It’s been three weeks since my father’s infamous dinner party. I haven’t been doing too much these past couple of weeks. Just doing some leg work for Minna on a couple of her cases. I can say it’s been truly boring.
My main concern, though, was that there was no news regarding Mitchell’s death. And I was beginning to think the only way it was going to get solved was if I did my own investigation.
While doing some work for Minna, I did find out a few bits of information about John. A friend of mine who works for North American Bank gave me a call one day to inform me that in the last six months, John’s bank account jumped from having a couple of thousand dollars to a couple of hundred thousand dollars.. Knowing full well that unless he hit the lottery, there was no way he could make that type of money on his salary.
“Tiffany, do you know if these deposits were made in cash or by checks?” “Hold on a minute, Trevor.”
I can hear Tiffany rapidly beating her computer keys.
“Well, three of the large deposits of over fifty thousand were made in cash.” “Thanks Tiffany, this helps alot.”
“Any time Trevor. I’m just glad that I can return one of my many favors to you.”
As much as I didn’t want to believe it, John kept coming up in my mind as a suspect. But, the question I kept asking myself was why in the hell did he feel it necessary to frame me? Well, there’s only one way to find out...I’m gonna have to ask him.
It’s around three o’clock on Wednesday and I’m sitting in the office when Michelle buzzes me. I pick up the receiver.
“Yes, Michelle?” I answer
“Mr. Morrows, uh, excuse me, Trevor, John Langston’s on the phone.” “Thanks, Michelle.”
I quickly press the other line.
“Hello, John. Thanks for calling me back after three days.” I say sarcastically. “I’m sorry, T. I’ve been extremely busy. What’s up?’
“Listen, we need to talk. Is it possible you can meet with me around say 6?”
“Sure, I think I can manage that. What’s this about?”
“I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to go over it on the phone.” “Okay fine. Where do you wanna meet?”
“How about that little diner on 14th street?”
“Sounds good. I’ll see you then.”
One of the things that helped me in my career as a police detective is that I am able to read people. By asking the right questions, I can pretty much tell if a person is lying or telling the truth. Though it’s hard as hell for me to believe that John could be involved in this, I had to find out for sure. I needed to be extra careful though, because John knows me too well. He’ll know what I’m up to if I give away my hand too quickly.
Around 5:55 I walk in the diner on 14th street and look quickly around. I can see John in a booth in the back of the diner. As I walk towards the booth my mind went into a spasm. For some reason my memory flashed back to the diner Mitchell and I were in the night he died. I quickly pushed the thought back realizing that it was only deja vu, because the two diners were similar. I slide in the booth opposite John.
“What’s up, T?” John asks as he sips his coffee. “Not much John. How’s Yolanda?”
“Oh, she’s fine. Listen, Trevor, what’s this all about. I know you didn’t wanted to see me to ask me about Yolanda.”
“You’re right, John. I’m just a little concerned about something’s that’s been happening with Mitchell’s case.”
“Like I haven’t heard anything from you or anyone else for that matter regarding any progress.”
“Trevor, you know how these things go. It’s not like we’re not trying, it’s just we’re so back-logged that it’s extremely difficult to concentrate on just one case.”
“I see. So you’re telling me that nothing new has come up since I was arrested.” “What!! You were arrested? When? No one told me.” John exclaimed.
“Come on John, you mean to tell me that you didn’t know I was arrested for the two murders a month ago. I find that hard to believe, especially since this was supposedly your case.”
“Trevor, I swear to you I didn’t know you were arrested. The Internal Affairs guys have been keeping me in the dark about any arrests they made.”
“Wait a minute, John. I didn’t tell you the I.A guys were involved in my arrest.”
“Well I, I...” John stammers.
