with me tonight? I’d like to talk some more if that’s okay.”
“Sure, I’ll stay and we can talk as much as you like. I’m going to go down to the truck and grab my stuff, okay. I’ll be right back.”
As he leaves the building, he notices a figure hiding in the shadows by the door. He gets his bag from the truck, relocks it, and starts back when the figure steps out into the light.
figured it was you.”
“You knew I was there?”
“Yes, I saw you. What are you doing here?”
“I thought I’d try to talk to Alice after you left.”
“You’re staying….all night?”
“That’s right. We’re going back to Dallas tomorrow.”
“She’s agreed to this?”
“I wouldn’t be leaving if she hadn’t.”
“Well…I guess that’s it, then,” With sagging shoulders, he turns and walks away.
Walker shakes his head as he heads back to the apartment. As he opens the door, he hears Alex in her bedroom humming softly as she empties drawers and begins to pack. She apparently did not hear him come back in. He stands in the doorway just watching her, thinking how beautiful she is and wishing she could remember. Turning toward the closet, Alex jumps when she sees him in the doorway. “Don’t you ever make any noise?”
Laughing, Walker says, “I’m sorry.”
“What’s so funny?”
“Nothing. It’s just that you always give me a hard time about not making any noise. You’ve even threatened to put bells on me so that you can hear me coming.”
Alex laughs as she returns to her packing.
“How about if I make us some tea?”
“Okay. I’ll be done here in just a minute. Needless to say, I haven’t accumulated a whole lot in two months.
Walker returns to the small kitchen and makes two cups of tea. By the time the tea is ready, Alex is done packing and is seated on the couch watching him. He sits down beside her, placing their cups on the coffee table in front of the couch. Leaning back against the couch, he extends his arm, offering Alex the chance to snuggle. She hesitates for just a moment then snuggles under his arm, her head against his chest. They remain this way for a few minutes, each lost in their own thoughts.
“Tell me about you. You’ve told me about myself and some about us but what about you?”
“What do you want to know?”
“Well, I know you’re a Texas Ranger. Do you do anything else? Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of your work?”
Looking down at her and smiling, he says, “You mean besides you?”
Grinning back, she says “Yes, besides me.”
“Well, my job is pretty important to me but I have a few other interests as well. I’m very involved in the martial arts and I’ve started a program called Kick Drugs Out of Dallas. It’s a program aimed at helping kids make the right choices about drugs and life. We teach them the martial arts, teach them self respect, discipline and honor. Try to keep them out of the gangs and in school. It’s been pretty successful so far. I’ve also helped develop Camp Justice. It’s a camp for juvenile offenders that the court feels deserve a chance at rehabilitation. It’s the tough love approach. We work them pretty hard while they’re there in the hopes that they’ll see their way clear to start a new life, away from violence and crime. We had a pretty rough start with that program but once it was approved, it really took off. We’ve helped a lot of young men turn their lives around. I guess we’ve been pretty lucky.”
“You care a lot about kids, don’t you?”
“Yeah. I feel it’s important for kids to make the right choices early on. I witnessed my parents murdered when I was 12 and if it hadn’t been for my uncle and a certain Texas Ranger, things could have been very different for me. I want to make sure that these kids have every chance to make the right decisions. I’ve seen too much of what happens when they make the wrong ones.”
“What else do you like to do?”
“Well, actually, we both like horseback riding, hiking and camping. I have a ranch back in Dallas where we spend a lot of time. We have several horses between us.”
“Do we live together?”
“Not yet. You have an apartment in the city where you spend the week but you usually spend the weekends with me at the ranch.” Sitting up and looking down at her, “Hey, its getting kind of late and we have a long drive tomorrow. We’d better get some sleep.”
“You’re right.” She leans in and kisses him quickly, “Goodnight” turns and goes into the bedroom, closing the door behind her. A few minutes later, she opens it. “I’m going to take a shower before turning in. You’re welcome to it afterwards, if you like.”
“Thanks, I think I will.”
He’s sitting on the couch, leaning back, eyes shut, when she comes into the living room, wearing her bathrobe. “It’s all yours! Would you like a snack maybe some more tea before we call it a night?”
“Just tea, if its not too much trouble.” He picks up his bag and goes to the bathroom. Returning twenty minutes later, hair still wet, bare foot, bare chest and wearing clean jeans, he hangs his shirt on the back of a chair and turns toward the kitchen. He looks up to see her eyeing him with complete admiration.
