The Cinema Files
page 17, chapter 17
"Ever notice how the building's cleaning lady always sounds like she's breaking the doors down when she vacuums the hallway?"
"No." Rudolph said without thinking. "But I have noticed the neighbour on the other side of me seems to always wait till he's right in front of my door before he coughs. Like he's hacking up a lung."
"Oh yeah, I've heard him too. So, you mentioned the store. What's on your mind?" I was already standing in front of his crime board. My eyes were stuck on the photo at the far right of it, a blurry black and white print out from a 1950's newspaper clipping. Rudolph had marked it with a green sticky note.
"Not why I brought you here." his hands were on my shoulders gently guiding me towards the kitchen table. There was a chickpea salad, mushroom risotto, grilled beets and peppers with roasted cauliflower. All sitting around an unlit candle in a very pretty short vase. "This is." he gestured towards the meal before taking his phone out of his pocket. I had to lean back slightly as the phone was under my nose before I could think, Rudolph was scrolling through shots of not just this meal, but two others in a blur.
"Hold up." I snatched the little contraption out of his hand. "Explain with words."
"My boss decided to dump the Lifestyle section on my lap while the regular girl is off on her honeymoon." he wrapped his arms around my shoulders, leaning on my right one. He smelled like cantaloupe and limes. "He's got me doing that on top of my regular columns. I'm over my head. I don't know a thing about this stuff."
"And you thought I would why?" I took another deep breath, just breathing him in.
"Your aunt wrote that sort of column. I saw a few of them in the archives."
"So translate that for me. Are you asking for my advice and input or are you asking more?"
"For you to cover it for me. Please? It's just for two weeks, just two articles on any topic." his left hand was now down to my elbow as he moved around to face me. Bringing both hands then up together in a begging gesture. "Please Desdemona. I'm begging and I will make it up to you." He looked so helpless all of a sudden. "Starting with dinner."
"Fine. But something tells me I'm going to regret it." We sat down to eat, a look of relief washing over his beautiful grey eyes. "So you still haven't told me why you were thinking about the store from this morning?" I watched as Rudolph lowered his face, slumping his shoulders tight as he leaned over his plate.
"I don't want to talk about it right now. I just want to have a pleasant dinner." he sighed then stuffing a large amount of food into his mouth, nearly biting the fork in frustration. He chewed noisily for a long moment before dropping his fork to his plate. "You don't have any girlfriends." Rudolph shook his head. "The group today was all men." I found myself unable to stop a smile suddenly at his jealously.
"No I don't have any female friends. But I don't see why that matters?"
"Because." he didn't continue, just stared at his plate wide eyed pushing a single chickpea around. "I like you. I need to know if I am going to have to work for your attention? What kind of walls am I up against?"
"I'm not sure I really know the answer to that?" I was blushing at this point, unable to catch my breath. There was no way I could tell him the true about my last 24 hours with Detective Whitechapel. I was brought back to the moment by the sound of Rudolph's phone buzzing wildly.
"It's the newspaper." he mumbled as he moved from the table to answer. I didn't hear him say much beyond a few 'okays' and 'are you sure'; but he did grab a pen and jot something down on an envelope. Hanging up he copied the info then into his phone.
Tune in again for another installment of the Cinema Files starring your heroine...me(straight up story. Emotional boy)