Abigail’s bedroom furniture had the same disco quality as her living room. In this room black predominated and although the furniture was not, in fact, too large for the space, it felt as if it was. Maybe because the carpet up here, a black, brown and white short shag, added so much texture that the tall padded leather headboard, faux fur bed throw and hot pink sheets (satin, no less) fought back. As for the art, oversized posters from the Museum of Modern Art in New York and graphic representations of the New England coast took up what wall space remained. Her dresser, I need hardly say, came with a mirror that measured five feet across.
“If Kevin sees this, he’ll have a fit,” said Susan.
“I think he has seen it,” I said and told her about a visit Abigail received from an unseen man the month she moved in. During that afternoon, she had reached me at the office sobbing that she was being held hostage by her ex-husband. We’d obliged her by calling the police who had arrived quickly but after two hours of loitering uselessly outside her door had left when their shift was up.
“Kevin? Drunk and dangerous? That doesn’t sound like him at all.”
“But she said it was her ex-husband. That he was all fucked up and holding her hostage.”
“She may have.”
“I’m sure she did, but I’m also sure Kevin would never show up here, or anywhere, in that condition. What was he supposedly holding her hostage for, anyway?”
“I’m not sure she told me that. Come to think of it, I just hung up and called the police without asking her too many questions. But I got the feeling, he wanted her to come back?”
“Ha! Then it definitely wasn’t her husband. That man’s as gay as a goose.”
“Is that why they broke up?”
“Yep. He came out 18 months ago, more or less. At a wedding in New Orleans, if you can believe that. Sent her home alone and stayed down there for six months. When he got back she was supposed to be moved out of the house and on her own. That would have been last December.”
“But what did she tell you?”
“She didn’t tell me anything. I got all this from Kevin. I haven’t heard from her since, lemme see, Spring? She called me from Boston. I was flying there and we had lunch.”
“So maybe she was living up there and doing her layovers here. Maybe at a friend’s?”
We sat on the bed staring into Abigail’s open closet doors. They were the louvered kind that opened on tracks and could, when fully open, display the closet’s entire contents. Susan sighed.
“You really think the uniform is tacky?” she asked.
“I didn’t say that.”
“Damn!” she said, slapping herself on the head and looking furiously around.
“Where’s her purse? I bet she’s supposed to be working today!”