Anna Willis was born 25 years ago. She lived with her mother in a cozy house on the edge of a small mountain town. She didn’t know much about her father. He had died before Anna was born.
He graduated from Columbia University with a degree in economics and parallel, psychiatry programs.
She has never worn make-up. Her hair long and black. A subtle, almost stingy smile, and perfect teeth. A beautiful woman who, despite her discretion, has almost always attracted attention by her mere presence.
Young or less young men have always swarmed around her. She kept crushing them with her dark eyes, ravaged them with a gaze of her mind to understand something about each one of them.
“You have inherited what’s most important from your father, his mind and his eyes,” said her mother, admiring her nostalgically.
She had had some temporary relationships. That’s all, even though she had wanted much more from each beginning.
She wanted more from anything. This town, this place, had become too small for her. She understood that she had to leave, even though she knew how much her mother would suffer.
This random morning, they had been hugging for minutes. They were both crying.
„If you should run out of money, you can come back anytime,” her mother told her and tucked four hundred dollars in her purse.
„That’s all I have,” she added and kissed her on the forehead.
„I love you very much, mother. Thank you for everything,” Anna replied, looking into her eyes.
Around midnight, Anna arrived in New York after a trip that had lasted almost three days, during which time she had changed two trains. She walked searching for a motel to eat, have a shower, and rest until the next day. Heavy rain started and soaked her to the skin. The night became hazy and repulsive. She put her suitcase on the head and kept walking, focusing not to stumble. She considered that the other sidewalk was brighter, she looked to the left, then to the right, willing to cross. She followed a gentleman hidden under an umbrella, who had already taken two steps on the road. A car coming out of nowhere hit him and threw him back onto the sidewalk. The car braked and stopped about ten meters farther. Anna took two steps to see the number plate.
After a few seconds the car lights went out and it drove away in full swing. She turned to the hitman, pulled him off the road, and leaned him against a wall. Shee knelt and examined him carefully. She saw a wound on his left foot. It was not fractured. He had been hit not too hard on the head. He had been very lucky.
“Can you hear me?“ asked Anna, striving to keep calm.
“What has happened?“
“You’ve been hit by a car. You might need to go to the hospital.”
“ I live nearby. Please help me get home. I’ll see if I need medical treatment”, the man said.
He leaned on Anna until they reached his apartment. He looked at the wound on his head. Insignificant. He walked around in the room a few times. It was just sprained. He walked towards Anna and stretched out his hand.
“Thomas Hill,” he introduced himself, smiling.
“Anna Willis, nice to meet you.”
“Anna, if you want you can change in the bathroom.”
“I’m sorry, I have to get to a meeting,” lied Anna.
“Are you really leaving? Don’t you want to stay? he asked embarrassed. ”
“Maybe we’ll see each other again and talk more,” Anna told him huskily.
“I owe you, replied Thomas”, and handed him a business card. “Did you, by any chance, see the number plate?”
“No,” she said firmly.
A steep no announcing the end of the conversation.
The rain stopped in the meantime. Anna walked three blocks until she found a payphone. She dialed the number of the police and announced a deadly accident in front of Golden Donuts. She walked a few more steps, took a taxi, and got off at the nearest motel.
She had something to eat, took a shower, and fell asleep while she was thinking about what to do the next day. She needed to find a job.
It was a pleasant morning, stroke by the rays of a friendly sun.
Anna bought a newspaper, continued her walk, looking for a possible ad in the shop windows. She suddenly stopped in front of a parked car. She made a few steps back, looked at the car’s number plate, and smiled. He looked to the right at the imposing building. International R. Richmond. She went straight to the doorkeeper. She slipped a note into his uniform pocket. Then she asked him who owned the parked car.
“It’s the car of director Jose Romero”, he replied politely.
“Company car? Or a personal car? ”
“Personal,” he said shortly.
“You’re a sweetheart. Where’s his office?” Anna asked him again.
“The first floor to the right”, he mumbled flattered.
Anna threw an imaginary strand of hair on her back, entered the hotel, inhaled the luxury that was floating around, climbed a floor, and entered the most imposing door. The secretary raised her eyebrows and asked what she wanted in a distressing way.
“I am an old acquaintance of Mr. Romero’s and I have something to communicate to him. My name is Anna Willis”, she said in a firm voice.
The secretary returned shortly and invited her inside with a formal gesture of her hand.
Anna entered, closed the door, stepped firmly toward the generous interior of the room, stopped in front of the desk, and was standing without saying anything. Romero was a middle-aged, short, fat, sweaty man.
“Do we know each other?” He asked her.
“Yes, Mr. Romero, we’ve known each other since last night. You were driving a car and I was with the umbrella. There was another friend with me. He couldn’t come as he hit his head against the curb.”
Romero went red in the face. His drunken eyes widened, his lips began to tremble.
“And how is your friend now?” he asked nervously.
“He’s a little dead.” struck the answer like a lightning.