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June 20, 2000
School was out for the summer, but Harmony had barely left her bedroom. The Harrisons weren’t too worried about her. Leo hadn’t been around in a week and they figured the kids must had fought about something. Gene assured Mary that the kids would get over it and go back to being friends soon enough. Mary tried to tell her husband that she hoped Harmony would move on and make new friends. Neither one talked to Harmony about it because she had refused any effort the couple had put into comforting her. They had no idea just how much trouble Leo was in and they would never find out.
Harmony had pretended to be sick this morning to avoid going to church and even though Mary knew she was faking it she gave in and allowed the girl to stay behind. She didn’t want to push the girl too hard because she didn’t want Harmony to fall back into the silent self imposed prison she had kept herself in for so long after Pat Phillips had left. Besides, they were only going to be gone for a couple of hours. What could go wrong?
“What do you say to stopping for some ice cream on the way home?” Gene Harrison asked as he opened the car door for his wife.
“Sounds good to me, but do you think we should go by the house and get Harmony first.” Mary answered as she lowered herself into the car.
Gene closed the door and walked around to his side of the car. After getting in and starting the car to get the air conditioning going he looked at his wife. “Well, we could go pick her up and make her come with us. She won’t like it and even though she’ll eat the ice cream she won’t talk to us.” Mary laughed in agreement. “Or we could go by ourselves and enjoy this beautiful day with some ice cream and a walk along the bay. Then take some ice cream home to Harmony.”
“You had me at beautiful day.” Mary said as she smiled at her husband. The man she had loved for as long as she could remember.
Gene put the car into gear and pulled out into traffic.
The Harrisons walked arm in arm along the bay front in downtown Miami. Eating their ice cream and watching the crowds of people who walked past them.
“This city has gone through lots of changes over the years hasn’t it?” Mary wondered out loud.
“It sure has. When we were young it was mostly a retirement city. Now it’s filled with nightclubs and college students and people who have immigrated here from other countries.”
“It’s still beautiful though.”
“The only thing more beautiful than this city is you.” Gene smiled as he steered his wife to their car that was parked on a side street off of Biscayne Boulevard.
Mary and Gene were enjoying their time together and didn’t notice the young man who had fallen into step behind them until it was too late. Mary was suddenly pushed from behind and after losing her balance fell to the ground. Her husband was pushed sideways and into a parked car. Neither had completely grasped what was happening to them until the man, wearing a hooded sweatshirt pressed a gun against Gene’s chest.
“Lady, you know what’s good for you, you gonna stay on that ground and keep your mouth shut. Mister, I suggest you give up your wallet and that watch before I put a bullet into you and your old lady.” The man rocked back and forth as he spoke as if he were unable to stand still.
“You can have it, just please don’t hurt us.” Gene said as he slowly reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet.
The man grabbed it without moving the gun. “I’ll take that watch now.”
Gene took off his watch as his wife cried on the sidewalk, but he was nervous and the watch dropped out of his hand and onto the ground. The man with the gun pulled the trigger and ran away. Mary cried out as she watched her husband slump over onto the ground.