Tag Archives: John Smith

A Hard Rain; chapter one, part five

As soon as the detectives leave, Leslie is off like a shot to find Siobhan.  Leslie’s mind is whirling with the news she’s been told, and she still doesn’t know what the fuck to think.  One thing she does know, however, is that she needs to get to John’s computer before the cops do.  If what they are telling her is true, she knows she can find the answers on John’s laptop.  He password-protected everything, and two weeks, three days, thirteen hours, twenty-four minutes, and nineteen seconds after he moved in, he had shown her his password list as he placed it in the top drawer of his desk.  He wanted her to know that he had faith in her and that he had no secrets from her.  Of course, Leslie never bothered using the passwords because she figured John would tell her anything she wanted to know, but she is grateful for them now.

Leslie finds Siobhan in Aileen’s room, reading a story.  Bedtime had been thrown into chaos because of the cops, of course, so Siobhan is just now settling in her youngest child, even though it’s 8:58 p.m. and forty-three seconds, and Aileen’s usual bedtime is 8:30 p.m.  Leslie waits for Siobhan to finish the story as she does not want to interrupt the mother-daughter bonding that is happening.  Leslie had not experienced much of it when she was a child because her mother had suffered from postpartum and was only interested in Lisa, Leslie’s twin, after she recovered, but Leslie knows from reading psychology textbooks and self-help books and from her own therapy sessions that mother-child bonding is very important.  She taps her foot as she waits, but is otherwise silent.  Finally, after what seems like ages, but is actually only five minutes and seventeen seconds, Siobhan is finished reading about a caterpillar that eats a lot.  Siobhan kisses her sleepy daughter on the forehead and tiptoes out of the room, closing the door halfway behind her.

“What did the cops tell you?”  Leslie asks as soon as Siobhan is in the hallway.

“Let’s go downstairs and talk about it,” Siobhan takes Leslie by the arm and leads her to the living room.  Siobhan refuses to say a word until they are safely away from the children.

“What did the cops tell you?”  Leslie repeats her question as soon as they are sitting on the couch.  Siobhan sighs, fiddles with a knickknack on the coffee table, and finally answers.

“They asked me what I knew about John.  I told them what I knew, except for the sex stuff, of course.”  Siobhan and Leslie exchange wan grins.  They joked often about how hot Italian lovers were—and how big.  Siobhan straightens her shoulders and continues.  “They asked me a few questions about you.  They seemed especially curious about—”  Siobhan stops and looks flustered.

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A Hard Rain; chapter one, part two

“Girl, you are so working that dress!”  Leslie nodded her head emphatically as she gave her best friend the once-over.  Siobhan was wearing a neon-green mini-velour dress that clung to her generous curves.  Her legs seemed to go on for miles, and her feet were encased in five-inch platform heels.  For a forty-two year old mom of three, she looked fabulous.

“You’re pretty hot yourself,” Siobhan replied, a smirk tugging at her lips.  Leslie preened because she had put effort into her outfit.  Normally, she was a sweats and sweatshirt type of gal, but they were going to First Ave to dance after they were done with their burgers at Grumpy’s, a local bar, so Leslie had dressed in black flared-hemmed, low slung pants, a red top that was cut low to show off her perky boobs, and three-inch black platform heels.  She had her shoulder-length hair in a high pony, and she had artfully arranged her bangs in a mussed fashion.  She was wearing her signature lipstick, Diva, by MAC, and she had even added a touch of mascara.  She knew she looked good, and she wasn’t above flaunting it.

“God, I needed this,” Leslie sighed as she drained her gin and tonic.  She had just broken up with her long-term boyfriend over irreconcilable differences, and Siobhan had insisted they go out to celebrate Leslie’s new-found freedom.

“OK.  Be casual about it, but check out the guy by the pool tables.  He’s wearing a Clash t-shirt, a leather jacket, and black jeans.  He’s giving you the eye.”  Siobhan sipped her Summit Pale Ale in a nonchalant manner as she imparted this information.

“Siobhan, I’m not on the hunt,” Leslie sighed, taking a bite of her burger.  Though she tried to eat mostly organic food, sometimes, she craved food that wasn’t as healthy.

“Les, he’s seriously checking you out—and he’s your type—in compact form.”  Siobhan was persistent as she had always thought Leslie had settled with Peter.  “One look.  What could it hurt?  Why don’t you go to the bathroom so you can walk by him?”

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A Hard Rain; chapter one, part one

If she remains very still, the pain is almost tolerable.  She cannot move a limb, however, as even the slightest twitch sets off a shockwave that travels throughout her entire body.  Periodically, she touches the ring on the third finger of her right hand.  How long has it been since she received the news?  She glances at the calendar in front of her and sees that it’s October 9th.  Then, she glances at the grandfather clock and notices that it’s 2:37 p.m. and twenty-three seconds.  That means it’s been one day, fourteen hours, thirty-two minutes, and eight seconds since the police had first knocked on her door.

She stops and thinks.  Is it actually October 9th or is it October 10th?  Saturday or Sunday?  She can’t remember, so she flips on the television to FOX.  There is no NFL football game on, which means it’s October 9th.  So, one day, fourteen hours, thirty-two minutes, and eight, no twenty-two seconds now since the police had first knocked on her door.  She touches the onyx ring on the third finger of her right hand to her lips and bursts into tears.


“Damn it, Josephine.  If you don’t stop clawing the couch, I’m gonna put you in a kitty time-out!”  Leslie Chang threatened, raising her voice a notch or two.  Josephine, a black polydactyl cat who weighed all of six pounds, sniffed once before deliberately slicing into the already tattered couch.  Then she stared at Leslie with enormous green eyes as if to say, “What are you going to do about it, bitch?”  Leslie marched over to the cat, scooped her up in one hand and stomped to the master bedroom where she unceremoniously dumped the cat on the bed and slammed the door shut.  Josephine immediately started yowling at the top of her lungs; she had strong lungs for such a petite cat.  Leslie put up with it for exactly three minutes and forty-five seconds before opening the door.  Josephine’s tail bristled as she brushed past Leslie—her ears were deliberately pointed backwards at her human to display her displeasure.

“Oh, all right,” Leslie muttered, stomping her way to the kitchen.  She could never hold a mad for very long, especially not at her cat.  She opened the fridge and pulled out a bite of wild Alaskan salmon that she bought from the co-op just for Josephine.  In a flash, Josephine was happily munching, her pique gone.  Leslie glanced at her watch before pulling her cell phone out of her jeans.  Her boyfriend, John, should have been home from the gym two hours and thirty-three minutes ago, and she was beginning to worry.  She saw that she missed a text from him fifty seven minutes and twelve seconds earlier.  It said:  “Meeting an “old friend”.  I’ll be home in an hour or two.  Don’t wait up.”  Leslie frowned.  Instead of feeling relieved, she was a bit disturbed.  John was closemouthed about his life prior to moving to the Cities a year, five months, and twenty-three days earlier, and she knew little-to-nothing about his old friends.

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