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"Linds," she says softly, "do you ever think about running away?"
I risk a quick sideways glance, trying to figure out if her words are meant to be a tease (because it's so hard to imagine me ever doing this), a challenge (because the girls have put her up to it) or a sincere question. Knowing Cindy, it could be all three. And I'm admitting it makes me kind of nervous contemplating this at 6:21 AM. Getting Cindy to her interview on time, that's the deal we agreed to when her car wouldn't start this morning, not discussing life-altering subjects.
"Why?" At a red light, I finally turn to her, her intense scrutiny as usually unsettling and just as intriguing. I'm getting myself in trouble before we're even there.
She shrugs. "Just wondering. I'm pretty happy with my life as it is. Just sometimes--"
"I thought you were happy to be in the club." I'm only half-joking. Of course a young talented woman like her has options. It scares me, and I'm well aware why. Poor repressed Lindsay. Not quite.
"I am. I'm just thinking there should be more to life to draw satisfaction from than the job, right?"
She must be doing this on purpose, unintentionally cruel. The sun is rising as we cross the Golden Gate bridge, and I wonder what happened if I made that one different turn, but I know just as well that it's not going to happen. Once I've dropped her off at her desired destination, I'll go back to work, just another day, pretend, make myself believe that she's just another good friend. One of the girls, like Jill and Claire. "With the job there comes a little thing called responsibility." I've got my lines ready. "And money to pay the bills."
"What about love?"
"Thinking of someone in particular?" If it's 'cute' Jamie Galvan, I might have to find some dirt on him yet. She might have forgiven him the kidnapping scheme, doesn't mean that I have to.
Cindy laughs a little. "Yes. But I don't think she's interested, let alone in running away with me. So it remains a dream."
"She must be a cold-hearted bitch," I say supportively, trying to ignore the hammering of my heart. She. That means... damn it. Too late for regrets now.
"I wouldn't call her that." She looks away when our eyes meet. "Truth be told, I don't even know what to call it. I've never felt anything like this before."
How did we even get here from escapist fantasies? But I can't turn back now. I need to be sure, one way or another. "You know, I'd call in sick if you didn't have that interview to go to. That's about as adventurous as I can offer."
Cindy smiles to herself when she says, "There is no interview."
Little does she know that whenever I've had dreams of leaving everything behind, she was still with me in them. Maybe though Cindy does know.
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