I put my hand on my gun, and slowly opened the door wider. I saw nothing. I carefully picked up a towel from the floor. Nothing. “There must be someone in the bathtub,” I thought.
In one fell swoop, I kicked the shower curtain back. “Don’t move!” I shouted.
Suddenly a little white cat jumped out of the bathtub and scurried between my legs. A cat. I should have known.
“Oh, Jasmine! I forgot about you!” Anne said. The cat looked happy to see her. She took her into the kitchen. I poked around the rest of the bedroom, and then followed Anne into the kitchen.
“Does the cat have any food left in her dish?” I asked.
“It’s almost gone. Poor Jasmine! You must be hungry.”
“Well, Bill and Sarah haven’t been gone long, we know that.” I walked over to the telephone answering machine and checked their messages. No one had called.
We continued looking through the three-bedroom apartment. There was no sign of any violence, no burglary, no break-in. I checked in the master bedroom, and I saw nothing unusual: a beer bottle, photos of Bill and Sarah’s wedding, some dirty clothes, an old Time magazine.
Next to the bed on the night table there was a bottle of pills. “Anne, what are these pills for, do you know?”
“I think they’re for Bill’s leg. He messed up his leg playing football in college at USC,” Anne replied.
I put the bottle back on the table and sat down on the bed to think. I had no idea what happened to Anne’s sister and her brother-in-law. They seem to have just disappeared into thin air. They didn’t call anyone. There was no sign of any crime in their apartment. No one at their jobs had seen them for two days. Where could they be?
“Well, Anne, I don’t see anything here to help us. I think we should talk to the police again.”
“But I tried talking to the police, Dr. Reeves! They told me to fill out some forms and wait. They won’t do anything. That’s why I went to you for help!” She began to cry a little.
I stopped and looked at her for a second: God, I thought, this poor kid. Twenty-two, and in such pain.
“Okay, well, we won’t find anything else here. Let’s go,” I said to her.
Just then I heard a telephone ringing. I turned to the phone on the table, but there was no sound. Then I saw Anne reach inside her purse: it was her cellular phone!
“That’s my cell phone, Dr. Reeves.” Anne said. “Hello?”
I watched Anne’s face as she answered the phone. First it was happy, then worried, then very sad.
“Right...10 minutes...yes...see you there...bye!” Anne hung up and looked at me in fear.
“That was Bill. Something terrible has happened!