“Look, John, I don’t know what the fuck’s going on here, but let me tell you what I think. One, you were the only one on the police force who knew about my relationship with Mitchell and then he showed up dead in my bed. Two, you were the only one who knew that I was going on to see Raymond that day and he showed up dead just when I got there. Three, you were involved in the drug bust in Queens and now your bank account seems to have gotten pregnant overnight. Now, John, I really need some answers and I need them now.”
John looks at me with sweat dripping down his face. He quickly looks towards the window and stares out of it for about three minutes.
Again, my mind flashes back to that night. I suddenly realize it wasn’t the diner that was causing my deja vu, but it was what John was wearing.
I remember that when Mitchell got up to supposedly talk to this artist, the artist was wearing the same black jogging suit John’s wearing. Though I couldn’t see the guy’s face, I do remember that he was white and had a mole on the right side of his upper lip.
“Look John, you’re the last person I want to suspect. But, I’ll be damn if I let you or anyone else get away with murder.”
“Trevor, I didn’t do it. I wish I could tell you more, but I can’t”
“What do you mean you can’t. John, if you know something, then you need to tell me.” “Trevor, you’ve gotta trust me on this.”
“How can I trust you, John, if you’ve been lying to me? Come to think of it you’ve been lying to me from the very start. I’m sorry, John, I can’t take this as an answer.”
“Well, Trevor, you’re just gonna have to.”
I got up quickly. I was so furious. I looked John right in the eye.
“Oh, I’m just gonna have to, huh? John, I never thought I would see the day when you would betray me. And I thought I knew you. But, evidently you don’t know me, because believe me, I will see you and whoever else that’s involved go down. And the trip along the way won’t be a pretty one.”
“Trevor, I know you’re angry and upset.”
I smile at John.
“Come now, John, you have no idea what anger looks like on me. But, before I’m done you’ll see more sides of me that will make your head spin.”
My mind was whirling on my way back to the office. I could barely believe what I just witnessed. The guy I trusted for so many years was now practically a stranger. I didn’t know him at all.
Oblivious to the honking behind me, my jeep jerks forward from a tap by a car in back of me.
“What the” I blurt out as I look in the rear view mirror. I smile as I notice a bright red convertible behind me. I pull over to the side of the street and Marcus pulls in front of me. I step out of my jeep and walk towards Marcus’ car.
“Who taught you how to drive, bitch?” I say smiling.
“Chile, I was honking for five minutes and you acted like you didn’t hear me. So I figured hitting you would get your attention.”
“Well, it got my attention. What are you doing out here anyway?”
“I was coming to see your tired ass. What are you doing for dinner?”
“Well, I was on my way back to the office to catch up on somethings and then I was going home, why?”
“Baby, I got some juicy gossip and I figured I’d share it with you over dinner.” You buying’ me dinner, are you? Well, how can I refuse?”
“Now I didn’t say I was gonna buy you dinner. But if you are hard up, I guess I can spring for a meal. I’ll follow you to your office, since I never got an invitation.”
“Boy, please, I asked you to come look at it the other week, but you and Isaac were going through changes and you bit my head off. So I just left your ass alone.”
“I know, I know. Just get your happy ass in your car and let’s go. By the way, don’t I look fierce?” Marcus asks striking a pose.
“Yeah, you look just like Diana Ross in Mahogany.” I say, laughing my way back to my jeep.
Marcus and I are laughing as we walk through the revolving doors of the office lobby. I look up and see Arnold at the security station.
“Who is that phine specimen of a man?” Marcus asks animatedly. “Cool you panties, Marcus. I’ll introduce you.”
We both walk towards the station and Arnold’s face seems to light up when he sees us approach.
“Good evening, Trevor,” Arnold greets us with his deep voice. “Hi, Arnold, how are you this evening?” I ask.
“I’m having a great day and yourself?”
“Not too bad. Arnold, this is my friend Marcus. Marcus, this is Arnold.” They both shake hands.
“Nice to meet you, Arnold. So how long have you been securing things?” Marcus asks with his voice dripping with flirtation.
