The door creaked open painfully. Lilith dropped her keys in a pot on the bookshelf and kicked the door shut behind her. Her purse dropped on to the coffee table as she sunk into the sofa and kicked off her shoes. She sighed and let her head rest against the sofa, staring at the ceiling for a moment before shutting her eyes and breathing slowly.
"What a day" she thought to herself as images and thoughts bombarded her mind. She struggled to relax, blowing the brown hair that rested on her face as she tried emptying the jumbled words and images. She hummed a monotonous note to help stabilize her meditative state as her body lay limp on the sofa. Just as she began to clear her thoughts, as the lunacy vacated, her cell phone vibrated in her purse. It shook the purse on the glass top of the coffee table as it "silently" alerted her of a call or message. Regardless of the modes design, the sound felt like the air horn of a cargo train passing through her apartment as she sighed in despair. Her head dropped from its resting position on the couch and hung lifelessly. Her chin now rested against her chest as she peered toward the phone with her piercing green eyes; pupils barely cresting her furrowed brow.
Bailey, Lilith's mackerel tabby cat, began circling the table, vocalizing with low meows that she also disliked the racket her purse was making.
"Yeah, I know." She said to Bailey, as if she understood the felines attempt at communication. "Well I guess there's nothing to do here but answer the damn thing right?" Lilith said, as she leaned forward and plunged her arm into the leather bag, pulling out the wretched device as it continued its abominable cry. She did not recognize the number, but it was local. With a quick flick of her thumb the phone sprung open. She put the receiver to her ear and spoke the word. "Hello?"
For a moment there was no response, only static. After a strange clicking sound a mans voice came across the line . "Mrs. McMillan?" He asked, in the sterilized fashion that only a doctor could manage to produce.
"Yes?" She replied.
"My name is Dr. Stross."
"I'm very sorry to call you in this regard, but I'm going to have to ask you to come down to the morgue. The police are requesting that you identify a body."
"What? Who's body?" She asked, the complete inanity of the question only becoming obvious to her moments after it left her lips.
"Well, we don't know miss, that's why we need you to come down. Your name, address and phone number were found on the corpse. I'm not supposed to tell you this but, you're the only lead so far in the case. Please, we need your help."
The stress in her mind had multiplied like a virulent plague, causing a nervously induced pain to sprout up in her right palm as it always did under stressful or emotional situations. "Why do I have to care about this? Why is this my problem?" She thought to herself in the seconds of silence that dominated the phone call.
"Miss? Are you still there?"
"Yes, I am. When do you want me there?" She asked.
"As soon as possible. Immediately would be the best."
"Might as well get this over with." she thought to herself as she sighed. "Alright, I'll be there in... " She took a minute to calculate the distance of travel as she looked at her wristwatch. "...twenty minutes."
"Thank you so much miss. We'll be waiting. Just buzz at the front door and the security personnel will allow you to enter."
"Will do." she said, nonchalantly as she closed the flip cover of her phone and grunted in disagreement to the situation. "What the hell!" She yelled out loud, Bailey cocking her head at the exaggeration of her expression, her ears peaked to the back of her head.
Lilith got up from the couch, grumpily dropped the phone into her purse as she slipped back into her shoes. She picked up the leather bag and walked toward the bookshelf near the door to reclaim her keys. Just as she reached it, the thought hit her. "I'm going to see a dead body." She said to herself in the mirror that lay against a copy of The Shawshank Redemption. "I'm going to see a dead body of someone that somehow knows me." She said again... her expression becoming somber. She looked away from the mirror and her gaze locked with Bailey's yellow eyes. "Sometimes I wish we could switch lives babe."
Bailey meowed and walked toward her, rubbing against Lilith's pants.
She reached for the door handle, the morbidity of the event now fully engrossed in her mind. She sighed, and turned the handle, walking out of the apartment as briskly as she had entered.