06/29/2016 20:38 in oral
Thanks in part to my other concerns, such as being treated like a regular at Highlights on the Marsh, I had all but forgotten about my modified hearing aids, which were still in my old lady purse. I got them out just before Whitney brought my drink.
"Thank you, dear," I said to Whitney when she put the Tom Collins in front of me. "I'm sorry if I offended you with what I said earlier. It is just that when I see a young woman in pants it gets my blood up. I think it suffocates her femininity."
"I have a skirt that goes with my service uniform here, but I didn't wear it tonight because I'm having my period."
"Are you afraid your pad will fall out, dear?"
"Well, you know, I'm sure..."
"Oh heavens, yes, I know all about being a young woman having her period. I was young once, you know."
"Have you decided what you'd like to order, yet?" Whitney asked me. "Feel free to take your time, but I recommend the calamari appetizer."
"What's that made out of, dear?"
"It's squid. They fry it in breadcrumbs and they look like onion rings."
"Are they actually onion rings?"
"No, they're actually squid that looks like onion rings."
"Well, I don't think I'll be doing that today. Maybe if you have a coupon or something one day. Do you offer a senior citizen discount?"
"I don't believe we do, ma'am."
"You should. How about a veteran's discount? I fought during World War II."
"You were a soldier?"
"No, dear," I said with a chuckle, "I fought with my friend Millie at the armament factory we worked at. We fought like cats and dogs. Nothing serious, don't worry, just two friends having it out."
"Okay, well, let me know when you're ready to order."
"Is there a bell?"
"What do you mean, ma'am?"
"When I'm ready to order, do I have to ring a bell to let you know I'm ready?"
"No, there isn't a bell. You can just wave or look in my direction and I'll know."
"How about if I wave my menu in the air, like this," I suggested while raising my left hand and waving the menu in the air. "Of course, I can't wave my right hand on account of it being in a cast. I fell off the stoop yesterday. Very clumsy of me, but I'm old. Call me Grandma, dear, I'd like that."
"Okay, just let me know, however you prefer, when you are ready to order," Whitney said before walking away.
I was upset at how long she had lingered, blocking my view of the police detective Erica was sitting with. Now that Whitney had stopped her incessant babbling, I could return to the work at hand.
I put the modified hearing aids in my ears and turned my head just enough so that I could hear their conversation. There was a moment of feedback, which caused me to jerk violently, but when people looked in my direction I told them it was an "Alzheimer's spasm" and they looked away.
"You know, you were a suspect initially," the detective was telling Erica.
"Because he was over at my apartment the night before and because I called him just before he was killed?"
"There was a lot of circumstantial evidence that pointed to you," the detective said with a shrug. "Now I'm more interested in your activities that night than I am about anything else. When that Jimmy fellow told me about this pizza party I was very intrigued."
I knew it, Jimmy and I were right. They were trying to get Erica to incriminate herself. I wanted to rush over to their table and tell Erica it was a trap and to get away from the detective, but I could not blow my cover. My undercover operation was tight, my disguise was perfect, and I had established myself as a respected regular at Highlights on the Marsh. Unless Erica's life was in danger there was no way I could give up my cover.
"Are you saying you'd be interested in coming to a pizza party some night?" Erica asked him.
"Let's just say I wouldn't be adverse to the idea. You are a very beautiful, and apparently a very sexual woman. I did a lot of sexual experimenting when I was young, but I was foolish and hadn't earned my stones yet. Ever since the yellow fever took my wife five years ago, I've thought about getting back into a more open and adventurous lifestyle."
I knew exactly what he was doing. He was establishing common ground between them, convincing her that they came from the same type of background and experiences. He was trying to get her to trust him so he could get her talking.
"You should," Erica told him. "We only live once, or so they say. Why not enjoy the time we have?"
"You are a very attractive woman, but I'm sure men tell you that all the time."
"And some women as well," Erica told him. "I think sometimes men feel obligated to tell me that, but if they didn't I might wonder if they hadn't noticed."
"I definitely noticed," the detective said as he raised his glass to his mouth.
"You know I have a boyfriend and that we live together," Erica told him, which caused the detective to smile broadly.
"My partner interviewed him this afternoon and she told me that in the course of their conversation, he admitted that he's never had sex with you. I find that most intriguing."
"You don't need to—"
There was another feedback episode with my hearing aids and my hand shot up to my ear in response to the pain it caused. Whitney took this as her cue to come and take my order, and she arrived at just the wrong time. This detective had implicated Detective Haggerty in the plan. He was giving further evidence of what Jimmy and I suspected was going on. They were definitely in it together, the clever Detective Haggerty and Detective Cheap Suit, but Whitney's arrival was ruining my opportunity to learn more about their scheme.
