The Twins

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Chapter Forty

Isis and Toni’s flight had touched down at JFK airport at 8:03 am. Isis immediately drove to 559 W.147th St., to the apartment of Jackie Dubois, the maternal aunt of Stacey and Jannifer McHill.

Isis and Toni raced toward the third floor. None of the doors on the third floor had apartment numbers on them. Toni knocked on the nearest door. A middle-aged woman came to the door. “Can I help you?” she said through the half-opened door, a chain latch keeping it from opening any further.

“Does Jackie Dubois live on this floor?”

“Not anymore.”

“And who are you?” Isis asked.

“I’m Tammie, Tammie Milford.”

“Did you know Jackie Dubois?”

Tammie Milford went on to tell the detectives that she and Jackie were best friends. She, too, told Isis Jackie was given some bad dope. “First off, let me tell ya, my brother didn’t sell Jackie that dope. He and Jackie was a couple.” The middle-aged woman had opened the door all the way and stood in the hall. She looked across the hallway. “Jackie lived right there. She was a sweet person…” The middle-aged woman looked around before she spoke again. “Listen, do you want to know what I think?” she whispered. “I think it was those nieces of hers—”

Isis’s cell phone had interrupted the woman. Isis checked her screen to see it was Detective Leroy Chalk. “Whatcha got, Casper? What hospital? Yeah, yeah, I’ll be careful, and Casper, thanks a lot.” Isis switched off her phone. “We’ve got to go, we got a live victim over at St. Luke’s.” Isis told Tammie she would be back to talk to her.

On the fifth-floor at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center in Morningside Heights, Isis and Toni flashed their badges at the nurse manning the nurses’ station. “We’re here to see Amy Jordan,” Isis said. The nurse glanced at the badges. “She’s resting—”

Isis leaned in close to the nurse. “What room is she in?” she growled.

The nurse jerked her head away from the angry looking detective “She’s in room 502. She’s recovering from major eye surgery.” The nurse was talking to the detectives’ backs as they trotted down the corridor towards a bank elevators.

Room 502 was dimly lit. A single occupant lay in a bed. The room smelled of roses. As Isis and Toni entered the room, the patient moaned. “Mother, is that you?” The detectives slowly made their way toward the bed. The patient’s right eye was completely covered with a thick gore. An I.V. bag was set up on a pole on the left side of the bed, and the liquid inside of the bag did a slow, methodical drip into a tube that led to the patient’s arm. “Mommy is that—oh, hi, are you detectives, too?” the patient asked.

“Ah, yes, yes we are,” Isis said as she approached the bed. “I’m Detective Williams, and this here is my partner Detective Toni. Do you feel strong enough to answer a few questions for me, sweetie?”

“Okay, but I talked with two detectives last night, one of them was a big guy. He was an albino.”

Isis looked at Toni. “Go stand by the door.” Isis and Toni were officially off the case, and if they got busted interviewing a witness, it could mean their jobs. Toni did a quick step and stood by the door.

“Is your name Amy Jordan?”

“Yes.” Amy talked through clenched her teeth because her jaw was broken. She had scrapes and bruises all over her arms, which were fully exposed. And her left eye was filled with blood.

“What happened to you, sweetie?”

“Stacey and Jannifer…” Amy Jordan paused. “I don’t know what happened to them.”

“Are those the names they used when they’d introduced themselves to you?”

“Yes. Stacey and Jannifer Hill. They said were cousins from Louisiana. Amy used her right hand to press a button that raised the head portion on the bed. “Ahh. That’s better.” She looked at Isis through her bloodshot left eye. “I’m an actress. I met Stacey and Jannifer at a floating…” Amy lowered her head, then she ran her hand along the side of her face. “They knocked my eye out.”

Isis wanted Amy to finish her story. “You met them where, honey?”

Amy slowly raised her head. “I met Stacey and Jannifer at a floating lesbian club. We hit it off right off the bat. Last night I invited them to a play I was in. After the play, we went to Dinosaur Bar-B-Q over in Harlem on a hundred and twenty-fifth street, do you know it? Have you ever been there, Detective?”

“Yes, I have, but please, I need to know what happened.” Isis looked back at Toni, who nodded that the coast was clear.

“Afterward we all went back to my place for a few drinks. Well, things started getting hot and heavy. We all got undressed, and that’s when I excused myself and went into my bedroom. I came back in wearing my favorite strap-on.” Amy paused again and this time she gently passed her hand over the gauze that covered her damaged eye. “When they saw the strap-on that I was wearing, they went crazy. They both looked like demons. They started calling me a motherfucking, fatherfucking pig. Then Jannifer ran towards me and hit me...I can’t remember much after that. But my sister told me some lady helped me. She said that my eye was hanging on by a thread. That I was butt naked, and I had my strap-on on...can you imagine a white girl running down West 35th Street—nude—with her eye bouncing off her cheek and wearing a strap-on? That must have been some a sight, huh?”

Just then Toni whistled—an early warning that someone from the Double 0 was coming. Lt. Stone was coming down the hall with the nurse from the nurse’s station “Isis, Lt. Stone is coming.” Isis whipped her head in Toni’s direction, then she whispered something in Amy’s ear.

Lt. Stone marched into Amy’s room. She had her back to the door--she was snoring. The nurse walked over to Amy. She checked the I.V. drip, then she looked at Amy’s chart. Lt. Stone stood a few feet away from the bed, eyeing the room. “They must’ve used the rear exit.”

“The patient is asleep. You’re going to have to come back later.”

As soon as Lt. Stone and the nurse left the room, Isis slowly opened the bathroom door. She and Toni walked out. Amy rolled over onto her back, then she slowly sat up. “Wow! I’ve never seen anybody move that fast. Was that your boss?”

Isis didn’t want to waste time. “Yeah, but I don’t have time to explain.” Isis stood over Amy. “Listen, you said something about a floating lesbian club. Tell me more about that?”

Amy went on to tell the detectives that she was a part of an exclusive club of lesbians that moved from borough to borough weekly. “Our club consist of actresses, politicians, judges, you know, people who are discreet about their partying and their lifestyle. I invited Stacey and Jannifer to the gathering we’re having tomorrow night—”

“Tomorrow? Where?” Isis asked, cutting Amy off. Her heart rate increased as she waited for Amy to answer the question.

“In Brooklyn. Carroll Gardens.”

Isis patted her pockets for a pen; then she removed a small notepad from her back pocket. “Give me the address.”

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