It was later than his usual time being out in the city. Night set in with a vengeance. Not only had the darkness come down like a black blanket, but the cold had also arrived from the Arctic circle. Crossing from his car to the Cafe was like walking through a refrigeration unit.
Harry needed some thinking time, and that, for now, worked only with a large black coffee, no milk, no sugar. The bitterness of the brew sharpened his mental processes. Later he might consider a key lime pie, or perhaps a custard tart. Maybe, maybe not.
The odds of starting the day with no client, and no job to go on with, and by night having two clients at odds with each other, and having to decide which took priority.
A woman who wanted to catch her husband with another woman, a woman she was familiar with. Miriam might be a ‘floozy’ like Jennifer Jones said, but she wasn’t up to having an affair, at least not with Al. Something else had drawn them together. I’d seen the look between them when Al called me out. It was not one of guilt.
Then there was the husband who wanted to catch his brother with his wife. That had a lot more credence to it, because Jennifer looked the type if there was such a type, who would, at the very least, flirt with other men. And Al’s brother wasn’t too hard on the eye, either.
Jennifer also had a degree of sophistication that Al lacked, which made it an improbable pairing.
Oh, what a tangled web...
There was a beat-up piano being driven by an elderly man, who deftly hammered out something that bordered between classical and jazz. With my tin ear, he could either be a prodigy or a hack. At the end f the piece there was no reaction from the few diners nearby, so I asked the waiter to take him a drink of his choice, and a request.
He thanked me by doffing his hat.
It provided a short diversion from the problem at hand/
Moonlight Sonata, by Beethoven, and a favorite of an old friend.
It was not so much the sound of it as it was the memories the music invoked, and of whom Harry had been with and when, and how very different it had been. It had been his first real love, and he still hadn’t got over her.
The piano playing suggested the player was more than just a hack, but it was lost on the current clientele. Their loss, he thought.
He pulled out his cell phone and called the number under JJ in his autodial list.
“You have it?” It was the expectant answer of the husky-voiced woman. And just a little abrupt.
“Too early in the night, and if I’m not mistaken, they’re hardly going to be doing anything in front of a large crowd.” She’d taken me by surprise and I was a little blunter than I intended.
“Follow them home.”
“Or I could wait for them. Where’s home?”
She gave me an address in Brooklyn.
“Her place, not his. She entertains there.” Though ‘entertains’ was not explicitly described, I got the hint.
“You husband would not be that stupid.”
“You’d be surprised. Oh, and don’t let him buy you off like he did the others. He thinks I don’t know. Don’t let me down.”
The line went dead.No pressure then.
© Charles Heath 2016-2018