"Are you ready to order?" Whitney asked me.
"Oh gosh, I'm not sure, just bring me some of that dreadful calamari. Shoo, shoo," I said, gesturing for her to go away.
"So," Erica was telling the detective, "come over tomorrow evening, around six o'clock and you can interview me then, in front of my boyfriend, and if I decide to make the sacrifice you talked about to save myself from life in prison, well, we'll just have to see how it goes, won't we?"
I loved it when my girl showed her smarts. She had intelligence and street smarts and when she used the two of them together, it was amazing. She had adeptly convinced the police detective to come to the apartment tomorrow and continue the interview in front of me. She wanted me to see what was going on, and together we could keep her out of prison.
Erica finished her drink and got up and walked out of the restaurant, leaving the detective sitting alone. He was chuckling to himself as he slowly finished his drink while signaling for Whitney to bring him his check. He paid it and left.
When no one was looking, I stole the tip money he'd left, hoping it would be enough to cover my Tom Collins and calamari. I'd forgotten to bring any money or credit cards due to wearing my disguise and having limited mobility on account of the cast on my right arm.
I stuck the money in my purse and tried to look tired, since I no longer had any reason to stick around and didn't have enough money to have another drink. Whitney seemed to have disappeared, and I found myself feeling flustered by how trapped I was in this corner table, dressed like an old woman and having no reason to be in the restaurant.
"Are you okay, madam?" asked an older man with white hair and glasses who seemed to have appeared alongside my table out of nowhere.
"Oh, mercy, yes, I'm just feeling very tired. This cocktail I had seems to have really sent me on a one way trip to sleepytime."
"May I sit with you for a moment?" he asked.
"Oh certainly, go right ahead, please do, but I won't be staying long."
"How did you hurt your arm?" he asked as he sat down across the table from me.
"I fell off a stoop, goodness me; I can be very clumsy sometimes."
He leaned across the table and spoke in a quiet voice as he said, "I'm here to see Whitney."
"Yes, I've got the hots for her," he said.
"She's young enough to be your granddaughter, shame on you."
"So what, I'm 78 years old and I want to get some 24 year old pussy, send me off with a smile. I imagine it would kill me, but that's a-okay with me."
"You are a very sick man," I chuckled. "Such naughty ideas floating around in your noggin, my goodness, I am to blush."
"What's your name, if I may ask?"
"Everyone calls me Grandma," I told him.
"Well, Whitney likes to call me 'Grandpa,' so I guess we are two peas in a pod, aren't we?"
"Oh my, isn't that just the cat's meow."
Whitney appeared, as if out of nowhere, standing alongside our table. I began to wonder if there was some kind of teleportation portal somewhere that enabled people to do that at this particular table.
"Well, isn't that nice, Grandma and Grandpa have met," Whitney giggled.
Grandpa reached over with his left arm and wrapped it around Whitney's waist. Looking directly at me, he said, "Whitney is my girl."
"Goodness me, I do feel a bit flushed now," I said.
"I keep trying to entice Whitney to come up to my cabin at the lake with me, but she thinks I won't behave myself," Grandpa said. "Maybe if you came along to chaperone she wouldn't have to worry her pretty little head about such things?"
"Will you protect me from the big bad wolf, Grandma?" Whitney asked me.
"You mean as in protecting your virginity?" I said nervously.
"I'm afraid that ship sailed a long time ago," laughed Whitney.
"Oh my, times certainly have changed," I said with a shocked expression on my face.
"See, my darling, Grandma can protect you from me. I'm sure she wouldn't let me harm you in any way."
"Well, Grandpa, I don't know, I barely know either of you well enough to go upstate to your cabin with you."
"Just think of us as your grandparents," Grandpa said. "We can pretend your parents went away to Spain for a week and sent you to live with us."
"We can bake cookies and knit Afghans," I told her. "It could be nice."
"I do have the weekend off," Whitney said.
"Well then, it's on then," Grandpa said, letting go of Whitney and bringing his arm back down along his side. "Bring your grandparents a round of drinks."
"Oh, I really should go," I told them.
"Nonsense," Grandpa told me. "This round is on me, and I will pay for whatever you've ordered. We're going to celebrate."
"Well, in that case, I suppose I cannot say no without being impertinent," I said, seeing this as the perfect way to get out of trying to pay my bill with the stolen tip money.
