Created chapter2.txt

Ahelmic6 authored
revision 579c09f2de58b9e74fb7699b9debac821abfb513
chapter2
Nolen awoke the next morning in a daze. A dull headache disoriented him as his eyes adjusted to the sun-filled room, he noticed that his bed was empty. He was alone, his guest had all but vanished. He wondered if the events of last night had even transpired, perhaps, it had merely been a dream his mind conjured to torment him.

As he crawled out of bed, he took stock of his apartment. There were no hints strewn about the room, at least none that he could immediately decipher. The only abnormality was the misplacement of his Blackberry. His nightly routine involved placing it on the dresser beside his bed to charge it, but at first glance, he found that it was not there.

Upon further inspection of the room, he discovered the blue Blackberry Curve sitting on his desk, forlorn. Glancing at the screen, he noticed that he had missed three phone calls, and had received quite a few emails and texts the previous night. The battery was all but drained from it. He must have forgotten to plug it into the micro-USB cable. Considering how much he depended on the delicate device, he would have never disregarded his routine and ignored it. Without the mobile he would be lost. It was his lifeblood, he depended on it for nearly everything.

"So why did I leave you here?" He asked himself out loud, scrolling through the messages as he went.

The emails he had received contained mostly job-related information. Two of the messages had been sent by Rory, reminding him of his upcoming travel plans. A third email was from the company that had hired him, M.T. Pockets. The company had emailed to thank him for accepting their business offer on such short notice. The email also contained further instructions on his impending business trip to Canada. They had requested to meet with him the day before his flight was scheduled to meet.

After reading the handful of emails he had received, he turned his attention to the missed calls and unread text messages. One of the missed calls was from Rory, who Nolen assumed must have been anxious to talk to him. He made a mental note to call him after his shower. The other call was from a number he did not recognize. A text message had also been sent to him from the same number. Reading the text, he realized that it had been sent by Emily, the girl who had made her way home with him.

In the message, she thanked him for the lunch, and for the events of the previous evening. The message did not specifically mention what had happened the previous night, but at the end of the message was a semicolon and a parenthesis, which he assumed could only mean a winking face. Closing his eyes, he strained to recall what had transpired the night before. Taking a second glance around the apartment, he noticed a dark bottle with a starch white label and long neck. Inspecting it, he discovered it was a bottle of cheap wine. An empty bottle of cheap wine.

Nolen was not much of a drinker. In college, he had avoided alcohol like it was the plague. There was no moral reason behind it, he just detested the smell, and loathed the taste. Nevermind the fact that he had seen quite a few idiotic decisions made from people who became ensnared in the dangerous web of liquor. He was not overly fond of alcohol being used as a medium for socializing. He would much rather enjoy a quiet meal, or a nice cup of tea. Rory would often tease that Nolen must have been a red coat in a past life.

Thinking back, Nolen could recall passing a small wine store on the way back to his apartment. The name was unrecognizable in the breifly recalled memory. Emily must have persuaded him to purchase a bottle of wine for the evening. The only other image that was conjured in his mind was of Emily's warm body laying next to his in bed, her soft hair flowing down her back, tickling his throat. He imagined the smell of lilac filling his nostrils. Nolen was unsure of whether or not these images belonged to his imagination, or perhaps, reality.

As a general rule, Nolen made it a point to refrain from seeing clients outside of work. Nolen had learned a lot through watching others. He had witnessed firsthand what could happen when a business relationship turned into something more, and then fizzled out, becoming sour. He could recall how much Rory had been affected when his marraige fell apart. One woman had cost him his wife and children, practically taking his business right along with them. Nolen, who had been college roommates with Rory, stood next to him during the entire debacle, while everyone else who had claimed to care about him, discarded when the initial story first broke.

Technically speaking, Emily was not actually his client. The theater company, Pandora's Box, had hired Nolen to photograph the theater personnel, as well as create an assortment of advertisements and posters for the various performances. It was during his first job that he had been introduced to Emily. She had been cast as the lead female in the company's rendition of 'Les Miserables', Fantine. From the first moment he laid eyes on her, he could not help but to admire how stunning she looked, her beauty remained intact, the character she played had no affect on her attractiveness.

Following the session, Emily had approached him, inquiring about the types of jobs he usually accepted. It was she who had suggested he become a photographer for the theater. Emily had even gone so far as to discuss the idea with the management of Pandora's. This opportunity gave Nolen the chance to continuously spend time with the girl who had captivated him upon first glance. At the same time, it also provided him a somewhat steady income. Granted, it was a miniscule amount compared to other jobs, such as weddings, but he was free to express the creativity that had been left dormant in him for so long.

A loud buzzing forced him back into the present, the pleasant memories fading into the dark abyss of his mind. Jumping up, he retrieved the phone, anxiousness quickly building inside of him. His heart sank however, as he glanced at the phone, the name Rodderic illuminated upon the screen. He let out a long sigh as he pressed the green button to answer.

"Rodderic?" Nolen asked, quizically.

"Nolen! I've been trying to reach you all morning! Where the hell have you been?!" He heard over the phone, a strange, unrecognizable noise wailing in the background.

"Yeah...sorry about that. I just got up. What's wrong? Where are you?" Nolen asked, the curiosity in him becoming uncontrollable.

"Sorry! I'm on a train at the moment. Headed to Boston actually. I'm coming to see you!" Rory replied, his voice barely audiuble over the noises in the background.

"What? But, I'm leaving for Lewiston