Chapter 31

Complicated conversations were not Stella’s strong suit.  She tended to stare off into space if I talked too long.  And in Stella’s world, too long was defined as one or two minutes.  A yawn often escaped.  But I liked it that she never turned away from me when I was talking.

“I wonder,” I said, “if this rose is connected to the someone, the as yet un-named someone, who said ‘good-by, Charlie’ or whatever to me last night?  And how does that someone know my real name?  We still haven’t figured that out.

“I should call Hanah and see if she remembers if there was anything odd that happened last night.  Or maybe she knows who shouted out my name.”

“Still sleeping, I bet,” said Stella.

I continued.

“Because I’m sure it has something to do with last night.  Of course, she had been pretty busy with that cute cop that wandered in around midnight.  He was pretty interested in her too.

“Lucky Hanah.” I said wistfully.

“You know she’s asleep.” persisted Stella.

“So you say.  But I should call her anyway to find out if she still wants to go to that party tonight at that after-hours place.”

Stella paused from another round of bathing and looked at me.  Her eyes were all squinty.

“I thought you were done going to those places…didn’t the cops raid that place a couple of weeks ago?”

I ignored the comment, knowing how true it was.

I really didn’t even want to go out at all tonight.  And I totally knew I shouldn’t go to that after-hours place.  And neither should Hanah.  If we ever got caught there we could lose our jobs.

Sometimes it sucks to be young and have a really great job.  You have to be so responsible.

“You weren’t very responsible last night.” said Stella.

“I know.  I know.  That…was the last time…for sure.”

“I’ll be keeping track.” said Stella.

I really just wanted to stay home and watch TV with Stella.  Eat hot buttered popcorn and ice cold Haagen Daz Belgian Chocolate ice cream.  Curl up on the sofa.  Watch the ‘Gilmore Girls’…again.

“I love the ‘Gilmore Girls'” sighed Stella.