Scene 2Mature

“Hey Alan,” I wave as I take a seat on the other side of his desk.

“You know, Glenda, with how often I see you, I’m pretty sure you’re dabbling in private investigation.”

“Alan, are you calling me a dick?”

“What? No! Look, you’re like seventeen, how do you even know that term?”

“First, you’d have been closer if you’d guessed twenty-seven. Second, people still call detectives dicks.”

“Yeah, people in their nineties. Back to the point, how are you going to make me fear for my job today?”

“Alan, when has anything you’ve ever told me come back to bite you?”

“Literally? Never. As a metaphor for the onset of ulcers? Every time.”

“It’s not my fault you stress over nothing.”

“You prolong my pain. What brings you here?”

“That suicide by Mr. Chief Executive last week.”

“Oh, well thank baby Jesus. I can tell you everything we know about that, and it’ll take all of twenty seconds. You could have just watched the news for that one.”

“Such an act shortens my lifespan by one day for every minute I spend doing it.”

“That’s some precise measuring you’ve done there. Deceased checked into motel at fourteen eighteen, anonymous call to nine-one-one at fifteen-oh-two, witnesses in several nearby rooms reported hearing the gunshot between fourteen twenty-five and fourteen thirty-five.”

“Why’d they wait half an hour to call?”

“It wasn’t any of those people who called.”

“How would you know, you said it was anonymous.” I smile slyly. He knows exactly who called.

“They’re anonymous because they asked to be, not because we can’t figure out who it is. Besides, this motel charges by the hour. Such businesses don’t attract the type of person who calls us when they hear gunshots. That’s why we only mentioned the cocaine we found at the scene. We’d be more surprised if there wasn’t such a thing in any one of those rooms. There’s no way to know if it was his.”

“So you’re saying the caller was a lady in skimpy clothes named Divinity?”

“See, Glenda, this is exactly why I’m worried about ulcers. How the HELL did you know that, and if you did, why are you wasting time with this visit?”

I hadn’t known anything. My words were a joke. Still, as Alan’s reaction suggests, this happens all the time. I’ve stopped feeling surprised when I say something ridiculous that turns out to be true.

“It was just a guess. Did she tell you guys her name or did you figure it out some other way?”

“Deceased left a key for someone using that name with the desk. They recorded her picking it up about two minutes before the call, but writing three o’clock in the blank probably means they weren’t being precise. I bet it would have taken her more than two minutes to decide how to react.”

“I’m to act on the assumption you weren’t supposed to tell me this, right?”

“What’s it matter? I’m starting to think you just come here to erode my sanity. Seriously Glenda, how did you know about this? I was assuming you were working for his family, and his family is who we can’t have looking for Divinity. We’d tell the press before we told them. Did you go through the motel?”

“Haven’t been there yet, I plan to go shortly though. You know how I’d answer that question, Alan.”

“Yeah yeah, that’s why you chose ‘Glenda Olivia Dalton’ when you had your name changed, right? You ever think these unnatural revelations might be the real God’s way of punishing you for that?”

“If so, I can only wonder why. Life outside of work feels like the real punishment, and I’d suck at this without that curse. Plus, how would that explain the fact this stuff happened back home, too?”

“Watch your back down there, it’s not the nicest part of town.”

“People don’t touch me that way, even when I want them to. Rest easy, Alan, and thanks for your help!”

“Any – wait, no, no more times, ever. Next time, let’s talk TV or something.”


The End

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