On the upside, I did some marketing for Mary, who started clinic and needs patients. I sent some information out to a couple of ex-employee lists for my company, and heard from a bunch of people that I haven't heard from in a while. It was really great. I miss the old days, and apparently so do they.
Anyway, here's the next part:
I didn't do nothin'
Tuesday morning, when I was getting ready for school, there was a knock on my door. It was Detective Johnson.
"Had a little trouble here the other day, didn't you?" he said.
"Good morning to you, too, Detective," I answered, leading him into the room. "I'd offer you coffee, but I don't have any."
"That's all right, my doctor says I should cut back." He sat in the comfortable chair and leaned back. "I didn't hear about your problems until this morning, when I got into the office." He pulled out his notebook. "Want to tell me about it?"
I told him what I had heard from Eddie about coming back to the room and finding all of our stuff on the floor.
"What did he do? Did he call you?"
"Yes, and I came home as soon as I could."
"So, he called you at 8 PM, you came back from where?"
"Home. Mom's house. 95th and Cicero."
"So, you got back here when? 9:30 or so?"
"It was more like 11, 11:15."
He sat up in the chair. "Tony, I'm trying to find out about this. Now, I know that it doesn't take three hours to get from all the way south to here, even on a bad night, even on a Sunday at 8 in the evening."
"The train was delayed."
"You know that I can check on that. You're not telling me something."
I sighed. Might as well tell him the truth. "OK. I had some, uh, visitors."
"Here in the dorm?"
"No, more like outside the L station. They came up to me when I got off the train, and asked me to go with them."
"Where did they take you?"
"Up a few blocks, then down by the lake. We met up with a couple of other guys. They asked me questions about Rosalie."
"The mysterious, gorgeous older woman in your life. What did they want to know?"
"Well, they had a picture of her, but with blue eyes and blonde hair. They asked if I knew her, they practically insisted that I say yes..."
"Was it your Rosalie?"
"You know, I don't know for sure, it looked like her, but like I said, the woman in the picture had blue eyes and blonde hair."
"What else did these guys ask?"
"What her name was. Of course, they already knew."
"They already knew how, Tony?"
"Well, they found this." I pulled the letter from her out of my pocket.
He took the letter and looked it over. "Where did they find it?"
"In my drawer. They were the ones that tossed my room."
He snapped his notebook shut. "Tony, you said that they hadn't taken anything on your police report." He sounded pissed off.
"Well, they gave it back..."
"That's not the point!" He stood up and stalked around the room. "There are fingerprints all over this note. From your Rosalie as well as from the guys that took it from you. When did you get this?"
My mouth was dry. "After I got out of the hospital," I squeaked. I cleared my throat and repeated myself.
"And why didn't you tell me about it? I thought we had a deal here!" He stopped, leaned over and came face-to-face with me. "Tony, if I had this three weeks ago, when all this shit started coming down, we might have been able to track this woman down and make all of this shit stop happening. Why didn't you tell me about it?"
"It was personal." I was starting to get really scared. My eyes were filling up with tears.
"Yeah, well, so's the fact that there are people after you looking for this dame. So's the fact that you damn near got run over and your girlfriend is spending her Christmas in a hip cast." He waved the envelope in my face. "This broad is not worth it, Tony. You got a girlfriend. A real pretty Irish girl with big tits. Why are you protecting this Rosalie? She is going to get you killed, my brother!"
That's when I lost it. I started to cry. Detective Johnson pulled up a chair, sat beside me, and put his huge arm around my shoulders. "It's OK, man. You're not the first kid who fell in love and did stupid things for the woman. This is going to be all right. You just take it easy. You're not going to be in any trouble, as long as you cooperate with us. All right?"
I calmed down, blew my nose, and took a deep breath. "OK, so now what?" I asked.
"Tell me more about this meeting you had. Did you recognize any of the guys who accosted you on Sunday?"
"Never seen them before at all?"
"I'm positive, I haven't seen them before."
"Do you think you could recognize any of them if you saw pictures of them?"
"Uh, I guess so. It was kind of dark outside, but the lights were bright enough."
"OK. Here's what we're going to do. I'm going to take you to the police station. We're going to take your fingerprints, just so we know which ones on this letter are yours. I'm going to have you give a full statement of exactly what happened, and I want you to tell me everything. How many guys, what they looked like, how they smelled, what kind of cars they drove, the whole nine yards. Then, we're going to sit you down in a room with a book of pictures. I want you to look at each one of them, and anybody that looks like the guys that picked you up on Sunday night, even vaguely, I want you to pull them aside. Got that?"
"I got it," I said. I reached into my pocket and pulled the hundred dollar bill out and handed it to him.
He took it and looked at it, then looked at me. "You tryin' to bribe me, boy?"
"No! The guy that did all of the talking on Sunday night gave me two of those. I gave the other to my roommate. You might be able to get some fingerprints off of it."
He grinned. "OK. I won't ask you to give up your buddy on this one. He's taken enough shit in this matter. Come on, let's go."
"Can't we go later? I have class this morning."
"I'll write you a note. Let's go."