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The Case of the Crooked Ex: Chapter 4
I finished splashing water on my face and then toweled off the excess before leaving the small bathroom in the outer office. My secretary Sarah was organizing the pencils in her pencil cup as I came out and I fixed her with a hard stare. She was a good kid and I knew her family well but when it came to me and her she had a complete take no prisoners’ attitude. She was a hell of a secretary though and it made dealing with the personality quirks almost worth it, notice I said almost worth it.
“Give it a rest will’ya boss? This ain’t no five star hotel, this is a place of business and I run a professional office.”
I look harder at her and she finally brings her blue eyes up to meet mine. I give her my best questioning look, the one that usually sends my snitches running but she just narrows her eyes and stares me down.
“What? I can’t have some drooling wrinkled drunkard scaring away clients, sos how's bout next time you drag your ass back to that pit you call an apartment and sleep it off dere.”
I gave up at that point and walked into my office throwing the towel on the couch in the corner and pulling my suspenders back up , attempting to button my shirt so the white under shirt isn’t so obvious. I have no idea where my tie was but at that moment I didn’t care. I needed breakfast and coffee, Johnny’ s would hit the spot nicely.
“Sarah there as some case notes on our new client on my desk, why don’t you start a new file and get the notes typed up.”
“Oh youse mean these ones with all the pretty harts drawed all over the place?” she asks holding up my notepad. “Do me a favor Boss next time I could do with out all the lovey dovey crap.”
“Don’t you have some typing to do or something?”
“Don’t youse have a bottle of gin to spill down the front of yaz?”
“Fine Sarah, do what you want I am going across the street to Johnny’s for breakfast and coffee.”
“Like I should care, that swill at Johnny’s is just about right for ya, My coffee is too good for youse anyways.”
I pull on my coat and ignore her as I walk out the front door, like I said good kid, great secretary but just another in a long line of people that wreck my day. Johnny’s is busy, the morning rush just hitting but I am able to find a spot at the counter and order two eggs scrambled, dry toast, and some coffee.
“You want some bacon with that Jonesy?”
“Naw Mel, just the eggs and toast, oh and coffee, lots of coffee.”
We are all creatures of habit and in a neighborhood like this we all get to know each other pretty well at least as far as our interconnecting paths go. I couldn’t honestly tell you what Mel’s last name was, or who Johnny was or even if there was an actually Johnny. I couldn’t tell you much about Ben the cook other than he was the best short order cook in town and could make one hell of a Denver omelet and a short stack. I couldn’t tell you what Jimmy the guy who ran the newspaper stand did when he wasn’t working, which wasn’t often but where did he go, what did he do? This is how our lives connect though, through the same interactions every day, it’s something to think about.
I finish my breakfast and down my third cup of coffee before throwing a few bucks on the counter and heading for the door, business had slowed down a bit while I had been eating.
“Thanks Mel, see you tomorrow.
The sun was shining brightly and it was warm enough to melt the snow off the awning over the diner entrance as well as on the businesses lining the streets. Store owners were out shoveling the snow off their walks and life was returning to the city. I looked across the street and saw the vision that I had been dreaming about since the moment she walked into my office. The Sun seemed to be hitting her just right. She was wearing a white dress with little black dots on it, I could see the black mesh netting on the underside of the skirt as it moved back and forth as she walked and the sun was reflecting off the silver buckles on her red high heels. She didn’t seem cold in the light jacket she had on and a smile seemed to be permanently fixed to her sweet red lips. I think I stopped breathing for just minute.
“Heather” I shouted
She stopped, looked across the street at me and time seemed to slow down as she waved at me. From the corner of my eye I saw a black sedan pull out of a row of parked cars, the sun glinting off a gun barrel pointing out the back window on the driver’s side.
“Heather!” I screamed “Down! Now” she looked from me to the car and back again but by that time I was racing across the street. I jumped and slid over the hood of a Buick that was parked in front of her, slamming into her and forcing her to the ground just as the bullets from a tommy gun flew over our heads and shattered the store windows behind us. The sedan sped up and turned the corner fleeing the scene. I lay on top of her looking into those deep brown eyes, feeling her heart race next to mine. She looked back at me with a smirk on her face.
“Well hotstuff believe me now that he is trying to kill me?”
“Either that or someone really wants me to ruin my suit.”
“Get off me Barron. Now!”
What did I say? I mean seriously what? Maybe my kid brother was right, dames who needs them.