' Hello, Vince ' she whispered from the doorway.
She stood there, clutching her immaculately manicured hands nervously, waiting for me to invite her in.
I believe in fate. I knew, when we broke up 18 years before, there would be a day like this. A day when she, the girl who had it all, would need a nobody like Vincent Parker. I decided to milk it for all it was worth.
' Hi, Joannne, come on in' I waved magmanimously to the worn sofa in the corner of my office, ' long time no see, you look good, what's that fragrance you've bathed in?'
She looked around my office with haughty disdain, saw the sofa; looked back at me as if to say, ' I've gotta sit there?' and hesitantly moved away from the doorway to the sofa. I swear if she'd have had a kleenex she would have placed it on the sofa before sitting down.
' Ummm', she was responding to my question regarding her perfume, ' It's called 'Come to me' '
I sniffed, 'Doesn't smell like come to me'.
She rolled her eyes, maybe she had an eye infection, maybe she thought my attempt at humour was Not The Right Time. Whatever, I thought it was quite funny.
'Vince, I need your help'
No preamble, no reminiscing, no ' I missed you so, how you been?' . Nope. Only, 'I need your help'. The thing was, she was looking at me with those killer blue eyes, the intervening 18 years had done little to degrade her beauty; on the contrary, she was a very pretty young girl, now she was a beautiful woman, with long blonde hair, pear shaped face, high cheekbones, full, sensuous lips combined with a slim build and pert breasts. this was not going to be easy. in fact she was making it very hard for me.
' OK, ' I said, ' The girl that dumped me in college now needs my help, and why would that be?'.
' Errrrmm. because you're a private detective and I want you to detect things, privately, for me.'
Damn, this girl was good!
' Ok, ' I said, ' What's happened in your world?'
being flippant and knowing I was being flippant, 'You've lost your hairdressing money? Your chauffer is claiming more hours that you think he's chauffered? You snagged a nail on someboby's couch and you'd like me to identify said couch and rub it out?'
She looked at me with something akin to pity, sighed and said,
' Daddy's dead, Vince, some asshole killed him'.