I let out a deep breath in disgust as I see it is raining again. Why should I be surprised? Itâ€™s only rained everyday, of every hour for the past week. At least I had somewhat nice weather during the conference. The conference was to be desired but what can you expect around a bunch of middle aged balding men who donâ€™t know what to do with themselves anymore.
â€œMsâ€¦ Msâ€¦â€ I look up to see who is addressing me. Itâ€™s a cab driver.
â€œYes?â€ I ask questioningly.
â€œDo you need a ride back to town?â€ he offers.
I answer with a simple nod in a dazed state and he takes my bags and ushers me into the yellow cab. As I take in a deep breath, I am greeted by the horrible smell of stale cigarettes and sweat. I crack the window not caring about getting my arm wet, or the car. Anything was more welcoming than the smell in the cab. I glance up as the driver drives away and notice a green tree air freshener. I quietly laugh to myself as I think about how it would take more than a cheap air freshener to make this cab smell any better.
â€œWhere to Msâ€¦?â€ the driver inquiries.
â€œ405 Ivy Ave.â€ I say lazily. I was exhausted after the plane ride; they have always made me sleepy.
â€œWow! Colton Sky Rise Apartments? Only people with money live there. What do you do Ms if you donâ€™t mind me asking?â€ He pried, trying to sound casual.
â€œOnly the rich? I didnâ€™t know. I work at Cobbie Inc. Iâ€™m the director of design. I would appreciate it if I could enjoy this dreary evening in silence, it’s been a long day.â€ I explained as politely as I could, even though I hated idle chit chat, I felt it was a waste of time. I was also exhausted from the conference and fighting a horrible migraine, I was not in the mood to humor anyone.
â€œOoh a feisty one.â€ He said as his last remark.
I only glared which shut him up for the rest of the ride. We sat in silence with the only sounds being an undistinguishable song on the radio, the patter of rain on the car and the splashing of the cabâ€™s tires as we drove along the rutted roads.
â€œHere you are Ms.â€ The driver said probably thankful to get rid of me.
â€œThanks.â€ I said and handed him a 50. The doorman opened the door and greeted me with a friendly smile and, â€œHello, Ms. Cobbie.â€
â€œHi George. How are things tonight?â€
â€œSlow as always at night. Need help with your bags?â€ he asked politely.
George carried my bags to the elevator. He’d been the doorman since I was a little girl and he’s always been nice to me. My penthouse technically belongs to my father. When I was young we used to stay here when we came to the city. When I went to college, I stayed here my senior year. After that I never left as I liked the location, familiarity and the ease of already having a permanent residence. I guess you could say I just took it over, which I suppose tend to do a lot. However, No one ever said a thing, and I’ve been enjoying the view ever since.
George looked at me with a start with a sudden remembering thought he said, â€œA package came for you this morning.â€
â€œOh,â€ I said raising an eyebrow. â€œFrom who?â€
â€œSorry Ms. Cobbie I donâ€™t know. Give me a minute and Iâ€™ll go get it.â€ He said gently and walked away to the Managers office.
â€œThanks George. I donâ€™t know what we’d do without you.â€ I took the package and got in the elevator with my luggage. I pressed the penthouse button to floor 44. Great just what I need elevator music. Like Iâ€™m not already tired. I really should make them play something better. Finally the doors opened and I was free from the horrible music, which caused my headache to increase. I maneuvered my carryon bag and the mysterious box out of the elevator. I opened the door to my home and was greeted with the lovely smell of orchid. In my opinion the most beautiful smelling flower.
â€œHome sweet home.â€ I muttered and took a deep breath trying to get the cab smell out of my mind. I threw down the carry-on bag and dropped the box on the couch, while walking to my answering machine. â€œHmmm 5 messages, I wonder if there are any important ones.â€ I questioned and pushed play.
â€œBeep, Message one, â€˜Hi Kat, its Tina, donâ€™t forget this Saturday at 9 weâ€™re going to that new night club down town. NO EXCUSES! Itâ€™s your Birthday and all of us want to help you celebrate.â€™ Beep, Message two, â€˜Hi Kat, itâ€™s Stacy, Tina wanted me to call you and remind you that your not getting out of Saturday night even if we have to drag you there in curlers and a bath robe. I think she’s serious! You better show, talk to you later.â€™ Beep, Message three, â€œHi sweetie itâ€™s dad. Your mother wanted me to remind you about the birthday dinner on Friday at the country house at five donâ€™t be late. I think sheâ€™s trying to set you up again so beware. Oh yeah I need the new ad campaign on my desk by Monday and stop by and brief me on what happened at the conference.â€™ Beep, Message four, â€˜Ms. Katherine Cobbie, this is Denise Karmichael, I work for the museum of natural history we wanted to thank you for your generous donation and would like to request your presence at our opening gala to exhibit your exquisite piece. Weâ€™d be grateful for your presence we sent an invitation by mail. Thank again.â€™ Beep, Message five, â€˜Cobs itâ€™s Tony. I know you said to never call you at home but I really need your help. Please call me when you get in.â€™ End of message.â€
â€œTony? What could he want?â€
I walk over to the kitchen to get a drink of water still pondering what Tony could want. Almost mechanically I grab a glass from the cupboard, a bottle of water from the fridge and a Tupperware of lemon slices. I pour a big glass of water and squeeze a lemon slice into it. Half way through the refreshing drink I hear a forceful knock on the door. I glance at the clock to see itâ€™s 3 in morning. Who on earth could it be and how did they get up here?
