What the hell is this? And it is funny, for as shocked as you are that Lindsey is not only a part of what has been happening to you, but is also willing to help you, you are also not surprised considering the fact that your cousin was also in on it. It makes you wonder who else is out to get you.
“We have to go back,” you tell Valpatine.
“What?” he asks you as if you have never said something crazy before.
“We have to go back to the bank.”
“Well, not to the bank, to the pizza place across the bank.”
“What? I feel the need to remind you that you just waxed a dude in broad daylight, in front of a gang of mo fo’s, and then just took off. In front of a cop, too, no less…”
“Val, will you please just turn the pos around?” you yell, having lost a large amount of patience with Valpatine. “This lady is going to help me find my wife.”
“What the hell? What’s wrong with your wife?”
“She’s missing. Some people took her either this morning or last night. I do not know. But this lady at the bank said she can help me, but we have to get there now.” You look at your watch and sigh. “…30 minutes ago. God, please let her still be there.”
After what feels like an eternity, you and Valpatine finally make it to the bank. You jump out of the car, leaving Val to drive around until either he finds parking or you’re ready to go. Traffic doesn’t exist to you as you sprint across the street to the pizza place, honking horns and swearers be damned.
You rush inside the pizza place and look around for Lindsey. Lindsey isn’t there, nor is there anyone who even looks like her. Shit. Okay. It’s okay. Obviously, Lindsey wanted to meet with you during her lunch break. She must have only had a thirty minute lunch and you’re thirty five minutes late. She must have gone back to work. Not a problem. You dodge a few cars and buses and get back to the bank across the street. You rush into the bank. You don’t see Lindsey, but you guess she must just be returning from her lunch. She probably hasn’t made it back from the lounge yet. You decide to stand around and wait for her.
“Excuse me, sir, may I help you?” asks a woman dressed in a pants suit. She seems very polite, as she is just doing her job, but hell, who knows what anyone is doing these days.
You smile at the woman and say, “I’m just waiting for Lindsey. Any word on when she’ll be back?”
“Um, I’m not sure. Let me find out for you. Just a moment please.”
She walked away from you to go to one of the tellers. As she goes from being a full size woman to a miniature in the distance, you begin to get a bad feeling about this. Maybe you should not be here. Afterall, you did just kill a man. Yeah, he attacked you first, but then you drove off in your friend’s car. Seems like that would be grounds for arrest, not to mention the lovely scene back your house this morning. Surely, the cops would be looking for you like you were at the top of the wanted list.
The look on the lady’s face is not encouraging as she walks back to you. She seems confused. “Well,” she says. “It seems Lindsey has not yet returned from lunch. May I leave her a message?”
“Well, wait, um, she’s at lunch. Does she usually take an hour or a half hour?”
“Usually, Lindsey takes a half hour, but I guess today she must have taken an hour. She probably had some things she needed to take care of.”
Yeah, right. Things to take of like your wife had things to take care of.
“But, I mean, I can leave her a message for when she gets back if you would like.”
You shake your head. “No, that’s okay. I’ll come back later.”
“Oh, okay. Well, have a good day, Mr. Jacob.” She smiles as you walk away.
Shit! You say to yourself once you’re outside. They got her. Somehow they must have known that Lindsey was going to help you find your wife and they got to her before you did. Damn it. If only you had gotten that note sooner. DAMN IT!
You keep walking, waiting for Valpatine to circle back around and pick you up. You are lost in thought, trying to decide what your next move is going to be. Clearly, these assholes have people everywhere who see every damn thing, including extremely inconspicuous notes handed down in handshakes.
The double honking of a car horn brings you back to your cold reality. Valpatine pulls up the sidewalk like a maniac and you think damn doesn’t anyone know how to drive in this city? You place your fingers underneath the car door handle and pause. That lady back at the bank. She called you by your name. Son of a bitch, how did she know your name?
“Yo, we need to go,” Vapatine yells at you. “I need to change this car’s plates. Come on let’s get a move on.”
You get in the car feeling even more confused.
“What happened? You don’t look too happy. I take it bank girl couldn’t help you after all or what?”
“The lady at the bank,” you mumble half to yourself and half to Val.
“Yeah, did she help you or not?” he peels off into traffic like it’s a race track that he owns.
“No. Not Lindsey. Another lady. I’ve never met before. She knew by my name.”
“So, I never told her my name.”
“Well, you banked there for a thousand years. It only makes sense that she would know it.”
You think about that for a second. Yeah, it makes sense, but you just don’t believe it. There was something in her eyes and in her tone that seemed more sinister than just happening to know your name because you were a regular customer. You think back on your conversation and how you left her. Then you take a much needed breath. Maybe val was right for once in his life. Maybe you were just remembering something that wasn’t there.
On the way back to the Valpatine’s place, as he bobbed and weaved through traffic, you decided that the next thing you need to do is get a cell phone. Valpatine always has spares at his place that he rigs for different reasons. You know he’ll let you have one; you don’t even have to ask. You kind of regret destroying your phone earlier today. For all you know, your wife’s kidnappers could have been trying to contact you all day, but you haven’t been available. Although, if what you suspect is true, that these bastards really are everywhere, then if they wanted to contact you, they could without any problem.
Valpatine’s home reminds you of an iceberg. On the surface, he lives in a cozy two bedroom house out in the business district. The kitchen is disgusting cute with all of its Hello Kitty style. The living room is made for a single nerd of Valpatine’s type. It is holds every video game console made in the last 20 years. The bookshelves runneth over with games of varying genres. Across from the flat screen hd tv that you’re sure he stole from someone, is a gamer’s chair and a sofa. There is no dining room in this house. Valpatine eats in the living room anyway. And with no family and hardly any friends, he doesn’t have a use for a dining room table.
But all of that is on the surface. Underneath Valpatine’s house is like a tekky oasis. It took him years to build and he had to dig out part of the basement to make it much, much wider than the house. But damn if it wasn’t worth the effort he put into it. There were computers that you are sure are contraband in most states. The hard drives full of information illegally obtained for any number of governments, including the United States of America. Valpatine was in and out of people’s personal files more times than he was in and out of jail.
But the things that were important to you right now were the credit card and driver’s license makers. You needed a new identity quickly. At least if you got pulled over, all you had to do was show your id to the cops and they would most likely let you go. You could always pull the I’ve just got one of those faces card.