“For about a year. Oh, listen, Trevor, before I forget, I was wondering, if you two fellas aren’t doing anything on Saturday, a friend of mine is throwing a party and I’d like for you to come.”
Before I can say a word. Marcus pipes in.
“We would love to come. Ain’t that right, Trevor?”
“As usual Marcus is speaking for himself. I’ll have to check my calendar and get back with you.”
“Bet. Just let me know by Friday, so I can give you the address and all.” “Sure. Uh, by the way, I thought you only worked on the weekends.”
“Naw, I work the evening shift during the week. You’re just never around during the week to catch me.”
“Oh. Anyway, I’ve got somethings to tie up in my office. So I’ll let you know by Friday.”
“Cool, but you really should try to make it. It’s gonna be da’ bomb.” “Oh, we’ll be there if you will.” Marcus puts in smiling.
As we walk towards an open elevator, I grab Marcus by the arm and whisper heatedly. “Will you shut up?!”
“What? I’m just being friendly. The boy obviously likes you.”
“Marcus, I don’t care. I don’t need this shit now.” “So, when do you need it?”
“Look, you know what I’m dealing with right now. I don’t need to be bothered with a little boy with breast milk still on his breath.”
“That’s my point. That’s exactly what you need. Something to take your mind off your troubles and as fine as homeboy looks, I don’t think he would have any trouble doing that.”
“Marcus, please not now. I think I had my fill of all that.”
“Chile, get over yourself. I know it can be traumatic to wake up and find your ex-lover dead in bed with you, then again, I think I’d be flattered to know Miss Kitty gave a man a coronary. Any way, it’s not as if he asked you out or nothing. It’s only a party and I wanna go. So, you better get the directions, or I will carry on.”
“Well, he looks like he’s deep, deep in the closet, so it’s probably one of those straight parties.”
“So what? As long as there’s free food and free liquor, I’m home.” “Fine, I’ll get the directions from him when we leave.”
We arrive on the thirty-sixth floor and walk through the doors of the reception area.
“Trevor, you have a few messages,” Michelle says as we both walk through the reception area.
“Thank s alot Michelle.” I quickly pick up the messages from the stand and read them over. “Oh yeah, Michelle, this is my friend Marcus.”
“How are you?” Michelle asks.
“Fine thanks. You have the most beautiful eyes. Have you ever modeled before?” “No, but thank you. That’s the nicest compliment I’ve received all day.”
“Well, if I were you, I’d think about doing some modeling. You have excellent features.” “I don’t know about that. I’m too camera shy.”
“Well listen, if you change your mind, here is the name and telephone number of a friend of mine. He’s a photographer. Tell him I told you to call and he will hook you up, girl,” Marcus says writing down the information.
“Well, thank you. I’ll think about it.”
“Marcus, are you coming?” I ask.
“I’m right behind you.” Then he laughs. “How many times have I heard that one?” “Boy, you’re stupid.”
“I know, but you gotta love me.” “Hmm, sometimes I wonder.”
One of the messages was from Margaret Urbans, so I quickly sat down behind my desk and picked up the phone.
“This is really nice, Trevor. Where’d you get the desk?”
“From my father. Listen, let me make this one phone call and then we can be outta here.” “Yeah, so we can talk to your cute little security guard again. Boy, if you don’t want him, send him over my way.”
“And how would Isaac feel about that?”
“Isaac will come together. If l decided to go that route, he better have nothing to say. I feel it’s just payback after he messed around with his ex-wife while we were together.” “What?!” I exclaimed. “When did all this happen?”
“Chile, I told you I had some juicy gossip. So just hurry up and get off the phone so I can tell you everything. Anyway, you’ve got to let me know how your father’s dinner turn ed out.”
“Okay, give me five minutes.”
I quickly dialed the Urbans’ number and Eugene picked up the phone on the second ring. “Mr. Urbans, hi. This is Trevor. How are you?”
“I’m okay, son. How you feel?”
