Another Friday night and Josie's Bar was packed as usual...Sepia and I sat in a booth drinking and listening to the smooth sounds of Guitarist and Vocalist Brooke Taylor... a sexy woman who once dated my good friend, Attorney, Robert Foxworth... She actually lived two places now...She had a house here in Philadelphia (that she had just purchased from my wife, Sepia and her business partner, Bonita Foxworth, who ironically was now the wife of Attorney Robert Foxworth and who , lucky for all involved knew nothing about Bonita and Robert's past... )and a house in Oakland ,California.... She spent half of the year in Cali and the other half here...Sepia told me that she knew Brooke Taylor, vaguely from when Brooke lived in Jersey City, New Jersey where she was originally from. Sepia was from West Orange, but she and her girlfriends often traveled to Newark, Patterson and Jersey City to party as well as the big apple, New York City.
She was doing quite well for herself...Selling CD's...Touring and even had a little radio show that I was carrying on my new sattelite radio station that was up and running and becoming quite successful now.. I was happy for her... She had just come off of a lucrative European tour....
''She plays so good ,don't you agree lover?" said my wife..
"Good is not the word...She plays great...She makes that guitar sound like a piano almost." I said just gushing..
"Shame about her earlier troubles..." said Sepia...
She was referencing the fact that Brooke had spent some time in prison for vehicular homicide...She had left Josies drunk and high to hear her tell it one night and had got in her car and pulled off at a high speed..Within minutes...she was in an accident that took the life of another woman who had been behind the wheel of another car...She was sentenced to eight years....She was paroled after four years.....
"Great set, Great Set....You were wonderful." I said.
"I should be thanking you Kevin, for putting my radio show on your station...and re-introducing me to your wife, who I hadn't seen in close to 15 years.." said Brooke.
"Sepia, You and Kevin are invited to see me in Atlantic City this coming February....Free of charge...I'm playing four nights at the Borgata.." she said.
"That's around our wedding anniversary." said Sepia.
"Good ,then consider that an early anniversary present." she said.
"Thank you Brooke.." I said...
"Now Kevin...I need a favor." she asked.
"You just ask doll." I said.
"I hear you're also some kind of private investigator in your spare time, when you aren't running your company and being the next great media mogul." she laughed.
"Yeah...I moonlight as a P.I.... I'm licensed." I said.
"Good...And that's why I come to you....You're wife told me you might be able to help me." she said.
"Somebody shaking you down?" I asked.
"No, nothing like that....As you know...I spent some time in the women's penitentary for Vehicular Homicide."she said.
I hung my head...I was never going to bring that up...She had more than made up for her past...I wasn't going to judge her.
"Well, I have felt so sorry for that night....I can't tell you how many times I wrote that woman's family...The woman that I killed...Apologizing to them for what I done..and I take responsibility for that...I did used to drink and get high with the best of them....but Kevin...I'm telling you....That night...that night...now that I think of it...I wasn't that drunk...I think someone tampered with my drink!" she said.
"WHAT?" I asked.
"It's been years I know...but I had a moment of clarity while I was locked up and then a few nights ago...I saw one of the guys I had been drinking with and it come to me...I think I was set up...Set up to have an accident to keep me from talking." she said.
"Talking about what?" I asked.
"I'm not quite sure...but I think three guys and a woman I used to hang out with were involved in some kind of heist...They were talking about it around me...I was never sure....but I think that they thought I had heard too much and they wanted to make sure I never talked." she said.
"So you think they doctored your drink?" I asked.
''Yes...and my car."she said.
"You want me to look into it?" I asked.
"Yes Kevin...I'll pay you...If there is nothing there...then that will be the end of it..If it is...then maybe I can clear some of my conscience.."she said.
Sepia looked at me...
"Kevin, you can at least look into her claims." she said.
I thought about it hard...
"Everybody does whatever it is they do until they hit rock bottom..Whatever is rock bottom for one person might not be rock bottom for another, but until they hit their personal rock bottom..No amount of therapy is going to help them." said Brooke Taylor.
"You're right." I said somberly ,feeling more sorry for Brooke and whatever demons she had.
"My rock bottom was when I killed that woman......I was so drunk and so high that I didn't even remember them using the jaws of life to get me out the car....I don't remember nothing...I sat in that courtroom in a daze and when the judge gave me eight years....I didn't wince...I wanted to die. I survived...and slowly..very slowly, I began to realize that my addictions is what brought me to that point, that sinking feeling....I didn't go to therapy or one session in the joint. And while I'm responsible for what I did...I don't remember drinking that much...I swear they did something to my drink...I'm having all of these flashbacks." said Brooke.
"Have you been to therapy since you got out?" I asked.
"Actually ,I have...That's when I began to have these moments of clarity..." She said.
"Okay...I'll look into your claims....If I find something, then you pay me...If I don't...we call it even, how about that?" I asked.
"That's perfect." she said.
"Yayyyyy." said my wife..
"Where do I start?" I asked.
Brooke pointed to a man and a woman sitting at the bar...
"With those two right there... Billy "Greasy" Jones and his girlfriend, Thelma Thompson.. They were the ring leaders of the little group I hung with...He used to deal cocaine and weed right in here until Gus discovered it and threw him out...but that was years ago...I don't know what he's into now."she said.
"He was your connect?" I asked.
"Yes...Not just me...any musician who came through here that wanted to get high..He was the man to see..He was real slick about it and he had two partners...Arthur "Doc" Johnson and George Stephens...George was the muscle....Doc was the guy who actually supplied the dope after Greasy gave the okay." she said.
"Okayyyyyyyyyyyy...I'll tie a tin can around his foot and see where it leads." I said.
I wondered just what kind of ride I was about to enter.
(To Be Continued...)