Write On!

The Sound of Her Eyes

In Uncategorized on November 3, 2011 at 4:15 pm

by: Jen Gregory

Lindsey Dupree could tell you only one thing about Friday afternoon as the police questioned her. “If eyes made noise, Angela’s had sounded like knives sharpening.”

They were blue eyes, sincerely cornflower blue. Eyes like mountain streams, clear and pure. No secrets. Maybe it was their blueness or the neat and trim platinum blonde hair surrounding them, but Lindsey had adored Angela Thomas. She was fresh and honest. Angela’s cheeks were flushed pink, her lips dewy and plump and not a lick of make up on her face. None needed. She was stunning, ethereal. Angela Thomas had been Lindsey’s sponsor for three years, someone the young girl idolized and wanted to be like.

It wasn’t that Lindsey just thought Angela was beautiful, she found her gorgeous inside too. The Angela who had appeared out of nowhere, the Angela who swept Ken Thomas off of his feet. The magnificent, heart breaking, six foot tall Ken Thomas with the heart of gold. The Ken Thomas who graduated Harvard in Business Law and gave it all up to minister to addicts day and night, the one who had forsaken his own desires for other’s happiness. The same Ken Thomas with a grin that caused happily married women to blush.

Angela was enigmatic. A duck of the head and a shy smile uncurtained perfect pearly teeth but it was the cornflower blue eyes that grabbed your attention like a three pronged hook. You couldn’t look away and she always held your gaze. At first it was unnerving for Lindsey, this beautiful older woman staring her down, asking her questions but it quickly became a sort of fleecy comfort to her soul, for in Angela’s eyes shined understanding, a withholding of judgment.

A girl like Lindsey needed that. Sobriety takes hard work, staying off the streets takes even harder work and trusting someone? That was the hardest work of all. Lindsey could trust Angela. Stuck in the recovery process for far too long Lindsey had a giant flaw and that was narcissism. She felt she was the only person with her particular struggles and tended to talk about herself most and listen to others less.

So at this juncture when shock was still coursing through her veins and telling her to get a drink, Lindsey realized she knew nothing about Angela Thomas at all, except that she was kind. That part she was bone certain of.

That was why sitting at the police station being questioned over and over again Lindsey was most shaken. Kind people don’t kill people, or do they?

“Look at the ticket! Find the ticket!” she screamed hoarsely at the detective and FBI agent.

“Why is that Mrs. Dupree?” the taller of the two detectives barked.

“Because that’s when her eyes did the zing, zing thing! Don’t you see, that’s when things changed!”

“Did you know that Mrs. Thomas carried a weapon on her?”

“No! Why would she? She is a freaking pastor’s wife, not some undercover agent!” Lindsey ranted. “I need a cigarette, NOW!”

“Mrs. Dupree, we have your record here. You have direct links to some pretty shady characters. Are these people from your life at all associated with Mrs. Thomas?” the shorter detective said gently shaking a stack of papers.

“No way! She was the only reason I had nothing to do with them anymore. She was my friend. My friend! She was so kind. You don’t understand.” She moaned. “Angela Thomas was good and honest, not a killer.”

“That she was a killer is not arguable Mrs. Dupree. You saw that with your own eyes.” The taller detective said with impatience lining his voice. “Lindsey, we need to know what you know about her, anything at all.”

“I’ve told you everything I know. I didn’t know much and what I assumed obviously wasn’t quite right. Please let me have a cigarette.” She said with sarcasm and exasperation.

It was the cold steel chair rubbing her tail bone and the high table in this fluorescent room that clashed with the recall. She could still smell the fish sauce, steamed dumplings and fried cabbage, see the clean white walls. The way Angela had leaned over and grabbed her hand staring her in the eye saying, “Lindsey, God knows your struggles. You are giving him everything you’ve got. Be satisfied with that. He doesn’t want you perfect. He just wants you to be His.”

Lindsey had grabbed her hand, feeling the cool strong knuckles, taking comfort in the long fingers pressed against her small hands. She remembered thinking this was as close to knowing what a mother felt like as she would ever know. She remembered her heart aching and stretching a little more, looking into Angela’s eyes and saying, “You are like the mother I never had. I couldn’t do this without you.” To which Angela had sighed and rubber her hand and said, “Yes you could sweetie, oh yes you could. I’m the one who needs you.”

