Friday 24th June 9:30 AM
Terry Lewinski opened the door to his apartment and picked the morning newspaper up from the mat. The world read their news on computers and smartphones in these modern times but he still preferred the newspaper and his morning tea. Retirement meant that he could finally live life on his own terms. It also meant that he would have to look at the obituary column everyday to figure which of his friends or acquaintances had kicked the bucket. What he saw he did not expect.
Molly Fry was dead! That could not be! She was the sweet young woman who stayed in apartment 21A. It was on Monday that they rode the elevator together and he remembered her smiling at him with grocery bags in her hand. He read her obituary in disbelief.
Friday 24th June 11:00 AM
Terry rang the doorbell for apartment 21A and Molly’s husband Ryan answered the door. He looked like he had not slept in days. Behind him Terry could see that the apartment was a mess, clothes strewn around and half eaten junk cluttering the dining table.
“I am really sorry to hear about your wife,” Terry sympathized. Ryan looked at him for a while, like Terry had lost his mind, “What have you heard about my wife?” Terry was wondering if this was supposed to be a dumb joke. He had heard, nay read, that his wife was dead! But had Ryan not heard? “I read that Molly was no more,” Terry mumbled. “Are you out of your mind? Where would you read such a thing?” Ryan was clearly enraged.
Terry told him that he had read it in the obituary column. Ryan dismissed it as a joke that some insensitive person may have played and shut the door on him. Most odd, thought Terry.
Friday 24th June 3:30 PM
Terry has spent his life at the Chicago Chrome, first as a sports correspondent and when he finally retired he was the sports editor. He knew how the newspapers worked. No one paid for an obituary as a joke because it just was not funny. Another thing that his life in journalism had taught him was how to smell a fish and here, he could smell a whole school of fish!
Sebastian had been his best correspondent and someone who he had mentored. Sebastian was the person to go to he decided.
He called Sebastian and asked him for a favor.
Could he check into an obituary printed in the American Central Journal? Sebastian asked Terry to give him an hour.
Friday 24th June 7:30 PM
Terry waited for Joe Scazzi to finish his briefing with the beat officers. Joe and Terry had become friends over a sports fraud that Joe was investigating and Terry was reporting. Terry had only the highest regard for Joe, both for his integrity and his talent as a police detective.
“A beer?” Joe asked from across the hall adding enough warm laughter to his voice. “Would love it!” smiled Terry.
Friday 24th June 8:30 PM
“Let me understand this,” Joe said thoughtfully,“this girl Molly is dead according to the newspaper and not dead according to the husband?” “That is correct!” Terry confirmed.
“Could be a mistake?” “It cannot be a mistake because I asked my source at the newspaper to confirm the obituary and my source got back saying it was genuine but when we dug deeper we discovered something very suspicious,” Terry said.
“What is that?” Joe leaned forward getting drawn into the mystery.
“The Obituary was paid for by Molly, in person, in cash. Why would a woman publish her own obituary?”
To be Continued….