“WOW,” she whispers. He turns to get his shirt off the chair, “No, don’t please? I didn’t mean to embarrass you.” He hangs the shirt back on the chair. “But, you look…great. Do you work out a lot?”
“Yes, when I can.”
They sit at the table drinking tea, and making small talk when Walker looks at Alex, “I think it’s time to turn in; you can hardly keep your eyes open.” He walks with her to the bedroom door and kisses her softly, “I’ll stay out here on the couch.”
“Are you sure? That thing’s not very comfortable.”
“I’m sure. I’ll be fine.”
“Okay, I’ll get you a pillow and a blanket.” She returns a few minutes later with the pillow and blanket. Walker lies back on the couch, watching her at the door. He smiles when she grabs his shirt off the chair and disappears into the bedroom. A few minutes later, she returns to the doorway wearing his shirt, softly says “Goodnight” and turns the lights out.
Walker is jolted awake by the sound of Alex screaming his name. He jumps off the couch and rushes into her room. She is sitting up in bed, holding her head and shaking it from side to side trying to make the images go away. Walker takes her in his arms and calms her down, trying to get her to tell him what she sees. The images finally retreat but Alex is shaking uncontrollably in Walker’s arms. He holds her until her shaking subsides and then pushing her back and looking into her eyes, “Alex, it’s okay. I’m right here. Now, tell me what you saw.”
“I……I was dreaming, I think. I woke up with a gun beside me there was a dead man next to me in bed. The next thing I saw was a jail cell and I was inside. Walker, what’s happening to me?”
“Shhhh….Shhhh. You’re okay. It wasn’t just a dream. It was part of a memory. About 5 years ago, you were prosecuting a case involving a well-known drug dealer. It just so happened that the attorney for the drug dealer was a man that you had dated about 12 years earlier. You’d broken it off with him because he hit you. He showed up at your apartment one night telling you that he had some information for you that would put his client away for good. You invited him in and made some tea. He drugged you and he and his client’s goons were planning to videotape you and he in bed together to get the case thrown out of court. Unfortunately, his client decided he couldn’t be trusted so they murdered him, put the gun in your hand, shot him a second time and left you to take the wrap. Your father came out to defend you and we eventually found a videotape that showed the murder and the frame. Unfortunately, you did end up spending about a week in jail before you were cleared.”
“I guess that was one of those tight spots that you were talking about earlier that we always seem to help each other through?”
“Yeah, that was one. I’d like to tell you it’s the only one, but I’m afraid it’s not. We’ve both had our fair share of tight spots. You think you can get back to sleep?”
“Will you stay with me, please. Just hold me like you did this afternoon?”
“Sure. I can do that.” Climbing under the blanket, Walker leaned back against the headboard of the bed, wrapped his arm around Alex and pulled her close and before to long, both were asleep again.
Morning finds them wrapped in each other’s arms. When she opens her eyes, she sees him watching her. She slowly starts caressing the soft downy hair on his chest with her hand, she brushes his nipple with her thumb. Still starring into his eyes, she hears the quick intake of breath.
“Alex, please. Not like this. You….” He murmurs.
Placing a finger against his lips, “Shhh. Walker, I do love you. I may not remember what we had before but I know how I feel now. I want you. I’ve fallen in love with you for the first time, again.” As she says this, she pulls his head down and captures his mouth with hers, kissing him deeply, and her tongue probing. He finally opens his mouth, taking her tongue in. He unbuttons her shirt, moving his hand to her breast, kneading the nipple with his thumb bringing it to a hardened nub. He begins moving his lips down her body, caressing with his tongue. She moans and, moving her hand to his waistband unbuttons his jeans. With his help, she slides them down his legs and off onto the floor. She quickly removes her shirt and he drops his briefs to the floor. He pulls her on top on him. Kissing him deeply, she pulls up and straddles him. She lowers herself onto him and as he fills her, she starts moving, slowly at first but as the passion builds, he pushes her legs down and quickly rolls, putting her beneath him. The thrusts become faster and deeper. She suddenly spasms, her fingernails digging into his arms, he gives one final thrust and joins her in the grip of ecstasy. As their breathing returns to normal, Walker rolls to the side and holds her in his arms until he realizes that if he stays here in her arms much longer, they’ll never get started back to Dallas.