They had eaten a couple of bites of food and then the ticket had come. Knives sharpening. Those intelligent, cornflower blue eyes staring down, a quick flicker of something like horror and then zing, zing. Two men started walking up and at this point Lindsey was well aware something was wrong. Angela said nothing. Reached for her purse and got up, one hand inside the neat little leather handbag. The two men sharply dressed, approached like attentive maître dees, kindly and inquisitive. They held their hands out to grab Angela’s elbows as if she were an old lady needing help from her chair.

Angela simply said in the calmest voice, “Let me get my keys.” She pulled out a gun and shot the first one in the head. Then she calmly said, “Too bad your boss doesn’t do his homework,” slapped the second one on the head with the butt of the gun and said, “Come on!”

She shot the guy in two seconds flat. Right there in the middle of a crowded restaurant, no hesitation, no shaky hands, just shot him dead. The dead guy collapsed on top of Lindsey and Angela had looked at her quickly, her blue eyes sorry but sharp and cold. And then she had walked out with her hostage. She ran and now Lindsey was here answering questions, staring at grey laminate floors and cinder block walls.

“Mrs. Dupree, are you aware of any connections to organized crime Mrs. Thomas may have had?”

“No.” she said sullenly. “She was so kind. She wouldn’t. They hung around some rough crowds with his line of work but only as ministers.”

“When did you first meet Mrs. Thomas?” the taller detective asked.

“She started coming to meetings about five years ago. No one knew much about her but in recovery you learn not to ask questions. I met her in a small group. She was, or implied she was, a leader at a former church somewhere up north…Minnesota, Montana. I don’t know,” she said as she fidgeted, pulling her feet underneath her. “That’s like all I know about her. That and Ken fell madly in love with her like right away. She just seemed to blend right in, like she always had been there. It was a God thing.” Lindsey said nostalgically.

“Mrs. Dupree, let’s leave God out of this. We have a dead man shot in cold blood and a missing murderer with a hostage. Any clues as to where she might be?” the shorter detective glowered.

“No, where is Ken? Where is Ken? He can answer all of this,” she said as she lay her head on the cold table.

The tall detective and the shorter detective glanced at each other and left the room without explanation.

Around the corner they stepped into a small glass enclosed office and shut the door leaving Lindsey more confused and in greater need of a smoke.

“Look man,” the short one said, “She knows nothing. We have one dead guy and a hostage, a pastor’s wife as the murderer, a missing husband and no alibi. What do you want to do next, John? We’ve got to find this woman.”

“Get the little addict a separate cell, scare her a little and see what comes out. I think you might be right but this thing is big, messy. The Dupree girl has a very colored past that overlaps some of the victims associates. The real question is who is this Angela Thomas? Nothing is coming up, not even the FBI has anything on her.”

The taller one cursed under his breath and pulled out two cigarettes. “Go give this to the girl, get her settled in. We’ve got a lot more work to do.”

Just then a young crime scene investigator ran in with a plastic bag. “Here sir, they told me to bring this straight to you.” He handed over the bag with the restaurant ticket. The detective would have to confirm the credit card number but it seemed to be Mrs. Thomas’ ticket. One noodle bowl. One glass of diet coke and a very interesting message written on it in red ink,

We have Ken, follow us or he dies. Love, Papa G

The taller detective cursed again, this time louder and grabbed his jacket. He ran out of the room and grabbed the other detective as he came out of the room.

Lindsey heard him say, “Let her go! Come on we have to move! Geelione has the pastor. She’s gonna try to take him on. Mother of God! Who is this woman?!”

With that Lindsey was free. Free to have a smoke and maybe a drink. Or maybe not. She would make that call later. She received her cell phone and called a friend to come get her. She leaned back against the brick wall shaking and crying.

Geelione had Ken? That left Lindsey with some choices. Her street instincts kicked in, she stubbed out the cigarette and hopped in her friend’s truck as he pulled up. “Come on Toby,” she said, “we’ve got some people to go see.”

Zing, zing, zing… Cornflower blue. Fresh and honest. “I’m the one who needs you. I’m the one who needs you.”  Zing. Zing. Boom.

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