“Not too bad, not too bad. Um, I got a message that Mrs. Urbans called.”
“Yes she did. Hold on a minute.”
He placed down the phone and in a few seconds Mrs. Urbans picked up. “Trevor, sweetheart, how are you?”
“I’m fine, Margaret. How are you holdin’ up?” “Baby, I’m just taking it one day at a time.”
“I hear ya. That’s all any of us cando.”
“Honey, I know you’re probably busy, but I was wondering if you could do me a favor?” “Anything, Margaret. I’m never too busy for you.”
“Well, I need to go over to Mitchell’s apartment and clean up. I don’t have the key and I believe you have a copy. Would you mind going over there with me tomorrow morning to help me go through his things. It’s gonna be hard as it is, packing up his things and all. It would be nice if you could be there with me.”
“Margaret, I will be more than happy to help. What time?”
“Well, baby, I was hoping to start around nine o’clock. But if that’s too early, I can make it later.”
“No, no, not at all. Nine o’clock is fine. Do you need me to bring anything?”
“No, baby, just you being there will be enough. Listen, Trevor sweetheart, I’ve got
Eugene’s chicken in the fryer. I’ll see you tomorrow.” “Okay, Margaret, see you then.”
“Oh damn!!” I say hanging up the phone. “What? What’s wrong?”
“That was Mitchell’s mother. She wants me to help her pack up Mitchell’s stuff tomorrow morning. I don’t know if I can handle this. There’s just going to be too many memories coming up.”
“You want me come with you?”
“Would you? I really could use you there.” “No problem. What time?”
“Nine o’clock tomorrow morning.”
“Nine o’clock!! Well, alright, but you know I don’t look my loveliest until after 11. I can’t guarantee how I’m gonna look anytime before that.”
“I know that’s right. I’ve seen you first thing in the morning. And it ain’t a cute sight.” I say laughing.
“Oh, you wanna crack on a brother. I can remember the sun going back down when you blow your morning breath.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. My breath always smells fresh, like the morning dew.”
“I don’t know about the morning dew. More like doo-doo.” “Alright, you got me. Let’s go eat. Where you taking me anyway?” “I was thinking maybe McDonald’s”
“Boy, you know I don’t eat that shit.”
“That’s right, you have to watch that girlish figure of yours.”
The reception area was deserted when we left from my office. We both rode back downstairs to the lobby and I said to Marcus, “Look, Marcus, behave yourself. I have to see this boy everyday. I don’t need him thinking that all I do is hang around a bunch of horny, man-starved queens.”
“Well, when you’re right, you’re right.”
“Then at least perpetrate the fraud and butch up a little.”
“Alright, how’s this?” Marcus asks as he grabs his crotch and cocks to the side. I laugh. “Oh yeah, you really look natural.”
“Yo, Yo kid. Dis is da real deal. Let’s kick it at the crib and smoke a Philly.” Marcus says in his homeboy accent.
I’m still laughing as the elevator doors open. “What’s the joke.” Arnold says smiling.
Now that I think of it, the mandoes have a nice smile. “You really don’t want to know.” I answer.
Marcus, still in character, swaggers over to Arnold and leans against the security station. “Yo, wuttup, kid?” he asks.
Arnold looks at me and all I could do was laugh and shake my head.
“Don’t pay that fool no mind. Listen, I looked at my calendar and Saturday night is pretty open, so I guess we can go. If the invitation still stands... “
“And why wouldn’t it be? I don’t have all the information on me now, but, um, if you give me your number, I can call you later on tonight to give it to you.”
Aw shit. Marcus and I both caught that. Marcus quickly slips out of character, looks at me, smiles and gives me that “I told you so” look. I really didn’t think it was a good idea to give him my number, but I know Marcus wasn’t going to leave me alone if I didn’t.
I jot my telephone number down and hand it to him.
“When’s the best time to call you?” Arnold asks with a huge grin on his face.
