I told her to start at the beginning. She picked up another breadstick and tortured it while she told me the tale.
She’d had a bad work day, a worse work week. There was no one waiting for her at home. Her friends had plans for the weekend, and she was staring at two whole days of nothing except Netflix and a bottle of cheap red wine. She stopped at the Oceanview Hotel because it was on the way home and she actually liked the bar and grill housed in it, a place called Music Macaw’s. She wanted a pina colada and to maybe be hit on by the businessmen stuck there for a weekend sales seminar.
She sat at the bar and sipped her drink, but failed to interest anyone except for a fat guy in dirty orange Nomex coveralls. She was just about to leave when her future Romeo sat down on the stool next to hers.
I cut in and asked for a description.
Jennifer took a deep breath. “I can’t. Not really. He looked . . . average. Average height, average weight. Brown hair. A little pale, but not a lot. He didn’t have a big nose, or a small one. You know who he reminded me of? Someone you’d see behind a famous actor in a movie. One of those extras, someone who’s there just to take up space. Someone they need to stand in the background.”
I said, “There must be something about him. When you were . . . with him, did you notice any tattoos? Moles? Scars?”
“I told you I don’t remember being with him. And . . . and okay, there was something about him. His eyes. They were very green. Bright green. I thought they were contacts.”
“All right.” I pulled out a small notebook and a pen from the inside pocket of my leather jacket and jotted down eyes – bright green, contacts? I tapped the pen on the page as I said, “Mister Average Guy sat next to you. What happened next? He give a name? Hopefully a Social Security number?”
He did give a name. Curt Connors. No SSN, though. They talked. Nothing specific. Nothing that stuck out. He bought a beer, a Shiner Bock. She bought another pina colada . More talking. Then, something happened. She blushed when she told me.
“I wanted him. I can’t explain it. I’ve never felt that way before. I just had to have him, right then. I might have taken him right there in the bar, if we’d been alone.”
I smiled as I said, “And you’re sure he didn’t slip anything into your drink? Spanish Fly, maybe?”
She pushed her plate, littered with breadstick remains, away from her. “I’m sure. He knew it, I think. How I was feeling. He took my hand, he said he had a room, and that’s it. I remember riding the elevator. We got off on the fifth floor. And that’s all I remember.”
“Until the next morning.”
“Until the next morning. When I woke up, alone. There was nothing in the room, no suitcase, no shaving kit.”
“Okay.” I scribbled down some of what she’d said, what I thought might be important. I asked about the bartender in Music Macaw’s. She gave me a decent enough description. We parted ways a few minutes later, and once I was outside the restaurant, I phoned the man who’d given her my number and gave him hell.