Inwardly Elaine slapped herself back to reality and walked into the master bath where she applied a much needed cold fix to her face. The cool water eased her anxiety and elevated her depleted energy. She caught a glimpse of her sluggish features in the mirror as she patted them dry, knowing full well she was in need of a good pressing.
Finished, she started to close the pocket doors of the closet; instead she entered the cedar lined walk-in. A deep cleansing breath brought renewed interest in the space. Of what she saw, mostly belonged to Leslie. As for her father, what Kash did have, could have fit in the linen closet. A clothes horse he wasn’t. If it weren’t for Leslie, he would have had an extensive collection of blue jeans, and blue jeans only. Even his blue jeans were hung with care and immaculately ironed and ready for wear—courtesy of Leslie.
Looking up at the shelving above, Elaine spotted several hat boxes. Remembering from her earlier search that they contained fedoras, she pulled one down and opened it up. Dusting off any imaginary lint, she put it on, cocking it over one eye. She turned and caught her reflection in mothers built in vanity mirror. She smiled at the sight, and if it weren’t for her blonde hair and azure blue eyes, she could have sworn it was Leslie looking back at her—dimples and all.
She took it one step further and pulled free what she was sure to be the matching suit to the hat; a charcoal gray pinstripe suit, complete with shirt and tie. As she donned the outfit she started formulating a plan for retracing Leslie’s steps that night in 1947 San Francisco. She knew damn good and well there weren’t any such dens as described in her mother’s journal, but she couldn’t sit still and do nothing. After all, someone already had that job—Lane.
She reexamined her image in the mirror. “Not bad, old girl,” she commented to herself. Smoothing the lines of the suit she felt something in the inner breast pocket. She pulled free a handkerchief with a most alarming surprise; the pendant described in Leslie’s journal. Turning it over, she found the devastating beauty her mother wrote about. It was everything and more. She slipped the pendant on and secured it beneath the shirt and tie. The coolness on her skin sent a shock wave of chills spilling down her spine. It was exhilarating and exciting at the same time, and for possibly the first time in her life, she understood a small part of her mother.
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