Nothing much happened after the news media stuck my face on all of the local stations. I pretty much had the same rate of business I had before this whole thing ever happened. I didn't care too much about it. After I solved my first case, I learned that major dissapointments come with the job. The most recent being Frieda. I was begining to like her.
After all the initial excitement was over, she came into my office with a check that had a bunch of zeros attached on the left side of the decimal.
"So you can finally cover your tab," she giggled.
She then gave me a kiss that felt so good, I think it could have brought back the dead. It made me wonder what she would've done had I saved her life. But then she showed me the big ring Simba had given her. Shortly after she left my office, I heard both her and Simba were married.
I guess it was for the better. They did seem destined to head that way, after all. I'm glad that at least their children will learn of the part I played in getting them both back together.
Until then, I will just go back to my old ways, down my troubles, and play the sax... ****
When I went for a visit to the Comatose Lounge in the early afternoon, I was amazed to find that the lounge's neon sign was finally fully lit up. Bobby finally had it fixed. There were other improvements too. She even had bars installed on the windows.
When I enterred the bar, the normal silence ensued.
"Not this time guys... I'm just not in the mood..."
"There he is!" came a raspy, familiar voice "Three cheers for Rindimo! Having solved yet again another case, was finally able to pay his tab, and therefor pay for all the repairs!"
Everyone cheered. I gave them a feeble smile, as I headed towards the main bar.
"Hey, Rindimo! With all the money, I was even able to hire a piano player! My lounge is finally heading back to it's glory days! I knew you would one day pay your tab! Now I'm actually profitting!!!"
"Yeah, good for you, Bob. Keep it up."
"What's wrong with you? Sober or something?"
"Oh, it's girl trouble, eh?"
"Yeah. It's what I get when I don't maintain a professional distance."
"Aw, cheer up! There's other girls out there!"
"Yeah, but all that destiny crap you said really stuck with me."
"Well, there can still be a chance that the right girl is out there for you. Hey, I got an idea! There's this new girl who's been coming to the lounge lately, and seems a little down. Why don't you go over there, and cheer her up?"
"No, I don't wanna."
"Aw, come on! She's a cute little lioness!" Bobby winked.
"No, no no."
"She's wearing these cute little bunny ears..."
"No, for the last time N-- ....Bunny ears?"
"Behind ya, at three o' clock."
I turned around as quickly as I could without spillng my drink, and saw sticking out above the crowd, two familiar white tips wiggling about. I quickly grabbed my drink, and headed in that direction.
"Go get 'er, Killer!" shouted Bobby. I didn't even hear her.
I manuvered my way through the masses and eventually came up from behind her. My mind was racing for something to say to say to her-- something witty. But experience has shown that all my one-liners only end up with me getting a drink thrown in my face. I decided a simple "hello" would be better.
Just as I came up to her, she began to turn her head in my direction.
I shot a glance over at Bobby. She was laughing what was left of her lungs out.
"Um... uh... mind if I sit here?"
"Not at all. Just don't try to buy me a drink."
"How'd you get out of jail so fast?"
"Beleive me," she laughed, "what do you expect with a comprised jury of mostly males? I Just gave them a couple pouty lips and winks, and I was out of there! I got the moves, detective."
"That's for sure! You got a good, strong left hook," I laughed.
"You're not so bad yourself."
"Aw, well... but see, I don't make it look good!"
Nala laughed. "You flirt better than you fight. Come on, let's see how good you dance!"
Having ruined her scheme, and sending her to jail, you'd figure she'd remember a face. But I think an empty bottle of brandy on her table had something to do with it. She giggled as she whispered into the piano player's ear a song selection, and motioned me to come towards her. "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" started playing.
"Shall we dance?"
I was a little apprehensive slowdancing with a known criminal. Still, what could it hurt?
"So, how's life? I see you've already gotten a job."
"Yeah, the pay's good... but the place where I live is awful! There's these three jerks who keep flirting with me everytime I walk into the lobby. Ever since they learned my last name, and my room number, they keep shouting it out."
"Well what's your last name and room number?"
"Wawnnah. Nala Wawnnah, 269."
I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing.
"Do these three guys happen to be a fat cigar-smoking cat, a german shepard, and a small, dark-maned lion?"
"Yes," Nala sighed, "Since Frieda moved out, it was the perfect opportunity to move in."
"Why, I live a little less than a block away."
"Hey, that's great! You could help me unpack!"
"Aren't you the least bit bothered with the fact you went from movie star to a dancing bunny?"
"What! Don't be silly. Hakuna Matata! What's done is done, and I lost. I just have to start over again, that's all."
"Nice to see you have such an optimistic disposition."
"So Rindimo, you gotta girlfriend?"
"Nope. Why? You know somebody?"
Nala nodded her head, and winked at me. This was getting too weird.
"Why me? I'm the one that ruined your life!"
"You put me in my place. Simba couldn't do that. We're equals, you and me. We both are intelligent. Fighters." she leaned over to whisper in my ear, "...Lonely. You're the only one I know out here."
"Well, you can always make new friends," I tried to counter.
"There's just something about you, the way you walk and act, the way you have your own brand of justice. It's just so strangely attractive."
My countering didn't seem to be working.
"It's the smell of flowers, isn't it? It still hasn't worn off yet."
"You're funny!" She giggled. It had to be the brandy talking.
The song finally ended, but I didn't. She was beginning to captivate me. I could feel butterflies in my stomach. I wanted to dance some more, talk some more, get to know her more.
"Play it again, Sam." I motioned at the Piano player.
"My name's Samuel. Not 'Sam', not 'Sammy', not 'Samantha', not 'samson', not 'spamuel', not any of those!!"
"I didn't hear you!"
"Geez, I'm sorry I called you by the wrong name, Samuel!"
"So, will you play it again for us? Please?"
"What?! Hey, I even asked nicely."
"I can't just do a repeat! Everyone will begin to think I only know one song! And then there's the big picture. Everyone will start asking for us lounge players to just keep playing the stuff they want over, and over, instead of variety! Culture will go down the drain! All will be lost!"
"This is a bar, for goodness sake!"
"Oh sure, lower the standards!"
"Please," I said as I put my arms around Nala, "Do it for her!"
Nala gave the piano man a sad look.
"Oh, okay," he sighed, as he began playing the song again.
"Hmmm... With your looks, and my brains, we can go places, sweetheart," I pondered.
"See what I mean, Rindimo? There's just something about you!"
"Oh, all right! I admit it! So I got something. Well, so do you."
"Well... I feel silly to say it, but I have a stuffed Nala plushie from when the movie came out. I sorta had a crush on you back then."
"I'm flattered!" Nala giggled. "Of course, why have a stuffed one when you can have the real thing?"
"Well, I needed a paperweight."
"He hee! So, are you going to come over with me to my place tonight?"
"Tonight? For what?"
"To help me move, silly! I need someone to help move my bed."
I was getting an odd feeling when she looked at me. It was that unmistakeable look... one that entails of "trouble".
"I'm getting an idea that doesn't seem right here..."
"What's the matter? Feel odd with a lioness?"
"Naw, I don't mind too much... it's just that I think your judgement is a little cloudy at the moment."
"That empty bottle was sitting there on that table when I sat down, Rindimo."
"Oh. Hey! You set me up!"
"You have no idea. So, you still gonna help me move?" She winked at me again.
"Wait until you wake up with a hangover from me." I winked back.
Whatever happens, this is most definitely going to be one relationship the talk shows would kill for.
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