That evening the telephone rang. Tara answered to hear Natalie on the other end.
“Hello, Tara. How are you doing?”
“I’m doing okay. Thank you.”
“Do you have a date and time for the funeral service yet?”
“Yes, it will be on Wednesday at 2 p.m.”
“Good. Carl and I will be there. Also, have you given any more thought to holding an art exhibition?”
“I really can’t think about doing something like that until everything surrounding Jaime’s death is resolved.”
“Of course, I understand. Has there been any progress in finding the , uh, murderer?”
“Not really. They had one lead that didn’t pan out and are still investigating.”
“They don’t have any current leads?”
Tara didn’t think she should tell people all of the details of what Sergeant Olsen shared, so she simply said, “Nothing to speak of.”
“Jaime was a good guy, Tara. I miss him already.”
“Well, see you Wednesday.”
Tara hung up the phone thinking that Natalie’s phone call seemed a bit strange, but she couldn’t quite figure out why.
Wednesday there were quite a few people at Jaime’s funeral service. Sergeant Olsen was there, out of uniform. Melody and Hunter were there, and Melody’s father was with them. Melody sniffled and dabbed at her eyes with a white, lace handkerchief. Carl and Natalie were there, and there was a handsome gentleman, with them, that Tara didn’t recognize. Marvin and Katie were both there as well as other people from their neighborhood and the church that Tara and Jaime had attended. Allen and Eva stayed close to Tara, and just before the service began, Tara felt Allen’s hand tighten on her shoulder. She looked up and noticed that the gentleman, they had seen with Melody the week before, had snuck into the back row of neighbors and church people.
After the service, Allen approached Sergeant Olsen quickly, to point out the gentleman that he and Tara had seen with Melody, though today, the gentleman made no effort to approach Melody.
Most of the people offered condolences to Tara before leaving. Katie came and gave her a hug. “How are you doing, Tara?”
“I’m okay. I’m glad that Jaime has finally been laid to rest. Now if we could just find out who was responsible for his death, I could find some closure. How are you? I haven’t spoken with you since Marvin returned home from China. What was his surprise?”
“We are going to adopt two little girls from China. They are twin sisters and are three years old.”
“Oh, Katie, that’s wonderful. When will you get to meet them?”
“I will go to China with Marvin on his next trip to take other parents for their adoptive children, in about two weeks.”
“I am so happy for you, Katie.”
“Thank you. I am happy that your in-laws are staying with you right now. They seem like such nice people.”
“They are. I am glad to have them here through all of this as well.”
Katie hugged Tara once more, and she and Marvin left.
Then the gentleman who had been with Carl and Natalie came up to Tara. “Ms. Richardson, I am so sorry for your loss.”
“Thank you, but I don’t believe I know you.”
“Oh, I am Trenton Davis, and I am also truly sorry for overstepping my bounds just days after your loss. I have just been unable to get you out of my thoughts since speaking with you at that dinner party four years ago, and I have never been so affected by a woman before. Please forgive my insensitivity.”
“You are forgiven, and I am sorry that thoughts of me have been plaguing you for so long.”
“I wouldn’t say they were ‘plaguing’ me,” he smiled. “Please, let me know if I can help you in any way. I have the reading of the will scheduled for next Thursday at 1 p.m. in one of the conference rooms at Jacobson Mergers. I hope that will be satisfactory to you.”
“That will be fine.”
Trenton Davis reached, as if to shake her hand, but instead, brought her hand to his lips, and he kissed the back of her hand lightly. “Until next Thursday.”
Tara was a bit shaken by the electrical current that seemed to shoot through her when Mr. Davis kissed her hand. She also felt guilty at thinking he was quite handsome and charming.
Carl and Natalie both hugged Tara and told her to feel free to call them if she needed anything.
Allen returned to Tara and Eva and informed them that he had pointed out Melody’s gentleman to Sergeant Olsen, and Sergeant Olsen had gone to speak with the gentleman. He said that he was sure that Sergeant Olsen would inform them of any pertinent information, and the three of them went home to Tara’s house.