“You can call anytime, I have an answering machine. So, if I’m not there, you can leave the information on the machine.”
And that’s exactly what he’s going to do. Thank science for caller ID. When his ass calls, if he calls, I’ll just let the machine pick it up.
“I hate talking into those things. They’re so impersonal,” he says slyly.
“Sorry, it’s either that or take your chances of catching me,” I say with a smirk and a twitch of my eyebrows.
“Well, I’ve never had a problem with catching what I want.”
I look at him as he smiles at me.
“Oh, no you didn’t,” I say to myself. “Let me go ahead and nip this in the bud now, before I have this boy strung out.”
Almost as if Marcus was reading my mind, he quickly interrupts:
“Trevor, we’re going to be late. It was great meeting you, Arnold and we’ll see you on
Saturday.” Marcus says as he grips my arm. On the way out the door he said.
“I know you were about to let him have it.”
“Damn right. He was getting a little bit too cocky, just because I gave him the digits.” “Would you stop it, Trevor. Why are you acting like this? The boy is interested in you and was trying to put his Mac on.”
“I know. I need to lighten up. It’s just that I don’t need this to interfere with my work.” “Trevor, the boy’s only a security guard. What harm can he do? More like what harm do you want him to do?”
“Come on, Trevor. I can tell you like him. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be going through all these changes.”
“I’ll admit he’s cute. But so are puppies and babies.”
“Well, he ain’t no puppy and he damn sure ain’t nobody’s baby. Just lighten up and see what the boy has to say.”
“I’ll see. I ain’t makin’ no promises.”
We both decided on the diner I met John at earlier. For the next two hours Marcus caught me up on the trials and tribulations he calls his life. Starting with his relationship with Isaac.
“Yeah, chile. The bitch calls my house and tells me to leave her man alone.” “What!! You’re lying.”
“If I’m lying I’m flying and my name ain’t Superman.” “So what did you say?”
“I calmly told her that if Isaac wanted to leave, he’s more than free to do it. I said I didn’t have the man tied up, at least not since last night and, Trevor, she gagged. She said.
‘What?! My man don’t do that.’ I said ’Girlfriend, I ain’t got no reason to lie to you.
Your man is about as freaky as the Jacksons”
“What did Isaac have to say?”
“Of course his sorry ass lied about it. He told me he hasn’t slept with her in over two years. Come to find out, he was over there last month, layin it on her. I told him I didn’t care if he fucked her, but he didn’t have to lie about it.”
“So, what’s the verdict, are you gonna keep him?”
“Chile, I don’t know. The verdict’s still out. I’m not gonna lie, he hurt me. But, I mean, I still love him. It just kills me that I’m going through the same drama as some of these women out there. Dealing with the same no good motherfuckers. I thought about flippin’ the script a couple times.”
“Not you!!” I said laughing.
“You damn right not me. I been that route and it was like bumpin’ pussies. I just don’t understand, Trevor, I thought the man was happy with me. I don’t know what more to do.”
“Marcus, please. It’s not you who needs to do more. Isaac needs to prove he’s worthy of you now. He’s the one that fucked up. And no matter how happy or unhappy Isaac can be, his little dick will always want something different. It has nothing to do with how much you love him. It has everything to do with how much he loves you. Because if he loves you enough, I don’t care how much his little friend starts talking to him, he wouldn’t want to see you hurt. And that should be more of an incentive not to go and sleep around.”
“You know what? You’re right. He needs to prove that he’s worthy of me. Even after that, I don’t know if I want his sorry ass anymore anyway. Enough about me, so how are you doing? How was the dinner party? Was it scandalous?”
“Damn near it. Did I tell you Kasha showed up?”
“Oh no you didn’t. Okay, start from the beginning and don’t leave anything out.” In about twenty minutes, I gave Marcus the complete story.
“Now see, I shoulda been there. I bet Ms. Kasha will think twice before she crosses
Minna again..,” Marcus said laughing.
