Next morning, I woke up from the growling sound of my stomach, so I got up to prepare breakfast. While I was in the kitchen making an omelet, Frank came to make a coffee.
“Shani told me about your …encounter last night.” He said and burst into laughing. “I can’t believe you did something that stupid! How did you agree to this, Lou? Did she intoxicate you with her deadly milk cocktails? It must have been hilarious!” he giggled so much that he choked.
“Oh, right, I’m rolling on the floor laughing Frank. Geez… I felt so freaking humiliated when I tried to explain to this man why we had been outside of his residence at 2.00 am at night acting like 8 year-olds who play Ring-the-bell-and-run-like-hell. ” I murmured.
He came right behind me, put his arm below my armpit and dipped his finger in the bowl in which I was making the omelet. Then, he wrapped his arms around me in a not so innocent manner.
“Mmm, tasty.” He said.
“Eew, Frank!! That’s raw egg!” I yelled.
“I wasn’t referring to the egg. So, I heard the man was …tasty as well. And particularly interested in you” he squeezed me harder.
“Yeah, aren’t they all… interested in me, that is.” I said bitterly. Not that I wasn’t beautiful, but I wasn’t particularly successful when it came to charming men, apart from Frank at least. Frank was attracted by anything with estrogen that could move on two feet.
He furrowed his eyebrow as if he had just made a great discovery and he released me. “You liked him” he said.
“Yeah, whatever. Weren’t you leaving for work?” I was getting annoyed and I showed it in the way I glared at him.
“I love you too, sweetheart.” He said, and left.
In the afternoon, I had just taken a break from correcting my students’ assignments to drink some water when the doorbell rung. Shani answered it.
“May I help you?” she asked the man standing outside.
“Good evening. My name is Chris Wilson, and I am a private investigator. I was hoping to speak to Miss Alyssa Richards. ” the man replied.
“Certainly. Come in. Lou, Mr. Wilson is here to see you.” Shani shouted.
I went to the door, and as soon as I faced him, I felt an urge to strangle Shani for calling me Lou, and to run to my room to change clothes and wear a wig or something since that mess that was my hair was in its worst day today. I had been unsuccessfully trying to tame it with gel and hair clips which had as a result a rather eccentric look (to put it lightly).
Judging from the way he looked at me, he was whether shocked with my hair, or stunned by my beauty. I couldn’t tell. Nah, I could. It was my hair. Beyond the shadow of a doubt.
“Hello, I’m Alyssa. How can I help you?” I politely said, while extending my hand for a handshake.
“Hi, I’m here to talk to you about Ray Harold, if that is all right with you. Should I call you Lou?” he kidded.
“No please don’t!!” I said and he laughed.
I showed him to the couch of the living room.
Frank who was there reading a book, got up and looked at me with an inquiring look. I must have looked terrified. ‘Cause terrified I was. It’s been almost a year, and for months I have been trying to forget about the whole story. I still cried at nights before going to sleep and I had nightmares about Ray. Who was this Wilson guy and what did he want from me?
“Uuh, I guess I’ll leave you to discuss. I’m Frank Mayer, nice to meet you.” Frank introduced himself to the investigator, exchanged a handshake and he headed for his room. The investigator took a seat on the couch.
“So you wanted us to discuss about Ray?” I asked.
“Yes, I’m investigating his disappearance and I think you are the right person to enlighten me.” He explained.
“Risking to sound rude, I would like to learn a few things about you first. Like whom you are working for. If you could also show me an ID, I would really appreciate it.” I said, hoping that my strict tone and my space-themed T-shirt were not the most ridiculous pair of all times.
“Oh, of course. I apologize.” he said (He also murmured to himself something like “How did I forget this?”) and he searched his pocket for his ID.
Poor guy, my hair must have been a great distraction – I thought and pretended to clear my throat so as to conceal a laughter.