After showering and getting dressed, they load Alex’s belongings into the backseat of the Ram, they pay a visit to her landlord and then go to the air terminal and see her boss. Both are very understanding and kind. They wish her well and ask her to let them know how things turn out. She thanks both for their kindness over the last couple of months and promises to come back and visit. She then goes into the terminal and says goodbye to several friends she had made while working for American. She doesn’t see Bill, and in a way she’s glad. She didn’t want to hurt him any more than she already had.
By 10:00am, Alex and Walker are on their way back to Dallas. Several times during the ride, Alex is hit with waves of fragmented memories. Each time, Walker pulls off the road, holds her hand and tries to get her to tell him what she sees. She recalls her 28th birthday party and the bracelet Walker gave her, she remembers fishing at the river during their whitewater rafting adventure and she recalls parts of their weekend at the Golden Wells Resort.
Walker calls Trivette and lets him know that they are on their way but are taking their time and should be back in Dallas late today or early tomorrow. Trivette tells him that Alex’s father is in the middle of a trial but will be on the first plane to Dallas as soon as the trial is over. He expects to be there by the weekend.
On their drive, Alex has a few more flashbacks, remembering her encounter with the Trammel brothers, Walker’s dive off a bridge in a car and being held captive by a cult leader. She says she remembers a bar and grill, and a hospital room
“Well, let’s see, the bar and grill is C.D.’s. He’s been like a father to all of us-you, Trivette and me. C.D. is my former partner. He was forced to retire after taking a bullet to the knee a few years ago. I was on my own for awhile and then was partnered with Trivette. That was C.D.’s work, too. Trivette is a former Dallas Cowboy. A shoulder injury ended his football career. With C.D.’s encouragement, he went into law enforcement and eventually ended up with the Rangers. C.D. decided that I needed a partner and so he used his influence to see that the two of us were teamed up. Neither of us was very excited about the idea at first, but over the last six years, we’ve become best friends. We’ve bailed each other out of more scrapes than I care to remember and he’s always there when I need him. He looks at you as one of his sisters. In fact, you two even go shopping together, since I hate to shop.”
“And the hospital room?”
“Well, that could be me or you. When I went over the side of that bridge in a car, I ended up in the hospital in a coma,” his voice softens, “and you never left my side the whole time I was there. Have you noticed the scar on your back?”
“I did, what’s it from?”
“You were shot in the back by a man you had prosecuted years ago. He wanted to get even.” His voice drops to a whisper, “I almost lost you. That’s when I realized how much you meant to me, and I asked you to marry me."
“I’m sorry, if I’d known how painful it was for you, I wouldn’t have asked.”
“No, that’s all right. You need to know. Our road to being together was a very rocky and sometimes a dangerous one. It still is but we always come out more determined than ever. I’m not going to tell you that we agree on everything or like all the same things, because we do kinda bang heads once in awhile. But we agree on the important things and we do have one thing in common.”
“And what’s that?”
“We love each other very much. It’s what’s always held us together.” He reaches over and takes her hand and brings it to his lips. “And that’s why I believe this time will be no different. Already you are doing things, without thinking, that you did before.”
“You knew about the Ram. Calling me cowboy.” Then murmuring, “Wearing my shirt to bed.”
Alex blushes slightly, “All the time?”
“I think you have one at your place that you use for a nightshirt and whenever you’re at the ranch you always wear one.”
Her eyes are dancing, “Have we set a wedding date, yet?”
“No, but we can remedy that darn quick. Once I know that your memory is returning, we’ll set it for as soon as possible. Alex, we’re going to be in Dallas in about two hours, are you ready?”
“Well, I can’t deny I’m a little apprehensive, but yes, I’m ready. I’m eager to meet C.D. and Jimmy, they sound very nice.”
“C.D. can be a little hard to take sometimes, but he has a heart of gold.”
The rest of the trip is spent mostly in silence, with Alex getting edgier, the closer they get to Dallas. It is well after 9:00p.m. by the time they pull up in front of C.D.’s and she’s very close to being a basket case.
“Alex, would you rather wait till tomorrow to meet everyone? Get a good nights sleep, maybe?”
“No, I want to do it now, just don’t leave my side, okay?”
“I’ll stick to you like glue.” He gets out of the truck, she slides out the same door and with his arm around her they start in to C.D.’s.
“Hey, they’re here.” Looking around at C.D. “She looks like she’s scared to death. Maybe we should let her make the first move, we don’t want to scare her.”
“You’re right, Jimmy, she isn’t going to remember either one of us, is she?”
“No, C.D., she isn’t. But I’ll bet it isn’t long before she’s the same old Alex. Shhh….here they come.”
