Claire and Rachel looked up, shocked by the intruder. Rachel spoke first, irritated by the interruption. “I’m sorry, but we’re in the middle of something. Could this wait?”
Eve barely heard her and still staring at Claire, said. “I understand that you call yourself a Senator, that you help women in trouble. I don’t understand your title, but I am certainly in need of help. I don’t believe I can return to my home after tonight.” Eve suddenly felt a surge of euphoria. She put her arms out and raised them as if she were a runner at the finish line, her jubilation over the foreign feeling taking control. “I must sound crazy to the two of you. I sound crazy to me. But I don’t remember feeling so enriched. I think I need to talk to you tonight. Please, may I sit?”
Something about the woman intrigued Claire. She scooted herself over and reached her hand out to offer Eve a throne at their table. “My friend is correct, we are in the middle of a meeting. But we can take a few minutes for you, what’s your name?”
No sooner than Eve had joined the women’s table, the waitress came over with three scones. Hot beautiful scones that sent an aroma into the air so enticing, so perfect that all three ladies regressed to young girls instantly. They’d been thrown into a ritual, breaking bread together. A ceremony they were unaware of at the moment.
After the scone feast, they made their introductions and Eve began her story. She didn’t understand or maybe didn’t care, but she trusted both of them and told them everything. The rape, the murder of Conchita. She didn’t stop until she had it all out in the open.
“So you’re saying the police were in on the conspiracy to hide the murder?” Rachel had her reporter radar focused on the insanity of the story. “Where is this Scarsborough Meadows place? We’ll find the person in charge, maybe the police chief for that region. This can’t be all that difficult.”
Claire was concerned for Eve. “So you saw the event? Your husband, the others, they know what you saw and they just let you drive away? Honey, you might be in danger. They can’t let you go to the authorities. Where will you stay tonight?”
“I don’t know yet. I have some money scanners. I’ll stay in a hotel. My friend, Sandy. She told me I can get an abortion in Latino Town.” She shook her head in dismay. “That’s the township where Conchita and her family live.” She choked. “I mean where Conchita lived. How can I go there when I know what happened?”
Claire and Rachel reacted at the same time, but it was Claire who made the first exclamation. “Latino Town? Township? Are you putting us on?” Eve saw her look around the room, perhaps searching for cameras. Then Claire said, “You had us going, Eve. Nice prank.”
Shocked at the turn of events, Eve watched her two new friends gather their papers. Rachel looked at her and said, “Eve, this was an interesting evening, but now that you’ve taken up our time with your little scam, the relationship the three of us cultivated tonight is over.” And then to Claire, “I’ll be in contact.” She laid money on the table and stood to leave. “Oh, and Eve? This is on me tonight. First time is free.” She frowned at Eve and exited the coffee house.
Eve moved to Rachel’s side of the booth only to watch Claire finish packing her personal affects. “Claire, why are you both angry with me? I told you what happened tonight, no one can make that up. Why on earth would you even doubt me?”
“Come on, Eve. Township for Latinos’? Really?” Without saying anymore, she left as Rachel had done.
Eve’s good feelings had been erased, leaving her sick inside. What had just happened? She picked up her purse and began her trek to the exit, following in Rachel and Claire’s footsteps.
But Donna rushed to stop her. “Eve. You haven’t figured it out yet, have you? Sorry, honey, but you can’t use the front door.” She pointed to the back where the tree covered her portal just as it had done before. “I look forward to seeing you again.” She left Eve standing, lost, and alone.
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