She was cold. She was limp. She was dead. The right side of her face was enlarged twice as much as her left. Swollen and bruised with colors of blue, purple and grey; It wasn’t the face Wallace remembered from the night before. Last night it was milky white, with shades of pink across the cheeks, it seemed to have glowed. Now that face lies dim and vacant.
Across the sofa her body seemed to comfortably lay. Her body was wearing a bright red silk night gown which laid upon her perfect and slender figure. Wallace stood motionless looking down at her. He kneeled to her level. Carefully and slowly moved her long, curly, brunette hair from her neck. He could see bruising that resembled what would be hands around her throat.
Her apartment was only lit by the dim moonlight bleeding through the blinds. Wallace rested his elbow on his knee and placed his chin in his palm with a frown.
“I guess I can forget about that drink we were supposed to have,” said Wallace out loud to the dead girl.
Her right arm hung off the side of the sofa. He leaned in closer to her hand and observed that all the jewelry he saw last night was still on. The silver bracelet, the ring on her middle finger with the green gem. Doesn’t seem to have been a robbery. Then something caught his eye. Inches from her hand he caught a glimpse of what seemed to be the handle of a gun. Wallace took a pen from his inner jacket pocket and nudged the weapon into his view. It was a .45 colt pistol. He glanced around the room and saw a blanket on the floor near the sofa. He used the blanket to pick up the gun and open the cartridge. All the rounds were still in it. You didn’t even have a fighting chance did you? He placed the gun back where he found it.
It was less than 20 hours ago in which they first met. Wallace often ended his nights at Cafe Noir down the block from where his office was. He knew the owners well and was considered more than just a regular there. Often he spent most of his time wrapped up in his own thoughts and always sat in the corner seat at the bar against the window looking out at the street. It was a place he could go and never be bothered, except for that night.
“Excuse me,” a voice from over his shoulder said. He turned annoyed until he met her gaze. There she stood, now dead, but then alive. The light skin, the curly brunette hair, the full lips, and big eyes. “I see you here often and I figured I should introduce myself.” She held her hand out. Wallace took hold of it and gave one gentle shake. Wallace made note of the green ring. Then he looked back at her; he was taken by her looks.
“Wallace,” he said with a small smirk.
“I’m -” suddenly she cut herself off. Her eyes became distracted with something over Wallace’s shoulder through the window. Her faint smile turned to a frown and a cold worry struck her face. “I’m sorry, I must go. I live in apartment four in the building across the street. Meet me there tomorrow night around 9 and then we could have a drink here.” Her eyes then moved back to his, and a sudden warmth seemed to have flown back through her.
Before he could say a thing she smiled and turned a way, disappearing through the back exit of the cafe.
Wallace stood at her window looking down into the street at Cafe Noir. What did you see? He tapped his index finger against the side of his chin. He swung around and faced the sofa where she once laid. To his surprise the girl was sitting up, legs crossed, and arms resting on the back of the sofa. She appeared alive, though her face was still swollen and colorless.
My imagination’s getting the best of me again.
“So are you going to do anything about this, Wallace?” she said with her breathless lungs.
Wallace continued to tap his chin with his index finger as he walked towards the front door, “I’ll think about it.” He opens the door and before leaving turns back to the sofa where she comfortably lay dead. He pauses for a moment, then leaves.