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Critical Error 26


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Frank walked to the front door, pushed it open and asked, “Can I help you?”  The man was bent over paperwork on a clipboard he was holding and didn’t look up.

“Ah yeah, I was looking for Ms. Martin.  I was supposed to do some repairs on some furniture.  She must have gone to work already, ’cause she isn’t answering.”

“Ms. Martin and her family left on their holidays a couple of days ago.  Won’t be back for awhile.”

“No one told me,” he whined.  Frank listened to his complaints for about a minute before interrupting him, “I guess she forgot in the excitement of preparations.  You know how it is, just overlooked it I guess.”

“Well, ah, could you let me in?”

“Sorry, not without an ok from Ms. Martin,” Frank insisted.  “Policy.”

“Yeah, well, I’ll get her when she gets back.”

It struck Frank as odd that throughout their entire conversation, the guy didn’t look up once.  He closed the door and walked away without giving him another thought.  He had other things on his mind.

Had Frank turned around, he would have noticed the man stomp to his truck, get in then pound on the steering wheel before speeding recklessly away enveloped in a black rage.

How could she do this to him?  Reaching the corner of the street, he headed toward the beach.  Still engulfed in fury he barely noticed the road ahead and nearly hit a couple of joggers. He careened left and right recovering the truck.  Damn her!  How could she?  How could she walk out on his love? Why would she leave?  Where would she go?  Why?  “Think!” he yelled out loud.  “Think!”  Where would she go?  Family?  Friends?  Would she stay on the Island or leave?  Did she take her family with her?  Of course, that would make the most sense.

He had to get to a phone and call in sick.  She already had a couple of day’s head start.  He drove to the Seagate, hurried into the lobby to the bank of phones lining the far wall.  Plunking in the require coins he informed his boss he was sick and had to go home.

He hung the receiver up, hopped back into his truck and drove to the gas station to fill the gas tank.  He was going on a little hunting expedition.

Two days, two days, where would that put her?  She’d have to stay overnight somewhere.  It would have to be Courtney, Comox or if she was leaving the Island, Nanaimo.

All he was trying to do was show her how much he loved her and she’d thrown his love back in his face.  He’d make her pay for her treachery.  He was half way out of town when he turned the truck around and headed back.

He sat around the corner from the apartment building and watched.  He couldn’t see any movement in the apartment itself and it appeared as though it were locked up tight.  No way to get inside.  Then he noticed the black cat walking the banister of her apartment.  He could reach it if he tried, it wasn’t that far off the ground.

Waiting for the couple at the front entrance to leave, he reached behind the seat and pulled out a bag.  Hurrying now, he crossed the street, playing with its contents.

He squinted at the ground floor apartment.  No movement there, so no one would spot him.


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