By the time I arrived back in Los Angeles, I was ready for a drink or five. Reports of the explosion had already hit the local airwaves while I was driving, and as I thought of my lost pay, I got more and more annoyed. I drove through an unfamiliar neighborhood and stopped at the first bar I found that didn’t look too seedy.
I walked straight to the bar and sat down with a well practiced ‘piss off’ expression that should keep the fools at the pool table away.
“I’ll have a vodka tonic.” I said, tossing a crumpled twenty on the counter. The bartender wordlessly took the cash, and set the drink in front of me with a nod. I picked it up and mindlessly stirred the ice around before pulling the straw out and downing the drink. I slammed the empty glass down onto the bar and asked for another. I drank the second one more slowly, giving the first a chance to dull the edges of my ire.
I was about halfway through my third drink, when someone sat in the bar stool right next to me and ordered a scotch on the rocks. I sighed lightly. I was the only person actually sitting at the bar, and I hadn’t eased up on the leave-me-alone air. My muscles tensed slightly as the man settled into his seat and looked at me. I hadn’t glanced his direction, but I could feel his eyes on the side of my head.
“Aneta. You’re a hard woman to find.” he stated.
“Це тому, що я не хочу, щоб мене знайшли…1” I muttered under my breath, biting the straw in my drink as I proceeded to suck the rest of it down. The straw made a swooshing sound as the last of the vodka went through it and was promptly followed by air. I set the glass down and turned to look at the man next to me. He grinned at me, and flashed a badge. Excellent, just what I fucking needed. I sighed and pulled another crumpled twenty out of my pocket.
“Barkeep. Another.” I spat. I looked at the detective pointedly. “What do you want?”
“I just want to talk. I’ve got some questions I’d like to ask you back at my office.” My mind flashed back to the empty soda can and cigarette butt that I’d left at the motel, as well as the video camera I had walked past. Can’t ever catch a break around here. I picked up my new drink and took a healthy swig, bypassing the straw again.
“Am I under arrest?” I asked. He assured me that I wasn’t in any trouble, that he just wanted to talk, and that I’d be free to leave whenever I wanted. He nursed his drink slowly as I contemplated my options. We sat in silence as I finished the vodka tonic, and one more for good measure. I pushed the empty glass away and left my change on the bar.
“Fine. I’ll come in and chat with you, but I’m leaving as soon as I feel like I’m being accused of anything.” I said, grabbing my bag. The detective nodded, and handed me his card. Detective West, Homicide. This day kept getting better and better. He picked up his drink, which was still mostly full, and downed it.
“See you there.” he said as he walked out.
- Translation: That’s because I don’t want to be found… ↩︎