It's been two weeks since her disappearance and that's why you are here. To help discover her whereabouts." Emily paused, narrowed her eyes and looked keenly at him before continuing. "She really doesn't do anything without informing me; this isn't right. '' Emily stood from the chair with hands on her hips and continued. "I just hope she's not in any form of danger. By the way, I am Emily Clarkson". She added extending her hand.
"Frets Williams at your service" he replied, sizing her up before taking her hand. "Do you mind reminding me what you said you do?"
"I'm an architectural engineer as well as a construction engineer and I'm sure I never mentioned it".
"Now I see why__" Frets paused and smiled trying not to say anything displeasing. "Why don't we run through the details of the last days before her disappearance, what was she like?"
"She was just plain Sabrina, the Sabrina I've always known" She replied showing a bit of frustration.
"Okay, let's do this again. I mean, was there anything off in the way she behaved, what changed?"
"Sabrina is a lovely girl, I mean, she has a different temperament from me but I think the world of her and I can't think of anything that will make her suddenly disappear without telling me. I think she's in some sort of danger." The words tumbled out of her lips.
Frets looked carefully at Emily, She was a very attractive woman with her brown colouring, her intensely brown hair and her very alive blue eyes. She was dressed in a loosely buttoned flannel shirt on denim jeans and a brown ankle boot. His first impression of her was a woman who liked being in charge and the way she interacted with him initially had confirmed this. But right now, he wasn't sure anymore, he felt like he was speaking to a naive woman who was scared of the unknown or probably scared of what she couldn't control.
"Ms Clarkson, I can assure you that I'll do my best to bring to light the whereabouts of your friend" Frets assured. "But right now, I'll need you to be cooperative enough to give the right answers when I ask a question if not, there's no way I can help."
Emily wore a dreadful scowl on her face and looked at the man that had just spoken with burning eyes; he obviously couldn't comprehend how she felt right now. Sabrina Langdon has been her best friend since she was five and when Sabrina lost her parents to a gas explosion at seven, she had moved in with Emily's family until after college. In fact, they were sisters and Emily felt responsible for her.
Recently, Sabrina had discovered her failing heart disease; Emily had insisted that she underwent surgery and move in with her but she refused. As far as she was concerned, she deserved the chance to shop, party, fall in love, go on vacation and eat whatever she wanted.
A week ago, Emily had taken the One-hour drive from the countryside of Denver to visit her sister in the city of Colorado Springs; instead of the warm welcome she had expected, she was greeted by the unlocked doors and windows to a surprisingly silent house. It was not unusual for the doors and windows to be kept unlocked; trust Sabrina to always be careless. But one week had elapsed and there was still no sign of Sabrina, all the calls Emily had put across to her went straight to voicemail and Emily was sick with worry.
Emily snapped out of her thoughts to face Frets squarely."I hired you to do one job, so instead of sitting here questioning me, why not do your damn job and find me, my sister."She said angrily and walked out of the house, leaving behind heavy footprints of mud.
"C' mon Frets have a little respect; you can't go about checking a woman's closet without permission."
"I would have asked if she was here."
"I can assure you that you won't leave this house until you carefully fold and arrange every cloth you've unfolded."
"Yes, boss lady" he replied rolling his eyes.
Emily's eyes caught a picture she had taken together with Sabrina last summer and hot tears stung the back of her eyes. "Where are you Sab?" she whispered in a shaky voice. "I really need you".
Sabrina was pretty with big green eyeballs and curly blonde hair that fluffed around her face in a stylish manner. The thing Emily liked most about her was her effervescent personality. Although she constantly behaved like a child that needed to be taken care of, she was very outgoing and friendly with a bubbly exuberance. At twenty-four, Sabrina owned her own clothing brand and was a successful fashion influencer.
In a way, Emily felt attached to Sabrina. Why wouldn't she? After all, Sabrina had been the one saving her since she could not remember. Remembering an incident that occurred when she was ten; she had scratched her dad's car and Sabrina had taken the fall for her. Emily concluded that she was gonna find Sabrina regardless of what it costs her.
Frets surfed through the room and came across a stack of newspaper which caught his attention. "It's either your friend is a newspaper freak or she has plans to open a store that resells old newspapers."
