Archive for the ‘Post 9.2’ Category

Saturday, March 31, 9:11 a.m.

The door, against which Leo is leaning, beeps suddenly.

We both freeze. The door opens slightly, bumping against his back. Out in the hall, there’s a masculine grunt.

“It’s him!” Leo hisses.

“What the hell?” Jack’s voice says on the other side of the door.

Leo jumps up and dashes into the bathroom. He slams the door with a staccato “wham!” as Jack shoulders the motel room door open and enters.

He sees me sitting on the bed. He stops short.

“Hi,” he says. “Did you lock it?”

From his slightly red eyes and his difficulty with consonants, I can tell he’s had his breakfast, and it consisted mainly of Guinness.

Oh Jack…getting in touch with your Irish roots before noon!

“Where were you? Did you go to that nasty pub across the freeway?” I accuse. “I warned you about it.”

“What happened to my car?” he counters, setting his keycard on the table beside my cell phone.

I sit primly at the foot of the bed. The pillow is dented from his head, the blankets screwed into a hectic tangle. I consider them casually while I consider my response.

“It’s at my house,” I say.

“What’s it doing there?”

“I had to get home last night, didn’t I?” I say. “I left you a note. I thought we were going to get breakfast. Why didn’t you wait for me?”

“I got hungry,” he says.

He sounds like a defensive husband. I sound like a shrewish wife. But he’s a widower and I’m someone else’s spouse. I suddenly feel mean and deceitful. Especially given the young man hiding commedia dell’arte style in the bathroom.

Marriage of Figaro by Mozart

“I talked to someone who knows what happened outside the bar in Ballard,” I say.

Jack recoils. He collects himself almost instantly and leans against the cheap armoire that conceals the TV. He folds his arms across his chest.

“Oh yeah?” he says. “Who?”

“A reporter. Of sorts,” I say.

“Of sorts?”

“Yes.”

“You mean a blogger?” he says.

“Maybe,” I say.

Jack ponders this for a moment. I can chart the course of his comprehension as it dawns in his face.

“You don’t mean…that little bastard!”

Jack’s face goes purple. Cords stand out in his neck. His hands ball into fists that resemble a pair of sledgehammers.

I rise.

“Before you freak out—do not freak out, Jack!—will you let me tell you the most important thing he had to say?”

“That horrible little punk!” Jack shouts.

“You didn’t kill anyone! Isn’t that great?” I say, forcing enthusiasm. Oh desperate cheerleader that I am!

Jack’s pale blue eyes are aflame like the gas burners on my stovetop back home. He looks like he did in the shaky video from the Lake Washington murder scene, right after he pushed Leo into the mud.

He crosses the room and puts his face too close to mine.

“Let me tell you,” he hisses. “Exactly what that miserable little bastard is capable of.”

 

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