Three years later…
“By the end of today, you are going to wish you had a car.” She recalled Rory telling her that, and he wasn’t entirely wrong. It was especially chilly for a Summer morning, and she was certain it was going to rain later.
The streets were slower than she remembered for a Saturday, but then again, it had been three months since she even had time to come downtown. Wow, that job was sure like a time vampire. I haven’t seen Jennifer and Erin In forever.
She had only been Rick Elton’s secretary for three months before he fired her. It wasn’t her fault she caught him embezzling from Tony Insurance & Co. The worst part was she had no evidence, and after he suspected her, he covered it up very well.
She would always complain about all the weird, trivial tasks he gave her in his attempts to make her quit before she found proof. That was his biggest mistake, as Hannah was incredibly strong-willed, especially when it put her in a bad position.
This injustice made her think of what happened three months ago when she got fired at Sub Hub. I still can’t believe I got fired for reporting the manager’s son was stealing from the register. Justice sure seems to be taking a day off around me these days!
Of course, Rick fired me, I mean it was only a matter of time. What criminal would let a detective be their secretary. Hannah chuckled.
She remembered telling Tasha, whoever made up the idea of a romantic comedy about a secretary falling in love with their boss, was either insane or never worked as one before.
A genre change to Horror was due to make it realistic, and as for the romance aspect, that must have been pure fiction.
I have been fired yet again, yes it is best to accept this fact. At this point, I am going to end up having worked at every business in New Ashens. Maybe I should just accept my fate and move to Fablemount, It can’t get weirder than that town.
Her gift came with the fact she noticed things others didn’t, and it always somehow led to her being fired.
She took a turn towards Johnson Street on her motorbike. She knew the route to Jennifer’s Café better than the back of her hand. At this point, it was almost her second home. When she was out of a job, Jennifer always seemed to have one for her at the café.
She was like the older sister she never had, heck, Hannah was the maid of honor at Jennifer’s wedding.
She parked her bike and checked if she had the key to the cable lock before locking it. Furthermore, she had learned her lesson the last time she forgot to check. Yeah, let's not walk home in the rain again.
Upon entering the café, she noticed Erin was on shift. She was a member of Hannah’s very small friend group, what she liked to call her squad.
“Hannah! It feels like it has been so long!” Erin said.
“I know right, I haven’t been to downtown in forever!” she admitted.
“How's work? Rick, still driving you crazy?” Erin asked.
“No, actually.” She said.
“You’re saying you two are finally getting along?!” Erin was shocked.
“Oh no, he fired me.” She said.
“Well, I say screw him! He was wasting your talents if you ask me.” Erin said.
“Screw who?” Jennifer went behind the ordering table.
“Rick fired her! Can you believe it! After all the work, she did! Like, I don’t even think Hannah has had a real day off in months!” Erin was fired up.
“What a jerk!” Jennifer remarked.
“You guys are the best!” Hannah admitted.
“Now, what can I get you? A Brownie and a Mocha?” Erin asked.
“Actually, I was wondering if Jen had a job opening?” She said.
“A job opening? Like you even have to ask! Come on, Hannah, you can wear this apron!” Jennifer ushered her toward the mini kitchen.
“I don’t know what I would do without you, Jen!” Hannah said.
“Yeah, me neither!” Jennifer joked, they all laughed.
“Don’t forget to wash your hands,” Erin said, slipping past her to get something from the fridge.
“I only worked with him for three months, worry not, as I haven’t forgotten basic human manners.” Hannah retorted.
As she made many drinks, sandwiches, Hannah couldn’t help but think about when Jennifer and her husband remodeled the building two years ago. They sure fixed it up.
The fact they added a commercial kitchen to their studio apartment upstairs made running the café much easier for the couple. Effective and efficient.
Her husband Joseph even grew a mini herb garden, that made it possible for them to sell their most popular drink, The Real Mint Mocha, all year around. They both worked so hard to run their café, yet still made time for each other.
Hannah found it impressive, as she tended to be very single-minded and obsessive when it came to things.
