I could see Aunt Mable debating whether to continue discussing her stolen jewels or proceed to the other item on her agenda, namely getting me married. She decided that since I was a super-detective, jewels had been discussed long enough and suggested we adjourn to the dining room aka my living room for coffee and snacks. During which she’d mention somehow that the gorgeous guy who’d come with her and I were both single. Of course she would. She always did.
She and Rusty had stopped at the bakery so by the time coffee was ready he’d been to the car and back with a selection of donuts to die for and we sat around my lovely, scarred table from Good Will and I found myself relaxing at last and actually looking at him and including him in the conversation because I’d ignored him long enough. Manners are manners, after all.
Aunt Mable did have good taste in men. The fact that he didn’t want to get serious about me any more than I wanted to get serious about him helped so somehow, as the minutes and then more than an hour passed, we communicated that fact without words and were thus able to somewhat enjoy the remaining visit, even the part that wasn’t about stolen jewelry and was, therefore, about our single status and how sad that was.
We sat in cushy Good Will chairs that were duplicates of the ones in the office except when we stepped into my personal space we changed from client and detective into aunt and niece plus chauffeur and huge, shaggy dog whose wagging tail knocked everything to the floor that wasn’t fastened down. As I chugged three cups of strong, black coffee I examined the pictures of Aunt Mable’s stolen jewels again as a way of avoiding answering questions about my love life.
I knew the jewelry from the many times Aunt Mable had showed it to me, each time reminding me that one day it all would belong to me as she’d lovingly caressed the family treasures. As I finished examining each picture, I lay them on the table, careful to not cover any one picture with another so when they were laid out they all could be seen at once. And I gave a covert glance around the room to see if anyone showed any interest in the pictures.
Not Aunt Mable and not Rusty and not even Shag in case he liked pictures. Rather I was checking out the interest level of the others in the room. The ones that no one else could see except Shag and he only could because he’s one very astute dog. I could see them, of course. They were my ‘edge.’
So I glanced from under lowered lids to see the reaction of the ghosts who come for visits now and then because, as they often say as they perch on the back of my sofa or drift through the walls or appear and disappear at will as we talk, it’s nice to have an occasional conversation with a real live person. Me.