AIDA

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
It is a story about a smart and beautiful woman who suffers from the death of her husband and about a cop who do not believe this poor creature with breathtaking eyes.

Submitted: July 07, 2016

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Submitted: July 07, 2016

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My ex-husband has never seen the point of many of my actions. His cold mind could not take my emotional and  fancy behavior and my ability to send all to hell when I feel that I'm getting bored. He has always paid attention to tiny details, he was so accurate, oh, yes, so meticulously accurate, whereas I could throw my new coat out on the street, just because I was woken up in the morning. I felt an unbearable pain for all those poor animals and a terrible fear that their ragged life is covering my body. He said that I incarnate the peculiar illogical nature of every woman. He considered himself an expert in the matter. In essence, he did not understand the female nature at all. He wanted to reduce it to one awkward concept – an anomaly. It didn't hurt me because I have never paid any attention. I have always interpreted his word as synonymous to the incomprehensibility, mystery, and infinity of our “natura feminus”. This “Darwin” had his "theory of evolution" and I hadn't taken it away. Everyone has the right to err and to die in the dark ignorance, if he is stupid or if he is a genius.”


 

A?da lit a cigarette. Her long, delicate fingers bring a thin cigarette to her mouth. Only at this point, Paul noticed that she was left-handed.


 

Did you love your husband?”


 

Did you know... feelings are just like people. They are born in order to die after, and the stronger they are, the sooner they die. Again, just like people. George and I got married too early. We were young and stupid, both lost our heads from love. But over some time, you realize that you made a mistake. It was too quick. However, it was too late to correct something, because we had already accustomed to this mutual style of life. George needed a better wife, than I was. The type of woman who will meet her husband every evening at home with a warm dinner and ready to listen and enjoy the success of his business. Instead he got me, who loses herself every day in the theater late at night, returns home early at the morning with no desire to talk to anyone or even listen. I need a man who will always admire me. I think it's a normal desire of a young woman. Unfortunately, George did not understand that. One moment I became his ordinariness. Nothing special. He knew that I had, and have, lovers in town. He knew that I could not live without the new feelings and flirting is one of the traits of my character. He knew and he wasn't against it. Just like me, as I knew he was sleeping with the wife of our neighbor Orwell. And if I've changed my men quite often, George was always a "one-woman man". We lived together because it was so comfortable for two of us. But all our attitudes and feelings have been reduced to a simple cohabitation and stamp in the passport, that meant nothing. That's how we passed our last 15 years, the first six months, I unconsciously loved him. George loved me longer. The first 5 years he desperately fought for our family. He madly dreamed about children, and I tried to explain to him that I have no time for them, that I could not leave the ballet, but he eagerly demanded. Once he calmed down and we never spoke again about children. George was older than me by 7 years and from the moment we met, have achieved a lot. What about me... I was a little bird that learned to fly without Mommy's care.”


 

Aida extinguished her cigarette on a crystal ashtray. On her red nails there had been a little quantity of ash left over. She gently shook it off, by clicking one nail on the other.


 

Frankly, after his death, I haven't slept at home. I am afraid to return to the apartment, where there is nothing, except the emptiness ... I am afraid that this emptiness will penetrate into my soul. It always was the darkest of my fears - to be alone. And I know what are you thinking. You think I'm selfish. Yes, It’s true. I'm selfish. But show me at least one person who would not think primarily about himself. And there is no eternal love! Otherwise, I would have been happy for a long time ... And George ... I feel sorry for him, but I think he is in a "paradise" now, where he has a lovely wife and his favorite business. After all, as one of the philosophers said, everyone deserves what he believes in”


 

Everyone will be rewarded according to his faith. It's Bulgakov's words”


 

Maybe I'm weak on remembering names, and accurate quotes. It doesn't matter. I believe that, if not in this life, then after death I'll be the brightest star.”