I cautiously walk to the door and peek through the peephole. â€œTony?â€ I question, shocked.
â€œCobs? Come on open up please. I know itâ€™s late just please let me in.â€ hurriedly he stammers out.
â€œOh all right,â€ I say and open the door.
He jumps in and slams the door shut locking the deadbolt and securing the safety chain.
â€œWhoa Tony whatâ€™s wrong?â€ I exclaimed shocked at his disheveled appearance. Normally he was groomed to perfection but tonight he was soaked. His white T-shirt was torn and his navy blue dress pants looked dirty and wrinkled. He wasnâ€™t wearing a coat. His hair with every strand usually placed in a certain spot on his head was now disheveled. He looked like a bum and not the heir to a multi million-dollar corporation.
â€œOh god Cobs you have no idea the night I have had. Can I please stay here? I donâ€™t want to go back to my place. Iâ€˜ll tell you in the morning just please let me stay here. Did you get my package?â€ he said trembling with cold or possibly fear, I couldnâ€™t tell which.
â€œYeah the doorman gave it to me tonight. What is in it? And why canâ€™t you tell me now what is going on? You barge into my home at 3 in the morning and basically expect me to have my arms wide open to receive you. And what in the hell was up with the message on my machine?â€ I asked somewhat upset, taking out all of my frustrations of the day.
â€œOh Cobs. Iâ€™m so sorry to drag you into this. I donâ€™t even know whatâ€™s going on right now. I just need you to let me in without questioning and Iâ€™ll tell you everything in the morning I swear. Please wait till tomorrow I really need to figure out what happened and only sleep is going to do that.â€ He explained pleadingly.
â€œFine, your lucky I have a horrible migraine and donâ€™t feel like listening to your horrible escapade. Especially since its probably about some pissed off ex girlfriend and I really cannot deal with it tonight. You know where everything is. Iâ€™m going to bed.â€
â€œThanks Cobs, Youâ€™re the best.â€
â€œDONâ€™T call me that anymore especially if you want to stay here tonight.â€
â€œIâ€™m sorry Kat. Honestly thanks, you have no idea how much this means to me.â€
â€œGoodnight Tony and please pick up after yourself I donâ€™t feel like cleaning tomorrow.â€
“Gee Thanks Katherineâ€¦ You were always so compassionate. Goodnight.”
Ring, ring, ring. I go to answer the doorâ€¦ ring, ringâ€¦ I discover it’s the phone, and it woke me up out of a dream. “Hello?” I answer sleepily and some what upset.
“Hi sweetie, it’s your dad. Are you coming in today?”
Puzzled I reply, “Yeah at noon. What time is it? I didn’t get home till 3 last night. Why do you want to know?”
â€œOh sorry itâ€™s almost 9 now. If I would have known I wouldnâ€™t have called.â€ He explained still his voice sounded a bit more tense than usual.
â€œWell I donâ€™t think you want me to come in this early I donâ€™t think I can function right now, but I will come in at noon.â€ I agreed ready to doze back off to sleep.
â€œOkay fine. Sorry I bothered you.â€ He hung up and I did not give it a second thought. I fell back asleep as soon as I replaced the phone on the receiver. What felt like minutes later I heard another Ring, ring, ring. I hit the snooze bar as my first response. When that didnâ€™t make the obnoxious sound go away I picked up the phone and answered with a groggy â€œHello.â€ I was greeted with nothing but a dial tone. Completely annoyed that I’d already been woke up twice, I slowly grabbed my bathrobe and walked down the stairs to grab a drink of water. I finally discovered the cause of the beeping noise, the doorbell. I look through the peephole only to see a police officer at the door, I was to annoyed about the morning so far I didn’t even think to be worried, I open the door.
â€œGood Afternoon, is Ms. Cobbie here?â€ the police officer asked taking off his hat.
He had dark brown hair, cut really short, with a muscular build and defined facial features with stubble over his face. He looked young maybe 25, probably a rookie.
â€œYeah, thatâ€™s me why?â€
â€œIâ€™m Officer Stevens and this is my partner Officer Jordan, may we come in?â€
â€œI guess, whatâ€™s going on? I really need to get ready for work.â€
â€œWork? Itâ€™s 11:30 arenâ€™t you already late?â€ Officer Stevens asked as he and his partner walked in.
â€œI got home late, and when your Dad owns the company and you are the head of your department you can come in late, when you get home late. Anyways, that is none of your concern. Why are you here?”
