She sat to the right in the second row on the end. The auditorium was getting crowded as families bunched together. She had an open seat next to her. She turned and looked to see any sign of her sister. She had texted her sister and niece that she had arrived and where she was sitting. The clock on her phone said it was five minutes until the performance was to start. She turned and looked again. No sign of her yet. The lights were dimming and the crowd started to quite. As the curtain started to open a dark figure walked past her and sat down. It was her sister she had just made it. Everyone held up their phones to take pictures as the children entered the stage.
She held flowers in her hand as she searched for her. Everyone was wearing black so it was hard to see. The performance was over and the crowd of parents grand parents and siblings packed the entrance hall of the auditorium. A big smile and an even bigger wave was met with a huge long hug. ” You were amazing. I got every minute of it on video”
” Really you liked it? Thanks I was very nervous.”
” It didn’t show. You look so beautiful in your dress.”
” Thank you and thank you for buying it for me.”
” Anything for you sweetie.”
” I need to get my things so we can go. It might take a few minutes.”
” Ok, but hurry we have a late dinner reservation.”
As her niece walked away she turned to her sister. “Just in time as usual.”
” I made it. I had to switch with someone at work so I could be here.”
” This was the most important day in her life.”
” Don’t start with me. I know. I am her mother. By the way I had an interesting visitor at work today. A police detective.”
” What did the police want?”
” They wanted to talk about you. What in the hell are you involved in?”
” It’s nothing for you to worry about.”
” I’m not worried but my boss wanted to know why a police detective wanted to ask me questions.”
” What did he want to know?”
” He said it was just routine background stuff. Did we live in the same place? Did you help me with any expenses or bills? How did we get along? What about mom and dad?”
” What did you tell him.”
” He is a police detective. I told him the truth. He also mentioned he knew about my past drug related history”
” What has that got to do with anything?”
” I don’t know but it’s not like I can hide any of it especially from him?”
” Did he ask anything else?”
” No that was about it. He gave me his card and said he might want to talk to me again.”
As they walked to dinner she sent him message. “Please respond we need to meet it is very urgent.”
He was at home next to the fireplace drink in hand. The phone buzzed constantly. He scrolled thru his messages and stopped. He responded. ” Meet me at the office tomorrow at ten in the main conference room.”
It was after dinner when she checked her phone again. He had agreed but she did not want to meet at the office. She messaged him back and waited. As she went to bed there was still no response.
He could smell bacon and coffee. The scraping of plates and silverware. He walked into the kitchen and caught a big smile from his daughter. His son was halfway thru a full glass of chocolate milk. He walked up behind his wife and gave her a soft kiss on her neck. She turned and gave him a curious look. His daughters cheeks turned red and she averted his eyes. After breakfast his wife walked him to the door. “What was that kiss for and in front of the kids?”
” Nothing just a good morning kiss.”
” Busy day at work as usual.”
” You could say that. Do me a favor and check your phone. I may message you.”
” Ok, is there something urgent?”
” No just check.” He leaned in and kissed her on the lips.
He was sitting at the end of the conference table. Dark blue suit deep green tie white shirt simple cuff links and light brown shoes. Next to him was his lawyer legal pad and pen angled in front of him.
The elevator doors opened and she had her head down looking at her phone. The office seemed quite and sparse. She entered her office and put her things on her desk. It was nine o’clock and she had to prepare for her meeting. This needed to be finished and finished now. She checked her messages and looked at the response from the detective. Yes, he could be at her office at ten. She walked to the receptionist desk and gave instructions. It was five until ten and she walked into the conference room.
There he was and with his lawyer. She had not expected this. ” Hello. I thought we had a meeting”
He leaned forward. ” You wanted to meet and here I am.”
” I thought this would be private?”
” I would say we are far past that. If you want to talk sit.”
As she was standing the door opened behind her and she turned to see the police detective. He smiled and she motioned for him to sit.
His lawyer stood up and introduced himself and so did the detective.
She sat and looked at all three. They were calm. They were smiling. They all looked her way.
” Now that we know what we are here for I would like to ask some simple questions.” She was taking the lead and thought that now she would get the answers she wanted.
His lawyer smiled and said “ask away.”
“First off your client has already stated that he knows all about the fraudulent company and the money being funneled into it.”
” I do not recall him ever making a statement as such.”
” He said that he had full knowledge. What else is that suppose to mean?”
” That is a statement of fact not an admission of fraudulent acts by my client.”
” So he is saying that he knows who is getting the money and how but that it is not him.”
” We have no comment about that.”
She sat back and just as she was ready to ask another question the door opened and three men entered. She recognised the CEO of the firm but not the other two.
The CEO stopped at the other end of the table and spoke ” Gentlemen I think this meeting is over. These two men are from the FBI and the want to make an arrest.”
As they walked towards her she could hear her ears starting to ring and her mouth went dry. She looked toward the detective and he seemed stunned. She looked towards the other end of the table and he looked right into her eyes and did not blink. They stood her up and headed towards the elevators. The office was silent. Everyone just stared as if in shock.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/407804767/”>Thomas Hawk</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>