 

She waved to the waiter and ordered a dry martini. Paul asked for another cup of strong coffee and a glass of water for him. The waiter nodded and went. The wind was warm. The noise of the surf pleased Paul’s ear. These sweet sound was so deceptively close, that it seems, if you close your eyes, you could feel the waves grabbing at your feet, letting you will feel that you are on the beach under the gentle rays of the setting sun instead of in a stuffy cafe under the light of oil lamps. Aida was sitting with her back to the sea and smoking another cigarette. She was so deep in her thoughts. Paul looked through her at the bloodshot sunset that sank in the same fresh red sea. A wave of pacification covered his head. The smell of the sea calmed his inflamed nerves. He thought how strange people are, how strange he is, how strange to live by the sea and to lose every day the opportunity to enjoy it.


 

When was the last time you were near the sea?”, he asked suddenly.


 

Taken aback by this unexpected question, Aida asked: “How this question is related to our business?”


 

Paul didn't say anything, neither look at her. His eyes were still fixed on the last rays of the sunset. Aida elegantly leaned back on her chair and carefully glanced over her left shoulder. She saw nothing special in that picture, so she said quietly: “I have very sensitive skin and I cannot stay long in the sun. So sunbathing is not for me. I prefer the indoor pool and a personal masseur”. She smiled with her long thinnest smile. Her lips were like two petals of ginger, which are usually served in the restaurants of Japanese cuisine.


 

The sun has set. Twilight quickly turned into the deep night. The light of the signboard of all the institutions illuminated the night. The city began to live its second life.


 

At night there is no sun”, Paul said.


 

Who bathes at night?”, Aida asked surprised, and in her black eyes flashed a marvelous twinkle. Or, maybe, it was a lamp lit over them.


 

I'm not talking about it”, he quietly answered. Paul called the waiter and paid for two.


 

So where are you going now? Where are planning you to spend this night, Madame Deroy?”


 

I think I'll stay with Jacques Pase, my friend from work. Or I'll take a room in Riviera.”


 

Good luck to you, madam.” Paul gently kissed a little hand in lace gloves.


 

Good luck to you, Monsieur Vermont”


 

Paul excused himself, put on his black hat and went in the direction of the beach. Moving closer to it, he took off his shoes. Only a half an hour left since the sun went down, but the sand was already cold. He lowered his foot deeper into the sand. A few meters from the water Paul stopped. He took off his hat and jacket and put them neatly on the sand, then sat down and closed his eyes. His head was going round. There was to much of fresh air for him. Paul laid on the sand.


 

So where will you spend the night, Monsieur Vermont? Near the sea!”, he thought to himself.


The next day, he woke up with a burning desire to see Aida. She had something in her that attracts men. Perhaps eyes color of ash, which combines the blues and the melancholy with the active curiosity. Or maybe her hair smelled like cinnamon and colored like almonds. Or her skin, so tender and white like melted milk. Perhaps the way she moves so naturally easy or the way she talks: leisurely, with no haste. Paul was assuring himself that it was only a professional interest that has pushed his thoughts to that woman. "An unfinished business and nothing more" said a detective and directed his steps straight to Riviera.


 

The room, which a dancer rented, was empty. At the reception a young man with an open face and honest eyes agreed to tell Paul for 10 bucks that Madame Deroy left the hotel very early, at about 6 am, wearing a light silk dress the color of her eyes. Her head was covered with a black hat with a wide brim. She handed over the key and said that she would return late at night and that she is waiting for an important letter that our reception-man kindly agreed to take it for her for 10 dollars.


 

Paul went to the opera. The white building with a magnificent facade met him joyless with a face of an old black woman with amazing blue eyes, which is rare for her race. Tired but shining with all the purity of sky, those eyes were unkindly staring at the guest. But a private investigator's license and calming voice of Paul, explaining the essence of the visit, made them softer. Her look became interested, and her eyes have narrowed with pleasure. Madame Brill Goldberg, that was her name, was gossip and really loved to talk. She informed the detective that Aida Cecile Deroy is not in the opera at the moment.


 

Due to the death of Monsieur George Ray Deroy, who was not simply a husband for Madame Deroy, but also he was her Muse, if I may say so, the director gave her a month of forced vacation”, hissed the old woman. Paul took out his notebook and pen.


