The Exile: Episode 20

As we entered Long Island, the driver looked back in the rearview mirror and gruffly said, “Give me an address.”

“Head for the New York Daily News offices,” I instructed.

When the cab came to a stop outside the news building, I stepped out and the driver, still angry, demanded payment. Carmen pulled some money from her pocket and reached out to pay him.

“Hey!” she shouted as he tore the money from her hand and sped away.

“That was the last of my cash,” she told me.

“We’ll figure something out,” I assured her as I looked up at the front door of the building.

“So Dorothy Edwards worked here?” Carmen asked.

“Yep,” I said, heading inside.

I pulled open the large glass doors, holding them while Carmen stepped through.

“She worked in one of the lower offices. Last time she sent me an email, she was working in the mailroom while running down a story on her own time. She didn’t say much, but she seemed certain that the story would change the world,” I explained.

“That sounds a little overdramatic,” Carmen commented.

“Dorothy was like that. She was always reaching for the stars with her feet on the ground and her head in the sky,” I smiled, remembering her.

We found the mailroom listing on the directory in the lobby and headed downstairs.

I scanned the area and finally caught the attention of one of the workers.

“A veteran,” I told myself, noticing the ease with which the elderly man moved among the bins.

“Excuse me,” I said as I walked over to him.

“May I help you?” he asked as he sucked in his belly and wrapped a thumb around each suspender strap. His snow white hair seemed to glow against his leathery brown skin as he squinted at me with his deep blue eyes.

“I understand a woman named Dorothy Edwards used to work here,” I said.

“Yes, she did,” the old man answered, “but she passed away some time ago.”

“I was hoping I could get a look at her stuff, anything she might have left behind,” I said.

“I’m afraid her family picked up her things shortly after her death,” he said.

“She didn’t have any family,” I replied, looking at him closely.

“She didn’t?” he asked confused.

“No,” I answered.

The old man seemed to trail off as I considered my next move.

“Wesley?” Carmen asked.

I didn’t respond. I was too busy trying to figure out what to do.

“Wesley?” Carmen called again.

“Huh?” I answered, snapping out of my daze.

“What now?” Carmen asked.

“Wait a minute,” the old man suddenly said. “Wesley. . . Wesley Graves?”

“Yea,” I answered.

“One minute,” he said, hurrying away.

Perplexed, Carmen and I looked at each other as the man disappeared into a back room. He returned a few minutes later holding a small padded envelope.

“Here,” he said, passing the envelope over to me. “She left this with me and said not to let anyone but you have it.”

“She left this for me?” I asked.

“Yes. She said you would need to see it.”

 

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Published in: on September 11, 2011 at 2:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

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