| August 01, 2005

I yelled, “Your ship’s gonna come in someday, Big Bill!”

I heard his steps hesitate and a brief mumbling that sounded like, “Ship did come in, sir.”

I never saw Bill again. Two days later, the hospital phoned to inform me that William B. Fletcher had died of complications from pneumonia. Mine was his only contact number. He left word, also, for me to open the envelope he had left on my desk.

I stared at Holliday, stunned. Such a gentleman, and he was gone. Several hours passed before I remembered the envelope. I thought there would be some contact information there, but the only thing I saw was one of my Christmas lottery tickets.

It’s been three weeks, and I still have that ticket. Holliday is staring at me. The only instruction Bill left was to please feed his cat. He also thanked me for hiring him. Somehow, he knew he would not return.

“Tain’t so much how you dance as where you step, right Miss Holliday?” I asked.

What do I know about money, anyway? This cat’s going to eat well.

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