Are You Awake -10-

Slamming the door of the apartment, Lola turned, her cheeks flaming a heat that burned like hell. “What the hell was that? You acted like a child in front of a man. I told you, if you make me look bad, you won’t be going with me anymore,” Lola scolded. Tossing her purse on the couch, Lola stood with her hands perched on her hips as though she were waiting for a fight. Lola had to work with this man, and she secretly saw, dating, his best friend. In no way did she want to seem like a groupie.

I am shocked right now. Lola has always been a little bossy, but this time she acted like I kissed her man. “What the fuck? I mean, really, Haze is the one who reached over and touched me. I didn’t touch him back,” I screamed, my temper flaring. We’ve never once argued in the past, and the moment I yelled, I cried. Lola is my best friend, my roommate, and like a sister to me. However, she perceived today was not how I meant it to happen. “I’m sorry. Honestly, I didn’t know I did anything wrong,” I whispered.

Without a word, Lola walked over, wrapping her arms around tight. They never fought like this, and all of this being over a man was stupid. Maybe she was so adamant about Sage staying away from Haze was because she knew how he was. So many women showed up at the station the day after he fucked them. All of them confessing that he told them he loved them and that they were now his girlfriend. Lola always had to clean up the collateral damage from his wandering dick. Holding on for dear life, they both knew what happened was wrong. Emotions are so high with the murder.

“We need to talk. Grab some wine and meet me on the couch. Something happened today that I am a little freaked out about,” I whispered. I cleared off the couch while Lola grabbed a bottle of Moscato and a couple of glasses. I know this isn’t a big deal, but it is to me.

“Is it bad?” Lola asked as she settled into the corner of the overstuffed brown couch. She looked like if one more bad thing happened this week, she would need a therapist.

I shook my head from side to side. It was just odd. “So, when I went to the bathroom,” I said, watching as Lola opened the bottle—taking a glass when she offered it. I sipped the sweet wine, shrugging, “So there was a lady in there, and she started talking about Haze. Well, not Him, but men like him. 

“What the fuck? Who was she?” Lola asked.

I shrugged again, looking over, “I don’t know her, or even why she talked to me. The bathroom is the last place you want to have a conversation with someone.”

Lola set her glass on the table, pulling her knees to her chest, “So what did she say?”

“That is the weird thing. The woman told me she was watching my boyfriend and me. I assured her that he wasn’t, and she told me some things are better not wished for,” I said.

“That makes little sense. It seems like she was fishing for something. Was she a reporter?” Lola asked.

I shrugged. That was something I didn’t even think about when she spoke to me. What if she was trying to pump me for information about the murder? “Maybe, but I don’t know. She told me she had a friend who dated a man like him, and it ended badly. After that, she left, and I came back to the table. I just found all of this to be odd,” I added. Chewing on the inside of my cheek, I watched as Lola seemed to be as perplexed as I am. Both of my hands now wrapped around the glass. I steadied the tremble of my hands as I brought the fake crystal glass to my lips. Quick breaths in and out, I calmed my nerves with another sip of the alcohol. I closed my eyes when the liquid passed over my tongue with a sudden rush of sugar.

“Can you remember what the woman looked like, Sage?” Lola asked.

“She was about thirty, red hair, and pretty. Her clothing was designer. Like she spent on one outfit what I would make in a couple of months,” I said. “Oh, and she had a slight accent. English, but she was trying hard to cover it up,” adding, I knew something was off. My spidey senses heightened right now, but that could be because of the murder. I’ve never seen anyone who died a few hours later. I know Portland has a growing crime rate, but this is too close for comfort.

“I need to text Donovan and tell him. Maybe the cops need to talk to you after all,” Lola said. Grabbing her phone, Lola texted Donovan about what happened in the bathroom.

Texting, “Babe, something weird happened to Sage when we went to eat. When she went to the bathroom, she said some lady asked about Haze and then told her to stay away. She said he was bad news. Sage doesn’t know who she is.” sends.

“There, I told him, but maybe from now on, you need to not go into the bathroom by yourself. If we go together, maybe we can find out more if the freak shows up again,” Lola warned.

Picking at my nail polish, it’s a nasty habit that I’ve tried to break for years now, but right now, I’m spooked from the murder. God, I saw this lady hours before she died. “Alright, I will make sure that I have someone with me when I go into a closed space alone,” I said.

“I need to get high. I have some weed leftover from the weekend. I think we both need it,” Lola laughed, walking off to the bedroom to get her stash.

As I sat there, my hands resting on my face, when the lightbulb in my head snapped on. That wasn’t the first time that I’ve spoken to that woman. She is the same one from the coffee shop—the one who talked shit about Lola. I pushed myself up, following the sound of rummaging through drawers, “Lola, I met this woman before. Fuck, now I know where.”

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