Unbroken connection, p.1
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       Unbroken Connection, p.1

           Angela Morrison
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Unbroken Connection

  Unbroken Connection

  Published by Angela Morrison

  Mesa, Arizona, USA

  Copyright © 2010 Angela Morrison.

  All rights reserved under International and Pan-American

  Copyright Conventions.

  ISBN: 978-1461088523

  E-Book ISBN: 978-1-4392-8162-8

  Printed in the United States of America

  The scanning, uploading and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the author is illegal and punishable by law. Please Please purchase only authorized editions and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

  To Holly.


  Title Page

  Copyright Page

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Chapter 26

  Chapter 27

  Chapter 28

  Chapter 29

  Chapter 30

  Chapter 31

  Chapter 32

  Chapter 33

  Chapter 34

  Chapter 35

  Chapter 36




  Chapter 1





  on the edge

  of my perception,


  Imagined unreality,

  but more solid

  than this sea

  of BYU-blue padded chairs,

  laptops balanced

  on white folding desks,

  hushed bent heads

  and scratching pens.

  Wi-Fi, thick in the air,

  pulses with him,

  revealing his far away fingers

  drumming as he stares at a screen.

  Dim light,



  My psych prof drones,

  chairs creak, keys tap—

  Twenty more minutes?

  No way.

  I’ll explode.

  Pass the handsome blonde guy

  beside me a pleading note?


  On the other side of the globe,

  the guy I love wants me.

  Need your laptop. Now.

  I shouldn’t answer this fruitless vision, should

  find out the blonde guy’s name, where

  he’s from, what’s his major, where

  he served his mission, smile and laugh.

  That’s why I’m here, isn’t it?

  To forget?

  But the more I erase, delete, eradicate—

  the tighter my heartstrings twist,

  entwining Michael’s shadow

  forever on my soul.

  I gather books, drop one, rise,

  bump down a row of knees.

  Five hundred eyes

  roll my direction.

  My prof’s head bobbles back

  on his thick red neck.

  “Excuse me, Sister—?”

  “Hunt. Leesie Hunt.”

  “Class isn’t over.”

  “I’m sorry. I have to go.

  My best friend

  needs me.”

  I’m such a liar.

  It’s me.

  I need him.

  Just give me

  one more hit

  to ease the pain

  of withdrawal.

  I push through the auditorium door.

  It booms a warning behind me.

  Don’t look back.

  Don’t think.

  Keep running—I don’t

  care if it’s in the wrong direction.


  Barrel out the glassy Kimball Tower entrance.

  My dorm? Too far.

  He’ll fade into the mists.

  Sandstoned pinked library. Hallelujah!

  Answered prayer sanctioning

  the turmoil in my heart? I hope.

  The giant glass atrium

  shines like a crystal circus tent.

  The doors yield smoothly—

  admit me to the airy space.

  I turn away from the glossy granite stairs

  and the underground addition

  hiding deep beneath the quad,

  to the old main building,

  scurry through security

  like a criminal fleeing the scene.

  The blissful buzz of the, “No Shhhh!” zone

  pulls me forward with my nose to the wind,

  a hunting she-wolf zeroing in on

  an unsuspecting flock of flickering screens.

  The sweet smell of electronics overheating

  tickles my senses.

  Blessed day! A cute guy, with cropped

  brown hair and muscles

  that remind me of Michael’s,

  leaves a computer free.

  No line up today.

  I whip into the spot, sign on—

  Thank you, Lord,

  for one more miracle:

  He’s there.


  Leesie327 says: Yes. You’re online. I knew it.

  liv2div says: your magic voodoo powers are slipping

  Leesie327 says: No way.

  liv2div says: if you were really in sync, you would have been here a lot sooner

  Leesie327 says: You mean “in tune.” Give me a break. I bolted out of class to get to you in time.

  liv2div says: been waiting in this creepy bar staring at the screen going on four hours

  Leesie327 says: What time is it? Some time yesterday, right?

  liv2div says: tomorrow…coming up on 3 a.m. Saturday morning…I’m back at work again at 8 a.m.

