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There she is again, thought Jacob. I’ve got to talk to her.
To the average observer, she was not a great beauty. She was small and thin, with a close cropped pixie cut of raven hair that made her look boyish. But she had a smile so wide it would swallow him whole, and eyes so rich and deep he could get lost in them forever. He felt drawn to her, and yet, for some reason, he could never get close enough to strike up a conversation. Today would be the day.
Before he realized what he had done, he had run out into the street. Fortunately a double-parked truck and a stalled car were blocking the road. Without a second look he continued on to the other side of the street. The crowd thickened as he went after her and he started falling behind. He saw a gap near the curb and made his way closer again. He might actually catch up to her this time.
It suddenly occurred to him he didn’t know what he would say to her when he finally did catch her. Hi, I’ve been chasing after you for weeks? Yeah, that would go over well. If he was lucky she would just mace him and run away or call the cops. Still he wasn’t stopping, even if his better judgment said he should just leave this woman alone.
His progress was brought to a sudden halt by a strange man in a clean white shirt. He stood directly in his path and would not budge. “Excuse me. I’m in a hurry.”
But still the man didn’t move. Instead he pulled out a badge and announced, “I’m Detective Dregg. I need to talk to you about a robbery that happened yesterday evening.” The mystery woman disappeared into the crowd and Jacob gave up the chase, realizing this man would
not easily be gotten rid of. He would have to try again some other day.
“Am I interrupting something?”
“No. I guess it doesn’t matter now. What was this about a robbery?”
“First things first. Can I get your name and address.”
“Sure. No problem.” Jacob dug his wallet out of his pocket and handed over his driver’s license.
The detective grunted a thanks and copied the information before continuing. “Last night just after you left Wu’s Grocery on Fifth. What do you remember about going to the store.”
“Well I went to get some milk, picked up some snacks, paid for them and left. That’s about it.”
“Was there anyone else there?” the cop asked. “Could you describe them.”
“There was a teenager there looking through the magazines. Hispanic, green hoodie, wannabe mustache. Say, he’s not the one who did it, is he? Man, I walked right past that kid. I had no idea. I never saw him do anything.”
“Could you identify him if you saw him again?”
“Yeah, sure. I mean I guess so. You’re not going to need me to go to court or anything are you? I don’t want any trouble with the gangs and I can’t afford to miss any work. Besides everything should be on video.”
“That probably won’t be necessary. But there is one more thing. Why did you go back?”
“Go back? Oh, yeah. That’s right. Some kids had tagged his store again. I just stuck my head in to let him know.”
“And that’s it. You didn’t see anything else.”
“No nothing worth mentioning. Say, is Mr. Wu all right? I mean, he didn’t get killed or anything?”
“No, he’s fine. Crabby as ever. Anyway if you think of anything else that might be important, you can contact me at this number,” Dregg said. He pulled a card from his pocket and handed it to Jacob.
“All right. I’ll do that.” With that, he stuck the card in his pocket and walked away.
She couldn’t have gotten very far, he thought. Maybe it’s not too late and I can pick up her trail again. But somehow he doubted he would.