Saturday, December 26, 2009


After Brian returned, we parked Paul’s truck in my apartment building garage and took my Subaru downtown. Brian stayed behind at the condo. ‘To hold down the fort’ as my father used to say.

Trevor kicked the back of my seat almost the whole way there until Paul pulled the car over, like a dad who’d had the last straw, and threw Trevor in the way back, behind the dog screen. Obviously, I don’t have a dog and I have never owned a dog, but found the screen helpful for hanging up drawings and drying sandy, wet bathing suits and flip flops from a day at the beach. It was also now useful for containing Trevor. He didn’t dare draw attention to himself, lest a cop see him in the way back without a seatbelt. He knew that I would’ve been more than glad to get a traffic violation ticket just to have a police officer take him off of our hands. He was becoming a burden to us.

Paul kept glaring back at Trevor, who was trying to light another cigarette. Paul kept all the windows open to keep the light from being successful. I watched Paul with amusement. He noticed and smiled a little. I knew how hard this was for him. Trevor was a painful jab in his side when he should’ve been mourning the loss of his friend and mentor. To be stuck with such a pain in the neck was the worst thing that could’ve been going on for Paul. I was so worried for him and well, selfishly at the moment, for me and for us. I shouldn’t have been thinking such thoughts at a time like that, but that’s when they usually came. We had only been together about a year, but our relationship was still relatively new, mostly still within the honeymoon stage. Would Faraday’s death kill our relationship? Faraday had been such a huge part of Paul’s life. Would Paul throw me over to devote himself to the case full time, wanting no distractions from his sexy new girlfriend? God, I was so in love with him. Losing him, I thought, would send me over the edge of my parapet. Brian would have to stay by my side, as I would lapse into a love coma, unable to cope with a life without Paul. I would subsist on a diet of booze, cigarettes and reality TV, staying hidden away in my condo-cave.

“Dollar for your thoughts?” asked Paul, startling me out of my glazed space-out which I called thinking.
I looked over at him and smiled. “No thoughts. Just very tired all of a sudden. Seasonal Affective Disorder. Need to recharge for the next round.”

That seemed to satisfy him and he returned to driving. We were pulling into the downtown precinct as instructed by the cops. With much prodding, assisted by my tapered acrylic fingernails, we got Trevor out of the hatch back, inside the station, and up to the information desk.

“Excuse me,” I asked the officer behind the counter. Desk sergeant? What did they call them now? In-take officers? Or was that drug rehab lingo? “We’ve brought in Trevor Gerard. He would like to turn himself in.”

“Bitch! Cunt!” yelled Trevor before Paul could clamp his hand over his puckered foul mouth and restrain him.

The officer looked past me at Trevor. Trevor had the officer’s full attention now, “You’d better not be calling me names, sir. That will get you arrested.”

“Oh no, he’s not calling you those names. Those are the names he’s been calling me for the past couple of hours. He has issues,” I informed the officer.

The officer now turned her attention to me. She had all the mannerisms of Jabba the Hut. I’m not saying that she was obese and slug-like with excessive drool and pasty skin. Her movements revealed more the subtle and deliberate benevolence of Jabba the Hut, with an ownership of her power and manipulation. Every gesture and expression was measured and done for an exact purpose and effect.

“And the other one?” she asked patiently.

I looked at Paul and then back at her. “He’s my body guard.”

“And you are?”

“Oh, I’m sorry. I’m Lois Pushkin. We’re here to see Detective Patrick,” I answered.

“He’s unavailable right now. Working on a big case. Can't deal with stalkers right now, even if you did catch them peepin’ in your window.”

“I think he’ll want to see me. It’s about his big case.” I was getting weary of Jabba and I could sense that behind me, Paul was close to snapping Trevor’s neck.

“What do you know about his case load?” asked the officer rhetorically. “Tell me what you have and I’ll relay it to him.”

“No,” I said. “He either sees us right now or we leave. You’ll have to explain your actions later to the DA.” Boy, I really did watch too much television. I didn’t think Jabba would believe me.

The officer held my eyes for a few seconds, sighed, and then picked up the phone to call Detective Patrick. “Yeah, there’s a woman here who says she has information for you about the case you’re working on.” She paused. “Uh, yeah, a Lois Pushkin.” Suddenly, she jerked the phone away from her ear. “Sonofabitch slammed the phone down in my ear!”

The swinging doors to my left flew open and three plainclothes detectives shot through the doors at a full trot. Paul relaxed his grip on Trevor, instinctively pushing him towards the cops. Trevor wriggled his way forward, resisting like a cow to a brand.

“Ms. Pushkin!” said the cop whom I assumed was Detective Patrick. I realized now we had never met in person before. Another officer came around to escort me back through the doors.

“Thank you for coming down and turning yourself in. You have the right to remain silent…..”

“Hey, whoa! I’m not turning myself in. I’ve brought you Trevor Gerard. You said that if I had any information on him, I was to let you know. Well, I have him in person so there you go,” I said as I shrugged off the other officer behind me. Paul was instantly by my side, pulling me into him, creating distance between me and the police. Was it for my safety or theirs?

Detective Patrick looked at Trevor who was now sitting on a waiting room chair, legs crossed, sniveling into his hand, sweat beading on his freckled pale brow, trying to fade into the background. The officer crossed over to him and asked, “Are you Trevor Gerard?”

Trevor looked up at him, defeated, “Yes, I am and I didn’t do anything.”

Detective Patrick began, “Trevor Gerard, you are hereby under arrest for the murder of Christian Harold Faraday. You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you.” Blah, blah, blah, we’ve all watched Law and Order. Another officer hand-cuffed Trevor while Detective Patrick read him his rights. Then the second officer led Trevor through the double doors.

Trevor spun around spastically and yelled at Paul and me. “Bitch, you’ll pay for this! You too, Asshole! God Damn Fuckers!” Then he burst into sobs that racked his entire body, almost pulling the officer down to the floor.

“I need to know if he’ll be all right and when we can see him again,” I asked Detective Patrick.

“We said that we’d be here for him.” God, I hoped I sounded convincing. I really wanted Trevor kept at the station, under supervision. But I definitely didn’t want him spreading lies about me and Paul and pointing an accusatory finger at either of us. Being able to possibly know what he was confessing to the police would be a bonus to us.

Detective Patrick looked at me skeptically, connecting the thoughts after Trevor’s little display. “Be here for him? I think you need to think about yourself right now, Ms. Pushkin. You’re a ‘person of interest’ in this case and I need to take a statement from you. We have never sat down to chat about your version of events.” said Detective Patrick.

“Me?! Why me? I was only the guy’s designer. He paid me in full, always. I had no motive. I’m an outsider to this whole situation,” I protested.

“According to estate security logs and camera video, you were very much a part of the Faraday world and involved with everyone in it,” he revealed. “We’ll need to get your statement.
And while you’re here, since you were able to pull Trevor Gerard out of a hat, would you happen to know the whereabouts of the general contractor, Paul Atkinson?”

I reached over my shoulder and tapped Paul on the chest. Detective Patrick looked at Paul and then back at me and then returned to Paul. Then he said, “I’m definitely going to need a statement from the both of you.”

Paul squeezed my shoulders and kissed my cheek. We followed Detective Patrick through the double doors he so graciously held open for us. He was smiling like the cat that ate the canary. In the corridor, another officer took Paul away from me, and Detective Patrick led me into a tiny, claustrophobic, unaesthetic interrogation room. Martha Stewart, where are your jailhouse hints when I need them? Oh, shitshitshitshitshit.

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