But I will give you a quick update.
I did clean out the office.
It took me a whole day, just to empty it out.
The walls were slightly damaged, paint scratched etc.
So I needed to make a few trips to Home Depot.
I did manage to fix the walls, and after that I painted them.
The original color was off-white, but I hated that.
It made the room look like a doctor’s office or something.
No, I chose a nice color scheme of yellow, to brighten up the area.
In the meantime I did the bus driving thing, and repaired some minor things in both schools.
Sophia and I also had a talk about me being a student.
It was impossible to combine everything, and she would be thinking about giving me a more personal study roster.
Most importantly was that I did an amazing, mind blowing find.
It happened when I was fixing my office walls.
My idea was to clear the walls first, to have easy access.
Then check what needed to be repaired, and then paint them.
While the paint would be drying, I could clean up the rest.
I had cleared the walls; accept for the area behind Joe’s old desk.
There was an old, steel file cabinet.
You know the ones right?
The ones you see in old detective shows.
The detectives always have some kind of file cabinet.
Top drawer has some case files, there is always room for a gun,
and the bottom drawer has the bottle of whiskey to wash away the failed cases.
I tried to pull it away, but the damn thing was heavy.
I checked the drawers, and saw that the cabinet was filled with all kind of junk.
“Fuck!” I mumbled, and slammed the drawers shut.
I was not in the mood to empty out the drawers first to make the cabinet lighter.
“Fuck it.” I moaned, and began to twist the cabinet around, seeing if I could get it to move.
It was heavy, but after minutes of swearing, sweating and pushing and pulling,
I was able to create enough space between the cabinet and the wall to do my work.
“Owh shit.” I moaned when I saw the damage on the wall.
Someone (Joe?) had kicked a huge hole in the drywall.
How the hell did I fix that?
Could you replace a part of drywall? Or did I need to remove that entire panel?
“Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” I grunted. This would take me at least a few hours.
I shook my head and stared at the hole, and suddenly I saw that there was stuff inside that hole.
I frowned, kneeled down and stuck my arm inside.
Moving my hand around, I found a few cardboard boxes.
What the hell?
I pulled them out and put them next to me on the floor.
Then I took my torch light and shined inside.
“Holy fuck.” I whispered.
Whoever made this (Joe?) did a great job.
The hole (about a foot by a foot) contained a much bigger cavity.
It was made out of wood and was at least twice as big as the hole was.
The cavity was packed with boxes, each big enough to fit through the hole.
I pulled them all out, and when I was done doing that, I was looking at 13 boxes.
Each box was 6 inch high, 12 inch wide and 12 inch long.
They were taped shut with some heavy duty tape.
What was this stuff?
What was this, and more importantly; how did it get there?
I looked around for a knife, and that’s when I saw the hole in the file cabinet.
What the fuck?
One and one still equals two.
So whoever made that hole in the cabinet, also made the hole in the wall.
I pulled the drawer open that had the hole in the back panel.
The drawer was filled with instruction manuals.
I quickly browsed through them.
This was clearly Joe’s stuff.
Some manuals where old, but there were also manuals of recent date.
I slowly began to see the whole picture here.
I took a knife and cut open a box.
It was filled with documents, cut-out newspaper articles, receipts, letters and more of that stuff.
I just flipped through it, having no idea what this was.
Some stuff was really old, and I threw it all back in the box and took another one.
This one contained books; Seven to be precise.
I took the one on top, opened it and to be my surprise it where diaries.
I frowned deeper, and began to flip through the pages, reading a bit here and there.
It looked like your ordinary diary,
at least the bits and pieces that I was reading.
I put the diary back, and opened another box.
Again it was filled with diaries, and I became even more curious.
Flipping through the pages, a lot off questions ran through my head.
Who wrote these?
Did Joe hide them behind the wall?
And why where they hidden?
I opened the fourth box and that turned out to be the shocker of the day.
Hell, it was the shocker of the century, the shocker of a lifetime!
As soon as I had opened the box, my jaw dropped wide open.
My eyes widened and my heart pumped up my throat.
Did I really saw it correctly?
Quickly I turned my head around, scared that someone would be watching me, but I was alone.
This was insane!
No way that I had seen it right, no way in hell!
I looked again.
