“Damn. Maybe I shouldn’t have trusted him,” Leslie whispers as she stares at the monitor. Something in her gut twinges, and she straightens her shoulders. “No. He was a good man. He was.” She has to hold on to that thought or she will go completely insane. It is painfully obvious that he had not completely truthful with her, but she knows that he had a good reason for hiding his past—she just has to find it.
“Meow!” Josephine hops into Leslie’s lap and begins kneading. Leslie strokes one, two, three, grateful for the respite from her fact-finding mission. Josephine licks her tiny front paw and passes it over her head, in the manner of cats everywhere. Leslie closes her eyes and spreads her toes, allowing the tension in her body to drain out the soles of her feet.
“So, what do we now, Josephine?” Leslie kisses her cat on the tip of her black, satiny nose. Josephine looks indignant at the affront to her dignity, but she tolerates it—most likely because she knows that she’ll get more treats that way. “We know that John’s real name is Freddy. We know that he has a good friend named Rose. We know that something terrible has happened, most likely in Chicago.” Leslie stops. How does she know that John even lived in Chicago prior to coming to Minnesota? Leslie looks at the emails and notices that the sender’s addy is firstname.lastname@example.org. Leslie pulls up Google in a new tab on Google Chrome and types in Rose Duffy and Chicago. She crosses her fingers as she hits the enter button. To her delight, up pops a Rose Duffy in Oak Park, IL. The Googley tells Leslie that this is an artsy neighborhood near Chicago, and the official website for the Village of Oak Park confirms it. In addition, the Googles tells Leslie that Duffy means black, so it all fucking fits. Leslie wishes there is a way to find Freddy as well, but nowhere is his real last name mentioned in the emails, and, as she knows, his email addy is email@example.com, which is of no help at all.