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A Hard Rain; chapter one, part four

“You have a shift tomorrow afternoon,” Siobhan says after several minutes of silence.  “I think you should do it.”

“No.”  Leslie puts down her fork, feeling suddenly ill.  “I’m not ready for that.”

“Yes, you are.”  Siobhan is using her mom voice, which means she’ll brook no opposition.  “More importantly, you need to be doing something other than moping.”

“I am.  I have three articles to edit by Friday.  That’s five days from now.”

“You need to get out of the house.  Any house.  You know how you brood when you’re alone.”

“OK.”  Leslie sighs and takes a sip of water.  She can always bail if she doesn’t feel up to staying the whole shift.  They both lapse into silence and are startled by the persistent ringing of the doorbell.  Siobhan gets up to answer the door, and since Leslie is done eating, she follows Siobhan to the front hallway.

“Shit.  It’s the cops.  What are they doing here?”  Siobhan runs a hand through her curls before opening the door.  “Hello.  What may I do for you?”

“Oh, it’s you.”  Leslie recognizes the two detectives as the ones who told her John was dead, but she can’t remember their names.

“Mrs. Garelli?  I’m Detective Stevenson.  This is my partner, Detective Ricks.  Ms. Chang.  We weren’t expecting to see you here.”  Detective Stevenson stares at Leslie in surprise.  He doesn’t ask her what she’s doing there so she presumes that they have looked up her background.  He’s wearing a similar outfit to the one he wore the last time Leslie saw him.  “However, you were next on our list, anyway, so it’s good to see you.”  He nods at Leslie who is too nonplused to respond.  Why are the cops bothering her again?  What more do they want?

“I’m Siobhan Collins, Leslie’s best friend.  What can I do for you, detectives?”

“We need to ask you some questions,” Detective Ricks says, smoothly stepping into the house.  Today, she is wearing a nice pair of cream-colored slacks and a burnt-orange sweater.  The latter really complements her cocoa skin.  “Ms. Chang will need to be somewhere else.  We will fetch her when—“  Detective Ricks broke off her remark as two kids and three cats came trooping into the front hallway.

“Mooooom!  Eamon took my Barbies and won’t give them back.  Tell him to stop being so mean to me!”  Aileen’s face is grim as she tattles on her brother.  “He took Ken, too.”

“I am playing pretend ballet performance, and I need them to be the dancers,” Eamon explains, a Barbie in each hand.  “Leenie was on the PS3.  I didn’t think she’d mind.”

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