Mysterious Stranger

Jeremy had reached for the brass ring on the carousel of life…and he grasped it when he met Jennifer. He and Jennifer had started out pretty well. They had been raised in Eldorado and enjoyed a poor but safe childhood. They enjoyed going to the Orpheum Theatre and watching summer movies at the Starlight Drive Inn. Jeremy was a wiz in accounting and planned on attending Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale after his graduation from Eldorado High School. Jennifer was an artist and excelled in all of the art classes that were available to her. Jennifer painted every day and often late into the night. When she was not painting she was thinking of painting. She had been commissioned to paint a mural in town. Marriage Bells were planning on peeling just after commencement. Jeremy excelled at the piano. He played like a virtuoso. His brain seemed to function seamlessly as both a business/artistic mind. Jeremy played at local concerts as well as at Shryock Auditorium on the Campus of Southern Illinois University.

Jennifer brightened every room that she entered. Her glowing personality radiated onto everyone that she met. When someone met her they never forgot her. She was so brilliant in Art that she had been admitted to SIUC into their Art School. She was a cheerleader at EHS and loved cheering for the Eagles. If Jennifer had a bad day you would never know it by her sunny personality.

Jeremy had a secret…he suffered from terrible pain in his back. He wore a back brace that few knew of and it kept his posture ramrod straight. The pain was debilitating and often he wept before he performed a concert. Asprin or Tylenol did not touch the excruciating agony.

Dybbuk was Jeremy’s friend from Europe. He assured Jeremy that he had a pill that would ease his pain and that he would be able to perform his piano performances without any discomfort. Jeremy tried the pill and it worked. He was not only able to perform without any pain but he excelled to such an extent that after graduation he forgot accounting and set out on a Concert tour across the United States and across Europe. Jennifer grabbed her easel and her oil paints and off they went.

Jennifer questioned Jeremy about Dybbuk. How did he know him and what type of pill was he giving him that took away all of the pain in his back? Jennifer was worried about Jeremy as he never seemed to sleep and rarely ate more than a bit or two of food even when there were delicacies in front of him for the taking.

Jeremy became angry with Jennifer and told her to never question Dybbuk…as he was his best friend and understood him better than anyone…including her… Finally, Jeremy began to miss concerts…and rarely came home. His eyes had large black rings around them and his hands shook uncontrollably. Jeremy assured Jennifer that he was fine and had never felt better as Dybbuk was now traveling with them and was giving him injections in his back several times a day.

Jane had met Jennifer in London. She asked if she could speak with Jeremy and see if she could help. An intervention ensued and Jeremy was strangely docile as Jane explained to him that he was a drug addict and that she would take him to a hospital that would help him. She explained that Dybbuk was providing him with a mixture of opioids laced with fentanyl and if he did not receive assistance soon…he would die.

Jeremy was off the pain medication and had learned while in the hospital to deal with his back issues through physical therapy. He and Jennifer had decided to return to Carbondale and attend Southern Illinois University…as they had originally planned.

‘Where is Jane…I must thank her for convincing me to get help before it was too late,’ Jeremy said to Jennifer. ‘I do not know who you are talking about…when you decided to go to the hospital there was only you and I in the room…but you did seem to be talking with someone who I could not see…I just assumed it was the drugs,’ Jennifer said… ‘Well…I know Dybbuk is real…he even traveled with us,’ Jeremy exclaimed!

‘Jeremy…Dybbuk was your nickname for the Old Devil…when we were in grade school in Eldorado,’ Jennifer said…

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