"I have spoken to her about disposing off them but she is just ___" Emily replied in a chuckle but then stopped abruptly. "No, this isn't right" she blurted out, pointing to the stack of newspapers on the floor.
Frets looked at the stack in a confused way. "I could use a little more detail on what isn't right,"
"Okay, okay, this stack is always on a small stool close to the wall on that side" she replied, pointing to the adjacent side of the room.
"If you'll wait just a minute, I might be needing a pen and notepad." Frets said and dashed out of the house to his car. "So you were saying?" he continued when he returned.
"Well, there's no sign of any stool in here and I know this room. It's a complete replica of mine. There's no way Sabrina will rearrange her room without giving me a hint."
"Why are you so sure she tells you everything? She can make decisions herself? And I'm sure she doesn't answer to you."
"Are you as great at your job as you are at pissing people off?" Emily replied and turned away.
Sabrina's house was a beautiful cottage duplex and Emily always wondered why she needed a house this big. Although she had moved to the city, she wasn't completely over the country lifestyle.
The cottage was painted in oatmeal white, the floor made from wood with dark furniture thrown in every corner of the house. To the left side of the living room was a huge matte bookshelf containing several books and fashion magazines. The exquisite white couch and yellow throw pillows gave the room an airy atmosphere. The big table in the centre made with wood from an oak tree had a large flower vase on it and various other books arranged around it. Yet again, to the left of the room was another table with another flower vase and an aquarium fish tank. There was also a fireplace that had leftover ashes and above the fireplace hung a huge frame of Sabrina during the graduation from college.
The bedroom was almost the same size as the sitting room. There were various frameworks on the wall and a big armchair that matched the throw rug underneath the bed. There were two drawers placed on each side of the bed, each having two drawer spaces, a table lamp, and a very small flower vase. The bed which was covered with a white duvet had three soft pillows and three more small throw pillows; there was also a dressing mirror in the room that had a lot of skin treatments and creams for acne on it. There was another door leading to a closet that contains different collections of dresses, shoes, jewellery and handbags and the room was nothing but perfect.
Emily sat on the bed with a sigh and held her head with both hands. "Maybe I'm being paranoid but my worry is not invalid, she's sick."
"You really shouldn't worry, there's nothing to prove that she's in any form of danger. Let's just hope that she appears soon; meanwhile, I'll do anything I can to help"
Frets lifted Emily by her hands and walked her out of the room.
"I rushed down here as soon as I got your call, what's the issue?" Frets asked and then looked at Emily carefully. Her hair was unkempt, there was mud all over her boots, she was still wearing the cloth from the previous day and she had black circles under her eyes. "Did you get any sleep at all?"
"I found the dog," Emily said in tears and sat on the ground. "It's buried in the back."
"Don't you think you're worrying too much? You've refused to go home and now you're wearing yourself to a shadow. You need to chill out and rest"
"Go to the back and see for yourself" Emily yelled.
"I will, but let's get you cleaned up first". Frets helped her to her feet. "You're burning," he said and felt her head. "You should rest, I'll be here trying to figure out all this mess."
Frets laid Emily to bed and moved to the back of the house to check out the dead dog. The hole where the dog was buried was very shallow and it gave an awful smell; the dog was beginning to decay.
Who could have buried the dog here and if it was Sabrina, what could have prompted her to bury the dog?.
Frets looked around to see what had brought Emily to the back. He saw a shovel and various seedlings of New England Aster flowers; she had come to plant. Frets felt really sorry for her, obviously, she was having a tough time dealing with the sudden disappearance of her friend. Frets picked up the shovel, dug a deep pit, kicked in the mud-covered carcass of the dog and covered it with sand.
Emily woke up with a banging head, "I feel like my head is going to explode soon if something isn't done about it." She said trying to sit up.
" If only you hadn't been stressing yourself, maybe you'll be jumping with adrenaline on every single nerve I have instead of having to deal with that annoying headache." He chuckled. "I made tea though and I added a little something that could help with the headache and help you relax. Do you care for some?"
"Do you make something for someone and still ask if the person wants it?"
"Someone like you would usually reject things given to her by others" Frets defended himself.
