The Cinema Files
page 3, chapter 3
I walked into my building, trying to balance a large plastic bin of files, a cheese pizza and my purse while digging for my keys. My mind still reeling from the last few hours. A dead body, a mystery man, and my aunt's secret life. I couldn't think straight and all I was thinking about was how I was going to open the door to the apartment without loosing my lunch? Well, dinner actually, and I was meaning keeping the pizza box from slipping to the floor while I tried to balance everything. Giving in, I let out a long breath having to place the storage bin and pizza on the floor. There was just no way around the situation, I wasn't talented enough to balance it.
"Let me help you with that." a male voice said out of nowhere. Well, actually behind me slightly to my right. I stopped cold, unaware anyone had been watching my attempt to not dump my dinner on my shoes. God, I hope my underwear wasn't showing. Turning, I saw the most beautiful pair of grey eyes suddenly staring back at me. "You look like you are having a bit of a rough day." He bent picking up the storage bin, his eyes crinkling as he smiled. I remember nodding as I finally got the key into the doorknob, opening it. I placed the pizza on the nearest surface, hitting the light switch, flooding the small hallway suddenly with a progressive orange glow. "I'm Rudolph." he brought his right hand then to his chest palm flat. "I just moved in across the hall."
"Desdemona." I said hanging my purse on the doorknob of the hall closet.
"Where would you like me to put this?" he asked lifting the storage bin a foot. I pointed to the kitchen table just to the left of him.
"Thank you." I managed to get my coat off, holding it like a shield. He crossed back to the door in a few quick strides, turning to face me as he leaned his left shoulder on the doorframe hands in his back pockets. He was not quite 6'foot, with jet black hair that was to collar, his pale skin showing the beginnings of a sunburn just under his hairline on his forehead. Proof that he wore a hat when outside. His build was difficult to figure for certain as he was wearing loose fitting jeans and shirt. Did I mention he had a slight accent that I couldn't place?
"You could thank me by..." he grinned widely his teeth clenched, shoulders suddenly raised. "...walking around the neighbourhood with me. Maybe point out the nearest grocery store, or restaurant. I literally got to town three hours ago and nothing is hooked up yet. I can't even get a map of the place." I nodded still caught in those grey eyes of his. "Cool. I'll come knocking again in about half hour." he gestured then to his apartment with his right hand.
"Half hour." I nodded again as I stood there then for a few seconds my brain not computing before closing the apartment door. Just enough time to shove two pieces of the pizza into me, brush my teeth from the garlic breath and find a clean t-shirt that was a little more v-necked. At which point I realized it was too v-necked showing off my very comfortable but unsexy granny bra. I ended up changing back into the first t-shirt as I slapped my hands against my thighs in defeat. Rudolph showed up exactly at the half hour mark, his phone clutched tight in hand. I noticed how tight actually, like his life depended on never letting it go. As we left the building, I couldn't seem to keep my eyes off him. Not just because he was extremely good looking, but because he was still gripping his phone like a life raft. That was until we turned the block and he started taking pictures of everything.
"It's so beautiful here." he spoke quickly. I gestured towards the next left turn saying the grocery was across that parking lot from the bank. I was so wrapped up in the moment, I didn't notice Blake's car parked at the chicken place next door to the bank.
There was a knock at my door three hours later, less than two minutes after I got home. And then there was another knock, followed by a rapid fire series of them before I had a chance to cross the kitchen to open the door.
"What the hell'd ya tink ya'r doin'?" Blake's words were as rapid fire as his knocking had been. His strawberry blonde hair was sticking up in the back from where he'd been wearing the hood of his sweater; his ice blue eyes squinted up in something that could be anger or disgust I couldn't tell which. "Some unknown guy gots murdered ten feet from yous this mornin' and I sees you, right, few hours later, out gallivanting around town with some guy I've never met before?" he wiped then at the corners of his mouth turning a half step towards the hallway, his right arm gesturing wildly. "What ifs that was ta guy? Huh? What ifs, that was the murderer?" Blake ran his hand then through his short hair closing his eyes for a second. "What sure? What were you babysitting or something? You going to let me in or what now?" he snarked referring to the fact Rudolph was a lot younger than us.
"Do you have to go to the bathroom?"
"Then no, I'm not going to let you in. Night. I'll talk to you tomorrow." I closed the door locking it. Sighing, I allowed myself first a few seconds of silent disbelief at how worked up Blake had been, then as I crossed to the bedroom to change, allowed myself a half giggle at how worked up Blake had been. Sitting down at the kitchen table with the rest of my now very cold very coagulated cheese pizza and the files Vincent and I had gathered from my aunt's storage locker, I began to make some notes of my own. I started by noting how many clippings my aunt had gathered from the newspaper Our Local Source. Not too surprising given she did work there. What was surprising was the number of them she had cross referenced with a small red star beside them. I searched everywhere in the bin of files but couldn't figure out what that meant? When I heard the upstairs neighbour's alarm go off suddenly causing me to jump, I looked at the clock realizing it was after 2am already. Turning the lights off, I went to bed my mind racing with everything that had happened that day. From the dead guy, to the mystery man, to Blake's reaction to seeing Rudolph.
I was just crossing the parking lot of the mini mall the next morning, still yawning when Vincent opened the door to the coffee shop. He stood there like an angel holding out the largest mug of coffee I'd seen. It was one of those extreme cappuccino mugs the cafe used for soup. I had to hold it with both hands as I sipped the still steaming liquid. "There's a reporter here to talk to us. I figured he might as well talk to us together." I raised both my eyebrows in question as I looked around Vincent's shoulder seeing an empty room. "He's in the bathroom." Nodding, I shuffled to the nearest table dropping my purse and carefully placing my oversized coffee on the table's surface. I liked the design the worn tabletop had gathered over the years. People having left drawings in marker that had been painted over but still showed through.
"We meet again." I heard Rudolph's smooth voice as I looked up. He was standing there beside Vincent suddenly. Turning to him, he dropped his canvas bag on the chair across from me. "Can I get another large black coffee and just let me know when your friend gets here." Vincent tilted his head towards him smiling, before gesturing towards me.
"That's Desdemona." Vincent's brown eyes sparkled as he took a step back to get Rudolph his order.
"You're a reporter?" I found myself whispering somewhere between shyness and shock. He nodded gathering up then a pen and notepad before reaching for his phone. He waved it before placing it beside him on the table, hitting the record button.
Tune in again for another installment of Cinema Files starring your heroine...me(straight up story. Small world isn't it?)
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