Cecil Lawrence was lost in thought the day he met Mark Vogel. Being lost in thought and not watching where he was going was part of the equation that allowed for the chance meeting between the two men. For his part Mark was driving across Dallas and turning right when Cecil happened to step out in front of his car. The next time the two men met was a few hours later on the sixth floor of the Parkland Hospital where Mr. Lawrence had been taken and where Mark had gone, after dealing with the police, to check up on how the older man was doing. It was the first of a number of visits over the next few days that began a deep and meaningful friendship between the two.
Cecil was a man retired and living alone, waiting out the end of his days. He gladly welcomed the friendship and company of the younger man. Mark was a man living alone in the middle of a crowd, waiting for the end of a dying marriage and a job at a company where he was once a part owner and was now simply owned by the company and the rest of the impersonal corporate world. Cecil Lawrence was Mark's only nearby friend in a world that kept losing people Mark felt he could trust. Unfortunately, it was destined to be a short-lived bond for both men.
A year after their meeting and a few days after his friend's death Mark received a phone call from the Dallas law firm handling Cecil's affairs and informing Mark that he was the sole heir to Cecil's estate. The lawyer then invited Mark to his offices the next day. Grief gave way to curiosity and concern as Mark was faced with more than just the normal last will and testament in the form of a safety deposit box key and instructions on how to gain access to the box in a bank vault in the Bahamas.
A week later, obeying Cecil's demand for complete secrecy, Mark quietly arrived at the Commonwealth Intercontinental Bank in Nassau. It was there, in Nassau, sitting in the safety deposit vault room, reading a long letter from his friend and a handful of old newspaper clippings, that Mark Vogel discovered the real Cecil Lawrence, who was not what he claimed to be when they first met a year earlier. In fact, he was not even Cecil Lawrence. At the end of his reading Mark found that, in addition to inheriting the proceeds of this man's life from his time in Dallas, this enigmatic man had left him a lot more from a life that had been erased, forgotten, and even buried … .