Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Streak - 75

I shake her by the ankle.

"Mmmh?" she says.

"Hey. I gotta go. I gotta get out of here. That means you too."

In a fluid motion she escapes the tangled sheet and suddenly she's up and drifting toward the bathroom. At the threshold she lurches into the jamb. Catches herself and straightens out. Turns on the light.

"I'm still drunk. Jesus," she says.

I pack my bag. Look around the room for everything. A mosquito lands on my arm and I kill it quick.

Thelxie emerges and paces around the room with her head down. Every now and then she finds an item of clothing and places it on her body.

"Where do you need to go in such a hurry?"

"Las Vegas."

"What about the All-Star Game?"

"Got canceled for me. Undisclosed personal reasons, they said."

She tilts her head and gives me a worried look. "You can't disclose them to me?"

"They've not yet been disclosed to me."

"Does it have to do with what I told you?"

"Maybe. Probably."

"Can I come with you?"

I had not expected this. Her question at once bold and pleading. It occurs to me that I do in fact want her to come with me.

"No," I say.

She shrugs. "Will you call me?" She says "call me" like there's quotation marks around it. But she smiles as she's buckling her belt.

"Yeah," I say. Almost defiantly. "Yeah. I will call you."

She rolls her eyes. Comes over and holds my face. Gives me a kiss. Puts her bag on her shoulder and opens up the door.

One of those guys is standing there. Matt, Joe. I think it's Joe. She gasps with fright.

"Ms. Anathematis?" he says.

"Yes?"

"You rememember me from the bar last night. Name's Matt. Matt Gillis. From the New York Yankees organization." He extends his hand and she shakes it, mouth agape.

"My partner and I would like to debrief you on some of the items you brought to Evan's attention last night. Only take a minute. We reserved a highly isolated hotel meeting room for the occasion. Floor seven."

Thelxie looks over at me with an expression of bewildered entreaty. I grimace and strike an I dunno pose. Shoulders shrugged. Hands turned up.

"After you," Matt tells Thelxie, showing her down the hall with a sweep of his arm. She hesitates. She gives me one last look. I nod. She goes.

"Good luck in Vegas, Ev!" Matt tells me, giving me a thumbs up. Then he lets the door close by itself.


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