I opened the door to a younger, more updated version of Lt. Columbo.
I got up, put on my robe, and headed to the kitchen. One cream and two sugars later, I made my way into the living room, sipping piping hot coffee. What could be wrong with my parents circled my head like a halo as I pressed redial. Their phone was still busy at 5:00 A.M. My thoughts ran wild again.
In distress, I allowed my memory to replay last night’s episode at my parent’s house, hoping to pick up anything out of place that I might have missed.
“Honeysuckle,” I recalled Mom saying as I entered, beaming with pride yet looking me over with the discerning eye of a trainer scanning his prized filly before the ‘Big One.’
“What have you been eating? You’re thinner than my silver candlestick holder.” Hugging me as if she hadn’t seen me in years.
My parents were the epitome of happiness. Dad had retired next to the living room window, smoking his pipe. I pictured him seated comfortably in his leather La-Z-Boy armchair recliner, watching the Eagles vs. Jets showdown on the 55-inch Sony HD Smart TV I bought for him last Father’s Day.
“I love you, Mom,” I’d said after hugging her as I exited.
She waved from the door as I stepped out into the cool night air. I waved back, then headed towards Barnes Avenue to the subway. Apart from occasionally teasing me about the virtues of matrimony and childbearing, which gave me shivers, I thought about how lucky I was to have such great parents.
The downstairs buzzer screamed, throwing me back into reality. I jumped, spilling coffee all over the table. I scrambled to the intercom by the door, pressed the speaker button, and asked, “Who is it?”
“Sergeant Wade Willoby. I called earlier,” the voice explained. I buzzed him in, waiting anxiously.
Minutes later, the doorbell bleated. Through the peephole, I saw the image of an NYPD badge. I opened the door to a younger, more updated version of Lt. Columbo, one of my favorite TV detectives of the 1970s.
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