“Huh?” Looking up through sleep filled eyes, I saw Yuri hovering over me.
“Someone’s at the door for you.” She replied. Her voice containing a hint of agitation.
I was sleeping. So that was just a dream? Of course. I wouldn’t be stupid enough to rummage through her belongings, with her just several feet away. With laughter tugging at the corners of my mouth I thought, “It’s all a dream. Only a dream.”
I practically leaped down the stairs and peeked around the corner into the living room to see who was waiting. No one. The living room was empty. Piercing my lips, I headed toward the front door. Don’t tell me she left them standing outside, in this weather. Typical Yuri. Unlocking and opening the door, I saw Ashley from one of my research classes huddled and shivering on the porch.
“Ashley? Come in, come in. I’m so sorry.”
“Hey, I’m sorry to just pop up like this. I know we don’t know each other that well, but uh…I think my laptop got stolen…I-I mean, I know it got stolen. Some one broke into my apartment two nights ago…and well…all my notes are gone. Everything.”
She’s not looking for a place to stay, is she? And she’s right, I don’t know her well. We worked on a project together last semester and she currently sits a few rows in front of me in my Statistic Research class. Yet I didn’t even know her last name.
I embraced her and rubbed her back. “Shhh. Don’t cry,” I said gently. Please. Stop crying. That’s all I need is to hear Yuri’s mouth.
“Girl, I’m sorry,” Ashley sputtered. “I just remember you saying that you lived right across from the Biltmore boutiques and well I looked at the mailboxes and saw your name and…and…I feel like such a stalker. I just didn’t have anyone to go to.”
“Ashley, its okay.” I said as I led her to living room couch.
“I wont stay long.”
My shoulders sighed with relief.
“I just wanted to know if you still have any of the research study notes from class. I lost everything.”
I could see her lip starting to quiver again.
“The test is monday and I have nothing.”
“It’s okay. I take pretty good notes and everything is on my usb drive. I have an extra one, so how about I just copy everything on it and you can just keep it.”
“Oh my gosh. Thank you.”
“No problem. Help yourself to the kitchen. You can make yourself some coffee if you want. I’ll just be one moment.”
“Thanks again, Jaymese.”
I headed up the stairs toward my room. Well this has been an interesting morning. Watching the Windows logo fade away on my laptop, I suddenly got an ideal.
“Yuri?” I tapped softly on her door.
I proceeded inside her room. The same room I had previously been in during my witch hunt in dreamland.
“My computer wont start. Can I borrow yours for like one second. I just need to copy some notes onto another usb drive for Ashley.”
“Bring it here.” She responded.
I walked slowly to her desk, slightly holding out the drive.
“No, Jaymese. The laptop.”
Inwardly cringing, I replied back, “Yuri, I don’t have time for you to fix my computer. Ashley’s in a hurry.”
“Well just bring it here. I’ll tinker with it while you do your thing.”
Ugggghhh. Why does she have to make things so difficult. I hate lying. To lie you have to be mentally creative. And I was obviously lacking imagination, because my brain simply drew a blank. Sighing loudly, I turned on my heels and proceeded to retrieve my laptop. Great. What now? Should I give my laptop a quick wack against the wall just to cover my ass?
The laptop was now on my home screen. I slammed it shut and went back to Yuri’s room.
“Here you go. Good luck.” I said tossing the laptop on her bed, as the computer practically did a somersault across her pillows.
Yuri looked at me like I had gone mad. “Well there you go right there. No wonder it’s broken. You don’t even know how to treat the damn thing.”
“Oops.” I said nonchalantly. I slid behind her desk, quickly glancing at her computer screen. Whatever had been on the screen was now gone. A recent photo of a waterfall I had taken some months ago on a vacation now took over her desk top.
“It’s all yours,” she said slowly getting up.
“Ashley is still downstairs. Can you make sure that she found the coffee okay.”
“Coffee is in the coffee pot, Jaymese. She’ll be fine.” Yuri plopped down on her king size bed and proceeded to ‘fix’ the laptop.
Alright then, how about you just leave already.
Sure enough, there it was in bold on November the 4th, “Finac. meeting with Fedco group. D.C.” Well of course it’s there. Why wouldn’t it be? Maybe I had a wilder imagination then I thought. The whole Eric situation was simply a coincidence.
However… just because it’s marked in the calendar doesn’t mean-
“There’s nothing wrong with this computer.” Yuri replied from the foot of the bed.
Placing the laptop on the side of her, she headed back to where I was seated.
“Wait Yuri. Sometimes when I, um, you know, download music, I’ll download it and then for some reason, I won’t be able to find the song that I just downloaded.”
“What?” Yuri’s face was now scrunched in confusion.
“Just take another look at it. Please.”
She sighed loudly, but plopped back on the bed to take a look at my laptop again.
I took this time to actually retrieve the saved lecture notes I just transferred and copied them onto Ashley’s usb drive.
Okay, now where was I? Pulling up her iCal again, I skimmed the rest of her calendar dates. The events, notes, and memos attached to each one all seemed to fall in line with her past meetings and business trips. Okay.
