“You want my name? For the record? Fine, Nathanial Jonathan Briggs. Residing at 122 Connecticut Lane, San Francisco. You already know the place, Jakes’ Bar, down on the waterfront. You had it staked out for the past two months.”
“I don’t know where she is. She’s been gone for two weeks now, why do you people keep asking me the same damn questions over and over. Kya is gone. I have no goddamned idea where she went. She just left one day.”
“Yeah, I loved her. She’s a beautiful woman and I loved her with all my heart. It doesn’t matter now, she’s gone. Back to wherever she came from. Can I go now?”
Nate was finally released from the FBI offices and walked out into the bright sunlight. It was a crisp clear morning in Frisco Bay, and he was exhausted. Two weeks. Fourteen days since the love of his life vanished, and then the police and FBI swarmed all over him, the bar, and the bay looking for her. They had never found her, or if they did, they didn’t tell him.
God knows why the FBI was looking for her, it’s not like she was a criminal or anything. Just a lovely woman with a hidden past, who shared his life, his bed, and his heart for almost half a year. Nate pushed open the doors to the bar and looked around, the staff was there, Shirley, Charlene and Kate, all dressed in their green, gold and black, slinging drinks and tossing jokes with the regulars. Nate walked in and just sat down at the bar. Within seconds Shirley was beside him with a hug and a brew.
“Welcome home, Boss. You here to stay this time?” She said in her husky breathy voice.
“I hope so, Shirl. How’s business been?” Nate said, drinking some of the pale ale he liked to enjoy when he had a brew.
“Good, busy, as always when we get close to Paddy’s Day. Charlene’s been keeping the back end running while you been dealing with the authorities, so we’re running OK. But I know she can always do with you looking over the books and making sure she didn’t slip a decimal.” Shirley said, a sparkle to her eye, then sashayed away to serve another customer.
Nate finished the brew and got back to his feet, then went around behind the bar and gave Kate a hug, she smiled at him and kissed him on the cheek, then continued to sling drinks and pour ale for the thirsty brunch crowd. He went into the back room and had a look around. It was all cleaned up, much different from when the FBI raided the place. They had torn it apart, searching for anything, something, God knows what, trying to find where Kya had gone.
On his desk, was the small perpetual motion sculpture she had gotten him as a present. They had left that, not realizing just what it was, so it had been left alone. Nate had that as a memory of the girl he had now lost. Eight glass spheres, lined up in a row, supported by thin strings. On the end were two shiny chrome spheres. If you pulled one apart, it would clack, and the other would bounce away then come back to impact, pushing the momentum of the first one. Only difference was, this device was perpetual motion.
Nate knew that the glass was actually pure diamond, and the metal was some odd metallic blend Kya knew about but would not tell him much, just that it was from her, to him, and that it was real. He pulled one of the chrome spheres back and let it fall, setting the device in motion.
Once every second, a sphere would clack, precisely in time with the clocks in the room, it was a timepiece as well as an example of the conservation of energy principle as Kya understood it. It conserved it’s own energy and did not expel it. The noise made was the only drain on the energy, so this would go in time for days before needing to be fired again.
Go into any store and you can pick one up, but it will only last a few minutes, maybe fifteen or twenty if you’re lucky. Nate’s was much more real than that.
He looked over the books, made some notes as to adjustments that would have to be made, but overall, Charlene had done a great job of keeping the place afloat while he was dealing with the FBI.
“Nate? How you doing, honey?” Shirley said as she came in to check on him.
“As good as can be expected, Shirl. My hearts’ ripped apart, and the cops think I killed her.” He replied with a sigh.
“We know she’s not dead, honey. She’s gone back home. Where she needs to be.” Shirley said, coming over to sit on the desk and look at him. She was a decade older than Nate, the oldest of his staff, and had been working here years ago, long before he and Kate had bought the place.
Shirley knew how to sling the booze, throw a comeback, and toss a drunk on the street better than any bouncer Nate had ever met. She also loved her job, so he kept her on, and had supported her through her own traumas, especially when her husband had passed on three years ago. She was like the older sister he’d never had, and she was a good woman. Shirley knew how hard he had fallen for Kya, and had been the first to pick up Kya’s condition months ago.
“You aint’ kidding nobody, Nate. You look beat, go upstairs and lie down, you need to sleep.” Shirley said, then got back to her feet and held out her hand.
Nate put his hand in hers and followed the older woman out the door and around the corner to the narrow stairwell that wound up around the back of the bar to the suite that was built above it, in the ceiling crawlspace, decades ago when this building had been put together. It was a cozy place, Nate had made it his own since he had moved in years back. Now, he hesitated as he got to the door. Shirley turned and looked at him.
“I can still smell her, Shirley.” He said softly, and Shirley noticed the light fragrance that Kya had always worn, some scent that she had never identified, but was soft and wafted around with the woman as she had moved. It had always seemed to suit her, and it was still detectable, even after this time had passed.
“Yeah, you will, Nate.” She said, pulling him into the room. “You need to open up the windows in here and let the fresh air in, the cops went all over this place too, it took Kate two days to put everything back in the drawers after they finished, and then the bastards came in and did it again.”
She went over and pushed open the swing windows to let in the fresh mid-morning breeze that always blew in from the bay. Nate sat down on the edge of the bed and sighed, lost in memories of times spent on the bed, wrapped in Kya’s arms and legs as they made love over and over again.
He lay back and before he knew it, was out like a light, he never even noticed Shirley pull the wrap over him and then leave the room to let him sleep.