If you missed the first chapter, start here!
“The things you learn about people after they’re dead…” Esther’s voice trailed off.
Penelope knew that was her cue to stop scooping the litterbox and ask a question. “Are we talking about Jezza?”
The old woman repositioned one of her cats on her lap and edged her wheelchair closer. “I had coffee at least once every week with that woman and not once did she mention having children. I can’t imagine what her son thought of me when he came by this morning.”
Penelope put the litter box cover back on and snapped the clasps. “She had a son? Are you sure?” Jezza had never struck her as the maternal type. Of course, she’d never seemed like a Hooters waitress type either. Penelope wondered whether any of what she thought she knew of the dead woman was correct.
“Looked exactly like a younger version of Jezza in drag. He came by this morning to see if Jezza had left any of Brutus’ things over here. The poor dog doesn’t have anything familiar with him and the police won’t let him get anything from the house.”
Penelope frowned. “Esther, Brutus is staying with Jake.”
“Is he now? Well, I’m glad I forgot about the spare key Jezza had me keep for her then.” Her wheelchair hummed as she followed Penelope to the kitchen. She picked up a key from the counter while Penelope washed her hands. “Speaking of Jake, when are you two going to get married?”
Penelope couldn’t help laughing as she dried her hands. If Esther went a month without asking her that question she’d call her doctor. “Are we in a rush? It’s not like we’re going to have a baby out of wedlock or anything. We’re fine just the way we are.”
“So he hasn’t asked you then.”
“Don’t let that one get away.”
Penelope opened her mouth but couldn’t find anything to say. She changed the subject. “Back to Jezza’s son. Did he leave a phone number or some way to contact him?”
“It’s tacked up on the refrigerator. Do you think I should call him and tell him about the key?”
Penelope poured kibble into the cat bowls and counted to make sure all six cats showed up and ate. “I think you should call the detective in charge of the case and tell him about Jezza’s son and give him the key.” She wrote down Brian’s number on a slip of paper and handed it to the woman. “Do you need me to do anything else while I’m here?”
“Off you go. Tell that man of yours I said hello. And send him over here so I can light a match under his behind.” Esther cackled and spun her wheelchair in a circle on her way to the phone mounted on the wall.
(Comments, requests, and suggestions all welcome!)