“Sho’ you right. Listen, Marcus, it’s gettin’ late. I need to be moseying on home. So should you. I don’t want to hear about how you overslept. You hear me?”
“Alright, alright, I’ll be there on time with bells on.” “Marcus, keep the bells at home please.”
Of course Marcus wasn’t ready when I showed up at his apartment. I told him I would pick him up at a quarter to nine. And here it was already 9:00 and he was just getting out the shower.
“Marcus, I swear boy, you’d be late for your own wedding.”
“That’s okay. They can’t start the ceremony without the bride anyway.”
We finally made it to Mitchell’s apartment building around 9:45 and Mrs. Urbans was sitting in her silver Lexus waiting on us. I quickly jumped out the jeep and walked over to her car.
“Margaret, I am so sorry. I was waiting on my friend Marcus and he overslept.” “That’s okay, baby, it gave me a chance to listen to my gospel tape.” She said.
The three of us walked silently through the gate to the front lawn of the apartment complex. We walked inside the large lobby and went straight for the elevators. The ancient elevator car took forever to reach the lobby area. By the time we finally reached the fourteenth floor we were all just glad to finally be out of the car.
I pulled out my copy of the keys to Mitchell’s apartment and started to insert it in the lock. I placed the key into the lock and was about to turn it when the door slowly opened from my touch. I looked at Mrs. Urbans and Marcus and pointed them back away from the door. I quickly pulled out Honey from my back holster and whispered...
“Stay back. I’ll let you know if it’s okay to come in.”
I inched the door a little further and stuck closely to it. Holding Honey with both hands in front of me, I walked in slowly. The place was a wreck. Clothes, paper, garbage and other items littered the floor. All the furniture was turned over.
I walked through the hallway and into the bedroom. The bedroom was in the same condition as the living room, in total disarray. Whatever they were looking for must have been extremely important. After giving a quick look through, I went to the front door to let the Marcus and Mrs. Urbans in.
“Whoever did this is gone,” I said motioning them in.
“Oh my goodness,” Margaret said as she walked through the door. “Who would do this?” Marcus asked.
“I have no idea, but whoever it was, he or she was looking for something important.”
It takes us about six hours to get everything in some sort of order. And making a few trips up and down the stairs we were able to get everything packed.
We were just about finished when Marcus walks up to me with a shoe box.
“What do you want me to do with this?” he asks. “What’s in it?”
“Some love letters you gave him.”
I quickly grabbed the box from Marcus and opened it. I took the first letter and began to read it.
Baby, I miss you so much. I long for the time when we can be together. I don’t know how long I can wait until you end it with Trevor. But I suppose I’ll just have to try.
I can’t help but remember the day we shared at the beach and I’ll never forget that night, watching you cook dinner naked in the kitchen and then in the bedroom.
I had to put the letter down as tears start to roll down my face. “These aren’t my letters,” I said trying to fight back the tears.
Marcus grabbed the box from me as I walked to the bathroom. I turn the water on in the sink and splash my face with it. Marcus walks in behind me.
“Trevor, I’m sorry I didn’t know.”
“Don’t sweat it, Marcus. It’s not your fault I was in love with an asshole. Look, let’s get the rest of this shit out of here and go home. I need a drink.”
“Sure, whatever you say. But look what I found in the bottom of the box.”
Marcus hands me a picture. Mitchell was at some party with a group of people. What caught my eye though was who Mitchell had his arm around. I couldn’t tell right off who it was because the guy had his head turned slightly. But after I looked at it closely, there was no denying the features.
I then grabbed the box of letters from Marcus and picked out the letters. I looked at the end of each letter and they were all signed I love you, R.J. I looked at Marcus.
“Well, I’ll be damned,” I said. “What, what is it?”
“I’ll tell you later. Grab the other stuff and let’s get outta here. I need to do a little snooping.”