"You've made your point, now get me the tea, please. But so you know, I actually prefer coffee."
"So much for the thank you I was expecting"
Frets returned with the tea in a small mug and handed it to Emily. Then he pulled the armchair closer to the bed and sat on it. "Can you tell what exactly freaked you out? By the way, you need a bath."
"Find a way to tell me I stink. Anyway, I'm still shaken because I saw that dog when I last visited and I can't believe it's dead" She replied and bowed her head. "Now it's all making sense, the dog's death probably shattered her and she took off"
"How close was she to this dog?"
"The dog was named fluff but she called her daisy, and it was the closest companion she had."
"I would agree with you, but then there is no evidence to back it up. And I wouldn't be doing a good job as a detective to jump into conclusion that way"
Emily agreed with him and her worry reduced a little. Sabrina was probably gonna pop up one of these days when she was over the death of her dog.
"I think I'll stay around to tidy the house and keep it intact for when she returns"
"Does that mean you'll be sleeping here?"
"I don't have any current project running and I don't like the idea of her returning to an empty house"
"Are you sure you don't need company? I think my calendar is free for the next week"
"What's going on here? Why do you think I need company?"
"Well, I don't want my phone blowing up with calls from you, neither do I want to come around and see you all smelly and completely messed up"
"Ouch! That was blunt"
"The truth hurts and we both know you need me"
"Okay, you win. Go get your things, you'll probably sleep on the couch or in the room."
"I don't have a problem with that, let's meet up by 6".
Brenda sat in one corner of the bar with a glass of tequila to her lips, observing the red-hair who was seated on the other side away from the prying eyes of people. There was something about her that struck Brenda and just as Brenda stood from her seat to approach her, a rather huge man appeared on the other side of the table close to her and forced Brenda to return to her seat.
There was something about the way red-hair interacted with her visitor, she shifted uneasily from time to time in her seat and Brenda noticed how she constantly looked around as if trying to avoid someone. Yet, she looked so familiar and Brenda struggled with her memory to recall who the red-hair was.
"Who's she?" Brenda asked leaning over the counter
"She's been coming here for about a month now, and she always keeps to herself." The person behind the counter responded handing her a bottle of vodka on her request.
"She seems distance, yet very familiar. And what would you say about her visitor?" Brenda asked taking a gulp from the vodka.
"There's never an appearance of her without him. Why are you so interested in my customers?'
"Just a little curiosity isn't bad"
"If not that you are a regular. I would have suspected your motive"
"It's fine, I'm going back to my table. I don't need you whining in my ear. Moreover, I came here to drink away my heartbreak and have a little fun; don't ruin my night". She replied a little tipsy and giggled.
"You're such a lush" the barman called out after her.
Brenda was a plump and petite lady of about twenty-seven, the guy she had been together with for five years just broke-off his engagement to her because he didn't find her attractive anymore. She thought he was just being self-centred and narrow-minded; after all, she had done nothing than try to propel him towards his dream and he had thought she was too overbearing and excessive. What kind of man sits at home everyday gambling while his potentials laid in waste? All he cared about was how attractive he looked and how much he made from his many gambles.
"I was so sick of his ass anyway" Brenda grunted and took another gulp of vodka that burned her throat.
Brenda lifted her head in time to see red-hair with chins in her hands and a blank expression on her face, her visitor had left her and she looked worried.
"Hey beauty, is everything alright? You seem somewhat distracted." Brenda asked approaching her.
"I'm okay" She replied, trying to avoid Brenda's questioning eyes.
"You don't sound convincing. By the way, I'm Brenda"
"Maybe, I've not convinced myself."
"Care to talk?"
"Well, I am just a little distracted but I'll be fine"
"I don't know, but for some reason, I feel like I know you. Do I look familiar?
"Definitely not" Red-hair replied just as her visitor returned.
"I can see you have company," he said rashly.
"I was just leaving," Brenda said rising to her feet and returning to her table.
"She's struggling with something she can't talk about," Brenda said to herself and continued with her drink. After about ten minutes she looked to the direction of red-hair but she was gone and so was her visitor. "How did I miss her?" she murmured and stood up to take her to leave.
