Adrian Kozan wakes up. He sits in bed for a few minutes, looking at the ceiling, thinking about nothing in particular. The notification light on his phone is on. One voice mail, two messages.
He first checks the messages, one's from his father, and one from his secretary, Emily. The one from his father says "We're coming into town next week, to see how you're doing. Don't tell your mother I told you." Denise Kozan likes surprises. But what she doesn't understand is that most people don't, so she keeps doing it to others, regardless if they like it or not. Sometimes Robert Kozan ruins those "surprises", just so they don't end up in awkward situations. Without her knowing, of course.
The Kozans are both doctors. Well, they used to be. Now Robert has his own firm, making pharmaceuticals, and Denise is a professor at Stanford, and a published author. They now both live in USA, while Adrian, their only son preferred to stay in England. With his parents' money, Adrian opened up a detective agency, and tries to live off that. Of course, in a small town like this, detectives don't really have much work, so he mostly spends his time doing nothing.
Adrian doesn't like the idea of his parents coming to town, but then again, he knows that, in reality, they are the one paying for everything he owns. He'll have to clean up his apartment. Or probably pay somebody to do it. He doesn't like cleaning up. That's why he's paying Emily 30 euros more every week to keep the office clean. She likes doing it. With the office barely getting clients, just sitting on your ass every day can become boring.
Speaking of Emily, now Kozan goes on to read her message. "I see you're late today, probably not coming at all. I mopped the floor and dusted the place, and I'm going home too. I hope that's ok with you." He doesn't care. And she's right, he wasn't going to go to the office today. Well, his plan originally was to have her there in case any clients came, so she could call him in. But a day off once in a while for her is ok, he thinks.
Now for the voicemail. He puts it on speaker. "Adrian, I want to talk to you." He goes to the mirror. He gives himself a good look. He's completely naked. "I may have found something and I might need your help." He starts flexing in front of the mirror, making faces. "I know you're not busy, you never are." He moves to the phone now. "Let's meet tomorrow morning at the coffee shop." He takes the phone to look at the clock. It's 10:23. "Text me when you get this, so I'll know you'll come."
And so he does. "I hope it's not too late. I'll hop in the shower and I'm going there." And then he's looking for some clothes. His phone vibrates. "It's not, I'm still there. I'm writing an article." He responds "I'll meet you there." and then he goes to the shower.
The sky is cloudy, leaves are everywhere. The mid-autumn breeze grows into stronger winds. A storm is coming.
Adrian comes out of his apartment, now he's wearing a leather jacket, over a "The Godfather" t-shirt. He gets into his car. Adrian now has his father's Dodge Charger, which he was very proud of.
After a few minutes of driving, he arrives at the coffee shop. it's a Sunday morning, so most of the people in the coffee shop are teenagers, doing their homework or whatever else it is they're doing. He goes to the counter and orders a hazelnut latte. While waiting for the coffee he searches the place for Sylvia. She's sitting at a table near the window, typing away on her laptop. Her red hair is tied and she's wearing her glasses. She prefers the coffee shop over the desk she has at the paper's offices. Besides the fact that she's a coffee addict, the background music, the murmur of people talking, the smell, she finds everything about this place relaxing.
She finally gets her head out of that laptop. Kozan starts waving at her, to get her attention. She sees him and smiles.
The coffee is done, he pays, and heads to her table.
"Good morning." he says, while getting a chair.
"Hello." She put away her laptop.
"What's going on?"
"You know how I've been trying to get into that private event that takes place next month?"
"Right. You know Conrad Wilson?" He nods. "Well he's hosting something like a party, where he and other rich people that want to expand our town talk about their plans. It's basically an excuse to party. But this kind of parties introduce you to the important people. And I wanted to get inside that for a while now, to actually get a real article for once."
"And what does any of this have to do with me?"
"I'll get to it." They both take a sip of their coffee. She clears her throat and continues. "Last night I went to see him."
"Conrad Wilson. I wanted to ask him personally for an invitation."
"And did you get it?"
"Okay, what else?"
"Well... he was very odd."
"I don't know, he was creeping me out." She drinks the rest of her coffee, while Adrian just watches her, waiting for her to continue. "I was very nervous around him. He just didn't feel right."
"I can't say I understand what you need me for."
"I need you to investigate him. Find out everything you can about him. Something's up, I know it."
"Well, at least it's a case. Even if there's no real reason to investigate him."
"It may all be in my head. Maybe I'm crazy, who knows? But at least I'm keeping you in shape for when a real case comes."
"This is a real case."
"Yes, right. What I meant is a paid case."
"This... is a paid case." He pauses, then smiles "Right?"
"I don't have money to pay a detective. Plus, like you said, it might all be bogus. I thought this will be a favour between friends." Then something clicked, in Adrian's head.
"Ok, let's make a deal. I need something from you too."
"My parents are coming to town. Next week."
"And my apartment is a mess."
"And we both know I don't know how to clean it."
"Come on, I'm investigating your man, you're helping me clean my apartment."
She scoffs "Helping! You want me to clean your apartment. All of it, by myself."
"Tit for tat."
She just stares at him for a few seconds, thinking. "Fine, I'll help you. But that means you'll have to help me clean it, not do it all by myself."
"And you're buying me another coffee."
They sit inside the coffee shop for another hour. Kozan tells her about his parents coming to town. Meanwhile outside it started raining. A quiet autumn rain.