 

"So you try to say, Madam Goldberg, that Aida Deroy did not appear in the opera after the death of her husband?", asked Paul.


 

"Yes, Monsieur Vermont," she answered.


 

The detective nodded. “So, she has no work, no home now. Interesting story,” Paul whispered to himself.


 

And what do you mean by "was her muse?" , Madam Goldberg.”


 

Madame Deroy always had a lot of admirers. And she has paid herself a particular attention to many of them. Everybody has known that, and even Monsieur Deroy. He considered it like if it must be so. To be honest, that's really shocking for me. But no one ever was allowed to mention something about "George." His name was untouchable, sacred. No one except her could pronounce his name. Only her lips named him in words of thanks every time after the concerts.”


 

Interesting. So, when was the last time you have seen Madame Deroy?”


 

Oh, I saw her this morning.”


 

Well you said that she did not appear in the opera.”


 

Did I mentioned that I saw here here? No! I saw her near at 10 o'clock at the morning, Brill pointed at the nearby coffeehouse, She was there with our director, Monsieur Arnier.”


 

And he's one of those admirers?”


 

Oh no! Monsieur Arnier is a man with a huge pure heart. He loves all his staff, even the old Brill”, the black woman began to laugh loudly.


 

Of course. Can I talk to Monsieur Arnier?”


 

Oh sure, you'll find him in the same coffeehouse.”


 

With...”


 

I won't tell you, but I think without. It's simply his favorite place, and he spends almost all his time there. He says that the atmosphere and the aroma of bitter black coffee, make him feel better, inspire him to dream and think about eternal questions of life.”


 

I understand, thank you, Madame, for useful information.”


 

Always welcome.”


 

Paul went to the coffeehouse and just when he came in, he realized that he does not know what Monsieur Arnier looks like. In spite of the fact that there were a few people in coffeehouse, he was confused. Then he saw a woman in a black dress. In panic, he immediately went out. He looked through the window. It wasn't her. “What has happened to you, Paul?” He began to examine people sitting in a small room of a coffeehouse. One lady with a big head and plump cheeks poured herself a tea from a huge kettle. In front of her was a plate with cherry muffins. Not far from her sat  another lady, a little older than the first one. It was her that Paul confused with Aida. This lady in black was drinking a coffee cocktail. Paul found her boring, but attractive. There was also a young couple and a man who was hiding behind his laptop. "Our client", thought Paul, but then he noticed one more person. In the corner sat a small old man. With glasses on his nose, he was carefully reading some papers. The waitress served him a glass of milk. Suddenly the black figure flashed. It was the "client". He hurried out from the cafe and went towards the sea. Paul thought to rush out for him, but something had stopped him. He was silently staring how the tall dark silhouette of a stylish black suit was quickly moving away from him. When the stranger disappeared round the corner, Paul entered the cafe and sat at a table in front of the old man. Attention of the young lady with a cocktail shifted immediately to him. He noticed it, imposingly smiled and turned his chair so that she could see only his back. The old man with glasses did not even pay attention to him. Paul observed that all the sheets read by the older man, in which he wanted to see the director of the opera, were the manuscripts. The waitress brought the man some honey for his milk and then stopped at the Paul's table.


 

Good afternoon. What will you order?”, she asked smiling.


 

The same as the gentleman there,” Paul  nodded toward the "director".


 

She raised her eyebrows. Just like the sails of a schooner, they rose above her sandy eyes.


 

Milk with honey?”, decided to clarify the bright-eyed girl.


 

Yes”, calmly replied Monsieur Vermont.


 

The order was quickly completed. Paul immediately paid for it. After a moment, Paul stood up, picked up the tray with the order and went to the table with a gray-haired gentleman.


 

"Can I?", politely asked Paul.


 

The old man has finished the sheet and only after that he raised his red eyes at the intruder. But there was neither irritation no friendly sign in those eyes, they were awaiting open.


 

Please, be my guest.”, at last he graciously said.


 

Thank you. If I'm not mistaken, you are Monsieur Arnier?”


