I was waiting on my friend, Cici and was standing on the deck leaning against the railing watching the activity at the marina where I dock the Saving Grace when I make a trek over from the island.
A young couple who moments ago were holding hands were no longer doing so, walking stiffly down the boardwalk. An argument?
A scenic bus carrying a load of passengers parked in a designated spot for large transports. When the door opened, a flood of people disembarked and were ushered toward a large gambling boat to carry them out to sea where they could shove coins into slots, hoping to win the big one but more than likely they would return to land with nothing to show for it. They appeared excited and anticipated the adventure they were to go on.
I wandered down to the boardwalk to stretch when I heard an explosion behind me. Startled, I spun around to see what it was and saw the hood and trunk lid of a car sailing through the air and land in the water down the block. The car was on fire. I heard sirens in the distance.
I left it to them and made my way back to the Saving Grace, wondering where Cici was. She should’ve been here by now.
I tilted my head to the side in confusion when I saw Cici slip out from behind the tiki bar, stop, scan the surroundings before she ran toward the Saving Grace.
I went back to the galley to grab a couple bottles of wine and another glass and went to meet her. I gave her a big hug, settled her into a deck chair and prepared to have a good time.
In a conversation with my elusive friend, Cici Pine, my sand-box pal from back in the day who appeared every now and then for wine and conversation then disappeared until the next time she was in town, I detected there was more to this visit than our normal gabfest.
This time of year was when she descended on me. She flitted across the globe all year until finally she came to land here on the Saving Grace, my houseboat I preferred over my home on the island I bought.
Usually, she comes for the wine and to catch up on what each of us has been doing for the last year with ourselves. She’d launch into some crazy thing she did or her latest love interest, none of which seemed to last. She didn’t want to be tied down, she told me on numerous occasions. She liked men. She liked sex. But above all, she liked her freedom.
She grew pensive, her brows knitting together. I knew something was wrong. I saw it in her eyes. Heard it in her voice. She would tell me when she was ready. A couple bottles of wine usually does it.
“Savannah, I know you’re in the investigating business now and I don’t want to take advantage but I’m wondering if you could look into something for me.”
I turned to her and studied her features to make sure she was serious. She was looking out over the water, her head turned slightly to the right, then she turned to me, the look in her eyes telling me she was dead serious.
“What is it, Cici? You know I’ll do anything to help you. Are you in trouble?”
She sipped again. This time her voice lost the amusement it always held, instead it was tinged slightly with fear.
“Someone’s trying to kill me.”
“Tell me everything. Don’t leave out the smallest detail.”
“Well for one, that explosion, that car that just blew up?”
“Yes, I saw that.”
“That was meant for me.”