"You're in control of your own life baby girl, no guy has the right to make you feel bad about yourself," she muttered as she staggered out of the bar. Brenda opened the door to get into her minivan but stopped because her eyes caught a sudden movement close to where she was standing.
Brenda strained her eyes in the dark to have a clearer view of what was going on, she saw red-hair being dragged by her arm by the man that had been sitting with her. Without waiting to analyse the situation, she walked up to the scene.
"That's no way to treat a lady, let her go".
"Shouldn't you be minding your business?" The man replied.
"My business is right here, I can see she needs help and I'm here to do just that. You can't compel a woman against her will.
"And what does your drunk-ass know? You're just too drunk, get out of here" He replied and tightened his grip on red-hair who whimpered.
"You shouldn't be here Brenda, just go," Red-hair said shakily.
"Well you might condone being treated like a scumbag but I won't and for your sake, I hope you'll know you're worth more than being treated this way"
"Wow! Wow!! Wow!!" red-hair said pulling her hands from her oppressor. "I don't know what you're going through or what is going on in your head, but I won't stand you calling me names.
"Did I hit a nerve? I'm sorry if I did but then I was just stating the obvious"
"Why don't you just go on and mind your business"
"Of course, and you can keep quiet and watch whosoever he is treating you like filth"
"Being drunk isn't an excuse to talk carelessly" she replied and turned around to face the man who placed his hand on her shoulder "get your filthy hands off of me". "Brenda, I'm only being nice to you because you were kind to me back in there".
"Hold on a minute, Sabrina Langdon? Brenda exclaimed recognising her and red-hair looked at the man standing behind her who smiled and nodded.
"What's going on with you, who's this man and what happened to your hair, where's the blonde and all those curls? And what are you doing in this slum, I thought you were high class?"
"One question at a time Brenda, anyway, I need to be on my way. I guess you'll figure out the answers on your own."
"Does Emily know you're here?"
"You're tripping, I think you've had a little too much to drink. Just be on your way already"
"I can drink as much as I want! baby girl, you're not the one paying my bills"
"Ohmigod, Brenda! Stop all these talking and just go on to your car"
"Did I just hear an accent? Where did you learn that?"
"Let's just say, there's a lot you do not know about me"
"Well, I'll find out"
"Goodluck with that"
"See you around then"
"Bye Brenda," Sabrina said and trolled away with the man walking briskly beside her.
The man with Sabrina opened the driver's seat for her to get in because she had insisted on driving. He was a lanky blonde with spiky hair and a moustache.
"Nolan, you can't go about dragging me in public"
"I was just trying to protect you, they are a lot of thirsty people out there"
"I don't want a repeat of that drama ever again. I feel embarrassed.
"I promise to be a gentleman now and always, but I'll act up when I feel threatened"
Sabrina turned on the ignition and drove off. The streets were dark and lonely and it was raining already.
Nolan looked out of the window staring at the long trees and deserted roadside and his mind drifted to everything that had happened. His mind returned to the road when the car jerked to an abrupt stop, a car had swerved into the road and three gunmen came out of.
"Don't stop Sabrina!, drive" Nolan shouted as the men started shooting.
Sabrina reversed the car and increased the speed racing down the road but the men entered their car and pursued them.
"Who did you piss off and who are these men?" Sabrina asked with her heart in her mouth.
"Drive the damn car, we haven't lost them yet"
"What did you do this time Nolan?"
"Why do you think i did something?"
"Because you always do____"
"Watch out Sabrina!____" The car came out of a quick corner and the shooting got a little more intense. After a lot of struggle, Nolan switched seats with Sabrina and took control of the vehicle. By now, most parts of the windshield and car windows were gone.
"This is crazy, how did this night become so crazy?"
"You have to go duck to avoid these bullets, stop sitting so comfortably when your life is at stake"
Nolan swerved at a quick bend and increased his speed, after the long pursuit he halted the car.
"I think we've lost them". Nolan turned to see Sabrina clutching to her arm, there was a visible stain of blood on her shirt. "You've been hit___ Hang in there".
Nolan tore a strip of his shirt to tie around her arm.
"This looks bad___ we have to get that bullet out of you. But I'll tie this around to stop the blood first.
Sabrina clenched her teeth in pain as Nolan dressed her arm.