Personal log of Kowalski, Roger
“I won’t stay here and bore me to death. I am absolutely able to earn my money”, she said looking down from the window to her corner, “I won’t let you make a child of me that is dependent.” “Okay. So just follow me. Maybe you’ll learn something anyway.” “Gee!”
The client had three kids, the oldest boy about five years old. “He’s not paying for his son anymore, and I don’t know where to find him.” I asked about friends, work and that finally I had an idea where to start looking for the guy. “I can’t pay you in advance, I can pay you when I get the money. And if you come along personally, you could possibly get a bonus.” Long lashes, bad makeup. I had an idea what kind of bonus she was thinking off. Babs was leaning outside at the wall of the corridor and popping her gum. “Stale”, she said and turned on her ball, catching my arm. “You don’t think about getting that kind of bonus, do you?” “I’m a professional.” “Me too”, she said and giggled.
We checked some friends and bars but he had not been seen for a while. He had been a petty thief, selling stolen telecom units, trideo-screens and car radios to pawn shops. Nothing big until a few months back. He actually was registered on police record because he had to as a convicted ex-criminal at his parole officer. I found out about his address and we sat and waited for him. Hours of relaxing, her putting up her legs on the glovebox on the dashboard. It was good she was wearing my cargo-pants and not her mini-skirt.
“Ah, now I understand what you mean with platonic”, she said. “I wondered why you turned off that gay-porn yesterday evening and didn’t talk to me anymore. I really tried to be nice, see?” “Can you check if he’s at home? It should be in the forth floor. That’s on his door bell.” She took the directional microphone. “Isn’t that illegal? I mean the test said you may use this from public to public space but not…” “Shut your gob, just do it. I watch the streets, okay?” She giggled. “Ah. So you do bend the law, do you?” “We don’t record anything so it’s hard to prove. Just do.” She listened to the device and was pointing the parabolic microphone from window to window. “Yay, that one’s nice”, and she handed me the second earplug. I listened. Rhythmic noises of a couple fucking their senses out. “That’s not him.” She grinned. “You don’t get off by this, do you?” “No. Just fucking tell me if he’s home, okay?” She listened and was concentrated for a while. “There’s a girl and a guy in the flat. Maybe some kind of flat share? Or something kinky maybe?” “We’ll see.”
After four hours of sitting and watching she had got so bored that she slept. I shook her on her shoulder. “That’s him.” It was night already, around 2130, I intercepted him at unlocking the door. “Harold Flodder”, I stated. “Yes?” “I am Roger Kowalski, Private Investigator. You owe your ex-wife the money for child support. Can we talk?” He stared at me, then his eyes were becoming sad for a moment. “I… I really don’t have the money. But I can give you what I have. See?” After I had shown him my ID he took out his paystick. “260 that’s what I got. But I need some of it for living. Eating and that.” “I take 200 of that, if you don’t mind.” He did mind, but he was not protesting. “See, my ex-wife, she always drives me back into crime. My probation officer told me to cut the contact. That she’s using snoops against me is new.” “You of course have things that I can take with me and pawn. It’s your son, man. Your little son.” “I really have nothing left, sir. I really.” His head was hanging and I pitied that poor sod a bit. “Okay, do you mind if we go to your flat together and let me take a look if you tell me the truth?” “No”, he said. “You can come along. Please don’t bug my flatmates, will you?” “I don’t care about them.” “Okay.”
It was a very small flat. Three rooms, a kitchen, a bath. His room a mattress on the floor. Some magazines, a community room with a small old video-screen, not even trideo. “Okay. May I see your commlink?” A cheap Metalink, scratched and used. I handed it back. “Thank you for your cooperation Mister Flodder.” “She’s driving me back into crime every time, you know? I just found this job. I have to work there for at least a year. Before I can do anything better.” “I understand. I’m so sorry. I won’t bug you again. Good night, Mister Flodder.”
“And?”, she asked. “We got our twohundred, but there is nothing more to get. Just a poor sod that tries to become straight. I hate such things.” “But you got our two-hundred?” “I did.” “Fourteen hours work”, she said. “Two hours for breaks…”, I managed to throw in, because I already had made the math. “So twelve hours of work, two hundred, that’s…”, and she tried to calculate it in her head, fished out her commlink and typed. “Around fifteen creds an hour. That’s as much as I do!”, she tried to laugh but it was a bit stale. “And we were two persons doing it. And…” “I know!” My voice was a bit louder and sounded harsh, not like I planned. She shut up and watched me. “Okay”, she nodded. “That’s just the start. We try better.” “We better have to.”
I didn’t tell her that it was in fact a lot less than that. I had to give 50 creds of that to the agency, around 40 would be eaten by taxes which left 110 creds for a days work. Not too bad if we would manage to get a client every day. It could work out. It had to.
I bought her blue valentines for this first day of work. “I’m your valentine?”, she asked excited and smiled.