Chapter II: Searching
There weren't many people at the funeral, a few co-workers of my dad, a distant uncle I'd never met and a handful of Eli's friends there to cheer her up. The service didn't last long either, I guess even the priest didn't want to stay under the midday sun of July.
It felt weird to be there, as everyone prayed and commune, I felt isolated and alone. I hadn't been to mass in seven years, even longer than that for confession. I was a poor excuse for a catholic or any kind of believer in general. I couldn't fathom that some how, all of this was part of a grand plan and that there was someone above who watched over us. Eli didn't show any sign of it, but something told me that she had wished that I'd take part of the funeral rather than simply watching like a stranger...
When it was finished and the body was laid in the ground, Eli decided to take me home, letting me stay at our old house that was now technically mine.
It was in the french quarter, it had been ours since our grand father, who had passed it along our father. It wasn't extremely big, but it was cozy. It still looked just like when I had left, having survived hurricane Katrina by what could have only been called a miracle.
I opened the door with the key that had been in Eli's envelope and entered the place, closing the door behind me. Next to the door, there was a coat hanger, where my dad's coat and hat were still hanging. I had almost expected for the place to be empty, but everything was still here, bearing the trace of life of someone who had been breathing at the beginning of the week but who now laid six feet under.
I opened the door and walked across the creaky floor toward the den. On the coffee table in front of the old used couch was my dad's laptop. It was an old model, probably used only for researches and emails. He had always been the reading kind of guy, it was one of those things that he had transmitted onto me.
I pressed the power button and the computer booted up, soon asking me for a password. I sat down a moment and thought about it for a minute before typing in 'Revelation.'
"You're so predictable dad..." I commented to myself, a bitter taste in my mouth.
I looked around the computer for a moment until I noticed a text file named 'IMPORTANT!!!' in capital letters sitting in the middle of the desktop. I clicked it open and read the single line.
10pm sunday at Zaka's with G.
"Damn..." I muttered. Two hours before his death, assuming this wasn't an old note that had been forgotten, he had met someone. It wasn't much, but it was interesting... I considered telling Eli for a moment but decided against it. It could have been unrelated and I didn't want to get her stressed out on what was probably nothing.
After a quick google search, I had the address of Papa Zaka's lounge, which was only three streets away from here so I decided to go. Even if I couldn't find anything, I figured I could use a drink anyway.
I jogged there and managed to arrive in only a few minutes, the neon sign glowed in the dark, attracting the eye. Even from the outside, there was a bit of charm and magic that sort of sucked you into coming closer and entering.
There was a line at the entrance and I felt a bit annoyed. After maybe fifteen minutes outside, the gorilla of a bouncer finally let us in, no even throwing a glance at me from behind his sunglasses.
The inside of the place was filled with the sound of primal drums and the strong scent of rum. The area was composed of many island of tables scattered across the place in chaotic fashion. The walls bore paintings of voodoo symbols and had display of all manners of trinkets, from dolls to statuettes to fake skulls. I walked closer toward the bar, hoping the tender could answer some questions.
I walked closer and a black man wearing a flashy black and purple suit with a top hat leaned closer to me. "What can Papa Zaka can get you boy?" He said, a thick Creole accent in his voice.
"Actually, I was wondering if you could answer a few questions."
"I see. Why don't you come with me then?" He asked.