My heart was beating like a maniac, and little drops of sweat had started to run down my face.
I swallowed, an instant reaction to the dry mouth I had, and slowly I shook my head.
Before me was a box, filled to the top with pictures.
Pornographic pictures to be precise.
I took some out and was amazed by how many there where.
It was quite the variety that I saw.
Colored ones, black and white ones, and some had the typical yellowish faded color of ancient times.
Men and women having sex with each other,
Women having sex with other women,
Women posing in the nude, women in action with all sorts of toys.
It was quite the collection.
My heart went crazy, and I got scared.
Scared that someone would walk in on me,
not that this ever happened, but… Murphy’s law right?
I got up and locked the door.
I know it’s stupid, but it was a normal reaction for me.
I went back to the boxes again.
They couldn't be here any longer, this stuff was tricky.
I had to get rid of them.
I squatted down.
“Relax Frank,” I thought, “relax and think.”
For me it was clear; this was Joe’s porn collection.
Whatever it was, it couldn't stay here, and I had to get rid of it.
Throw it away?
The stuff seemed to be old and important to someone.
Someone (Joe?) had taken the time to make that cavity and file cabinet.
Someone (Joe?) had found it important enough to do all this work to hide this stuff.
I should give it back to Joe.
It was the least that I could do for him.
Let’s go back to a few weeks earlier.
The day that Joe got fired and I had my promotion.
I considered Joe to be a friend.
I didn't have many friends accept for Jack, who I already mentioned, and Michael, who we will meet soon.
Technically I was an 18 year old college student, and my life SHOULD have been revolving around college stuff.
Going to school, doing homework, meeting other students and hang out with them.
But I wasn't a normal student.
Within weeks I went from being a student to being a staff member.
This semester was already half way, and how many times had I attend a class?
I had to admit, a 55 year old maintenance guy had been my closest friend over the last months.
When he got fired, and attacked me, I felt bad.
I didn't want him to think that I had anything to do with this.
I promised myself that I would visit him.
Visit him, and explain that it wasn't me who was behind all of this.
But you know how it goes right?
I was busy, at night I was tired, and in the beginning I was a bit scared.
He had, almost, attacked me.
But this was a great opportunity to make things right.
I could visit him, tell my side of the story and return his possessions.
It would rebuild our friendship again.
And so I did.
I snuck the boxes out of the building and put them in my trunk.
That evening, when the sun had set, I drove to Joe’s house.
I was nervous as hell.
The whole day I had been going over every possible scenario, and I had no idea how he would react.
When he opened the door, he just stood there.
He bucked his head upwards “Whatdoyouwant?”
“Joe…” I mumbled.
“Can I euh… talk to you for a minute?”
He thought about it, and finally let me in.
We walked to his living room and sat down.
“Why are you here?” Joe asked.
“I euh… I euh want to euh… apologize.” I stuttered.
“Apologize?” He said, “For what?”
I sighed, I really needed to man up.
Man up, and get this difficult part out of the way.
“I feel bad for what happened,” I began.
“And I want you to know that I hadn't anything to do with this whole mess.”
Joe slowly nodded, and studied my face.
“It’s ok.” He finally said, “Don’t worry about it.”
“It’s not ok, Joe.” I said, “It’s totally unfair and I feel bad.”
Joe smiled. “Why did she kick you of the micro in the first place?”
My breath got stuck, should I tell him?
Or should I continue with the lies that I had been spreading around about my promotion?
No, this had to stop.
If I wanted Joe to be my friend, then I had to be honest.
I told him about Jennifer, not the juicy details that I have been telling you guys, but the censored version.
Joe grinned after I had told him how I got an affair with a married woman.
I also had to tell him about the deal between me and Mr. Morrison,
and the bad part about it was that this included that I had to tell about my mom as well.
“Damn.” Joe grunted, “You are into this further then I thought.”
I also told him what happened between me and Miss Taylor.
How she took me off the bus, and promoted me.
“You know,” he said as he leaned back in his chair.
“I really appreciate your honesty.
If you would have lied to me, I would have ripped your balls off.
Ripped them off, deep fried them and had them for breakfast with a piece of bacon.”
I was surprised.
Not that he would do that, I knew he would.
