Continued from last week's story
Jacy Morrow gingerly placed the loose change into the elderly man's hand then stood patiently behind the counter of the convenience store as he struggled to work it into the pocket of his overalls. Finally, he turned and shuffled out the door with Jacy chirping a friendly goodbye.
"You have a great evening, Mr. Stewart! Tell your wife I hope she gets to feeling better."
She then turned her attention back to me as I stood leaning against the burrito warmer, my chin on my arm, a depressed look on my face.
"Truthfully, cowboy, I feel sorry for you. I shouldn't but I do. You have the worst luck with women."
I nodded, a woeful look on my face that begged for more pity.
"I've been thinking about your ex-girlfriend. I can't help but wonder if maybe she caught her husband in the act and killed him and his mistress. Perhaps it is she that absconded with the church's money after murdering her husband and his lover. It makes sense to me."
I couldn't hold back a laugh, "Oh no. That's pretty far-fetched even for you, Jacy. Deanne may be a scorned woman in search of revenge, but she's no killer. I can't see that woman purposely stepping on a cockroach."
"Let me tell you something, buddy," her eyes narrowed as she spoke, "every woman is capable of murder given the right circumstances. Never forget that!"
I pondered Jacy's statement later that night as I soaped up in the shower. They seemed to be wise words and I carefully stored them away in the back of my mind for future reference. I dried off with a towel, sniffing of it and trying to remember when I had washed it last. Perhaps it was time to toss it in the dirty clothes, I decided. Stepping into the bedroom to retrieve a clean pair of boxer briefs, I froze momentarily. The window beside the bed was open. A brisk breeze caused the curtains to flutter. The hair on the back of my neck stood at attention as I hastily dressed and stealthily moved toward the darkened living room. With senses working at full alert, I reached for the light switch and flipped it on.
"Deanne! What the hell are you doing in my house?"
She sat in my recliner, her legs crossed, a large purse in her lap.
"Sit! I have something to say to you."
Anger was written all over her face and I chose to obey her command, seating myself across the room on the sofa.
"Deanne, you broke into my house. That's pretty creepy."
Ignoring my comment, she leaned forward in the recliner.
"I know who you really are. I know all about you."
I inadvertently rolled my eyes as I waved a hand, "Well, by all means, tell me who I really am."
"I've asked around," she clenched her jaws as she spoke, " and it turns out that you, Mr. Player, are actually a private detective."
She nodded her head in affirmation and continued, "you work for attorneys who hire you to connive poor, helpless women who are going through a divorce into compromising sexual situations. Meanwhile, you have photographers hiding in secret to take photographs and videos..."
I held a hand up, "Stop, stop. I've already heard this from those women you terrorized at the bar. It's all bullshit, Deanne. Something you made up in your feeble little mind. I am not a private eye. It's absurd."
"It all came to me that night you had me in your bedroom," she pointed a finger in that direction, "when I saw the bare window, it became crystal clear! You were seducing me and the cameras were rolling!"
Her voice grew louder and I saw she was losing control of herself.
"So, who have you talked to that told you I was a private detective?"
"Oh, quite a few people up at that bar. They've watched you make your moves!"
"Names...give me names! I want to know who is telling you this!"
"Why? So you can destroy them like you've destroyed me?"
She dug into the oversized purse with both hands, her face thrust practically in the purse itself as she raffled through its contents.
Abruptly the woman dropped to her knees onto the carpet, dumping the entire contents onto the floor.
"What on earth are you looking for?" I practically bellowed, rising to my feet.
"MY GUN!" she screamed, "Where the hell is my pistol?"
Tears streamed down the mad woman's face as she began scooping handfuls of miscellaneous items back into the purse. She turned her face toward the ceiling and wailed.
"It's in the other purse! I can't believe I didn't bring my gun!"
My eyes wide, I felt a tremor run through my body as my mind raced to decide what my next move should be.
Deanne rose to her feet, the purse dangling from her arm. She walked toward the door, pausing to glare at me.
"You better be glad I didn't bring my gun. And you better pray that our paths never cross again!"
And she was gone.
I watched the tail lights disappear as she turned onto the highway. Jacy's words rang in my ears. Perhaps it was time to reevaluate this infatuation I had with women. Maybe I just needed a dog.