  Leesie327 says: You need to go home and get some sleep.

  liv2div says: we’re just friends now…you’re not allowed to be bossy

  Leesie327 says: Sure I am—bossier. I don’t like you hanging out in a bar.

  liv2div says: the internet place closed hours ago

  Leesie327 says: Are you drinking?

  liv2div says: about seventeen cokes

  Leesie327 says: Are you there alone?

  liv2div says: I came with Claude…French guy…his dad owns the boat

  Leesie327 says: Nice of him to wait for you.

  liv2div says: are you kidding? his girlfriend’s out of town…he left with a Thai chick a couple hours back

  Leesie327 says: His poor girlfriend.

  liv2div says: she’s Thai…expects it.

  Leesie327: Are the girls there pretty?

  liv2div says: intoxicating

  Leesie327 says: I shouldn’t have asked.

  liv2div says: why do you think they call this place the Land of Smiles? there’s a chick staring at me like you used to…think I should talk to her?

  Leesie327 says: No way. She’s in a bar. That’s not the type of girl you want.

  liv2div says: I’m in a bar…what does that make me?
br />   Leesie327 says: An exception.

  liv2div says: she looks fourteen…I’m sure she’s not bossy

  Leesie327 says: Fourteen? What is she doing in a bar?

  liv2div says: the place was packed with them… young, eager…it’s late…most of them left with somebody…this girl is counting on me

  Leesie327 says: Sick. Is she a … do you pay?

  liv2div says: I don’t pay

  Leesie327 says: You mean, you’ve taken one home before?

  liv2div says: no…gross, Leese…they’re kids…and paying? that’s a crime…I’m not a saint like you, but I’m not a pervert

  Leesie327 says: Sorry. I know you better than that. I’m insanely jealous that you’re surrounded by beautiful girls vying for your attention.

  liv2div says: give me some credit…these chicks are in it for the long term…say ‘yes’ once, and you’ve got them for life…they’re out to take you for a lot more than fifty bucks

  Leesie327 says: That’s tragic.

  liv2div says: just using their assets…Third World reality…sex is their number one industry

  Leesie327says: I thought it was whale sharks.

  liv2div says: Only in my dreams…you see it all the time here…a really young Thai girl and a silver-haired white guy…Europeans… Americans, too…creeps me out

  Leesie327 says: Aren’t there laws to protect them?

  liv2div says: It’s getting better…Thailand’s got more money now…I’ve heard the real evil freaks—pedophiles and sex offenders mostly from our depraved country—go to places like Cambodia and Vietnam where parents sell them little boys for a couple hours for a quarter

  Leesie327 says: That is so evil. Get out of there, Michael. Right now.

  liv2div says: there are no little boys for rent in this bar

  Leesie327 says: Are you saying what’s happening there with those girls is okay? Yuck. Besides, I don’t mean the bar. I mean the whole place.

  liv2div says: all of Asia? quit my job? I haven’t even really started…we won’t be taking trips out to the Similans until November

  Leesie327 says: I hate that you’re so far away.

  liv2div says: where do you want me to be?

  Leesie327 says: Here.

  liv2div says: no diving in Utah, babe

  Leesie327 says: I miss you.

  liv2div says: you should get a laptop…campus is wired, right? if you’re signed on, we can do this whenever I get back into port

  Leesie327 says: What time?

  liv2div says: changes…that’s why you need a laptop growing out of your arm.

  Leesie327 says: What time this week?

  liv2div says: they tell me I’ll be off Friday, around six…that’s 4 a.m. your time

  Leesie327 says: What day—my time? Thursday or Saturday?

  liv2div says: Friday

  Leesie327 says: Hello, I don’t have classes at 4 a.m. I’ll set my alarm, get up, and wait for you to go to a decent internet place. No bars.

  liv2div says: but they close…I want to talk to you all night

  Leesie327 says: Find a McDonalds.

  liv2div says: McDonalds? are you kidding? you should still get a laptop…don’t want me to get bored while you’re in class, do you?

  Leesie327 says: I have to pay attention.

  liv2div says: double task, babe

  Leesie327 says: You’re not allowed to call me that.

  liv2div says: you need a laptop, babe

  Leesie327 says: Stop it.

  liv2div says: you must be the only one on campus without one

  Leesie327 says: My roommate laughed when I set up my desktop. My scholarship is just tuition. I need to eat, pay rent—no laptop in my future. I can’t even afford a new t-shirt. I need a new jacket before it gets cold.

  liv2div says: What about your suede one? You didn’t throw it out, did you?

  Leesie327 says: I can’t bring myself to wear it here…too many memories.

  liv2div says: You don’t want to remember me?