As they enter, they find Jimmy sitting at one end of the bar chatting with C.D. Both look up and smiles light up their faces when they see Walker and Alex. Looking at them, she smiles timidly.
“Alex, I’d like for you to meet…”
“Wait, Walker, let me. You’re Jimmy Trivette.”
She turns to C.D., “And you must be C.D. Parker.” She puts her arms around him, gives him a hug, and a kiss on the cheek.
“Hey, I didn’t get a hug or a kiss.”
“Oh, I’m sorry, Jimmy.” Turning back, she gives him a hug and a kiss, too. Standing back by Walker’s side, “Will you both forgive me for not remembering you? But you three,” looking at Walker to include him, “are now, my best friends. Hopefully my memory will return soon. I’ve got a feeling I’m missing a lot by not remembering you.”
Jimmy, softly says, “Hey, counselor, take your time. We’ll always be here for you.”
“Cordell, how are you doing? You look a lot better than when you left here, let me tell you.” He turns and takes Alex’s hands in his, “Alex, honey, have you had any luck at all with your memory?”
“I keep having flashbacks and Walker has been filling in the gaps but I can’t seem to put it all together.”
“Don’t worry, counselor, I’m sure it’s all going to come rushing back soon. Maybe once you see your apartment and get back to the office, things will fall into place. By the way, Walker, I talked to the Captain. Told him you probably wouldn’t be in for a week or so. I also talked to the DA and Alex, he said your job’s waiting for you as soon as you’re ready to come back. Oh, and your Dad called. He’s flying into Dallas Saturday morning.”
“You’re saying I still have a job here. How can that be possible? I’ve been gone for nearly two months.”
“Hey, I told you, you were good at your job.”
“Have you two had anything to eat this evening?”
“No, C.D., do you have any chili left. That might be just what Alex needs.”
“Sure thing, Cordell. You all find a booth and I’ll rustle up a couple of bowls and be right with you.”
Alex slides into their favorite booth, pulling Walker to sit beside her. He’s grinning broadly, “What? What’s wrong? What did I do now?”
“Nothing, Alex. This is our booth that you picked, that’s all.”
“All these little things I’m doing, it’s almost automatic, why can’t I remember the circumstances that go with it?”
“Don’t you understand? Alex, these little things that are almost second nature to you are the ones that you aren’t trying to remember. Just relax and enjoy yourself, like you are on vacation and you’re meeting new people. It will come to you when you quit trying so hard.”
“That will be hard to do. I want so desperately to remember.”
Walker and Alex enjoy a bowl of C.D.’s chili and continue to chat with Jimmy and C.D. A soft country ballad starts playing on the jukebox and Walker turns to Alex, “Will you dance with me?”
“I’m not even sure I know how to dance.”
“Trust me. You do. Come on.”
C.D. watches them and smiles when he sees them wrapped in each other’s arms on the dance floor.
“Big Dog, what’s going to happen if Alex doesn’t get her memory back?”
“I don’t know Jimmy but one thing I do know is that those two were meant to be together. Just look at them. She has no memory of what they’ve shared over the past 8 years but yet she’s totally at ease with Cordell.”
“You’re definitely right about that. If anyone can help her through this, it’s Walker.”
Out on the dance floor, “C.D. and Jimmy are both very sweet. You say we’re close?”
“We’re all about as close to family as you can get even down to the bickering.”
Giggling, Alex places her head against his chest. “Why is it that I feel so safe with you? I can’t remember you or what we had together, but right now the only place I feel like I belong is here in your arms.”
Looking down at her and smiling, “Well, that’s okay with me.” As the song ends, they go back to the booth and sit down as C.D. brings coffee all around.
Walker notices the exhaustion creeping over Alex, as she crushes a yawn between her teeth. “C.D., I think we’ll pass on the coffee, Alex is just about out on her feet. I’m taking her to the ranch tonight, let her get a good night’s rest. Tomorrow, we’ll have a doctor check her out, then I’ll take her to her apartment. We’ll see you guys tomorrow. Come on, Alex.”
She takes his offered hand, slides out and gives C.D. and Jimmy a hug and kiss on the cheek before walking out with Walker. “Goodnight, all.”
When he pulls up in front of the house, Alex is sound asleep. He gets out, goes around to the other side, opens the door, reaches in and picks her up in his arms and carries her into the house. He pushes open the guestroom door and pulling the blankets back, lays her down. He takes her shoes off, then her pants. After he covers her, he leans down and kisses her softly on the forehead, turns, takes the other pillow and leaves the room. Leaving the door open, he crosses over to the couch and lies down, almost asleep before his head hits the pillow.
