3.3 The Punchline

It didn’t matter that I didn’t get home until after 2am. I was on a high.

The game of Halo ran a little late and Mike had lots of chocolate and munchies. Ah, the benefits of being a graduate student. Stay up all night and call it ‘productive time.’

I emailed Morris and told him I’d be working from home. You know, mitigation report and all.

The land titles I’d ordered the day before were in. I scanned them. Nothing too much there. Dad had bought our property in the 70s when that area of Calgary was up-and-coming.

I ran to my storage closet, still hyped up on chocolate, Halo, and bones. I pulled down the two boxes I’d pillaged from my dad’s study before mother turned it into a private gym she never used.

Sure enough, there was the deed to the house and the land.

I took a hot shower to come down off the Halo high, then crashed into bed. I awoke three hours later, with a mood that could peel paint.

I stuffed the box of papers under my arm, stopped at Starbucks, and headed to Kinko’s. I photocopied the entire box. I stopped once more and picked up a whack of chocolate, Cheetos, brie, and wine. Hey, if you’re gonna go in for the kill, might as well make it good.

For the next seven hours, I worked my ass off on that damn mitigation report. I pretty much got it done too. Pivot tables of the number and species of bone fragments, type and size of stone debitage, descriptions of the features formed by fire-broken rock; it was all there. I don’t know if it was correct, but it was done. My day was essentially billable and Morris would be happy for that.

At six, I showered, put on a low-cut top, mascara, let my moppish red hair hang loose, and put the photocopies and bones into my bag. Then I went down to await Donoghue.

Donoghue’s mouth went slack and his eyes weren’t too sure if I was real or not. Yeah. I cleaned up well. Sometimes, like now, I used that to my advantage.

It only took ten minutes at the restaurant before Donoghue’s hand was on mine, his smile suggestive and sweet. I sighed in my mind. He was handsome, intelligent, and had a job. It’s not that I wasn’t picky, it’s just that there wasn’t all that much out there. On the other hand, he was no Gavin Cleary.

I pulled my hand from his and leaned back in my chair. “So who’s idea was it?” Donoghue’s brows furrowed. “Was it your idea or his to get me on a date to get me away from my mother’s garage?”

The chemistry at the table immediately changed. The cop was back.

Donoghue leaned back in his chair and picked his teeth. “It was mine.”

Figures. Add “arrogant” to the list behind “handsome and intelligent.”

I pulled out the papers, Mike’s notebook, flashdrive, and the bag of bones. “I don’t mind not being in on an investigation. But can you please do a decent job? Really, leaving behind bones in the backyard of a physical anthropologist? What would the Queen’s Bench have to say? Tsk.” I pushed the pile across the table to him. “If you haven’t already, you should be able to identify the individual from this. It was all done by the book and photographed along the way. Mike’s contact information is in there.”

I like being right but, I don’t like pushing people’s noses in it. In this case, though, I was itching to say that proverbial “I told you so.” Someday, cops will learn that interdisciplinary investigation is a good thing. Until that day, I will continue to push my point. In a not so subtle way and maybe with a push-up bra next time.

I stood up from the table, my cell phone already dialling a cab, “Oh, and I won’t be billing you, but Mike will be. Expect his invoice within the next couple of days.”

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