“Mr. and Mrs. Harold hired me in order to investigate the disappearance of their son, since the police efforts so far have been unsuccessful. They gave me this address and told me this is where he lived and, also, that I could find you here, as well as Shani Colbert and Frank Mayer. ” He said as his eyes were already searching for clues in my facial expressions.
“Yes. Currently, Shani’s boyfriend, Kennie, also lives here, but he only moved here a month ago.” I added.
“How did you become roommates?” he asked.
“We decided to live here together because, since we were getting along very well, it was a good way to share the expenses so that we could afford living right in the heart of the city.” I replied.
“Aha. Now, if you don’t mind, I’d like us to discuss about your trip to Egypt.” He said.
Once again, I told him the same old story I had told so many times to the police. I kept rubbing my hands and looking at them like a baby who just discovered her own body parts. I was too shy to look at the cute investigator; the fact that I had to talk to him about something that still hurt didn’t help much either. However, I pressed myself to remember as much as possible and to be descriptive enough so as to help him, even though the more details I remembered the more times I had to stop to take a deep breath and prevent myself from getting all emotional.
When he finished with all his questions, he thanked me and we went to the door.
“Alyssa, I might be annoying you often for a while. I’ll try not to bother you for trivial matters, but still… You’re my main source for now.” He said smiling warmly while giving me a “guilty” look.
“It’s not a problem. I’ll be glad to help you.” I said. If only all my annoyances were so cute, Mr. Wilson boy.
He gave me his card, in case I remembered something and we said our goodbyes. Immediately after he left, Shani and Frank darted out of their rooms, so we sat to the living room and I explained them about my discussion with Chris Wilson.
“What can he find that the police couldn’t?” Shani asked.
“Right, I can’t believe Ray’s parents are willing to spend their money on a private investigator” Frank added.
“Guys, I’m not sure. The local police were eager to get rid of me, after I had told them all I knew. Maybe they’re hiding something. I don’t know. Maybe paying someone for his professional assistance in solving this case isn’t that bad an idea.” I said.
“A super hot assistance as well!” Shani joked.
“You know… I could give you my… super hot assistance anytime. And all for free!” Frank said, giggling like stupid. He put his arm around my shoulders and tried to squeeze me.
“Oh enough Frank!” I pushed him away.
“Ha, any other woman would give anything to be in your place!” Frank said annoyed.
“Excluding me.” Shani said.
“Pff… you are both.. ” Frank started.
Kennie interrupted the chatter, as he returned from work. He was holding a pizza. “Pizza time everyone!!” Kennie said loudly. “… What have you done to Frank you ruthless females?!” he asked when he noticed Frank’s long face; Frank had obviously taken our rejection to heart.
We ate, chatted and watched TV. When we started to feel sleepy, I offered to clean up, so I washed the dishes and took out the trash.
The night was chilling. I had just put the trashbag in the trashcan when I heard footsteps. The footsteps stopped right next to me and a somewhat familiar voice greeted me.
But I wasn’t expecting to see anybody out there so late at night and I nearly jumped out of my skin.
“Oh, I think I have a talent in scaring you dear” Johan said in a low, sexy voice.
“Hi Johan. Now you are stalking my place.” I said and we laughed.
“Strange isn’t it? I was just passing by when I saw you coming out.” He said and paused for a moment. “Look, I’m heading to Plasma-501 to meet a friend of mine. Would you like to come with me?” he asked.
“Oh thank you for the invite, but actually I was just going to go to sleep. Maybe another time.” I said.
“Tomorrow then?” he insisted.
“I don’t know about that…” I said. I was still a little unsure of his state of mind.
“You’re afraid. What can I do to prove to you that you have nothing to be afraid of? We’ll just have a drink. Please?” He said.
“Tomorrow is… okay I guess” I replied unsure about whether I had made the right decision.
“I’ll be here at nine.” He said smiling. How could I resist someone so sexy? I am only a woman.