She sighed and removed the thick framed glasses from her face, gently setting them on the desk in front of her, and rubbed her temples. It was late, but she was used to that, and the steady rain streaking down the window was nothing new either. She lifted her glasses and stood up, maneuvering through the room carefully considering all she could make out were the blurry shapes that constituted the furniture. When she reached the door she placed the frames back onto the bridge of her nose and pushed it open. Her heels clicked eerily on the tiles as she made her way through the empty museum to the ladies room.
Again, the empty building was nothing new to her, and the short walk to the restroom was one she had often made late at night. She entered the bathroom and stood in front of the row of gleaming sinks, all reflected in the wall mirror above them. She glanced at her reflection, brushed the wisps of her brown hair that had escaped her twist during the long day, and removed her glasses again. She splashed some cold water on her face and dried it with a towel from the dispenser. Replacing her glasses she turned around and made her way back to her office.
When she entered the dim room the work piled on her desk looked more uninviting than when she had left, if that was possible. Sighing again she slipped off her cardigan and hung it on the back of her chair, pushed the shut off button on her desktop’s screen, and closed the texts sprawled across her desk shoving them into her bag.
“Leaving a little early tonight, eh Doc?” commented the security guard as she made her way toward the side entrance. She smiled, “Early Sal?” He laughed at her, “I’d say that I see you leave later than this more often than I see you leave earlier. You have yourself a good night Doc, stay dry.” She called back from the doors, “No chance of that Sal.”
The umbrella she held did little to protect her from the pouring rain as gusts of wind kept blowing droplets against her body. She hurried over to her car and typed in the lock code before closing the pitiful umbrella and sliding behind the wheel.
By the time she unlocked the door to her apartment it was five of eleven and she was ready to crawl into bed. After shutting and bolting the door and tossing her coat and bag into a chair in her living room she made her way into the kitchen. After opening the cupboards and the fridge, all nearly empty she settled on two day old sesame chicken that smelled okay. After popping it into the microwave she headed to the bedroom peeling off her shirt and unbuttoning her trousers on the way. Stripped down to her bra and panties she tossed the clothes she had worn all day into the hamper in the adjoining bathroom and pulled an oversized tee.
Making her way back to the kitchen she saw a blinking red 3 on her answering machine. Flopping onto the couch she pressed play. “Seffie? Seffie it’s your mother. I wanted to know what you were doing next weekend; your sister wants to have a family dinner with Paul. Considering they are engaged now I really think that….” she rolled her eyes and pressed the delete button. She could only imagine the rest of her mother’s message. After deleting the next message that offered to have your debt cut in half the last message played, “Doctor Lourds this is David Russo from the Boston police department. I was directed to call you about about some remains that were found in a city pond. Our medical examiner doesn’t know what to make of it. I’ve spoken with your boss, Dr. Richard Bernard and he assured me that you would be able to leave tomorrow morning. My phone number is 617-845-7732 let me know when you arrive to the airport and I will pick you up so that I can update you on the case.”
Saphirra stirred creamer into the coffee that she had just purchased and looked about the airport. From what she had seen thus far Boston was a bustling city just like New York and D.C. Her coffee made she popped the top on the cardboard cup and, with her rolling suitcase grasped in one hand and her laptop and messenger bags slung over her other arm, she set off towards the exit to hail herself a cab. Though the detective who had contacted her had offered to pick her up from the airport she preferred to make her own way to her hotel, shower, eat, and then to the city morgue. Because she knew that once she began working on whatever it was that had brought her to Boston, the possibility of showering and a hot meal might become scarce.
Though the shower was on full blast and she had shampoo in her ears Saphirra was certain that she heard someone knocking on the door to her hotel room. However, considering she had no connections in Boston and therefore, she was quite sure that no one was knocking on her door. A few minutes later she stepped out of the shower and was drying off when she was certain she heard a sharp rap of a knock on her room door. Confused as to who would be searching for her she quickly tied one of the white robes hanging in the bathroom around her body and, ruffling her hair dry with a towel, she peeped through the spy hole on her door. There was obviously someone standing outside of her door but the only visible item was a blue stripped tie against a crisp white shirt.
He had been banging on the door to room 387 for the past seven minutes and still the doctor had not answered. The gentleman he had spoken with the day before had called him to let him know when the doctors flight would arrive and what hotel was booked. “The old geez is probably passed out in bed,” he muttered to himself and lifted his fist to bang on the white door again when he heard the lock scrap. “Finally,” he muttered to himself again as the door opened. Before him stood a woman, clad in just a hotel robe, casually drying her dark hair with a towel and peering at him with large, soft, grey eyes. “May I help you?” she asked with an annoyed tone to her voice.
Placing his hand on the door jamb he cleared his throat before speaking, “Sorry I’m looking for a Dr. Lourds. Is he here?” The woman stopped drying her hair and looked at his face for the first time, her beautiful eyes were lined with dark lashes and her mouth was slightly agape showing just a sliver of her white teeth. Tossing the towel over her shoulder and placing a hand, tipped with short, trim, unpainted nails on her hip she scrutinized him. “And who is searching for Dr. Lourds, may I ask?” He lifted his brow, surprised that the woman hadn’t told him that he had the wrong room. This doctor was either really close with his young secretary or he blown off the offer of a ride from the airport so that he could have a ‘visitor’ before they got the investigation underway.
“I’m detective David Russo and I am here regarding a case the good doctor and I are working together.” The woman seemed to come to a decision and invited him into the suite with a motion of her hand. He stepped into the room and immediately noticed that, unless there was someone hidden behind the bathroom door or in the closet, he was alone with the tantalizing woman who had answered the door.
“Is the doctor here?” he questioned her as she brushed past him and tossed the towel onto the bed. She gathered up a pile of what appeared to be her clothing and gave a short “Yes,” before slipping into the bathroom and shutting the door, the lock clicking in place. David was baffled, the woman was clearly refusing to give him the answer he wanted. “What does the case entail?” the woman shouted through the bathroom door. Shaking his head in frustration he leaned agenized the desk supporting a lamp and typical hotel stationary, “Some remains were found in Frog Pond after the winter thaw, but I really think I should be discussing this with Dr. Lourds.” After a few moments of silence the door creaked open and the woman stepped out, clad in brown slacks, a stripped button-up, and a light green sweater that hung open in the front. Her hair was up in some kind of twist thing and small green earrings dangled from her ears.
“I fear there has been some miscommunication detective,” the woman stated as she stepped around him and reached into a messenger bag in the desk chair. She removed a small rectangle of plastic and handed it to him. Taking it he immediately realized that it was an id card with the woman’s image on it and written across the front was her name, Dr. Saphirra Lourds. ‘Oh shit,’ he thought to himself. Handing back the id he stumbled over his words, “I didn’t… Had I known… I am sorry for the miscommunication Dr. Lourds. I would have realized it sooner had you remained at the airport for pickup as Dr. Bernard had insisted you would.”
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