When Whitney returned with the drinks, she sat down in the booth alongside Grandpa. She sat right up against him and I could see his left hand moving over and coming down somewhere on top of her, either on her leg or somewhere more intimate. She just smiled.
"So, how long does it take to get to this cabin," she asked Grandpa.
"About two hours," he told her. "It is right on a peaceful lake, with a nice porch that has a rocking chair and some fine, fine Adirondack furniture. In the early mornings I like to fish, and later I can cook the fish for our meals."
"And we can make Afghans," I reminded her.
"Sounds like fun," Whitney said before getting up.
"It will be so much fun with you there," Grandpa told her before playfully slapping her on the ass.
"I'll write down my address and phone number for you," Whitney told him. "I'm working Friday night, but I'm off the next three days. So, can we leave Saturday morning?"
"I'll be ready early," Grandpa told her. "You can sleep in the car if you like, but there is some very pretty scenery."
"I'll be ready at seven o'clock," she told him. "Is that early enough?"
"A bit later than I am accustomed to, but for you, we'll make an exception."
After finishing my second drink, I told Grandpa I needed to get home. He insisted on getting my phone number, in order to coordinate the trip, so I gave him my cell phone number after much cajoling. As I got up to leave, he grabbed my uninjured arm and turned me towards him. He caught me completely off guard as he kissed me full on the lips and told me, "I'll see you early Saturday morning."
His kiss had given me a fright. I stopped in the ladies' room on my way out and tried to wash my lips with soap, but that didn't turn out to be a good idea. I couldn't stop the repulsive taste and feeling of his kiss from coming back on me. No matter what I did, it continued to cause me great upset on my drive home.
Erica was already home, which put me in a predicament. I was dressed up as Grandma and had no way to change out of my secret identity without going into the house. My plan had not been very well thought through, and I had never considered the possibility that I would be dragged into someone else's sick fantasy before I could get home.
I'd once read a comic book at the bus station where the superhero who was the star of the comic book had a secret identity. When he wasn't a superhero, he was a regular guy who worked at a newspaper and no one knew he was this superhero because he wore glasses when he was being the newspaper guy.
What I needed was some glasses. I also needed to get out of my old lady dress, stockings, old lady shoes and the bra I had stuffed with socks. I also needed to get rid of my wig and makeup. This superhero had been able to do all this in a telephone booth, but the days of telephone booths and their magic powers had come and gone. I needed something else.
The apartment complex we lived in had a swimming pool with a locker room one could use for changing into swim trunks and then back into street clothes. I went over to the locker room and walked in. There was no one at the pool and the locker room was deserted as well, so I began looking through the lockers for clothes people had left behind and finally found a lime green speedo in one of the lockers.
Checking once again to make sure no one was around I quickly stripped out of my old lady clothes and pulled off my wig. Then I tried to wash off my makeup as best I could before walking out to the swimming pool. I jumped in and splashed around for a while, holding my cast above the water the entire time. This way I wouldn't have to lie to Erica about having been out for a swim.
I had stashed my secret identity clothes in a locker. I went back to check on them to make sure they were okay, and to try to find a towel. I couldn't find one, so I walked back to the apartment dripping wet wearing only the lime green speedo. With my pasty, pathetic body I had to be a comical sight.
Then I realized I hadn't found any glasses. I hadn't seen any in the locker room, but then I noticed that someone had left a pair on the dashboard of their car. The doors were locked, so I used a brick to smash the passenger side window, and then reached inside to grab the glasses.
I put them on before going into the apartment, took a deep breath and walked in. Erica was sitting on the couch looking annoyed and confused. She was confused about my appearance, but annoyed about something else.
"Where have you been?" she wanted to know.
"I went for a swim. I feel refreshed."
"I can see that. Are you fooling around with someone behind my back?"
"No, Miss Erica, of course not; I was out for a swim."
"For two hours?"
"Has it been that long?"
"I've been home for two hours. Where have you been all this time?"
"They wanted to talk to me about Ray's murder."
"I happen to know they caught the guy and closed the case. Why would they still want to talk to you about it?"
"I think they're setting up a trap and trying to make it look like you killed him," I told her emphatically. "This whole thing with the mobster is just a smokescreen. They think you did it."
"Who thinks I did it?"
"Why would they think that?"
"Because they know I punched Ray in the face and that is how I broke my hand."
"Detective Rosewood wanted to come over and talk to me tomorrow night, but I'm sure it's not related."
