Death in Diamonds New Chapter 8 cont’d

I climbed the six steps of the stoop. There was a call box to the right of the door which had a separate button for each apartment. Terry Perez’s apartment was on the third floor. I pushed the button for her apartment and waited. No answer. I pushed it again.
“Wha?” The voice said, sounding half asleep.
“Terry Perez?” I asked.
“Who wants to know?”
“Are you Terry Perez?”
“Who the hell are ju?” She spoke in a heavily accented Spanish rhythm pronouncing her “Y’s” as “J’s.”
“Are you Terry Perez?” I repeated.
“Jes… Ah, what do ju want?”
“Crystal O’Shea wants me to talk with you,” I said.
“Crystal who?”
“Don’t play dumb with me Terry. You know who Crystal O’Shea is. She’s your boss.”
“I work nights. Ju woke me up,” she said. I ignored her.
“I want to talk with you. Can I come up? I don’t want to discuss your business on your front stoop but I will if I have to.” She rang me in.
I climbed the three flights of steps. The fragrance of frying bacon filled the stairway which only served to remind me that I hadn’t eaten. Underneath the smell of frying bacon was the faint smell of stale urine. I lost my appetite. A single hundred watt light bulb on each landing worked hard to illuminate the stairway. If Terry worked for Crystal for just the six months, she ought be able to afford a better place then this dump.
I knocked on her door. I heard her television in the background. I waited then knocked again. The door opened only as far as the security chain would allow.
“Who is it?” Came the voice from inside.
“Crystal O’Shea sent me.”
“How do I know?”
“Because I told you.”
“I still doan know she sent ju,” she said.
“We can have this talk here, now, or we can have this talk later tonight with Mr. Cavanaugh at Ms O’Shea’s when you get there. The choice is yours.”


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