Officer Stevens and Officer Jordan sat down, I noticed Tony had left and surprisingly enough the only trace he was here was a folded up blanket with a pillow on top. The police officers noticed it too.
â€œWell, Ms. Cobbie, we have some bad news,â€ said Officer Stevens.
His partner was just looking around the place, she was pretty, if she put any effort into her looks, she was not wearing any makeup and had her blonde hair in a tight bun. Her whole appearance was serious and you knew she was committed to her job and I would assume she had no personal life. She was also not wearing any jewelry at all.
â€œEarly this morning we found a friend of yours not far from your apartment building, who was murdered.â€
â€œWho was it? How did it happen?â€ I asked not fully understanding what was going on.
â€œAnthony McDermont, in the alley a couple buildings away.â€ Interrupted Officer Stevens partner, Officer Jordan who was obviously irritated with all the tiptoeing around the situation and wanting to get down to business.
Her partner looked annoyed at her harshness, but continued on with some questions, even though I still wasnâ€™t sure what I heard was correct. â€œWe found your business card in his wallet along with a picture of you two on a sailboat. That is why we came here. When was the last time you heard from Mr. McDermont and when was the last time you saw him?â€
â€œUmmm, wow I actually saw him last night he came over when I got home at about three in the morning. He was a mess and asked to spend the night. I let him. He was supposed to tell me why he was a mess but he left before I woke up and I have not seen him since.â€
â€œIs there anyone who can collaborate your story?â€ asked Officer Jordan.
â€œWell of course I was alone except for him, the only person that could say anything would be the doorman, George, and my dad called me this morning around 9 I do not know if that helps.â€
â€œWell we will check with the doorman, do you know his name?â€ questioned Officer Jordan a little short.
â€œYes, of course. George was working last night. George Heston.â€
â€œThank you. You said, â€˜He was a mess and asked to spend the night.â€™ Could you please elaborate?â€ Officer Stevens asked completely business and matter of fact.
â€œNot really, I came home last night from a business trip, was getting ready to go to bed and he came knocking on the door. He is usually extremely careful about his appearance, I would say its almost a compulsive type concern. He came in and said he needed to stay and he would tell me in the morning, that was it.â€
â€œWhat was your relationship with Mr. McDermont?â€
â€œI wouldnâ€™t call it a relationship nor would I call him a friend, we basically grew up together as children, and met again in college, we went out a few times, and we shared the same interest, money and business. After college we would go to business functions together if we had no one else to go with, but we never really went on actual dates. He was way too much of a womanizer, playboy, type for my taste. Plus neither of us have ever really been able to hold a relationship with our schedules.â€
â€œThatâ€™s an interesting type of relationship, do you know anyone who may have wanted to kill him?â€
â€œIâ€™m sure a lot of people would want to. He is a big business man and his parents company, have destroyed a lot of lives. However, we never really discussed anything like that, we rarely talked about anything related to business. We were afraid the other would steale an idea.â€
â€œHow do you know he destroyed a lot of lives?â€
â€œI read the paper, and I know of some of his business deals and all business deals end up hurting someone.â€
â€œWell I guess you are right, if you can think of anything that would be helpful please let us know, here is my card.â€ Officer Stevens handed me his business card.
â€œYeah of course, Iâ€™ll let you know. I have a weird question, how was he killed?â€
â€œUnfortunately we do not know yet, but there were some strange marks that we are trying to figure out.â€
â€œReally what kind of strange â€¦â€
Officer Jordan interrupted me with an abrupt, â€œThatâ€™s under investigation and that information is being withheld from the press, which would include the public.â€
â€œYes of course, I apologize sometimes I forget my place.â€
â€œYes, good day Ms. Cobbie.â€
I shut the door, thankful for them to be gone and went to my bedroom to get ready for the day ahead. I was reviewing the conference in my head so I could come up with a concise report for my father when the phone rang, it was Stacy.
â€œOh my gawd Kat, did you hear? Tony was found murdered like right next to your building in the alley. How weird. Who would do this? Its so horrible. I cannot believe this happened. Werenâ€™t you two an item? Hello?â€
â€œYes I am here, and I know, the police just stopped by and questioned me.â€
â€œReally? Wow tell me everything!â€
â€œMaybe later right now I am late for work I will talk to you later.â€
â€œWait you will not forget about your birthday now will you?â€
â€œI do not know yet, Iâ€™ll see what I have planned. Iâ€™ll call you later, Bye.â€ I hung up before Stacy had a chance to go on another no breath rant.
I was getting ready to leave and grabbed my purse before I left when I remembered the package I got the night before. It was already 1 oâ€™clock so I stopped to open the package. Inside were a lot of newspaper clippings and a note with an item wrapped in bubble wrap. I stuffed the note in my purse and unwrapped the bubble wrap only to find a jeweled knife or dagger. I was not sure what to make of it so I put it in my purse to look at it later when I had more time. I finally left for work, I usually walked to work as it gave me time to prepare for the day ahead. However, today my mind was swirling with thoughts, I didn’t really know what to think about everything going on. So that day I had the doorman call me a cab.