Episode 76— Chapter 85
He was back!
Cobb leaped from the bed, burst out of the room, into the corridor and hurried down to the elevator. The elevator door opened and the style of clothes and hair of other hotel guests confirmed his hopes. He had, in fact, returned. On the reception wall was the date, November 24.
Cobb’s joy was boundless and he walked out into the street, euphoric to embrace, again, his old world. He could hardly wait to see Charlie and hold his children.
A horse-drawn carriage came rumbling down the street toward the hotel. A couple exited the conveyance as a man in black tails held the door opened.
With a skip in his step, Cobb threw his hands triumphantly in the air. He welcomed the familiar fragrance of soot and smoke.
Suddenly, a deafening roar pierced the air. Cobb looked upward toward the sky. Incredibly, there was a mammoth airplane—enormous in length and wingspan—hurtling through the air.
He returned his gaze downward and saw that the carriage was no longer being pulled by a horse; in its place was a futuristic vehicle. The clothes of people passing by were from a different era. Cobb screamed as the panorama of architecture and buildings transformed before his very eyes.
The blue sky above him was now replaced by the gray paint on the ceiling of his hotel room.
His soul became consumed with dejection and futility.
It was morning.
He had failed.
Crawley hadn’t given it too much thought, but initially there had been a little anxiety when Cobb performed so well in his first couple weeks with the Atlanta Braves. It hadn’t been the least bit difficult keeping up with the latest Cobb news. Bloody hell, it had been downright impossible to avoid it, what with the media’s glare. But as Cobb’s performance deteriorated, media interest had also waned.
As he entered the study on the lower level of his three-story mansion, the light was blinking on his land line. There was a message from Blake Donnegan.
“Hello Cameron. Well, as you can see, I was right again. You probably haven’t heard it yet in Bermuda, but Cobb has been released by the Atlanta Braves, just as I predicted. I suspect he’s seen the last of the big leagues and maybe organized ball altogether. You’re off the hook and $200,000 richer. Look forward to dinner next week and a bottle of Pomerol’s Château Le Pin.”
Crawley smiled, but shook his head. “Château Le Pin, my eye! I’m not payin’ five grand for a bloody bottle of wine. You’ll get your Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and nothing more.”
Can’t believe I put my entire net worth up for a paltry two hundred grand! Always a treat when a risk gets eliminated pre-term, though. Like taking candy from a baby.
The knock on his hotel room door woke him with a start.
Cobb walked to the door, in a despondent trance. “I’ll be gone soon,” he said loudly.
Thirty minutes later, Cobb had showered and packed his suitcase. He opened the door to the corridor and began walking down the long hallway toward the elevator. He didn’t pay heed to the sound of steps from behind, but suddenly he felt the strong grip of hands on both his arms and a sharp prick to his neck.
Savannah was saddened, but not shocked, by news reports that Cobb had been released by the Braves. She had followed, daily, his mercurial tenure with the team, painfully aware that his performance had declined significantly in recent weeks. Savannah had hoped to see Cobb return to his earlier playing form, believing that it would change everything, but her recent calls and messages to Cobb had gone unreturned and she feared that her friend might be spiraling downward now that his baseball connection had been severed. Without baseball, he might lose his way.
Savannah dialed Cobb’s apartment line, hoping to find him there. She allowed the phone to ring until she heard the automated voice greeting. She tried a second time, to no avail.
Where is he? How is he coping with the release?
On an impulse, Savannah booked a flight to Atlanta for the following day. It was obvious that Ty needed a friend more than ever. Before departing for the airport, she placed a call to Calvin, suggesting that they meet up at Cobb’s apartment.