I’m not going to list each preceding chapter every day. It would get much too long. If you haven’t read previous chapters I have a category listing on the side with the title 2015 April A-Z challenge. You can find all the chapters there. Thanks for reading!
Death is Deadpan
“Who was this Tony to you?” I ask a now calm Angela.
“He was my best friend. I could and did tell him everything and he would understand.” Angela was calm, but her tears were still flowing.
I got up and checked the small fridge in the room for some water. I grab two bottles and hand one to Angela. I open mine and find Tee something to drink out of and pour some for him. Then I sit down again and see Angela’s tears have dried up. Good. I never was good with crying females, they make me nervous.
“Were you guys lovers or something?”
“Oh God no! It was never anything like that! I loved Tony, but as a best friend.” She actually looks a bit put out by my question.
“Tony and I met several years ago when I walked into the club he was performing in. I was hell-bent on getting over my last breakup and the place looked like it would be fun.”
“So, he was a musician? Those were never your types in college Angela.”
I saw her smile. Now, she looked like the Angela I knew. “Oh, he wasn’t a musician, he was a stand-up comedian. His show was so funny, it made me forget my misery. After his show was done he was having a drink at the bar and I went up and thanked him. We hit it off from the beginning and were best friends ever since.”
A stand-up comic? That was even less like the old Angela. In fact, there were bets placed back then that Angela didn’t have a sense of humor. I guess college pranks weren’t all that funny.
“So why would someone want a comedian dead?”
“I don’t know why anyone would want to kill Tony!”
The waterworks were looking like they were going to start again, so I ask another question hoping to head them off.
“Did he have any enemies that you knew of?”
Angela was looking a bit shaky, but no more tears at least. “He never told me about anyone that disliked him that much. I know he was having some problems with his daughter. Now she might have killed him! She’s not a nice person.”
Daughter? How old was this Tony? Did he have a wife too? Maybe one that didn’t like him having a pretty blonde woman as a best friend? All these thoughts are swirling in my head. What the hell am I getting myself into here? A crime of jealousy?
“Daughter? Did he have a wife too?”
Angela sat back in her chair like she was exhausted. She closed her eyes and answered my question.
“His wife died several years before I met him. Cancer. His daughter used Tony like an ATM machine. She only ever contacted him when she wanted more money. Like I said, she’s not nice.”
I grab my notebook from the nightstand and look around for a pen. Even the Hilton must have pens in their rooms. I find one, a nice silver one with the name Hilton discreetly etched on it. Classy. As long as it works.
“What’s the daughters name? I want to talk to her.”
Angela opened her eyes and looks over at me. “Cynthia. Cynthia Bandoni. I have her number at my office. I’ll get it for you later.”
I write the name down. “Thanks.”
“Bandoni, Tony’s last name too?”
“Yes, Cynthia never found a man who could afford her, yet.”
I smile. Certainly no love lost there. “Can you get me into Tony’s place? Is that where he was supposed to have killed himself?”
I try to ask these questions as gently as I can. I don’t want to set Angela off again. They were questions that had to be asked though. There were going to be more too. I give an inner laugh. I guess that means I’m accepting the case. Hell, it’s got my curiosity revved up. I have dozens of questions I want to ask but I better stifle myself for now, or at least till Angela is more herself.
One more question I have to ask, then I’ll send Angela home to rest. It was getting late and I was hungry and tired.
“Angela, how old was Tony?”
She smiles, her eyes on me. “Seventy-three. He was the youngest seventy-three-year-old man I ever knew. He would have liked you Dee.”
I walk Angela down the hallway to the bank of elevators. Making her promise to call a cab and not try to drive in her exhausted condition. She agrees. Just as the elevator doors are closing she smiles.
“Dee? Did I tell you what Tony’s stage name was? It was a play on his real name. Tony Baloney. He was a funny guy.”
I had to laugh.
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