Chapter 24

Finally, a return on all those BodyCombat classes I took at my Gold’s Gym. I’m not talking Shaun T here, just your regular old, mixed martial arts kinda workout. It’s what got me up the stairs twice as fast as my PI Guy. Hey, it’s the thought that counts, right?

As I hung a quick left at the top of the stairs, barely dodging an ill placed laundry basket of humongous proportions (Sis is no Martha Stewart in the homekeeping department) I stopped dead in my tracks just outside of Jenn’s bedroom. Fuck. Yeah…no kidding we needed to see this. What sick ass motherfucker….?! Amazing what a little adrenalin will do for one’s vocabulary. As if on cue, Roger just as vehemently vocalized pretty much what I was thinking. Just as he finished…

“What the hell did I tell you! You two were supposed to stay downstairs. Not up here contaminating evidence, messing with my crime scene.”

“Excuse me Bobby?! Your crime scene? Jenn’s my sister and in case you forgot this is my private investigator. I have every right to be here. (I refrained from adding “you pompous ass”) In fact, we were here first. We’re the ones who called you!  Why don’t you take it down a notch and try not to get your panties in a bunch.”

“Don’t start with me Janice. Don’t start.”

“Yo! Bob. Don’t mean to interrupt your love fest, but we got some serious shit to deal with. Why don’t you and Janice save it for a late night dinner or something. Me, I want to find out who the hell did this. The sooner we do that, the sooner we find Jenn.”

The “this” was huge, red lettering scrawled at eye level across Jenn’s vanilla colored walls. It read:

WHORES AT HEART ARE HATEFUL BITCHES. SINS OF THE MOTHER ARE SINS OF THE DAUGHTER.

I looked at Bobby who was looking at me with his cop’s eye. Sad. He and I had a thing once. Close. Now? I wasn’t feeling the connection. The one that had always been there. Had he changed? Or maybe it was me. Maybe I had changed. Where did the trust go? Does all the good of the past eventually get eaten by the mediocrity of the day to day?

Suddenly, I was feeling it. The weight of the pressure. Of waking up to the day when my sister’s past became my present. It was almost unbearable. Almost. For all the outward Molly Ringwald Breakfast Club, on the inside I was Linda Hamilton in Terminator. Building her arsenal. There’s never been anyone I could truly lean on. Never been anyone to see, really see when I needed a shoulder. Fuck it. It is what it is.

“Um… Janice? What’s going on in there?”  Roger. My newly hired well meaning, self serving, funny, smartass private detective was now standing 2 inches from my face. “You good? Listen. I need you to take a closer look at this. Maybe you recognize the writing? Is there anyone you can think of capable of doing this? Anyone who might have a reason to do this? A jilted ex lover of Jenn’s with a few screws loose?  I really need you to think.”

“Yeah, and I need a drink.”