It was a cracked plastic. She beat her forehead in disappointment. She had assumed she had found something. Just then, something crashed into her mind. She decided to check it out one more time. It was a curved broken plastic, turned upside down with a hole in it. She decided to turn it over with the tip of her nail just to be very sure it was an ordinary plastic.
“O My God!” she mumbled to herself, with her palm enclosing her mouth. The plastic had the pattern of a bird’s feather and if she had not seen the other side, she would have thought it was a cut-out part of a live blackbird.
Albert was right after all. It was all an established strategy. Someone had been playing with Dave’s head to see that he ran insane. This was it, but for what? She raised a question she only could hear. Her husband never spoke about having any foes at all since they got married. She rubbed out a glove from her pocket shortly to pick up the plastic. She lowered it in her pocket, looking around if she would uncover any other thing that could be helpful.
She had assumed the duty of an investigator, but unlike one, she had no idea of what successive action to take. But she was sure to plead with the aged security man never to discuss with anyone about her sudden visit.
She could not find any other thing. She strode towards the door quickly, putting out the light. What if she told the old man to lock the door but he forgets to, she thought still by the door. She looked around, deliberating on what step to take next. She wouldn’t go down the stairs to come back with the old man to confirm he locked the door.
She recalled Dave told her of his plan to construct an elevator which would make movement easier in the company. She had told him it was a good idea, although she had thought her approval wasn’t needed. She had little or nothing to do with easing the movement of workers in the institution.
But here she was, faced with an identical challenge. If only Dave had been able to raise enough funds to bring the project to completion.
“Baba (Old one)” she called out, hoping the old man would be someplace around. She only asked him to excuse her, not to leave. She could have just told him to wait outside. Suddenly, a figure came up walking up the stairs. Her problem was solved.
“I’m done.” she smiled, stepping back so that he could lock it. Just right there, it clicked she had carried the keys along with her. Was she dumb or just carried away by what she found in the office? She had left the keys in the office.
“I forgot something inside.” she quickly said walking back into the large room to get the nylon from where she dropped it. The keys clattered as she walked back outside. The old man knew she had them with her while they were at the main entrance of the building.
She would have tried many keys, which would have taken time before finding the right one. She was okay with the fact that she called the old man to lock it.
“Did you find it?” the old man asked before locking the door.
“Find what?” Susan asked. She was confused. Was he peeping? She asked herself.
“You said you were here to look for something.” he reminded her.
“Oh… Sorry. I…” she was about to say she found it but she realized she was holding nothing but the nylon where she kept the keys. “I could not lay my hands on it.” she smiled quickly.
“I’m so sorry. But is it that important?” he asked as he locked the door. He was beginning to ask too much, Susan thought but she would not disrespect him.
“Not really.” she smiled, walking back to the stairs quickly to avoid further questionings. He followed her until they were at the entrance. He had taken care of the light, leaving the security bulbs on.
“Please, I don’t want any other person to know I was here.” she turned back to tell the old man. He nodded, walking past her to instruct one of the boys to open the gate. She resumed into the car, driving out quickly. She parked a few kilometres ahead, wondering what step she had to take next.
She would have really loved to go back to Albert to give him the report but it was late already and he must have gone to join his wife. She has to share with someone, she thought.
“Perfect.” she said, igniting the car and running it down the road. She would stop by at Christopher’s house to relate everything to him. She has to get it off her chest or she may explode before morning, she concluded.
Read previous episodes and other interesting stories here