Late again, Claire felt relieved to see Rachel sitting at their booth. “God, Rachel. It seems I’m always keeping you waiting.” She sat, wondering how this woman would react to Eve’s newspaper. “I was here last night, hoping to talk to you. You probably got my crazy message in the middle of the night. Sorry about that, Rachel.”
“Why did you want to talk to me so badly last night?”
“I was disturbed by my dream. It was nothing.” Claire’s mind thought of the photos in her phone. She wasn’t ready to share them. Not with Rachel. She’d have to use them, she was a news woman, and would not accept keeping them secret.
Rachel could tell something was bothering the Senator, but listened intently hoping to identify it. “Claire, stop rambling. We need to talk about the bill. Can you be on my show tomorrow? I have only one week to let the people know. We need them calling their Senators about this. I want the phones to ring all week.”
“Yes, you’re right. But there is something else I want to share with you. Something so big, Rachel. If it’s as it seems, there are no words for this. I realize the bill is important, but this, well.” Claire turned to the front entrance, wondering where Tony was. “I have a friend that’s supposed to join us, someone who can help to explain.” She couldn’t wait any longer and shoved the newspaper across the table.
Claire watched her new friend scan through the article.
“I don’t know Spanish, Claire. But it does appear that Eve’s story about that poor woman is real. What does it say? And more so, where did you get this?”
Donna asked them if they wanted to order anything with their coffee.
Rachel looked at Claire with a twinkle in her eye. “Do you have any scones fresh from the oven? Those are the best in town.”
“We don’t serve scones.” She handed the women a menu. “I’ll give you a chance to look over our selection.”
When she was out of hearing distance, Rachel laughed. “What was that all about? That is the same lady that brings us our treats each night, isn’t it? That is Donna, right?”
“Rachel, the article says that Conchita was driven to a bus that night and that the bus has disappeared. Either an accident or kidnapping. It’s still unknown where the bus is. But look closer, look at the date on the top of the paper. What do you see?”
Claire’s nervous energy was driving her mad, waiting for Rachel to make the discovery. She watched the woman peruse the top of the periodical. Then her eyes landed on the one bit of information that would surely blow her mind. The color left her face, her expression showed shock, curiosity.
“What is this? A joke? This paper’s a fake, we were right about this woman all along.” She looked across the table. “Where did you get this?”
“From Eve. She was here last night, and very distraught. She’d tried calling me only to discover that my number didn’t exit. Didn’t exist, Rachel.” She pulled her cell out of her purse and shook it at the woman. “Maybe not for her, Rachel. Maybe not to a woman living 30 years in the future.”
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