C10 Isabelle - I have to find him
Isabelle turned on the radio, then wiped off her kitchen counter. Both stray cats laid on the floor and purred with their bellies full. Eight days had passed since her amazing night with Kohl and there had been no text or phone calls. Did he not feel what she had that night?
Even if she could call him, she had no way of getting ahold of him. Besides, obviously he wasn't interested. He knew where she lived and could reach out to her if he wanted. Time to move on with her life and not pine after some guy she met in a bar.
Her cell rang and she jumped. “Hello?” she answered the unregistered call. Was it him?
“Hey, Isabelle, I’m up at work,” her sister Kate said. “Are you busy today?”
“Not another bar hopping contest between you and Beth. Last weekend I was hungover for days.” Must be my age. Lately, she'd been so tired all the time. She'd fall asleep as soon as the sun went down until sunrise and still wanted to sleep more.
“I wish it was something like that.” Her sister cleared her throat. “No, I've got a client, Billy from Billy's pub? He was robbed the other night and several witnesses say you were seen with the guy.”
Damn, so had Kohl been guilty? “Oh, I don't know him or how to get in touch with him.”
“This is just a head's up call because you're my sister, but the cops will come by sometime soon to question you.”
Isabelle broke out in a cold sweat. She wasn't guilty of anything except telling Kohl where Billy lived. “Thanks for the warning.”
“Listen, just tell the truth and everything will be fine,” Kate said. “I can't say anything else. I've already overstepped my bounds as a lawyer with my client. But Isabelle,” she paused, “don't get mixed up with this guy if he does come back around, okay?”
“Of course.” She ended the call and rolled her shoulders back. Doubtful that she'd have anything to do with a possible criminal.
Two days later, Principal Cooper waltzed into her classroom.
“Miss Givens, if you'll come with me.” His face flushed, but a smug smile pushed up the corners of his mustache.
Unease crawled up her spine. What was he up to? “My class will be done with P.E. in fifteen minutes. How long will this take?” She stood not hurrying to follow him out the door. The guy could take her job, but she'd be damned if she let him take her pride. “What's this about?”
“Just come to my office and you'll see. Two visitors are here for you.”
She rounded the corner with her heart in her throat. Was it parents who were here to complain about her insisting the kids tried their best? Yesterday, one of her students had been caught cheating and she'd taken him aside to talk with him about it. Were his parents here now because they didn't like her disciplining him?
“Gentlemen, this is Miss Givens.” Cooper waved an arm her direction. “Please feel free to use my office as long as you need.”
Isabelle stopped short at the doorway. Two police officers stood up when they saw her.
“Afternoon, Miss Givens,” the closest policemen said. “I'm Officer Smithson and this is Officer O’Malley. We've a few questions for you if you don't mind.”
Kohl. This is what Nurse Kate warned me about. “Sure.” She took the empty visitor chair O’Malley offered. “How can I help you?”
“On September eighth, you were at Billy's pub, correct?” Smithson leaned against the desk.
“Yes. I was there with my two sisters.”
“And did you meet a young man that night? About six foot seven or nine?”
She folded her hands in her lap. Part of her wanted to tell them everything she knew about Kohl and what happened that night. Except she couldn't let on that her sister had told her about the case and she was leaving out the part about her and Kohl's fabulous one-night stand.
“Kohl. Yes, I met him that night, but haven't seen or heard from him since.”
“Do you have his last name?” O’Malley scribbled across a small notepad.
She shook her head. “Sorry no, I don't.”
“Would you be able to pick him out of a lineup?” Smithson asked.
“I guess. It was dark in the bar and I never saw him in the daylight or anything.”
“Can you think of anything that might help us find him?” O’Malley scratched his chin. “Any small distinction...tattoos or scars or the like?”
“No, like I said, it was pretty dark.” She paused remembering his accent and how she couldn't understand his name at first until he shortened it. “He had a foreign accent, but I couldn't place it. And Kohl was a nickname or something.”
Smithson took a step forward. “What was his name, then?”
“Sorry,” she frowned, “I couldn't even begin to spell or pronounce it. And it was loud in the bar.” Plus, she'd been very drunk. Later, they were too busy kissing and making love to talk. He’d driven her wild and any thoughts she might have had that night were under a haze of awesome sex. She squirmed in her chair, hoping they wouldn’t notice her deepening blush.
“Can you try? It would help us on the case.”
“Why are you after him, if I may ask?” She brushed her hair out of her eyes.
“He stole a rock from Billy's safe.”
Her insides quivered recalling the dirt in her purse from that night. Was it debris from the rock? She'd hoped that Kohl had been innocent, now she realized he must be guilty. But why a rock? “Wait, he broke into Billy's safe and took a stone? Nothing else?” Like money or jewelry or electronics?
“It was a meteor fragment, actually.” O’Malley nodded. “One Billy found in the mountains when he was on vacation a few years ago. Worth about a thousand dollars and it had sentimental value. Do you know if this Kohl had a grudge against Billy?”
She frowned. “I've no idea.” Why would he steal a meteor? “You're sure nothing else was missing?”
“Yes, ma’am.” O’Malley cleared his throat. “Billy verified that nothing else was taken.”
Had she interrupted the burglary when she raced upstairs to Billy's apartment that night? Is that why only the rock was taken?
“Did this Kohl say where he was from?”
“No, sorry. It didn’t come up.” If she hadn’t been drunk she might have thought to have a full conversation with him before rushing to bed with him. Her face heated.
“Here's my card.” Smithson dug into his pocket. “Call me or O’Malley if you remember anything else.”
“Sure. Thanks.” She took the business card and the policemen walked out of Cooper’s office with her. The bell rang and she shook Smithson, then O’Malley’s hand. “Sorry I couldn't be more help. Good luck in your investigation.”
They nodded and she spun to get back to her class before Cooper decided to mark her tardy and fire her. Earlier, she wanted Kohl to contact her, now she didn't know what to say to him. It was easier this way no matter how much she yearned to hear his deep voice and find out more about him. And what about the meteor? Was it a prank or dare? Kohl didn't seem the type to be swayed by anyone. So why had he done it?