Sunday, May 16, 2010

Stretch Break-Between the Air Part 1

Between the air-conditioner and the news broadcast on the FM, I missed the first knock. “Coming,” I hollered mid-stride. There were few benefits to summer, and the way she dressed was one of them. The sun-tanned arms, the curves of her legs, the piercing steel-blue eyes. “Wow,” I thought, hoping I hadn’t said it out loud. “Come in,” I said, motioning toward my desk.

She sat across from me, her calves not much wider than those of the red-leather chair that half-surrounded her. “Kyra Bronson,” extending her perfectly manicured nails in my direction.

“Mac. Mac Flintridge,” I stated. What Mac Flintridge looked like wasn’t important. It was the solidity of his presence that impressed itself so heavily on the senses. “Which is it, something lost that you need found or something you found that you wish still lost?”

She breathed shallow, tears welling up in those eyes, “My mom, well, something of my moms’. A music box. She fled with it, through the camps and coming to the country. I think it has something to do with Sara.”

“Coffee Miss Bronson? Or would you prefer something that packs more heat? Who is Sara?”

“I’d best have coffee,” she said as she recounted this story from her high school years.

“It was late. We’d gone driving with a group of boys, they took one car, Sara and I took hers’. Sara kinda thought it’d be fun to play ‘hide-and-seek’ and veered off onto one of those little dirt roads that crisscross the outskirts of the valley. We thought nothing of it as we flew down that little dirt road.
The cops came out of nowhere. First we thought it was the boys messin around but then we saw it was a cop car. Lights flashing and siren wailing we were pulled over. Sara opened the car door and stepped outside of the car. The cop screamed, “Freeze!” He walked over to Sara and threw her against the car while screaming questions at her. “Why are you out here? What are you doing?” He unclipped his flashlight and shined it into her eyes saying, ”Why are your eyes dilating? What are you up to?” Sara screamed at the officer, requesting his badge number. He slammed her up against the car again with an injunction to be on our way. When we got home we called a friend on the force to complain, but were told to forget it-we’d never get anywhere.
Sara changed after that. She started hanging out with the rough kids. We drifted apart that year, her and I. Later on I heard rumors of drug use. She was in and out of violent relationships; the violence was mutual I understand.”

Kyra was briefly silent. I heard the air conditioner grow louder as if in fierce battle with the heat. Kyra picked up her story. “We connected again through an old friend. Things were going well. We seemed good together. When my mom was sick she spent a lot of time with her. After my mom passed….”

Her coffee sat untouched. I got up to grab myself another drink from the cabinet. Something cold, organic, healthy; I reach for a Shiner Bock. Raised my eyebrows in question of another drink for her. I take in the scene, the red chair, the blue summer dress, the long black hair falling straight. “She died, your mom?”

“Yes, cancer of course. Sara was with us much of the time. She was a great help to me, to, to, to us both. Later though, when I went to look for the box, I couldn’t find it, can you help? My mom left a little money. I wouldn’t know where to start.”

I had ulterior motives, no work on the docket, and an air conditioning unit that was on its last breath. “Sure I’ll help. Tell me more about this box. Then we’ll go talk to Sara.”
....To be continued

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