“Whatever are you doing Jane?”
“Oh, well, I`m doing some decorating, of course! I`ve got some lovely flowers arranged here, and it will be just the prettiest thing when your girlfriend comes over! Why, I was thinking the blue and yellow would really set off that hideous couch you have, and maybe some chrysanthemums to brighten up the dusty corner over there, but I also really like the feel of the place settings, so I think-”
“Jane, you know you can`t be here when she comes over. She won`t like seeing a girl in my house. It would look kind of suspicious.”
“Oh, don`t worry about that. I`ll just introduce myself, promise to whisk her away for a welcome to the group shopping adventure, then leave. It won`t be a problem, really!”
“Jane, this won`t work. She`s sensitive, and she`ll be jealous if you-”
“Mark. I`m not leaving yet. That`s final.”
He stopped, caught unawares by the rare show of her icy depths. Hesitantly, he picked up one of the blooms, offering them to her. “Maybe these would look best in the back room,” he offered hesitantly. With a wide smile, she skipped off to her task.
“You know, this is my house,” he yelled at her retreating back, “and I should be able to pick who visits, and when!”
“Who was that woman,” she hissed at him, “and why is there a girl in your house?” He looked at her, shrugged the problem off.
“That was Jane. I told you about her,” he answered nonchalantly.
Her eyes lit up and sparkled. Jane, the well known private eye. Mark worked with his childhood friend as a sort of modern Sherlock Holmes duo, regularly advising the police on tricky murders. Their record had reached a hundred solved mysteries yesterday, and today they were going on a celebratory dinner cruise.
“Ah, that Jane! Do you think she liked me?” the question hovered, waiting for the perfect reply. He looked off at sea, seemingly unaware of the heated glares and tapping foot beside him. After a disgruntled exhalation, he consented to look back at her.
“Honey, I think she loved you,” he smiled, leaving the hows and whys left unsaid. I think she loves the possible ways she can annoy you so much you`ll dump me. Like all the girlfriends I`ve ever had, as a matter of fact.
She smiled up at him, once more restored to her easily attained good humor. She leaned into his side, then abruptly grabbed his arm. “Darling, whatever is the matter?”
“Nothing. There is just some water on the floor here. You`d think the janitorial staff would be more cautious,” she huffed, allowing her petulance to color her words. “Why, just when we were coming aboard, there was water all about. It really does not stand tolerating!”
He chuckled lightly, covering his momentary grimace. “Dear, I don`t think they can really get rid of all of the water. We`re on a ship, and it`s on water, so some of it is simply bound to come aboard.”
“No, look!,” she turned around, wheeling him with her, “there is an excessive amount of water here, and-“
They both stared ahead. There, not five yards from them, lay a man. He laid in a puddle, his blood seeped into the water. Mark strode over, Daisy clutching his sleeve with white knuckles. Two fingers on the pulse point, and the verdict was final.
“Obviously, he`s dead. I wouldn`t look quite so grim if he were alive, Daisy.”