But I was surprised by the fact that he simply accepted my story as being true.
“Lemme tell you my side.” He smiled.
“Sophia came to me one day, and I can’t remember when it was.
But anyway, she asked me if I could post out at a certain house.
I needed to bring a camera, and she told me exactly what kind of pictures I needed to take.”
It was Joe who had taken those pictures?
“When I saw you showing up, and walking to that house, I knew what was going on.
I took the pictures and gave them to Sophia.
You see… the thing is… Never ever disobey Sophia… or any of that Taylor clan.
It might cost you.”
I nodded slowly.
I was surprised that it was Joe who had caught me,
but wait a second… how did Sophia knew that I was going there in the first place?
“Dunno. Doesn't matter that much, does it?”
I shrugged too.
“I should have seen it coming, but I was blind.
I knew something was up when you showed up for the first time to become a bus driver.
It smelled fishy to me, but I just ignored it.”
I agreed, it was strange how I got that job.
“When she had the pictures, she called me to her office.
She told me to pack my stuff and got the fuck out of her school.”
My eyes got big.
Did she say that?
“When was this?” I asked.
“During the weekend.” Joe answered.
“It was on that Sunday after I took the piccies.”
My mouth fell open.
I wasn't promoted until the next day, after I got back from my first trip with the blue bus.
So Sophia was planning this all along.
Slowly she had maneuvered me into this position.
I felt betrayed, angry, upset and beyond all,
I felt like I was some pawn that was pushed around on a chess-board.
Joe and I didn't speak for a few minutes while we processed this new information.
I still had to tell him about the boxes that I found.
But how could I do that? Just blur it out? Prepare him for it?
“You know Joe.” I began.
“First thing that she made me do was clean out your office.”
Joe didn't give any reaction.
“Clean it out and repaint the walls.”
Joe’s eyes squeezed slowly together, but he didn't say anything.
“So I did.” I smiled.
“During all of that, I euh… well, I did found some euh… things.”
Joe moaned deeply and closed his eyes.
He sat there for a few seconds… thinking.
“What did you find buddy?” He slowly whispered.
“Papers, diaries and euh… certain pictures.”
Joe now bit his lower lip as his eyes pierced right through me.
“I euh… I thought they were yours.” I continued.
“So I euh… I have them in the back of my car.”
Joe was surprised.
“You brought that stuff with you?”
“Owh shit.” He sight and got up from his chair.
He walked to the kitchen and when he came back he had a six-pack of beer in his hands.
“We really need this tonight,” he smiled, “cause I think that it is finally time to share my secret.”
Joe ordered me to get the boxes, while he cleared off his dining room table.
We placed the boxes on the floor, and sat down at the table.
Joe opened his beer, drank half of it with one sip and burped out loud.
“There.” He laughed, “That’s what I think of this whole situation.”
I forced a smile and sipped from my beer.
“You know what this stuff is?”
I shook my head.
“This stuff is a disaster waiting to happen.”
He stared at the boxes, and when he was finally ready, he began to tell me all he knew about the content.
“This stuff is not mine, you see.
I was just keeping it.”
“Then who’s is it?” I asked.
“It’s Alice’s.” Joe said. “Alice Taylor.”
“Never heard of her,” I said.
“Well, Alice is Sophia’s mother.
She redrew from public activity after Sophia became matriarch.”
“Matriarch? What is that?” I asked.
Joe snickered. “You young kids don’t know anything, do you?
Matriarch is the female leader of a family.
Kinda like a Godmother instead of a Godfather.”
I chuckled, I knew the Godfather movie’s, and visions set in my brain about some sort of Taylor Mafia.
“Ha,” Joe laughed. “You’re close, but it’s not really the same.”
“The Taylor family always has been run by women.
After Bernard died that is.”
I need to explain one little thing here before we continue.
Growing up in Taylorsville means that you will learn the official history of the town.
They teach you this in the last year of elementary school.
You learn about Bernard Taylor and his family, and how they started Taylorsville.
I never went to elementary school here in Taylorsville, I went to elementary school in France.
But throughout the last few years I had picked up a few things about the history, but it was to be neglected.
“You know that Bernard founded Taylorsville right?” Joe asked, and I nodded.
“Anne was his wife, and together with their three kids they came over back in 1701.
