The Paperback Edition…
I took a large bite of my second caramel roll, put it down and then…not thinking… pushed the plate with the half-eaten roll on it in Stella’s direction.
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Stella doing a super, slow-motion, low crawl toward the abandoned roll, her tongue hanging out in wild anticipation.
“Oh, no you don’t,” I said and moved the plate out of her reach.
“Foiled!” Stella muttered…and then used her dangling tongue to quickly smooth some errant hairs on her front paws. With her tail twitching in annoyance, she returned to look out the window.
“You know, Abby,” I said. “This whole cockamamie fake name thing was all your bright idea.”
“I know, I know,” agreed Abby. “And I still think it’s a great plan…almost as good as my ‘fourth grade mob’ idea…” Then she grinned from ear to ear.
I also grinned and patted her hand.
“Nothing will ever top the ‘mob incident’…that was pure genius. You were brilliant.”
“I was, wasn’t I?” Abby agreed. “And to think I was but a mere child.”
We both laughed at that never to be forgotten event in our lives.
“You should come out with us once in a while,” I said to Abby. You don’t have to dance or anything. You don’t even have to drink.”
“Just sit with Hannah and me. It would be so much fun. The band at Doyle’s is great. Your name could be,” and I paused…thinking of some of my favorite names.
“Annabelle,” I said and slapped my hand on the table. “I love that name.”
“Okay…that’s never going to happen…” Abby said firmly. “However… you can remember that for my bachelorette party. We can all go to Doyle’s and I’ll be Annabelle Jones!”
I sighed…thinking of Abby leaving and pushed that sad thought to the back of my brain…
“So…back to me and my problem. How does someone know my real name, a name that I never use when I am out at the bars?”
“Do you think in addition to knowing my real name…whoever it is also knows I’m a reporter…and that I work for the Journal?”