by LJ Frank
It was a rainy sunshine day. In some locales the weather reacts to atmospheric conditions quicker than others.
“Thanks for meeting me,” my client was breathless as we arrived at the same time and walked into the house dripping from the wet sunshine. We had spoken on the phone for a few hours. “How many days can you initially spare?”
I paused, “You’re welcome and one week.”
“I want to change my clothes. It was a strenuous run this morning. I’ll be ready in fifteen.” She walked into the kitchen, turned on the radio, then hurried towards her bedroom.
“This is your favorite oldy but goody country music station,” the tenor pitched voice hollered. The radio sat on the kitchen counter with all white cupboards above it. An ochre hued synthetic clay flower vase was filled with an assortment of fresh cut flowers and placed atop a butcher block island.
In an adjacent room I leaned over a cherrywood desk. Tall curtainless windows over looked a garden textured with weeds, surrounded by wild grass and an aging light duty pickup truck stood next to a garage, with a politician’s sticker on the rear bumper. The right front tire was flat.
“You are or were married once to a politician?” I loudly asked.
“Once was and once was enough, darling!” She shouted back.
“All alone am I since you said good-bye, all alone with just the beat of my heart…”
“Jesus” I uttered, rolling my eyes. I was tempted to change the station. I glanced through the stack of papers and looked through the drawers. There was a pistol. “I’m not sure what I’m even looking for.”
“It has a notary stamp on it with a blood mark.” She said walking to the room’s entrance.
“It’s not here. How long have you been searching for it?” I asked, staring at the papers spread over the desk. “And I don’t use a gun in my business.”
“I lost count. And neither do I.”
“Well then nothing. You’re the expert. I’ll pay you whatever… and I think we need to travel as I cautioned over the telephone.”
“Let’s just say I have enough to live on for a long time. I just need a partner to make it all worthwhile.”
“What do you mean?” I asked, looking up at her standing in the doorway. She was wearing a dark business suit, high-heels and a bag slung over her shoulder.
“Thank you. She walked into the kitchen, opened a drawer, “how did this get into the kitchen”, she asked herself, seized it, then closed the drawer, turned off the radio, retrieved the vase with cut flowers and asked me if I could grab her suitcase at the front door.
I nodded. She locked the door behind us, and we headed for my car. Upon packing, we noticed the clouds had passed.
I glanced at her as she set the vase of flowers behind her seat and then sticking an object in her shoulder bag now sitting on the floor between her legs.
She then handed me a piece of paper with some scribbling on it. “Our destination. Are you game?” She smiled.
I took a deep breath and slowly nodded. “Okay.”
“Thanks. There’s something personal you and I will need to negotiate…once we arrive.” She winked at me and put on her sunglasses.
I wondered what she had in mind as we headed for the Interstate.
She turned on my car’s satellite radio. It was playing, Concierto de Aranjuez – Joaquín Rodrigo II. Adagio / Pablo Sáinz-Villegas.
She leaned over towards me, placed her hand on my leg and whispered, “How appropriate.”