, first kiss
, cover band
, love songs
, bass guitar
strings on top of it. âI donât think he was a Robin Hood at all.â
This news wipes the smile off Zackâs face. âWhat makes you say that?â
I walk over to Shawnâs nightstand. I open the top drawer. I fumble around until I find what Iâm looking for, then toss the wallets onto Zackâs lap. âI thought he had a wallet collection,â I say. âI thought it was something he had a thing for. I was half right. He did like collecting wallets. Other peopleâs wallets.â
Zack picks up the wallets one by one. Now itâs his turn to look astonished. He shakes his head. âWell, bugger me backward,â he says under his breath. I open the second drawer down. Inside are more wallets, some cell phones, keys, dozens of keys on rings and tags, and watches. There are about twenty or more watches. Theyâre mostly cheap digital ones, but one or two are fancier-looking.
âI had no idea,â says Zack. âI had no clue to the real Shawn.â
âYeah, well that makes two of us,â I say as I hold up one of the watches.
Meanwhile, one particular wallet seems to have caught Zackâs attention. Itâs a slender brown leather one. âI lost my wallet a couple of years ago. I thought Iâd put it down and lost it. Only had a few quid in it, but I really liked it. I think this is it.â
I put the watches back in the drawer. âThen thereâs this,â I say. I take out the note again. âThe bass belonged to a girl,â I say. âI mean look at the little hearts over the Iâs. Grown women donât do that.â
Zack takes the note, but doesnât read it. âWhatever happened has happened, and the deed has been done. You canât undo whatâs been done.â
He returns the note to me. I fold it up again and put it back in my wallet.
âYouâre not going to go to Brunswick and just give the bass back, are you?â Zack rests his guitar across his knees and strums the riff from âTicket to Ride.â
I shake my head.
âIâm glad to hear it.â He stops playing and makes some adjustments to the tuning. âItâs a heartrending note, but you canât do it. It just wonât work.â He starts playing âTicket to Rideâ again. âI feel really bad for this girl, Julie, but Iâd feel worse for you and Shawn if you actually went through with it. You canât un-steal something that was stolen, especially if it was stolen two or three years ago.â
âI donât think there is a Julie McGuire.â I pick up the bass, and try to get myself into tune with Zack. âOr maybe there is, but she didnât write the note. I think itâs some kind of scam.â
âWow,â says Zack. âYou changed your tune. What brought that on?â
I draw in a long breath. âI rang the number.â
âOh man! Toby,â says Zack. âWhat did she say?â
âIt was a guy,â I say. âA really weird guy.â
Zack begins âTicket to Rideâ yet again, and this time I follow along with the bass part.
âItâs sounding really good,â says Zack. âHow much did you tell this bloke?â
âVirtually nothing,â I say.
âThank God for that,â says Zack. âJust donât call him again.â
I shake my head. âI didnât need to tell him anything,â I say. âAll I did was ask him if Julie McGuire was there and right away he knew exactly why I was calling. It almost felt like he could see me through the phone.â
âDonât stress about it, mate.â Zack pats me on the shoulder. âJust let sleeping dogs lie.â
Horoscope: April 17, Aquarius:
You will wake up feeling especially confident today. Your decisiveness and self-assurance will lift the spirits of everyone around you.
By the time Saturday rolls around I think Iâve probably