 

You are. I am Monsieur Brestlin, the owner of this little nice place. But Monsieur Arnier is a good friend of mine. This morning he left me a new opera to check out. Incredible!”


 

Paul was broken. This "no" seemed like a shot into his head. He, like a cornered wild beast, began to look around. There were still the couple and the lady with plump cheeks. "It's a bad day. Really bad, bad day." Vermont felt completely lost.


 

So, with whom I have an honor to speak?” asked Monsieur Brestlin.


 

Oh, excuse me for my bad manners. I'm Detective - Paul Nicolas Vermont”


 

And what do you need from Monsieur Philippe Arnier?”


 

I want to talk to him about one of his ballerina.”


 

About Madame Deroy?”


 

You know her?”


 

Who doesn't know Madame Deroy? Poor woman with demonic eyes. No, such attractive women should not suffer! Forgive me my frankness, it's blasphemous to say so, but from this suffering she is even more beautiful. She came today with Philippe. They were talking for about an hour and I heard they have agreed to meet again tonight.”


 

Do you know where?”


 

No, Monsieur Arnier did not tell me. But definitely not here.”


 

Monsieur Brestliv, didn't you accidentally hear what exactly your friend was talking about with Madame Deroy?”


 

I know that she asked to borrow her some money, and said that she won't return to the stage, at least, of our Opera House. She seems to want to leave the town. If I'm not mistaken, she plans to move to Italy. But Aida Deroy is a stunning woman! I am sure that there, in the homeland of her ancestors, she will be the brightest star. Today I found out that her mother was Italian? Did you know that? That's why she is so beautiful! Therefore, her eyes so nasty black. Oh, Aida... a brainchild of the volcano Vesuvius.”


 

She wants to leave before the end of the investigation?”


 

Maybe at the end. Honestly, I do not know, Monsieur Vermont.”


 

Where can I find Monsieur Arnier at this time? Usually he spends his days here. But today... I have no idea, monsieur. Certainly not at work. After the meeting with Aida, he was upset, so he said to me, that today he doesn't have a working mood. Actually that's why I'm reading the opera instead him.”

Well, thank you for your help. Have a nice day, Monsieur Brestliv.”


 

I wish you to solve this enigma of George's death as soon as it's possible. And I assure you, Monsieur Vermont, Aida Deroy did not kill her husband. She just couldn’t. Beautiful women like her are able to kill a man by breaking his heart, but not with weapons, especially with a revolver. It's too heavy for her. She is ballerina: she has a strong legs and weak hands.”


 

Goodbye, Monsieur Brestliv.”


 

You didn't drink even a drop of your milk!”


 

I don't drink it at all.”


 

Indeed.”


 

This is for you.”


 

The old man smiled.


 

Goodbye, Monsieur Vermont.”


Searching for Aida in a huge city Paul considered a stupid thing, so he decided to go back to the hotel late in the evening to catch her there. She had to go back, at least, to take her mysterious letter. Paul came at 10 and, as it turned out, Madame Deroy hasn't yet appeared in Riviera. She appeared just before midnight. Paul has drank three cups of coffee, read all the interesting articles in newspapers and magazines offered on reception desk, and even had a little nap. In truth, he was asleep, when Aida Deroy came back. A cold hand that has gently laid on his arm woke him up. Like a nightmare, all in black, Aida was standing in front of him. Her black eyes were so devilishly bright. "Even at night...", thought Paul.Her hair was falling over her pale open shoulders. In the bright light that illuminates the hall, they seemed to have a gleaming copper shade.


 

I was told that you wanted to see me, Monsieur Vermont.”


 

Yes, I want”


 

She gave him a radiant smile, and her pearly teeth sparkled.

Let's go up to my room. It's cold here besides, she started to whisper, we do not need the extra witnesses”


 

The elevator took them to the 10th floor. The room was spacious and bright. Pink colors make it soft and comfortable.


 

You won't mind if I'll dressed in a bathrobe?”


 

If you want.”


 

Thank you.”


 

She went to the bathroom. A minute later she came back in a big white bathrobe. Paul was standing at the window and watching the night city and the distant black sea, which merged with the sky.


