Mistaken Identity: Chapter 1
The crisp taps of Pamela Godfrey’s heels on the concrete echoed through the garage. She clenched and unclenched her jaws, the clack of her teeth matching the rhythm of her shoes. She was not pleased with her day. He had no good reason to keep her waiting that long. He asked for that meeting. Then to cut her off because he had another appointment compounded his sin. The next time, she’d make him wait – if she showed at all. That lack of consideration on top of the mess she’d had to handle first thing in the morning. It was all just too much.
She pressed the lock release on her key chain. The responding beep made her flinch. She opened the door and stepped up into her Escalade. ‘Dammit,’ she said as she spotted a piece of paper stuck between the wiper blade and the windshield. She didn’t care, let it fall where it may, she thought, as she reversed out of the parking slot quicker than she should. Shifting into drive, she hit the windshield wipers to dislodge the nuisance as she made the turns toward the exit.
It didn’t work. The paper clung to the blade arcing back and forth across the glass. It wasn’t an advertisement after all. It was a typewritten note. Curious, she stopped, slipped the transmission into park and stepped out of her SUV. Behind her, a horn honked. She turned and glared at the silver Lexus. The engine revved. The horn blared again. She couldn’t see anyone through the tinted glass but flipped the bird in the driver’s direction anyway. She stepped to the front of her car, grabbing the document. She was back at the side of her car with one leg raised, ready to step inside, when the horn blasted a third time.
She lowered her foot to the pavement, turned with hands on her hips and stared at the driver. As the door of the Lexus started to open, she realized that she really didn’t want a confrontation with a stranger – she’d had enough grief for one day and it wasn’t even noon yet. She hopped into the seat and left the other driver standing by his car and shouting obscenities as she pulled away.
The piece of paper crumpled between her hand and the steering wheel. Stopping at a red light, she opened it up and read: ‘call 9-1-1 now!!! 6423 James Landing Drive.’
A polite tap of a horn brought her back to her surroundings. The light was now green. She jerked forward, driving half a block before turning into a parking lot where patrons pulled into numbered spaces and stuffed money into the corresponding slot in a big metal lock box. She stopped in the middle of the lane; glanced in her rear-view mirror to make sure no one was on her tail again. I must have read the address wrong. She reread the note. Who left it here? Who knows about my connection to that house? What is the best way to handle this situation? Should I do what seems natural and place this call or simply toss the note into the first dumpster I see? She considered driving to the address but worried that might confirm someone’s suspicions. Wouldn’t it be better to call from miles away and react as if the address was not familiar to me?
She wanted to return to her office, accomplish something positive and forget this morning ever happened. But she knew someone could have seen the person placing the note on her SUV and could even have recognized her car. If she ignored it, it wouldn’t look good for her. She had to make the call.
Pulling out her iPhone, she slid the digital lock to the left, hit the green phone button, then the keyboard icon. She paused, rethinking her decision. She didn’t think anyone knew of her ties to that address. But she was wrong and it was probably too late to save her professional image anyway. She turned back to her iPhone just before it faded to black. It brightened at her touch. She hit the three digits.
‘Nine-one-one. What is the nature of your emergency?’