Five o’ clock. I sit here in my office on the second floor of a rusty old building in New York. “Lights out!..” blurts the janitor, barging into my office and my thoughts. It has been a quiet day. Slowly, I got up like a stoned man, picked up my fifty dollar hat and left my personal office, the door of which read “Jonny Small, Detective” written in large bold letters on the rough, translucent glass window. Cindy’s standing outside the building, so I have to be very quiet and as sneaky as possible. If Cindy catches me, I’m going to be stuck in front of the office door for at least thirty minutes. Luckily, she did not notice me slip into the darkness behind her and walk towards my house into the darkness of the streets of New York City. I don’t know what people see in me, but for as long as I can remember, my life has been perfect. It seems that everything works out perfectly for me. I walk by the ‘Nitetime Bar’, the only classic old fashioned bar in the new technology year of 2013. I see my reflection in the mirror. I am a pretty well built man, standing a little over 6 feet with broad shoulders and a square chin. I want to stop by the bar and get a drink, but there is an uneasy feeling in me. I turn toward my home and walk faster now. While I was admiring myself in the bar mirror, I had a sudden feeling deep inside me about something…almost like a sixth sense. Outside the apartment building, I was still waiting for the elevator and when it finally arrived, I started pushing the button for my floor frantically. My apartment door was open and there was broken glass scattered on the floor. I was very nervous and ran through the door only to find everything perfectly placed except for a few broken picture frames. The three room apartment looked deserted. The bare walls are which were initially covered with wallpaper were stripped off. The window was open and the cold air struck my face like a whip. “Where is she? Where is she?” There was no sign of Alice, my wife, anywhere in the living room. The kitchen seems to be in place and untouched. The bedroom was in turmoil. Picture frames and pictures lay on the floor and Alice lay on the bed. Her smooth dark hair covered her head completely and spread all the way down to her waist. I realized she was crying and walked over to her to try to comfort her and find out what had happened.
“Why’re ya cryin baby? …Alice, what’s wrong?”
“It’s just that…” she starts off with a strong voice like she always does.
“…I was going through our old pictures…and…and,” her voice is now quivering. “I can’t find a single picture of you when you were young…Up till now, I have not realized it, but now I’m scared of thinking who I have married and if I took a wrong turn when I married you.”
Her words struck me like poisonous thorns. It was not physical anger that I felt, but it was the emotional distress and hopelessness that hurt me the most. How could...