Lilah kicked her foot lightly against the bottom of George’s desk making a low thud sound. She slouched all the way back in her chair swinging her leg aimlessly and mindlessly. George peered over his book with every thud, his eyes getting narrower each time.
She let out a huge sigh – she made it bigger and louder than it needed to be. Since George wasn’t paying any attention to her, she needed to emphasize and be a little dramatic in order to get his attention. Her sigh turned into a yawn and she groaned as she did so.
George lowered his book and let out a small sigh of his own. He placed his paper bookmark in his reading spot, closed the book, and gently lay it flat on his desk. He leaned forward with his hands folded on top of the book. “Lilah, did you need my attention for something?”
“Then go read a book or play your video games or clean or something. I’m trying to read here.”
“What are you reading?” Lilah asked.
“Nothing,” George replied sternly. “Lilah, I want peace and quiet.”
She rolled her eyes. “There’s nothing to do though! We’re usually out and about trying to solves cases at this time. I don’t know what to do with myself.”
“You have plenty of things to do.” George said leaning back in his seat. He picked up his book again but didn’t open it. Instead, he stared at Lilah.
She knew exactly what he wanted. “Are you kicking me out of your office?”
George nodded. “I said I want peace and quiet.”
“I’m quit,” Lilah defended herself.
“Sighing over-dramatically and kicking my desk is far from quiet.”
“I’m peace,” Lilah shrugged turning her gaze away.
George deadpanned. “Get out.” He waved his hands shooing her.
Lilah stood up from her chair. She turned her back and headed for the door. When she stood in the middle of the room, she turned back around to face him. “Are you should you don’t want to do anything?”
“Do you want to go out to eat or something?”
“No, thank you,”
“Wanna play a game?”
Lilah went boneless and fell to the floor.
“Oh, dear Lord…” George muttered burying his face in his hands.
The room fell silent. Lilah remained on the ground lying on her back, spread-eagle, staring up at the ceiling. She didn’t dare look up at George, though she wondered if he was taking this chance for his peace and quiet since she was silently protesting.
“Lilah, get up.” She heard him say.
“I want a case.” She replied. “I’m bored. We haven’t had a case in a while.”
“I can’t make a case appear out of thin air. Trust me, if I could, I would.” George said with a grunt. “You think I don’t want to have another case? It allows me to pay rent and it makes you less annoying.”
Lilah sat up on the floor. “Didn’t a lady call us about a week ago? What about her?”
George shrugged. “She called, but I don’t know. What about her?” he repeated.
“How come we didn’t take her case?” Lilah asked pushing herself up from the ground. She found her chair on the other side of George’s desk and sat down there.
“I’m not sure. She told me that she might need our services. I asked her to come in and we could discuss the possibility together, but she didn’t want to.” George answered.
“Why not?” Lilah asked.
“Maybe money is tight for her? Maybe she wasn’t sure if she even had a case for us?”
“Then why would she call at all?”
George sighed. “Lilah, I don’t know. I can’t read minds.”
“You should work on that.” She grinned. He glared at her.
“Listen,” George began, “This woman called about a week ago and asked about our services. I told her what we did and she said she might be able to use us. I asked her to come in and we could decide if that’d be the right decision but she hastily refused.”
“Hastily refused? Why do you put it like that?” Lilah asked.
George hesitated to reply. “Because she hastily refused?”
Lilah waved her hand. “Okay, never mind.”
“She seemed troubled, that was for sure. But I can’t help her unless she wants my help.” George explained. “If she hasn’t called back then I’m left to assume she figured out what she needed to on her own or maybe with the help of a friend.”
“For free… without us.” Lilah said dully.
George cracked a smile. “Not everyone needs us to solve their problems.”
“Well, they should.” Lilah pouted.
George pointed to the door and Lilah rolled her eyes. She got the hint. She had lost this battle. She was going to have to find something else to do to entertain herself. She got up and headed for the door. The moment her hand wrapped around the door handle, the phone rang.
She twisted back around and dashed over to George’s desk. “Yay!” she shouted.
“Shush!” George glared at her. He already had the phone in his hand. “George Florence-”
“And Williams,” Lilah quickly added in a whisper.
George glared at her. “Private Detective, how may I help you?”
Lilah stiffened in her seat as George listened to the voice on the other end of the phone. She brought her hand up and began to bite lightly on her nails. She knew it was bad habit, but the last phone call they got – other than that woman – was a telemarketer. She hoped this was an actual case and not a false alarm. Though she wondered if George would have stayed on the phone this long if it was anything else.
“Well, I’m open for another two hours and my afternoon is wide open. You can come in now, if you’d like?” George replied. Then he smiled and a grin grew on Lilah’s face. “That would be great, we’ll see you soon. My pleasure, good bye.” George hung up the phone.
Lilah jumped up from her seat and fist-pumped the air. “We have a case, don’t we?!”
“A potential case, yes, but we haven’t talked to him in person and don’t know all the details. Who knows if he’ll hire us?” George replied.
“It’s a start.” Lilah said sitting back down. “Besides, it at least gives us something to do this afternoon.”
“Is he on his way over now?”
Lilah frowned. “You don’t seem enthusiastic about this. What’s wrong? What’d the man say?”
George opened the top right drawer of his desk and rummaged through some papers. “The man, Richard Wiley, called about his wife. She’s missing. She’s been missing for almost a week.”
“And… that bothers you?” Lilah wondered aloud.
“It’s bothers me because,” George pulled out a sticky note and placed it on his desk, the words facing Lilah.
“Beth Wiley?” Lilah read. “Who’s she?”
“Richard’s wife.” George answered.
“How did you…?”
“She’s also the woman who called us last week.”
“Oh,” Lilah said quietly. “Does he know she called us?”
George shook his head. “He didn’t mention it.”
Lilah slouched down in her chair as George leaned back in his own. Both were deep in thought as they awaited the arrival of the missing person’s husband.