She found it hard to balance her detective work and personal life. Who am I kidding, it’s not like anyone would like me anyway?
The idea of love at first sight sounded silly to her. How can you love someone when you don’t know anything about them? Looks aren’t everything, and background checks are a must. She became hesitant to love after she broke up with her first love, Conan.
Hannah’s attention was recaptured when she heard her name get called.
“Hannah, is that you?” The man asked.
She instantly recognized him. It was Bill Fairfax!
Hannah met him often at her last job, as Tony’s insurance covered his construction business. “Bill! Why, it’s nice to see you! How's the new grandbaby?”
“Grandson, actually! Lee and Sarah named him Bill, after me!” He chuckled with delight.
“That’s wonderful, Bill!”
“What about you, Hannah? I didn’t see you when I came to Tony’s in the morning.” Bill remarked.
“Ah yes, guess I got tired of making only coffee for Rick.” She joked.
Bill laughed then said, “Right! Coffee I almost forgot! It’s like whenever I talk about little Bill, I forget everything.” He then paused and glanced over at the chalk board menu behind her.
Although Bill wouldn’t admit it, he was getting old and forgetful. Last time they spoke, he told her about how he was in the process of transferring the family business over to his son, Lee.
“Okay, I’ll have one Grilled Chicken and pesto panini, another one of those but with turkey. I’ll also take a 16oz drip coffee and a 16oz Real Mint Mocha.
“My wife would be sad if I forgot her Mocha again. Oh, and a poppy seed muffin, those are her absolute favorite!” Bill looked satisfied with his order.
Hannah finished ringing up his order, and he paid with cash and left her a good tip. “Thank you!”
It had rained later that evening, like Hannah had predicted. The sound of water droplets hitting the window was quite satisfying.
Hannah had just finished wiping down a table when a tall and muscular man opened the door, making the door chimes ring. He neatly folded his umbrella and held it by his side.
Hannah hurried behind the counter to take his order. With Jennifer having left an hour ago and Erin just left to restock, Hannah was the only one on shift.
“Good afternoon. What can I get for you, sir?” Hannah continued to study him. He had to be around 40 years old. He had dark gray hair and a well-groomed beard that matched its color. I don’t think I’ve met him before, that’s odd...
“Good afternoon to you too, ma’am.” The man tipped his hat politely.
“For here or to go?” There was something off about this man, but Hannah could not quite place her finger on it.
“For here. What would you recommend? As you can probably tell, I’m pretty new here.” he smiled, she realized she must have been staring.
“Oh, welcome to New Ashens! Don’t let the rain scare you. I suggest you try our Salted Carmel Coffee as a pick me up and a Grilled Turkey Panini.”
“Those sound amazing. I’d like a 16oz for coffee, extra pickles for the sandwich, and one of those yummy looking chocolate squares.” He said.
“By the way, my name is Henry Levar. I think we will be seeing a lot more of each other. My carpenter shop is only a few blocks from here. We also make mini wood carvings.” Henry told her.
“I’m Hannah Anderson, I’ll be sure to stop by! I’d love to see the carvings.” Hannah shook his hand.
“Your total is $15.35.” Hannah said as she finished ringing up his order. To her surprise, he gave a ten dollar tip! Hannah was visibly shocked. “Thank you, sir!”
“Of course, no worries and call me Henry.” Henry was very nice, maybe a bit overly nice, but Hannah was not complaining with that big of a tip.
“Your order will be ready in just a couple of minutes, Henry.” She first started on his coffee.
“Take your time.” He said, seating himself on a seat close to a window. He started to read the daily newspaper.
After finishing his sandwich, Hannah noticed he seemed to look around the café. Jennifer and Joseph really had done a fantastic job this month picking the art by locals to hang on the wall.
“The artwork is beautiful” Henry said as if reading her mind.
Stay tuned for more exciting episodes as Hannah Anderson Mysteries starts to unravel the mystery, but in this game of cat and mouse, It's Only A Matter Of Crime until someone gets hurt.