After our trip to the pub, Abe crashed at my apartment—better than him crashing his car on the way home.
I made breakfast for the two of us the next morning—peameal bacon, fried potatoes, sunny side up eggs and whole wheat toast—and oh, plenty of coffee.
“This is as good as Mitzy’s Sunday morning special,” Abe said between mouthfuls.
Then it hit me. I made bacon for a Jew—was I insane?
“Oh my God, Abe—I’m so sorry—I forgot about your dietary restrictions.”
“What—are you kidding me? I’m healthy as a horse.”
“No—I mean, I served you pork.”
He looked as if I kicked him in the stomach. “Pork,” he gasped, “you served me pork?”
I was beside myself with shame.
He keeled over and fell on the floor. “Abe, are you all right?”
He rolled over on his back and grinned up at me. “And every Christmas we had a Christmas tree.” He burst out laughing. I shakily sat back down.
He propped himself up on one elbow and smiled. “I shouldn’t have done it, Pal—but you looked so bloody concerned, I couldn’t resist.”
“You’re a real asshole, Abe—you’ve ruined my appetite.” I pushed the plate away.
He got back in his chair looking very sheepish. “Um, sorry about that Scott—Mitzy always says I’m such a shmendrik—a joker.”
I burst out laughing in his face. He looked at me as if I shot him.
“We’re even now,” I said, picking up a piece of bacon and taking a bite.
“Well, I’ll be damned,” he muttered, shaking his head, his eyes crinkling. “You got me on that one, Pal.”
“So, how’s it going to work with this girl?” I asked, changing the subject.
“Who, Marilyn? Just be your usual charming self.”
“Yeah, I figured that—but I mean, do you want me to pick her brain?”
“Naw, just befriend her—knowing you, she’ll begin to tell you stuff.”
“How do you figure?”
“Well, you’re the kind of guy people naturally confide in—you know, the Father Confessor type.”
“Are you sure she’s going to take the bait and start auditing my class?”
He put down his fork and got serious.
“I’ve got no idea if this is even gonna work—but what I didn’t tell ya is, I think the girl’s in danger. I think she knows something that somebody doesn’t want to come out.”
“How do you know that?”
“The older woman—Ella Whitcombe told me. Apparently, Marilyn narrowly avoided being run over by a car outside the bookshop, and she was followed home one night.”
“So, Ella thinks she’s in real danger?”
“It coulda been a coincidence both times—but I doubt it.”
“What about me, Abe—what if somebody’s put out a hit on her?”
He fiddled with his fork and knife, rearranging them on the place mat. “I thought about that, Pal—and I can’t promise anything.”
“So, she might be targeted—and me along with her?”
He sighed. “It’s probably a deal breaker for you, but I gotta be honest—you could both be in danger.”
“And if I don’t help?”
“The girl might recover her memory—or, she might never. Then again, she might meet with an accident and nobody will ever be the wiser.”
I paused and thought about it. “It’s pretty grim, especially if Ella’s right.”
“Yeah, it is—and my hands are tied because her psychiatrist doesn’t want to traumatize her.”
“Can’t she be locked up for her own protection?”
“We can’t prove she’s in danger—and she may never recover her memory—besides, she can’t be institutionalized forever.”
I saw the dilemma.
“So, what do you say, Scott—you in? Are you willing to take a chance and help the girl?”
I smirked. “Do you really think I’d say no?”
His eyes crinkled.
In for a penny, in for a pound, I told myself—but rescuing a girl in danger who thinks she’s from the Thirties? It all seemed so damn improbable. It was like something you’d see in a movie.
I guess that’s why I loved it.
© 2017 – 2018, John J Geddes. All rights reserved.