Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I Want to Live Here Episode 53

The French onion soup, a Peasant specialty I would enjoy for years to come, was too hot to eat at first. I nibbled at the assortment of bread and rolls the young waiter, Barry (he introduced himself) placed carefully next to Abigail’s envelope. “Save room for dessert,” he said, beetling off to fetch me another glass of wine. “Michael’s treat.”
I was entwined in a never-ending thread of cheese when yet another male shadow cast itself opposite. My “Hi, Kevin,” was muffled and my chin, I’m sure, was greasy but I was still happy to see him. I nodded to the chair Michael had left and grinned foolishly. I didn’t care how gay he was, I had a big crush on Abigail’s husband.
“So, you’ve got something?” he said.
“Michael said you’ve got an envelope with some items Abigail left with a neighbor? I don’t understand but it’s nice of you to take the trouble.”
I turned around for Michael but he was nowhere in sight.
“He may be right,” I said, pushing the soup bowl away. Kevin picked it up.
“Finished?” he asked. I nodded.
“It’s good but a little goes a long way. And you have to save room for the apple walnut pie.”
“Will you have some, too?”
He nodded toward Barry who stepped quickly up to take the bowl away and remove the bread, crumb the table and replenish my water. “Coffee for both?” he asked.
“And the pie,” said Kevin. “But give us a few minutes.”
What’s important: The truth of Ken and Abigail. My job. Judith’s career. Despite everything. Kevin’s grief. Would I be contributing to it if I showed him the picture of his wife with the man who might have been a factor in her death? (I don’t know what I believe about Ken anymore.) Who, if anyone, do these items, which link Ken right back to Abigail, belong to? Ken? Susan? Michael seems to think they belong to Kevin, but do they?
“What do you think?” I asked, removing the menu, the post card, the book of matches and the note. I held out the photograph to him. “Ken told me he’d had nothing to do with Abigail. Hardly knew her.”
He released a long breath. “What am I supposed to do with this?”
“Tell me what to do.”
“Did you really come here to give this to me?”
“No. I took a long walk down Peachtree Street and fetched up here. It’s the only place outside Arborgate I know. I didn’t know what I’d find but I didn’t want to be in the apartment when I opened it. It was a secret and there aren’t any secrets left there.”
“Don’t you believe it.” He handed the photo back to me. “I don’t think you have a choice here, Nora.”
“Detective Boeker?”
He nodded. “Do you know how to get to the precinct?”
“I’m not even sure where it is, or where he is. His card’s in my desk at the office.”
“We’ll figure that out. Come on.”
“No dessert?” cried Barry, arriving with two cups of coffee.
“Keep it warm, we’ll be back.”

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