"Of course it's related!" I exclaimed. "He has no reason to talk to you except about Ray's murder! Don't you get it? He's trying to set you up for a fall."
"You can be there when he talks to me. If you think something fishy is going on, then you can let me know. I'm not going down for Ray's murder."
Erica got up and went into the bathroom while I stood in front of the front door dripping. She came out and tossed me a towel.
"It is typical of you to go swimming and forget to bring a towel," she remarked. "You know, I don't know where you got that sad ass bathing suit, but we need to find you something else to go swimming in. That thing really makes your dick look small, and I can't have people in this complex thinking I was willing to settle for that."
"You have to have standards," I admitted.
"Damn straight, and while I love you to death, letting people think I settled for that when I've never even touched it is just a ridiculous notion. Get yourself some big, loose fitting swim trunks if you're going to start swimming in the pool."
"I will, Miss Erica. Oh, by the way, can I ask you something?"
"What is it?"
"This weekend some friends of mine are going to this cabin upstate and they invited me to come along. Is it okay if I go? I'd be leaving early Saturday morning and coming back probably on Sunday night."
"Of course you can go," Erica told me. "I'm not your keeper... well I'm not your keeper in that sense. Just be a good little boy and remember what I mean to you."
"I will, Miss Erica, I promise. Are you going to be lonely without me?"
"I suppose I will find something to keep myself occupied," she said with a smile. "Thanks for being concerned, but I'm sure I'll be fine. You need to get away for a while, it will do you good. As far as those daily love letters you write and slip under my bedroom door, keep writing them while you're away, but you can give them to me when you return."
"Yes, Miss Erica. Thank you, Miss Erica."
After I toweled off, I put on clean pajamas and went out into the living room to try to watch television, something I wasn't very good at doing. I was still feeling somewhat buzzed from my two Tom Collins drinks, so I pour some peppermint schnapps in my sippy cup and scampered over to the couch. I turned the television on with the remote control, pulled my knees up to my chest, and sipped my schnapps.
Erica had gone off to her bedroom, so I figured I would watch the end of a movie that was on a channel called "Lifetime" and go to bed. I was just getting into the movie, mystified by much of what was going on, but fixated on one character who looked very nice in a bikini, when the doorbell rang.
"Who is it?" I asked after going to the door.
"Police, open the door," came the response.
"What can I help you with, officer?"
"I need to come in and talk to you. Can you open the door?"
"My girlfriend said not to answer the door for anyone late at night, even the police, unless they show me their badge through the peephole."
He held up something to the peephole, but I couldn't tell if it was a police badge or a can of caffeine free Diet Coke. I decided to open the door, and I was relieved to see he was in fact a police officer, in full uniform, and not a psychopath.
"How can I help you, officer?"
"Is Erica home?" he asked.
"Yes, she's in her bedroom. I think she may have gone to sleep. Do I need to wake her?"
"Well, I need to talk to you first," he said. "I called her earlier and she said she would be home, but it took me longer to get here than expected. There was a home invasion on Penelope Street and that delayed my arrival."
"I see," I said. "Have a seat. Sit anywhere."
He sat in the one place I hoped he wouldn't, in my easy chair, so I sat down on the couch and pretended what he did hadn't bothered me.
"We have reason to believe that there is something going on here."
"What do you mean?"
The police officer pulled a scrap of paper out of his pocket, unfolded it, scanned it quickly, sighed and then answered my question. "We have reason to believe that after you punched Ray Mundo in the nose that further acts of violence were perpetrated upon his person and that he never left this apartment on his own power."
"Why are you here telling us this? Isn't this something Detective Haggerty or Detective Cheap Suit would normally be telling us?"
"I'm here in their stead."
"In their what?"
"Stead. I'm here in place of them."
"I was in the neighborhood."
"You said you were tied up for hours with a home invasion and were supposed to be here earlier."
"I may have said that, yes."
"I think you need to leave. Erica is innocent of Ray's murder and you already have the killer in custody."
"He escaped custody this afternoon."
"I'm not at liberty to say, other than to say that he did. He is on the loose and we believe someone is helping him to get out of town."
"Erica didn't help him escape."
"We believe he tried to escape because he is innocent. In my experience, guilty men never try to escape from jail, the guilt weighs them down too much. An innocent man will be lighter in his conscience and be able to flee with greater ease."
"Is that really true?" I asked, very much surprised by this revelation.
"Yes, and this is why we are looking at Erica again for Ray Mundo's murder."
"None of this seems to be on the up and up to me, but I'm not all there."