  Leesie327 says: I keep it on the back of my chair with my grandmother’s sweater.

  liv2div says: like I’m dead?

  Leesie327 says: Like you’re cherished.

  liv2div says: so a laptop, t-shirt, and a new jacket… your parents should help you more

  Leesie327 says: You want a lecture on farm economics? It’s a depressing subject.

  liv2div says: sorry to pry…I just think it’s stupid you don’t have a decent computer…babe

  Leesie327 says: I’m going to have to sign off if you call me that again. It makes me so hungry for you, and you’re so far away, and we’re just friends.

  liv2div says: who attacked me at the airport then? I thought it was you

  Leesie327 says: Wasn’t that mutual?

  liv2div says: you started it…how can we keep up this friends crap after that?

  Leesie327 says: What else could I do? I spent all night crying over your dive log. I couldn’t let your lips go so far away without tasting them one more time.

  liv2div says: seemed like a lot more than a taste

  Leesie327 says: That part was you.

  liv2div says: I wanted you to remember me

  Leesie327 says: It worked. I’m like craving you.

  liv2div says: it felt good…totally right

  Leesie327 says: Nothing comes close to kissing you.

  liv2div says: freak, Leese…why do we do this to each other?

  Chapter 2



  DIVE BUDDY: nobody

  DATE: 09/23

  DIVE #: not diving

  LOCATION: Khoa Lak, Thailand

  DIVE SITE: Queen Nautica (my dive boat)


  WATER CONDITION: 6’ swells

  DEPTH: 20’ under the keel





  Rain. Tropical downpour. Sheets of it. Every day—endless. Fierce. Not like when I first got here—gentle evening rainfall that cooled down the steamy world. The Queen Nautica, my dive boat, ran overnighters out to Phi-Phi and Krabi Islands. Nice and hot. Okay diving. So different from the Caribbean. Limestone cliffs jutting out of the sea. Vibrant soft corals. You feel like you must be at the end of the earth—all alone in the wild beauty of it—until six other dive boats show up at the same spot.

  It’s still steamy hot, but the monsoons have come—sheets of water that bring Isadore back every night.

  Before I took this job, no one bothered to tell me that the Similans are officially closed until November 1st. Guess I should have researched better. They say it’s too rough. Too wet. Powerful winds. An operator who ran illegal trips out there during the summer sunk his launch. The Thai government made the islands a national park, and now they close it up from mid-May to November. Rumor is illegal fishermen slip in and lay traps. I don’t know if the rangers stay out on the islands year round. Sounds like they should.

  With all this rain, there’s not much diving anywhere for a couple more weeks—if you take the forecasters at their word. I’m supposed to be working on my Captain’s license. Can’t do the water stuff in this weather. Can’t concentrate on the written crap. I spend my days trapped in the belly of the Queen Nautica organizing and fixing the tangled mountain of scuba gear the last guy left behind. The QN is docked at dumpy, grimy, nowhere’sville Khoa Lak, a blip on the coast surrounded by endless rubber plantations. I sleep on the boat, but at least we’re not out on the water, so I get off at dinnertime. I’ve tried to chat with Leesie again, but she’s never online. Always in class or out with her roommates. I hope it’s her roommates.

  I hate that bar—all those pretty girls prowling for white men with full wallets who aim to retire on Phuket with Thai girlfriend benefits. Every white guy I’ve met so far is divorced and living with a Thai woman. Even my boss, Claude’s dad, Captain Jean. But the bar i
s the closest place to Khoa Lak with internet. McDonalds? Is Leesie kidding? Closest Mickey D’s is at least ninety minutes south.

  Two more days, and she’ll be waiting for me. Friday. Soon as I’m off.

  She promised.


  Leesie327 says: Phil? What are you doing up so late, baby brother?

  gr8phil says: Great…the Leesie police. Wonder what time it is in Thailand.

  Leesie327 says: Since when are you a midnight chatter?

  gr8phil says: Since forever…I’m not a Neanderthal.

  Leesie327 says: I’ve never noticed you online before.

  gr8phil says: You NEVER noticed me anywhere.

  Leesie327 says: Ouch. Am I that nasty?

  gr8phil says: I’m being nice.

  Leesie327 says: Sorry. I was a jerk to you.

  gr8phil says: You were a jerk to every one in Tekoa. Too good for us.

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