Chapter Eight; Part One
I sit in the car and check the comments on my latest post about dating. There are a few comments about dating not being worth it, but there are many more that urge me to take a chance. MNborn writes, “After my horrible marriage fell apart, I told everyone who would listen that I was done with men. My ex-husband had been abusive and cheated on me. He was constantly lying about his affairs, and I was a shattered woman by the time the divorce was finalized. Fast-forward three years, and I was in a Barnes & Noble, browsing through the Sci-Fi section. A tall, weedy ginger started talking to me and convinced me to have coffee with him. Coffee progressed to dinner which progressed to dessert in his apartment. Within a week, we had moved in together, and we’ve been together ever since. That was eight years ago.” NoFussNoMuss says, “Dating is bullshit, but spending weekends with my honey is everything. So I put up with the bullshit to get to this place. And, I overlook her flaws by in part by reminding myself that I never, ever want to endure the bullshit of dating again.” SeedSawed gives his opinion as well. “After a bad relationship, my brother took me out to the clubs every weekend over my objections. If it were up to me, I would have stayed home and brooded. So, while I cussed him out at the time, I’m grateful to him now, especially since I met my wife during one of those nights out.”
I shut down the browser and drive to Pinky X’s parents’ house in Plymouth and ring the doorbell. Nobody answers, but I hear rustling inside. I wait several seconds before ringing the doorbell again. I can definitely hear someone. I knock sharply on the door, refusing to go away. I know from experience that Minnesota Nice will kick in sooner or later, and whoever’s inside will open the door before long.
“What?!” The door is yanked open, and Pinky X is before me in the flesh. She’s a solid six feet tall with magenta dreads and ice-blue eyes. She’s slender, but shapely, and she’s wearing torn jeans and a multicolored tank top. A dozen bangles on each arm, and half a dozen earrings in each ear. She’s glaring down at me, but there’s fear in her eyes. I’m puzzled because I’ve never met her before, so why is she afraid of me?
“Pinky X? My name is Megan Liang.” I hold out my hand, but Pinky X just stares at it. I let my hand drop and try not to take it personally. “I’m looking for Simon. Do you know where he is?”
“No. He’s nothing to me. Leave me alone!” Pinky X tries to shut the door, but unfortunately for her, I have my foot in the way. Unfortunately for me, my toes get caught in the crunch, which fucking hurts. Her words suddenly click in my brain, and I understand why she’s so afraid.
“I’m not after him for money. I don’t care about that.” I smile reassuringly at Pinky X, and her shoulders relax a fraction of an inch.
“Come in.” Pinky X opens the door and gestures for me to come in. I take off my shoes and leave them in the hallway, glancing around me as I follow Pinky X into the house. The walls are austere, painted a hospital white, but decorated with impressionist paintings. “Would you like something to drink?” Pinky X asks, her voice polite.
“Diet Coke if you got it?” I ask, taking in as much of the environment as I can without being too obvious about it. The furniture looks fancy, like mahogany or something, and I’m afraid to touch anything. There’s an air of sterility in the air, and there’s no living creature other than us in the house.
“Of course!” Pinky X opens the fridge, grabs two Diet Cokes and pops the top of one of them. She pours it into a crystal glass, adds three ice cubes, and hands it to me. She does the same for herself, adds rum to it, then leads me into the living room. The couch is red suede, and I’m afraid I’m going to spill on it. I sit on the couch and carefully set my glass on a coaster on the coffee table. Pinky X sits in a leather recliner across from me and puts her feet up on an ornate ottoman. “Why are you looking for Simon?” The flash of fear in her eyes again.