There was a loud banging on the door to the apartment. I went and opened it to find Detective Cheap Suit and two other uniformed police officers standing there. When combined with the officer who had already arrived, Jimmy's equation was complete. It was the detective and three cops, just like he told me.
"What's going on?" I asked the detective. "What's going on?"
"We need to take Erica into custody," he told me.
"I thought you were coming over tomorrow night?" Erica said after coming out of her room wearing a tight white t-shirt and pink fleece sleep shorts. She looked very sexy and I was getting extra hard looking at her.
"Things changed," Detective Cheap Suit told her. "We need to take you in, tonight."
"Take me in? I thought you were just going to question me again?"
"We have evidence," the detective said. "We have evidence that puts you at the scene of the crime, where Ray Mundo was thrown into the water."
"What kind of evidence?" Erica asked.
Detective Cheap Suit held up a gold ankle bracelet with Erica's name on it. "Are you missing something?" he asked.
"I was wondering what happened to that," Erica said and put her hands up on her face and made an expression just like the kid from the 'Home Alone' movie posters.
The detective had Erica put her hands behind her back and he secured her wrists with handcuffs. Then, just as he was about to lead her out of the apartment, and just before she took the sneakers I offered to she wouldn't hurt her beautiful feet walking outside barefoot, she said something.
"Is there any way we can make a deal here?"
"What do you mean?" Cheap Suit asked her.
"Well, you've caught me. You've found the evidence that can put me away for a very long time. I don't have anything to lose. Is there any way we can make a deal here?"
Detective Cheap Suit, whose name was actually Detective Rosewood, began rubbing his chin thoughtfully with his hand. The three police officers began doing the same, and for a couple of minutes they all appeared to be lost in thought, trying to determine a way to resolve the situation at hand to everyone's benefit.
Rosewood then walked behind Erica and unlocked her handcuffs and removed them. He turned towards me and motioned for me to turn around.
"I didn't do anything," I pleaded.
"You assaulted Ray Mundo. You confessed to that much."
"I didn't kill him!" I cried out.
With tears in my eyes, I turned around and allowed Detective Rosewood to cuff me. Because of my cast, they had to do some "adjustments," but they weren't satisfied. Rosewood told one of the officers to go out to his car and bring back "the serious shit."
I stood there, wild eyed and confused, while Erica went over to the couch and sat down. The officer came back in with a menacing set of manacles and chains.
"What the hell is that?" I asked.
"You are a very dangerous felon," Rosewood told me. "We can't take any chances. You already assaulted one man, and possibly killed him, so we have to follow procedure."
The officer, who I learned was named Officer Bill, attached manacles to my ankles and then drew the chains behind my back and secured them to the handcuffs. I was barely able to move in small, shuffling steps, if at all. Then Officer Bill forced me down into a kneeling position on the floor.
"Why don't you confess to killing Ray Mundo," suggested Detective Rosewood as he lit a cigarette and began smoking.
"We don't smoke in the house," I told him. "Sometimes Erica has a cigarette, but she smokes it outside."
Rosewood sighed. "If you confess to killing Ray Mundo we won't have to arrest Erica. With the evidence we have, the only way she can escape prosecution is if someone else confesses to the crime."
"I thought someone else already confessed," I told him.
"And that invalidates his confession?"
"I don't understand how that is possible."
"Did you go to law school?"
"Then shut up. Either you confess to the crime and allow us to take you in or we'll arrest Erica and put her in the holding sell with those two old ladies."
"Which two old ladies?"
"The ones who assaulted her at the tennis match. They escaped and were recaptured and they are in a holding cell right now at the station."
"How many people escape from police custody in this town? What do you have, a revolving door on your jail cells?"
Rosewood smacked me across the face with a leather glove. "Don't get smart with me, tough guy."
I'd never been called "tough guy" before and it allowed me a moment of happiness in all the chaos surrounding me.
Erica got up and dropped down on her knees beside me. She looked up at Detective Rosewood, her beautiful blue eyes tearing up, and pleaded for my life.
"Please, Detective Rosewood, don't take my sweetheart to jail. I couldn't bear it."
"We don't have a choice, either you or him."
"What if there was another way?" Erica asked.
"I don't see any other possible way, but I'm open to suggestions."
Erica was kneeling to my right and Detective Rosewood was standing to my left. As I waited, wondering if there could possibly be another solution, Erica crawled on her knees towards Rosewood and began unbuckling his belt.
"I'm starting to see a potential alternate solution," laughed Rosewood maniacally.