 

Do not be shy, sit down in this chair, and I'll take a seat in front of you on the bed, okay?”


 

Paul nodded.


 

What do you want me to talk about? Did we leave something unspoken yesterday?”


 

So you're going to leave?”


 

We live in a really small town!, she took a deep breath, Yes, this is the impulse of my soul. Some philosophers say that the perfect person must always have calm mind and not letting his passion or fleeting desire to disturb the peace. But there are no perfect people in the world, do you agree with that?”


 

Paul nodded again.


 

I want to go to Italy. This is my passion, my fleeting desire, which disturbs my mind to be reasonable and cold. Besides, women are more emotional than men. If we want something no matter is it a new handbag, white chocolate or moving to Italy, we need to have it or to do it and we won't stop until our desire will be fulfilled.”


 

Don't flirt with me, Madame., Paul said, I insist that you answer me, why are trying to escape from Nice before the case is complete?”


 

I'm not. You see, I'm still sitting in front of you, Monsieur.”


 

Madame Deroy, you know perfectly what I mean. If you don't want to speak to me openly in such an informal atmosphere, as the meeting in your own room at the hotel, I can bring you to the police station.”


 

Monsieur, what is all this rudeness for? Why are you trying to terrify me with your police station?”


 

I am not trying to scare you, Madam. I say that in any case we will talk, so better speak from your heart.”


 

Well, maybe I'm not sincere...But the only person with whom I could speak from my heart was George! He perfectly understood me. I did not have to finish the sentences, he read them from my mind. He always tightly hugged me, when I was in a bad mood, and I knew that our hearts belong only to each other. And I felt so calm and happy. You won't be able to understand it! Do you hear me, you just can't.”


 

Her eyes were getting wet, so Paul was waiting for her to start crying. He didn't want it, because he didn't know what shall he do in that case. He was never married and even did not have any serious relations. Luckily for Paul, after a short pause, she continued talking.


 

He always wanted us to go to Italy, to Naples. But when you think that you have a whole life ahead, you do not appreciate the moments and you have always no time for every little thing that does not seem to important and may be delayed until "better times". If I only could, I would exchange all my admirers, all time spent with them, to share at least one last hour with George.”


 

Her voice was trembling.


 

I'm not running from the law! Especially because I'm not guilty! I'm running from myself, from that stupid and selfish girl that I was. I'm running away from my admirers and my past, from the scene. I want to have a new life, a quiet one as George had wanted. I'm going to Italy to finally break the shackles of vanity, alcohol, stress and cigarette. By the way, don't you mind if I smoke?, Paul shook his head, Okay, I won't. Talking to you in a cafe yesterday, I skillfully played a role, but your question about the sea revived me. I spent all night thinking about my life and all the things I've lost because of a career. On the way to the hotel, I just walked along the beach, dipping my feet deep into the sand, and I realized that I am so tired of this game, I'm so tired of masks, I want to live in the present, not the way required by ballerina status. Such a response can satisfy you? However I don't think you believe in my sincerity. You are a detective and the one thing you need is facts. You are not interested in human soul, in human feelings, human pain!”


 

You shouldn't judge me for my profession. Maybe I'm one of those who have learned how to combine a personal life with work. Did not yesterday's sea prove, that my soul is not so rude?”


 

Aida did not answer. She took a piece of mint from her pocket and began to chew it.


 

George hated the smell of smoke, so I never smoked at home. He bought me mint leaves. They helped.”, she explained. She took a pause, carefully grinded with her teeth the mint leaf into pollen, went to the cupboard, took out the glass, walked to the window, picked up a crystal decanter with water, poured herself, drank it and only then looked at Paul who was waiting in silence for the continuation of her monologue. Since yesterday, he realized that Aida loves to speak a long phrases, taking also a long pauses, as all the real actors do. But this pause was too long. He started to lose patience. Aida noticed that.


 

I don't like to be frank with anyone more! I used to wear a mask, so I wouldn't be hurt, that why I didn't show you my sadness yesterday, and the pain that rushed over me. Nice associates to me with George. Here we met for the first time, here we got married, lived here, here he... Memories strangle me. Perhaps, Italy, will remove this torment from my poor heart.”


