“What happened exactly, Bet?” Rafe asked as he drove me to my apartment. I was still groggy and not up for a conversation, but I gave it the old college try.
“I’m not sure,” was my detailed answer. “It happened so fast.” Rafe sighed, but refrained from asking additional questions.
“How long do you think you’ll stay at your parents’?” was Rafe’s next question.
“Not very long,” I answered, looking out the window. My shoulder was beginning to hurt again, and I reminded Rafe to stop at the pharmacy so I could fill my prescription. “I love my parents, but I don’t want to live under their roof again.”
We fell into a silence as he drove to the pharmacy. Afterwards, we went to my apartment so I could decide what to take with me. I should call Phillip to tell him that I wasn’t coming to work today—if he hadn’t figured it out—but I couldn’t seem to give a damn. I was tired of FunLand, and I didn’t care if he fired me. In fact, I would almost welcome it. My aching shoulder agreed with me. Rafe helped me change into a fresh pair of jeans and a black t-shirt before sitting me on the bed. I watched as he started packing for me. As I supervised him packing, I told him about my dreams.
“Weird,” Rafe commented, pausing in the packing. “Do you think they have any significance?”
I shrugged as he folded my shirts before placing them in my suitcase. I hadn’t given my dreams much thought, but I believed that our subconscious spoke to us in our dreams. Therefore, there had to be something of use in those dreams, even if I couldn’t immediately identify what it was. The second dream seemed marginally more straightforward than the first one, so I concentrated on the second one. Obviously the painting in Lydia’s apartment had affected me, but was there more to it than that? I would be hard-pressed to recall the details of the painting now even though I had liked it at the time, so I was inclined to believe that there was something to the painting—more than meets the eye. What had the note said? Something like almost there. No, that wasn’t quite it. Getting warmer. That’s what it said. What did that mean?
It meant that Lydia had expected someone to think of the painting—based on her first clue? What was it? Remembering a date. What date? Date? Painting? How did the two of them go together? I frowned. When else had Lydia talked about painting? It was something she did in her spare time, but not something she talked much about. She had a superstitious feeling that she’d jinx it if she talked about it too much. But I distinctly remembered her telling me something about a painting she had done. Recently. What was it for? I frowned and concentrated hard, but it was just at the edge of my consciousness. I knew better than to try to force it, so I pushed it out of my mind. It would come to me sooner or later.