The doorbell kept pushing my cow shaped slipper covered feet forward. My drowsy mind was singing The White Stripes all the way to the front door. I’ve been thinking about my doorbell, when you gonna go the fuck away and stop ringing it? I looked at Evelyn, her radiant puppy like face. I should have guessed this irritable bowl syndrome of a person I’ve known barely would be here. She giggled and pressed the doorbell once more. My fists were begging me to knock out at least two of her teeth.
“Aggie, Aggie! I’ve come to see you! Aren’t you happy I’m here?”
“What the fuck do you want?” – I asked as politely as I could
“Oh, don’t be like that, Agatha! I just came by for a quick visit – the short and cutesy twenty four year old pouted”
“You inconvenient brussels sprout, it’s four thirty in the morning. You are neither a drug dealer nor the occasional sex worker to come for a “quick visit” at this hour. What the bloody hell do you want?”
That’s when Evelyn looked down and realized the irony I’d set in the porch: a welcome mat. Her eyes were starting to well up, but her inhumanly broad smile never faded.
“I want Verona, Aggie” – she pleaded
You see I got this problem, I need help trying to solve it, because needy friend after needy friend that drags me down sorrow lane I still listen. Stories of all kinds do me in without failure. I’m fascinated by the intricacies of human interactions. That meaning, there I was, again, getting the kettle ready to serve some chamomile tea. Last time t’was English Breakfast and a guy with father-daughter problems involving a teenage obsession with a TV show about aliens and bow ties. Evelyn’s case was much simpler: love. An infatuation that marked six months already.
Verona and I met seldom through a friend of a friend. We didn’t have much in common. She disliked RuPaul’s Drag Race, so there was no point in pursuing that friendship. But Evelyn always rambled on and on about how they were a match made in heaven. Evelyn and Verona loved the same underground loud music, frequented the same Italian ristorante that also served Korean barbeque and hated Ryan Gosling with a passion. What intrigued me was how Evelyn came to such a conclusion about their like-mindedness when not a word had been spoken between the two of them ever since they first met at work six months ago. Still, I served her tea.
“Evelyn, I showed you the Wikipedia page for the thing you have already. Can you please drink this and go home?”
“Please stop joking around, Agatha. I’m serious this time”
“It’s not a joke, it’s a serious medical issue. Erotomania makes you believe someone loves you even though there’s nothing between your asses. It’s about time you moved on and seek therapy. Bother someone that charges a hundred bucks an hour with your fake romance”
“Silly! Verona and I had lunch at her place two days ago. How about that for erotowhatever, huh?”
“Lunch, eh? I’m all ears”
Again, I was pulled to the story. They all knew that I fell easy into temptation, that’s why they didn’t bother about visiting hours anymore. Exhausted as I was, my addiction to a good plot left me awake as if just did a shot of Earl Grey Black with double sugar.
“Aggie, you would not believe if I told you she came to my desk and asked straight away if I wanted to have lunch with her! I was astonished! You know how amazing she is, right? And also so cool, beautiful, smart. And her cute little ears! Have I told you about her ears?”
“Right, right. We went to her apartment. Nicely decorated, very edgy and eco friendly. She is just that person, you know? She worries about the environment. Anyway, she cooked us some pasta. ‘Us’! It’s so nice to say that at last! Even her kitty ate some too. She is a persian I think. White and fluffy. Oh, Aggie, we talked about so many things! Politics, films, music… We really hit it off, I can feel it! But she hasn’t called me since, Aggie. Please help me. I need her and I know she needs me too!”
“Yes, right. I’ll just grab some more tea and you can tell me all the details, ok? Be right back”
“Sure, Aggs. Thank you for being such a great listener. But hurry up, my future depends on you.”
Her smile was as broad as ever, but the rest of her body was so petit and compact. Evelyn, to me, was always the picture perfect of what the baby of the Joker and Harlequin would be.
“It does, doesn’t it?”
I went to the kitchen and did what I had to do. I returned and let her talk some more. She told me about the trips to Greece they would take together. The wine nights they would host at their first apartment. Even wondered who would she choose to be the godmother of their first child. Perhaps me, lucky me.
There was a knock. The police came in and took Evelyn screeching. They thanked me for call, asked if I wasn’t hurt and left.
My bedroom TV was still talking the same piece of news since I woke up at four thirty with Evelyn’s doorbell. Last night a body of a young woman was found along with her white persian cat. Tragic. The apartment had been broken in, the victim tied to a chair and force fed a romantic meal. Horrendous. Police figured it was another victim of the Van Gogh killer. Both ears cut off and nowhere to be found, just like all the others. If it wasn’t for that peculiar ear fetish maybe I wouldn’t have figured out Evelyn murdered Verona. Just maybe.
Tragic, but it was worth my time. The story was really good.