Taking a chance, I decided to do a search for a word, pages, or spreadsheet document. Hoping to get lucky I typed in ‘Fedco Nov.’ Several files began to pop up as the computer extracted anything remotely close to the words ‘Fedco Nov.’ Including a couple of files labeled ‘Fedco Briefing and Fedco CoverSheet.’ Opening the files, I skimmed over them quickly. They all seemed legit and relevant to her recent business trip…but it still doesn’t prove that she was physically in D.C. My eyes lingered to her mail application at the bottom of the screen. I didn’t want to go there. Looking at a couple of dates on a calendar. Fine. ‘Accidentally’ glancing at a few documents. Sure. But going through her personal mail. Now that was just beyond intrusive.
Just do it already. You’ll never get this chance again.
Above the deafening pounding in my ears, I began to hear my own heavy breathing.
Quiet. Hurry up, Jaymese.
I went back to the search tab and entered ‘lunch.’
One email popped up. Without having to open it, the email showed the first couple of lines:
Barbara Meade 11/4/10
How does SinLuci’s sound? Meet me in an hour and dont forget the Morgan files.
“You find what you were looking for.”
“Ahhh!” I screeched out a half scream and half gasp.
Nooo. This isnt happening again.
I could feel my eyes filling up with tears. Its over Jaymese. You’ve completely lost her trust. She’ll put Krissy and I out on our asses, again. It was time to stop the lies and simply be…honest.
“You see…I just wanted to know…”
I could now feel Yuri’s breathe grazing my neck, as her eyes presumably took in the obvious findings on the screen.
“I just wanted to know-”
As I hesitantly looked up at the looming email, I realized that the Barbara Meade message was no longer there. The computer now lit up with a full visual of Yuri’s personal calendar situated on the month of Novmeber.
I held my breathe. Did she believe me?
Yuri looked from the computer screen, then back at me. Licking her lips slowly she straighten up.
“Next time just ask me. You know I don’t like surprises.”
“Oh, okay. I’m sorry.”
“And yeah, I can leave those days open for us to hang out.”
She gestured for me to move, so she could take her seat.
As I slowly rose from her desk I once again took in Yuri’s computer screen. There was absolutely no sign that the email had even been opened. What just happened? How long had Yuri been standing behind me? What exactly did she see? Was this another dream?
“Don’t forget your flash drives.”
“Oh yeah, thanks.”
“And your laptop seems fine. Have you ever thought to read your user manual.”
Piercing my lips, I replied, “No. But I’ll get right on that.”
With that, I grabbed my laptop and hurried downstairs to meet Ashley.
She had made herself quite comfortable as she sat curled up on the couch with a coffee mug in hand, eyes fixated on the TV.
“Here you go.”
Startled, she jumped up from the couch. “Oh, thank you Jaymese. I really appreciate this.”
“It’s no problem.”
“You know, we should study together sometime or at least grab a bite for lunch. I get so occupied with my studies that I forget to have a social life.”
“Yeah, me too.” I lied. “You’ve heard of SinLuci’s, right?”
“Whoa. When I said lunch, I meant a dollar coffee and cream puff at the corner bakery. Not a two hour plane ride and fifty buck entree.”
“So you have heard of it?”
“Who hasn’t? Doesn’t that one basketball player, um, James Landin own that place?”
“Yeah, I guess he does.”
“Wow, so is that an invite?”
Laughing, I said, “No, Ashley. And your right, the corner cafe sounds like a great idea. Lets make it a date.”
“Okay, should I do dressy casual or dressy slutty?” I giggled into the phone with my friend Taelor.
“Dressy slutty! Wear that green dress. You know the one with the zipper.”
“Cool, let me hop in the shower and I’ll be downstairs in like thirty minutes.”
“Alright girl, I’ll see you in a little bit.”
It had been a few days since my email discovery and I’d admit that I felt relieved. Yuri wasn’t involved with Eric. Why would she be? I still couldn’t explain what happened with her computer, but I wasn’t complaining. Maybe it was simply a computer glitch. And after doing a thorough search on SinLuci’s, I quickly discovered that there was only one restaurant called SinLuci’s, which was definitely located in D.C. So everything checked out. She was out of town. Well that solved that. Poor Eric was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
After doing one last makeup check I gathered my purse and house keys and proceeded downstairs. Walking past Yuris room I poked my head in.
“Hey Yuri, I’m taking off for the night.”
No response. I stuck my head in further and looked around her empty bedroom.
“Yuri,” I sang. Hm, I guess she stepped out for a moment. Closing her door back half way, I continued downstairs. Upon entering into the livingroom, I heard Yuri’s cell phone go off.
Abruptly turning around, “There you are.”
Except she was still no where to be found. Yuri’s phone sat on the table stand a couple of feet from the door. I couldnt help but see the glowing digits illuminating from her Blackberry screen.
Regaining my composure I gathered the phone up, “I’m sorry,” I breathed into the phone. “Must be a bad connection. I’ll let Yuri know right away, thank you.”
“Your welcome and you have nice day.”
Before placing the phone back on the table I deleted the incoming call from her records. It was funny how easy lying and sneaking around was becoming.