Alex wakes up slowly, aware that she has slept the night through without the shadows chasing around inside her head. She sits up quickly, wondering where she is and where Walker is. When she throws the blankets back, she realizes that someone had taken her jeans off. She puts them on and silently peeks around the door. Not seeing anyone, she ventures out into the hall, and hearing noises in the next room, she looks into the kitchen and sees Walker at the range, “Hi, Cowboy.”
“Good morning. Are you hungry? Come on, sit down. I’ve fixed my specialty.” He turns and sets two plates of bacon and eggs on the table. Pours coffee into two cups, sets them on the table and sits down. “Did you sleep well?”
“I slept like a baby. For the first time since this whole thing started, the shadows weren’t dancing around in my head. Must be the atmosphere. Or the company.” She smiles almost shyly at him.
"After you finish breakfast if you want to shower, I’ll show you where. I think you have some clothes in the guestroom. That’s where you slept. Then we’ll get started for Dallas. Okay?”
When she comes downstairs after her shower, she looks completely and totally Alex.
“Are you ready?”
“Yes, I guess so.”
“After the doctor checks you over thoroughly, I’ll take you to your apartment so you can check everything out, okay?”
After leaving the ranch, Walker notices he is almost out of gas, having forgotten to fill up when they got back yesterday evening. He stops at the first station on the edge of Dallas, pulls up to the pumps and when he doesn’t see the attendant; he goes looking for him. As he starts for the office door, he gets a chill down his back. Drawing his gun, he moves cautiously, sensing that something is wrong. He sees the attendant lying on the floor as he comes through the door. He stoops down, feels for a pulse, finds one and quickly returns to the Ram. He picks up the mike, “This is Walker at the Dawson Service Station on Walnut Hill, I need an ambulance and backup. We have a robbery at this location.” Turning to look at Alex, “Stay in the truck. He may still be here. I’m going to check the garage out.” He turns and carefully enters the bays, checks the area behind the stack of tires, then the parts area. As he starts back to the truck he sees movement out of the corner of his eye. Alex screams, “Walker!” He drops and rolls as a shot is fired. The bullet rips through the right side of his chest just below the shoulder. He finishes rolling, coming up on his knee, turns and fires hitting the gunman in the right shoulder, causing him to drop his weapon. He rolls the man over and handcuffs him still not realizing that he had been shot. Alex comes running up to him, throwing herself into his arms, “Oh, Walker I thought he was going to kill you! Are you all right?” She pulls back to look at him and realizes something is very wrong. His face has lost all color and the front of his jacket is covered in blood. His legs give out and he collapses just as the ambulance and his backup arrive.
“Oh my God, Walker!” The paramedics rush to Walker’s side pushing Alex out of the way so that they can assess his injuries. Alex runs back to Walker’s truck, picks up his cell phone and dials Trivette’s cell.
“Jimmy, its Alex. Walker’s been shot. We’re at the Dawson Service Station on Walnut Hill.”
“I heard Walker’s call for backup, I’ll be there in two minutes. How bad is it? Are the paramedics there yet?”
“I don’t know. He’s unconscious. The paramedics are working on him right now. Jimmy, his jacket was covered in blood.”
“Don’t worry, Alex, everything’s going to be all right. I’ll see you in just a minute.”
She hangs up, placing the phone back in the cradle and returns to where the paramedics are working on Walker.
Trivette arrives moments later. He rushes to his partner’s side and seeing that he is being well taken care of, places his hands on Alex’s shoulders and gently leads her back toward Walker’s truck. “Come on, Alex. Let them work. He’s going to be fine.”
“Hey, Alex, how did you know my cell number?”
Staring intently at Walker, Alex is not paying attention to Trivette. “Huh…what?”
“How did you know my cell number?”
“Jimmy! I’ve known your cell number for years!” Her eyes widen as the realization that her memory has returned sinks in. Her hand goes immediately to her mouth, “Oh my God, Jimmy, I remember! I remember everything! My memory has been coming back little by little but I guess seeing Walker shot was the final push.”
They turn when they see Walker being lifted onto a stretcher. Both rush to his side. Turning to one of the paramedics, Alex asks, “Is he going to be all right?”
“The bullet went all the way through. He’s lost a good bit of blood but I think he’ll be fine. Do you want to ride with him?”