Ever heard of William Penn?”
I nodded again; Penn was the guy that founded Pennsylvania.
“Right,” Joe smiled.
“Penn wanted to create a new province for Quakers.”
“Quakers?” I never had heard of that.
“Owh man,” Joe sighed. “Didn't you learn anything in school?”
I grinned, “Besides how to drive a bus? No I didn't.”
Joe shook his head, “Smart-ass.”
“But seriously now.
Quakers are religious people.
It’s a form of Christianity, but with a different perspective.
They believe that we all have a spark of God inside.
It’s a more personal approach then what they do in a normal church.”
I silently sighed.
Religion? What the hell? I was never a religious person.
I was born and raised as a Catholic, but that was because I was born and raised in a Catholic area.
You just went to school… a Catholic one.
But I never felt any connection to the church whatsoever.
I didn't believe… at all… in nothing…
They were persecuted in England, and where looking for a new, safe home.
Now Penn was already talking to the King about a new place for Quakers,
and with a few other Quakers he purchased West Jersey.
Penn went even further and tried to extend their new land.
To his own surprise, the King granted him the biggest land charter ever seen.
A charter that made him the biggest private land owner of the world.”
“Let me guess… he got Pennsylvania.” I smiled.
“Yep. The King had given him 45.000 square miles of land.
Long story short. Penn did start a safe haven for Quakers with
freedom of region and stuff.”
I thought this was all interesting, but wondered why this was important for Taylorsville?
“Bernard and William where old chap’s.” Joe grinned.
“William was looking for people with money, who would buy land from him and settle in his new province.”
“Bernard knew William?”
“Owh yeah, Bernard was part of the high society in England.
He had heard about this new country, and wanted to join in.
The thing with Bernie and Anne was that they were also interested in starting something new.
They heard the stories from William about freedom of religion, and something clicked.
Why not have societies where you have freedom for… everything?”
“Isn't that the same?” I wondered.
“Nah, course not.
You still have to obey the rules.
And in this new province you had to follow the Quaker rules, and the English rules.
And that was the biggest problem for Bernie and Anne.”
Joe emptied his beer, and took his second.
“You see, Anne was a feminist,
Not a feminist like we have these days, you know; the Bra burning, ugly bitches.
The ones that can’t find a man, and jump up the barricades to declare war on everybody who has a penis.
No, Anne was a sophisticated feminist.
She was trying to change the system from the inside.”
I looked at the clock, it was already 10.
This was all interesting stuff, but I didn't have much time left.
“You need to go home?” Joe asked when he saw me staring at the clock, and I nodded.
“Ok, then we will talk about the history some other time… or I can let you read about it.”
“Read about it?” I asked.
Joe nodded. “When the Taylors finally made their move, Anne had begun to write a diary.”
My eyes widened.
Joe didn't had to say anything anymore; the diaries I found where Taylor diaries.
“Yep.” Joe smiled.
“Anne started it. She wrote about the foundation of Taylorsville, and how she wanted it to be.
She wrote about the struggles they were facing when Bernard died, and how they got out of that.
It’s all fascinating stuff.”
“You read it?”
Joe nodded, “I read them all.”
“Wow,” I sighed and became intrigued by the books.
“When Anne died,” Joe continued, “Cora, her daughter, finished her mother’s diary and started a new one of her own.
And this was the beginning of the tradition that the Matriarch is keeping a diary.”
“And they are all here?”
Joe nodded slowly.
“15 generations of Matriarch’s, and it’s all here.” He said as he patted on the boxes.
I realized what this mend.
Here on Joe’s kitchen table was laying the complete Taylorsville history.
286 years of written insights about the Taylor family.
“Holy shit.” I moaned, “this is huge.”
Joe nodded slowly.
There was still one question burning on my lips.
“And the pictures? What about them?”
Joe grinned. “You liked them didn't you?”
I blushed, and looked away.
He was right, the few pictures that I saw did arouse me.
“Are they yours?” I asked.
Joe shook his head. “Those pictures are Alice’s as well.”
I frowned, Alice was a porn collector?
“Ha,” Joe chuckled, “Porn collector? No way buddy.
The pictures are all private family pictures.”
Now my mouth fell wide open.
“Uh huh,” Joe nodded.
