I can still remember the first time I met Melissa Virga. I didn’t know that she was a witch then, of course. Nor did I know of her part time work as a private investigator. I was merely a first year student looking for an off campus residence, and she was an upper year student who had advertised a vacancy.
In retrospect, perhaps I should have looked a little more closely into why her apartment, so close to campus, was still available that last week of August. But I was from out of town, and somewhat naive.
Oh, all right, very naive — I even took the place sight unseen, arranging everything over the phone. I mean, Melissa sounded nice enough, the apartment was depicted well, and the warnings she gave me about her curious habits struck me as being her way of screening male applicants. Thus when I showed up that Labour Day Monday, I had absolutely no idea of what I was really getting myself into.
I walked in through the front door of the building (kept open during the daytime), proceeding up to the top floor. From there, you couldn’t miss Melissa’s apartment. Underneath the ’66’ on her door hangs the picture of an eye staring out from inside a triangle. I’ve since seen it in connection with mystical happenings, but at the time I only gave it a passing glance.
I knocked. From inside I heard a female voice call out “Sorry, we’re closed!”
Not certain what to make of that, but recognizing the voice as being that of the person I’d been talking with over the phone, I called back, “It’s James Conway!”
I heard the sound of rustling paper followed by approaching footsteps. Then the door opened, and there she was, peering at me over her reading glasses.
I suppose I should add here that Melissa is a very beautiful girl. I mean, sure, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but many who saw her would agree with my assessment. Long, wavy brown hair, piercing green eyes and, while a bit on the thin side, her body still has curves in all the right places. Turns out it’s not her appearance that bothers others, it’s her mannerisms. And since I had yet to see those, I was too busy picking my jaw up off the floor to hear the first words that she spoke to me.
After I sheepishly asked her to repeat herself, Melissa smiled quietly, as if used to this sort of initial reaction, and said simply, “Could you please give me this month’s rent right away? I need it to pay the phone bill.”
That was the start of our association.
CASE 1A NOW POSTED
EXTRA ASIDE: This was originally written in January 2003. If you missed my final roundup post about the latest “Epsilon”, you can find it here. Thanks for reading!