Like last time, Father Cash was hungry to talk about Sella afterward.
"I know you think I'm crazy, Judith, but there really is something going on. Something ominous."
"I can see why it might look that way," I mumbled.
"If Sella's death were the only part of it, I might agree with you, but—"
"I know, Lena is incommunicado, and that's out of character." I pulled myself out of his embrace. "You sure are good with the pillow talk these days."
Ignoring my words, he sat up and swung his feet out of bed. "There's something I think you need to see."
He padded into the other room and returned a few minutes later with a leather-bound book the color of dark cherries. A page had been bookmarked with a receipt and he handed it to me. "Read that, then tell me you don't think she was running from someone."
I took the diary and it found it smooth and surprisingly heavy for its size, with thick creamy pages. I opened it to the marked section, and after a brief glance at the receipt (a 16 oz. Coke and packet of peanuts) I read the entry. Sella's handwriting was tidy and stylish - almost a calligraphy. After reading the entry twice, I handed it back.
"She felt threatened. She was running from someone," Father Cash said, giving me a pointed look.
"You might call it that," I said cautiously. "But it's pretty vague."
"'I have to get away. I have no choice any more,'" he read. "What's so vague about that?"
I lay back among the covers and sighed. "Only that she was a teenage girl, and teenage girls see the drama in everything: a zit, a bad grade, not enough pepperoni on a pizza..."
"I'm not saying it couldn't be something bigger than that. It's just that I was a teenage girl myself, not so long ago, and you're going to need more evidence than that one page to convince me." I frowned. "Is there more?"
Father Cash turned away. "I see we're not going to get very far with this."
While he returned the diary to wherever he had been stashing it, I sat up and started pulling on my clothes, wondering if he was pissed at me again. What a waste of time this afternoon had been.
When several minutes passed and Father Cash still had not returned, I wandered into the living room, where I found him wrapped in a faded bathrobe, watching the documentary again with the sound off. "I'm sorry," I told him.
He shrugged in answer.
"I really am concerned about Lena," I told him. "If you give me her full name and an address, I can go down to the library tomorrow and use their computers to do an internet search."
I stood silent, pondering. "Well," I finally said, "If you find out anything more, anything that might bolster your theory, I really would be happy to help, it's just that in the absence of any other evidence—"
"I know. You've made yourself very clear."
"Fine," I said. "You know where to find me." I let myself out and trudged up the stairs. To hell with him. Maybe I would call that nice fisherman, after all. Or better yet, maybe I'd just call Arlo. Rent would be due soon and I could use a little work.