Chapter 34


I was leaving Doyle’s a good twenty minutes after closing.  Everyone else had cleared out.  I had sent Hanah on her way with her new boyfriend, reassuring her that I was right behind her.  Her “new boyfriend” was the same guy she had met last night.

He was a first-year Minneapolis detective and drop dead good-looking.  Hanah was absolutely on fire.  She had talked of no one and nothing else all the way to Doyle’s…wondering if he would show up tonight like he promised.  She had also mentioned that she would probably be singing with the band.  Oh.  My.

And he had.  And she didn’t. Sing, that is.

They had been inseparable since the minute he walked in and I never got a chance to ask her if she knew who had called out my name last night.

Frankly, I was a little embarrassed to admit even to Hanah that I was drawing a blank about last night’s activities.

But then I discovered that I did not have my favorite pen…the one I always use to take notes.  I searched my purse for the umpteenth time and was not looking forward to pawing thru the rubble on the floor but I knew that was my next mission.

Even the bright white lights they usually put on to hurry us drinkers out into the forgiving darkness had now been replaced by the bar’s red, glowing security lights.

At most clubs, when the last note had been played, people quickly left in droves.  There were after-hour parties to go to and “romantic” hook-ups that needed completing.  But, I wasn’t going anywhere until I found that damn pen.

My dad had bought it for me when I was five years old.  He knew then he was dying and would not be around when I graduated from high school.  He died just before my seventh birthday.

Apparently, it was an old Peterson tradition to give a gold Cross pen to your son or daughter for graduation.  Even death was not going to stop my dad from doing just that.

As I was searching around underneath the nearby tables, I finally found it under some grubby napkins on the floor.  Nice.

When I stood up I got a little dizzy so I sat down and waited for my head to clear.