Josh opened the door to his apartment and looked out through bleary, hung-over eyes.
“Good morning,” Rosemaria greeted him cheerfully, even though it was late afternoon. She walked past him into the living room and almost tripped over a pile of debris. Out of nowhere, an exotic looking bird swooped down past her head. She stifled a scream. Blasted animals! She looked at the bird, who had landed on his perch near the couch, and wondered what other creatures were lurking in the apartment, ready to pounce on her at any second.
“Behave yourself, Susie,” Josh grumbled. He tightened his bath robe and hobbled towards the bathroom. “Be right out. Gotta take a shower.”
Rosemaria looked out the window with its view of dingy apartment buildings and trees that were barely alive. A young Latina was pushing a baby carriage with three toddlers tagging along behind. What a place to raise kids. She glanced up at Susie on her perch gazing at her indifferently. She was determined to make the best of this situation. She hardly knew this man, and yet she found that she was jealous he had spent the night with another woman. It was totally irrational and totally un-Rosemaria-like. But after hours spent questioning his friends and business associates and reading the police report she had requested from Marysville, she felt she knew him better than any man in her own life except for her father, which she had to admit, wasn’t saying much. Not only were men not high on her priority list, for almost two years they hadn’t even been on it. The last man she had had a serious involvement with, a prosecuting attorney she had met while testifying in a robbery trial, had moved to Washington, D.C., and she had chosen to continue her career in Los Angeles over moving there with him. She had been convinced at the time that she had made the right decision, even though the pain in her heart had told her otherwise. Now, she wasn’t so sure she shouldn’t have listened. She wanted it all, and someday, somehow, she would have it. If she didn’t run out of time, she said to herself, catching a glimpse of herself in an old foggy mirror that hung on the living room wall. The woman looking back at her wasn’t getting any younger.
She found a small space on the couch to ease down onto and leafed through some pages of lyrics that Josh had left scattered on the battered coffee table like so much trash. Sheets of poetry treated with little respect, the same way he treated his talent. After the police report had come back from Marysville, she had a better understanding of Josh’s self-destructiveness, but she wanted to do more than understand. She had a crazy impulse to fly to Marysville and follow a hunch and a couple of leads, but that was out of the question now. The bar exams were only a few weeks away in January and she didn’t have enough time to study as it was. And it wasn’t her responsibility to solve his personal problems. She also wasn’t sure why she was there today, except that he was still a suspect and, to Coleman and the Lieutenant, a very viable one. She didn’t agree with them, but it gave her an excuse to see Josh, so here she was feeling like she wasn’t being honest with any of them. She heard him come out of the bathroom and go into the kitchen.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish