"You holding out these days?"
In a flash of remembrance it all came back to him as he sat with his feet propped on the corner of the desk. The day she left him there had been a long pause. She asked if he felt anything for her. It was a long pause that said it all.
"I have my own business these days. I guess you could say I'm holding out. Holding out on a real job."
"You're still funny. I'll give you that," she said.
John wanted to ask her if she ended up getting her dream. He wanted to ask her if she ever got her stable family life, two beautiful children and a doctor for a husband. A husband who would be there for her, and not have to work a crazy schedule that dealt with the dregs of society. He could have seen himself settling down with Joyce if her approach had of been different. As he remembered how it went, she wanted him to give up the dangerous world of police work and give up on being a private eye. And the very idea of playing music was out of the question. She wanted her man to wear a suit and work as an accountant or something comparable. But as he sat listening to her talk, he couldn't have been anything but happy to hear her voice. She had a definite knack of bringing out the softy in him. "I was just thinking about you," he admitted.
"I've been doing some thinking myself."
Another dreadful pause.
"You still playing?"
"Almost every night. The Sundowner."
"That the name of your band?"
"That's were we play. Brad owns it. Remember Brad?"
She was silent for a few seconds. "I think I do. He's tall, plays piano?"
"Keyboards now. But right," John said. "To tell you the truth, Joyce. I hardly have any time for the music these days with things running the way they are."
"You mean your business?"
"Private eye. My dream come true." John noticed that she was starting to sound a little more relaxed.
"I'm so glad for you. If anyone deserves success John, it's you."
She was starting to ease back under his skin. Why the call out of the blue? Why was she being so cordial? Did she just find out from her doctor that she only has a few weeks to live? "Can I ask you something?"