 

She lifted her head up and made a terrible moan.


 

If you knew, Monsieur Vermont, how I'm tired. I am taking the sleeping pills every night. Of course, I have taken them before. It's a scourge of my profession. But now, the dose became necessary to me. It's my drug. And I always feel a fear that I won't wake up. No, not even that, I have a fear that nobody will find me. I know it's silly, because every morning the maid comes to clean my room... I am afraid that no one will need me after death. Although it is too stupid, because then I won't care... I guess. I'm running from myself, that had stuck in this city.”


 

Suddenly she lost control of herself and fell at his feet. Her bathrobe slightly slipped, exposing her shoulders and upper chest.


 

Monsieur Vermont, I'm begging you to let me go! I'm suffocating in the heat of his own memories!”


 

She was crying.


 

Do you still really suspect the unfortunate woman that is suffering in personal prison  of her own life?”


 

He carefully picked her up. Aida immediately pulled herself together, straightened her clothes, gently sat down on the edge of the bed.


 

Excuseez-moi, it's a desperation screams in me,” Aida whispered softly and then she shouted: “Oh, damn!”, and jumped up from her seats. Paul did not even have time to be surprised so sudden was the change in her humor. Aida opened the drawer bedside table by the window and pulled out a pack of cigarettes. Then she opened the window, lighted a cigarette and lit it. A sweet smile appeared on her face.


 

How nice is it.”, she said and blew out in the night air a gray thick smoke.


 

Paul was silently admiring her. In her white bathrobe just above the knees, she fixed him attention on her long slim legs. For the first time in his life, Paul understood, how in the 17th century the pale nude female foot excited the young men. She was looking out of the window. She was so calm and gorgeous in the moonlight. Paul suddenly coughed. She turned back:


 

Are you okay?”


 

Yes”, said the detective, beating himself on a chest. Black eyes stuck into him, and he suddenly felt that two long invisible hands slipped out from that darkness of her eyes and that they got him. One caught him on his throat, and the other grabbed his heart. And suddenly it became unbearable to look into those eyes. He turned away, as if he was attracted by the painting that hung over the bed. It showed a Jew with white side curls in a black hat with large fields and glasses in a gold frame on a hooked nose. His eyes were narrowed. He regarded the coins spread out on the table. Above him stood his "Sara". Her curly red hair looked like mop of sun-drenched hay. She was folding her arms were across her chest. The scene played on the picture made Paul smile and forget about those terrible thoughts that a moment ago filled his head. Aida was smoking another cigarette.


 

Why did you meet today Monsieur Arnier?”


 

My savings are not enough for a long-distance travel, especially for a cruise. Monsieur Arnier, as my good old friend, is the only one who can borrow me irrevocably a necessary amount.”


 

What does it mean to borrow irrevocably? You mean to present as a gift, do not you, Madam Deroy?”


 

We can call it my compensation. As you Know, I'm not going back to the theater.”


 

She stayed perfectly calm and talked absolutely cool. It was hard to believe that not long ago this woman was on her knees begging for mercy!


 

You're planning to settle in Italy?”


 

I don't think anything about my further at this moment.”


 

If I'll let you go, I need to know where you'll be for the case, if there will be a necessity to contact you.”


 

Aida took her handbag.


 

"Here are my tickets, Monsieur Vermont, you can examine them. I'm sailing tomorrow at 10 am on a "Santa Victoria" to Naples. How long will take this trip, I honestly don't know. On arrival I will dwell in the GRAND HOTEL VESUVIO, and there you will be able to find me. I do not run from justice, I told you. I am running from my fears, sincerely believing that they won't follow me, that they are not rooted in me forever. But if I stay here, the death will be my only savior.”


 

Paul didn't take the tickets Madam Deroy proposed him to see. Burying his eyes into the floor, he was silently thinking. After he stood up, bowed and said:


 

Good night, Madam Deroy. Take a good nap, You are going to have a long journey. Tomorrow I'll come to see you boarding at the right ship. Goodbye.”