“The woman you saw, are mostly Taylor women.”
You can imagine that it was difficult to fall asleep when I got home,
But eventually, sleep did got a hold on me.
I woke up the next day, feeling like a total mess, and went to school.
I picked up my students, dropped them off and then went back to my office.
At first I just sat there.
Staring at the wall and thinking about what Joe had told me.
So we had a stash of diaries, a lot of documents and other paperwork, and a huge collection of private pictures.
I could see why Joe had called this a disaster waiting to happen.
If the pictures got into the wrong hands, then many lives could be destroyed.
Joe had told me how he got a hold on this stuff.
Apparently Alice was a smart woman and way ahead of her time.
Back in the sixties she got interested into this upcoming technology called; Computers.
It might sound strange, but they hardly knew anything about computers.
When I found this stuff, computers where still rare and only for the real geeks who could afford them.
It would take at least another 10 year before Microsoft released their groundbreaking O.S. called Windows 98.
The software that would change the world.
But Alice was pretty clever.
She knew that computers where the future and that one day, they would rule the world.
So she began to store all of the Taylor diaries, paperwork and pictures on hard drives.
Joe had no idea if she had done it herself, or that she had hired some geek to do it.
It was Joe’s task to destroy all the stuff that was stored on computers.
Back then, late 1960’s – early 1970’s, the school had this big old furnace in the basement,
And Joe was just going to throw all the stuff inside, and let the fire do its work.
Alice had packed everything in small boxes, taped them up tightly, and Joe only had to shove them inside the furnace.
But he got curious; What was it that he was supposed to burn?
“I opened a box,” Joe told me, “If it would have been a box with documents… or even the diaries, I would have started to do my job.
But the first box I opened was filled with photographs.”
Joe recognized Alice on some of the pictures, and decided to keep everything.
Instead he burned old newspapers and other junk, so that he could show Alice, bags filled with ashes as proof that he completed the job.
“I began to read the diaries, and became interested.” Joe had said.
“It was if I was looking at a shattered, unconventional, history book.
The pictures showed me how some of the Matriarchs looked like, and in a very pleasant way.
The diaries where telling me a different side of the Taylor history, a personal view on things.
And all of that paperwork was a sort of backbone.”
“It was my idea to re-organize everything again.” Joe had sighed.
“Put everything in the right order.
Sort out the documents and pictures and match them with the diaries.”
“Why didn't you?” I had asked, but Joe just grunted.
“I did start, but it was just too much work.
I didn't have the time to do it.”
“Then why don’t we do it now?” I blurred out.
“You have all the time now, and I can help you.”
Joe looked surprised, and a small sparkle set in his eye.
“Are you serious?”
I nodded wildly, “We can do it Joe, you and I can easily do it.”
Joe thought about it for a few minutes.
“O.k. then, Let’s re-write the Taylor history.’
We both decided that we would do this at Joe’s place.
He had a nice size shed in his backyard that he would clean out.
It used to be his workshop, so it had all the utilities we needed.
Joe gave me a spare key to the shed.
“That way you can come in whenever you want.”
That was a big deal to me.
You don’t give a key to someone who you don’t trust,
And I felt extremely proud.
Joe browsed through the diaries, and gave me Anne’s diary,
“Start at the beginning,” he smiled, “take this home and read all about how Anne and Bernard started this idyllic little town.”
My eyes gloomed when I accepted this very first diary, and I was ready to dive into history.
I didn't knew it back then, but the journey that Joe and I were about to take, would turn my life completely upside down.
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1988, January, Ethel Taylor
1988, January, Unraveling Pictures
1987, December, The Discovery
1987, November 9, Busted.
1987, November 6, Losing my virginity
1987, November 5 1987: Jennifer’s offer
1987, September 8: Meeting Jennifer.
1987 September 7: First Day at College
1987 May 7 - First drive, checking out my apartment
- Caramel55 on 1987 May 7 - First drive, checking out my apartment
- Caramel55 on 1987 May - Becoming a School bus Driver
- Caramel55 on 1987 May - Becoming a School bus Driver
- Frank Taillefer on 1987, February - The Secret Revealed
- Caramel55 on 1987, February - The Secret Revealed
- Caramel55 on Introduction