Vicki thought back to the night she had told Henry good-bye, wondering what the hell she had been thinking. It had been six months and nothing, no calls, no sightings, nothing. Mike had been reinstated but with the stipulation he have nothing to do with Vicki Nelson nor her investigations. Coreen, ever Vicki's loyal assistant, had noticed the change in Vicki almost immediately. Coreen knew that Vicki blamed herself for everything. Henry's leaving, Mike's lack of relationship with her, her whole damn world had fallen apart right before her eyes. What could she have done differently or would she have? Was there something she could have foreseen that would have made her make different choices?
Hell no, Vicki knew she was who she was, no changing. If Henry wanted to leave, fuck him. If Mike chose to not speak to her in order to have his own life, fuck him too. No, Vicki Nelson decided she didn't need anyone. She had gotten by this far in life on her own, she could sure as hell do it for the rest of her life. So why couldn't she have a life of her own? She had taken up the habit of having a drink every night on her way home from the office, or so Coreen thought. When Coreen left every evening, Vicki was still there getting ready to head to her neighborhood bar.
"Please Vicki, just once, go home. You can't drown out your depression, it isn't healthy," Coreen begged her on this night.
"Coreen, I'm a big girl. I can handle myself. Go home. I'm going to stay here for a bit, then head home after my drink, just one, as usual," Vicki never made eye contact with Coreen as she left, an audible sigh leaving Coreen's mouth when she closed the door after leaving the inner office, a single tear slipping from the young goth's eye. She was so worried about her boss, her friend and didn't have a clue as to what she should do. Vicki waited until she knew Coreen was gone then turned to her computer. She brought up the internet and began to search. Every night she stayed at the office looking for any signs that Henry might be okay. She didn't want him, hell no! He'd left her. She just wanted to know he was okay. After another two hour search, another dead end, Vicki turned off her computer and headed for the door.
Before heading to her apartment, she had the cabbie take her to the familiar condo she so desperately missed, whether she wanted to admit it or not. She did miss Henry and all that went with him. His beast, his man, the fact she never really got to know him well, that she never gave herself over to the one man who would love her in the face of any situation. The one person in her life that accepted her faults and cared for her anyway. She knew in her heart she had once again pushed away someone who would love her as she was. Stubborn and willful, she had basically sent Henry away thinking he would come back, apologize and sweep her off her feet. Boy, was she wrong.
"Wait here, I'll be right back," she told the cabbie tapping his car door. He nodded, tipped his hat forward and with the meter running, he leaned back for a quick snooze. Vicki said hi to a very surprised Greg.
"Ms. Nelson..wha...what are you doing here?" he said as he stepped in front of her.
"I just thought I might go up and meet the new tenants in Henry's old condo, " she lied. Greg stopped her with his hand this time.
"Greg, if you value that hand, you will remove it from me immediately," she told him firmly but with a smart-ass grin on her face.
"Look..I...I..." Vicki now suspected Greg was hiding something as he slid his hand back in fear, his eyes full of deceit.
"Greg," she said narrowing her eyes, "is there something you want to tell me?"
"No..it's..just..well..um.." he stuttered and averted his eyes as he nervously fidgeted with his hands and shuffled his feet. Vicki shoved him to the side making a run for the stairs knowing full well that Greg would not leave his post nor was he as fast as she was.
Was Henry still here? What was Greg hiding? What the hell was going on? Vicki stopped just outside of the door leading into Henry's hallway, her heart pounding not just from the race up the stairs but from excitement as well.
"What the fuck am I doing?!" Vicki reprimanded herself. She hated the way she felt, she hated the feelings of weakness, of desire that she wouldn't allowed to be fullfilled.
"I'm crazy, that's it, I've fucking lost my mind.." she said out loud throwing her hands up. She turned, going back down the stairs slowly. As she entered the foyer of the building, Greg was staring at her wide-eyed.
"I don't know what's going on here Greg, but I didn't go up, too intrusive..see ya.." she waved off as if nothing were wrong. Greg watched her with a puzzled look then picked up the phone.
"Yes, this is Greg..I have some information for you.." he said into the line watching Vicki get into the cab and pull away, her eyes never looking back at the condo, not letting herself wonder..did he really leave her, just like everyone else?