 

Good night, Monsieur Vermont.”


At 9.00 Paul Vermont was already in the port. On the water was moored a white liner with a gold inscription "Santa Victoria". Perhaps Aida Deroy had said him the truth?


 

Where goes this beauty?”, detective asked two sailors that were smoking near him.


 

To Naples.”, said one.


 

It's in Italy.”, explained the second.


 

"Well, who would have thought? She did not lie.”, Vermont thought, and said aloud:


 

When the ship sails away?”


 

In 10 minutes, maybe 15. We need to finish smoking first.”, said one of the sailors, and showed his cigarette.


 

And how long is the road to Naples?”


 

About a week”, answered another.


 

I see. Thank you, messieurs, for this important information.”


 

Paul sat down on a stone ledge near the water and was looking out for Aida at the crowd. People were coming and coming, they walked by him and climbed the ladder to the ship, showed their tickets and said goodbye to the french coast. Aida wasn't here. Or perhaps he missed her? It's was already 10. Everyone who wished to sail to Italy was already on board. A 10-minute delay, and "Santa Victoria" sailed.


 

I couldn't miss her!, Paul whispered to himself, Yes, this woman is hard to be unnoticed! She attracts too much attention. So, she had me fooled. My father was right, when he said to never trust a woman! They are insidious and crafty, their sweet speeches can drug anyone, even the most intelligent and persistent man! Their eloquence is often impregnated by a sweet perfume. She lied to me! And why only did I let her go? Such a fool! The weapons with which the murder was committed, was not found, and this woman has no alibi! How could I let her escape? But why am I standing? Maybe she's still at the hotel? Oh, no. Who am I kidding?! But if... I must get there as fastas possible!”


 

Vermont caught a taxi and raced to Riviera. He rushed into the hotel and went straight to the reception.


 

Bonjour, Madam. I'm looking for Madam Deroy.”


 

Madam Deroy had left the hotel today at 7 o'clock in the morning.”, said a french lady.


 

Damn, damn, damn!”, Paul cried, then he saw a disgruntled face of a young woman:


 

I beg your pardon, Madam.”


 

Are you, Monsieur Vermont,” she asked.


 

Have always been, as long as I remember myself.”


 

Madame Deroy had left you a letter.”, she said and she gave him an envelope.


 

Thank you, Madam.”


 

He sat down in a chair by the window, where yesterday was waiting the dancer. He looked at the envelope from all the sides. Then he opened it. There was a sinuous handwriting. As a snake he was crawling up on the page. Aida's voice sounded in his head:


 

"Monsieur Vermont, I want to thank you for your kindness and generosity! But "Santa Victoria" and I, we have now a different destinations. Naples seemed to be a beautiful city, but my wind is blowing to the other side. Today I had a dream. Jonathan came to me and he said that he is waiting for me, and I have to come to our place where we first met. How can I got to Italy now? But, where is this place I won't tell you. This is our secret with Jonathan and it will always be, because it's our place, it is only for us! Again, I'm not running from the law, but I don't want it to pursue me with my fears and memories. So goodbye, Monsieur Vermont! Goodbye forever. Sincerely, Aida Cecile Deroy."


Paul Vermont's notes:

I found a taxi that had taken Aida away from the Hotel, and spoke to the taxi driver. This woman is more intelligent than I thought! She drove to the center, and then disappeared in the crowd, so no one knows, in what direction she continued her way. Probably, the only truth, that she told me, was the fact that none of her friends or family does not know about that secret place. But does it exist at all? Case was closed due to the lack of evidence. And her friends have given so many good reviews about this person, that the judge himself believed that such a beautiful and talented woman can not be a killer. Her disappearance or her escape, as for me, was explained as an eccentric nature of the actress. Woman even without a poetic background is already crazy. You can expect anything from her. Or do not expect anything at all "- told me the judge Frenaut. But I do not agree with him! Everything is so perfectly strange, that I feel she knew the murderer, if she's not...


© Copyright 2017 Kira Ley Jones. All rights reserved.

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AIDA

Short Story / Mystery and Crime

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