Looking at Trivette, “Go ahead, Alex. I’ll follow in my car and have one of the patrolmen bring Walker’s truck to the hospital later. I’d better call C.D. and have him meet us there.”
Hugging him tightly, “Thank you, Jimmy. I’ll see you at the hospital.”
Walker fades in and out of consciousness during the ride to the hospital. Each time he opens his eyes, Alex is right there holding his hand.
Trivette and C.D. arrive at the hospital shortly after the ambulance and find Alex pacing in the waiting room.
Coming up to Alex and hugging her tightly, C.D. says, “Alex, honey, Jimmy told me you got your memory back. That’s wonderful news. Cordell’s gonna be so happy.”
“Thank you, C.D. but right now all I want is to see Walker. He was in and out and looked so pale on the way here. I’m really scared.”
“Alex, if you’ve got your memory back, you know Walker’s one of the toughest guys around. He’s going to be just fine.”
“You’re right, Jimmy, I know. It’s just hard waiting around here.”
They all look up as the doctor emerges from the examination room and walks toward them. “Are you all here for Ranger Walker?”
In unison, “Yes.”
“I’m his fiancée, doctor. How is he?”
“Stubborn, that’s how he is. We’ve just barely finished stitching him up and he’s asking when he can get out of here.”
Laughing, C.D. responds, “Yeah, doc. That’s our Cordell. He ain’t too keen on hospitals.”
“Well, he lost a good bit of blood so like or not he’s at least staying here until tomorrow. I trust that between the three of you, you can impress upon him that that is not negotiable?”
Alex responds with a determined look on her face. “Don’t worry, doctor. I’ll make sure he stays put. Can we see him?”
“In about 30 minutes. We have to finish stitching the wounds and then get him moved to his own room. I’ll have a nurse come and get you.”
“Thanks, doc. And don’t worry, Alex, here, will make sure Cordell behaves.”
A nurse returns to the waiting room 20 minutes later and tells them that Walker is in Room 226 and they are free to go in.
C.D. turns to Alex, “Honey, why don’t you go on up. Jimmy and I will grab a bite to eat, and we’ll join you in a little while. I think you two need some time by yourselves.”
“Thanks, C.D., Jimmy. I’d like that. We’ll see you in a little while.”
Alex gently pushes the door to Walker’s room open. The only light in the room is the one over the bed. Walker is reclined, his head resting against the pillows, his brow furrowed. It’s apparent that the pain medication has not yet taken affect. Quietly approaching the bed, she sits down and takes his hand in hers. His eyes immediately open and a smile crosses his lips.
“Hey, Cowboy. How you feelin’?”
“Hi. I’m fine. I sure made your first day back memorable, huh?”
“I’m just grateful you’re still with me.”
“What about the attendant? Is he going to be all right?”
“Yes, I think so. The paramedics said he got a pretty good blow to the head, probably have a headache for awhile."
As she stares down at him, her eyes flash, “I can’t wait to get that guy in front of me. I’m going to throw the book at him! I’ll make a believer out of him; when he gets out he’ll think twice before he does something like this again!”
Walker smiles as he listens to her, realizing that her memory has returned. Reaching up and placing his hand against the side of her face, a single tear escapes his eye, “I’m so glad you’re back! Do you remember everything?”
darling, I think so.” She tenderly wipes the tear away. “I remember my trip to
Memphis for my friend’s wedding. I
don’t remember how the accident happened but I know why I was in Baton
Rouge. I know I should have called when
I altered my plans and I intended to, when I got to Jennifer’s. She lives there. But I never got to make that call. I know you’re probably upset with me and you have every….”
Walker pulls her close and shuts her up with a passionate kiss.
“…right to be.”
“Alex, you don’t know how happy I am just knowing your memory is back. We’ll talk about what you should and shouldn’t have done, later. Right now, I just want to hold you.”
He invites her to join him by moving over on the bed. She gently lies down beside him, taking care not to jostle him too much. He wraps his arm tightly around her and kisses her deeply. “Alex, I love you so much.”
“I love you too, my darling.”
‘Walker Texas Ranger’ and it’s characters belong to CBS Inc., Norris Brothers Productions and maybe other copyright holders. This story and the author is in no way connected to those copyright holders and intends no infringement on their copyrights. The story is only meant as an entertaining tribute to a great show and it’s cast and crew. This story is part of a mailing ring and may be distributed and copied freely, in its entirety, for personal use. All original author and copyright information must remain intact. Any sales or other uses of this document are expressly