Death by Divorce
talk about?” another guy came up close from behind.
    Cindy’s heart started pounding. “I was just helping a friend,” she said.
    The guy’s dark eyes narrowed. Then he put his rough hand on her shoulder, and pushed. Cindy lost her balance and tumbled back a few steps.
    “You think I’m stupid or something?” the guy said.
    Cindy lifted her hand to push him away, as three other guys circled around him, closing in.
    “Ames’s wife Dalia sent me,” she spoke hastily. “I’m an old friend.”
    “Yeah, yeah,” the biggest guy stepped to the front, mocking. “Tell me another, cutie.”
    Outflanked, Cindy began to breathe faster as suddenly she heard a voice, coming up the plank.
    “Okay, break it up. Police!”
    The guys jumped back and scattered, as to her shock, Mattheus rushed towards them.
    “You got a problem with this lady?” Mattheus asked, his face set and his eyes shifting back and forth among all of them. Then he put his hand out and took hers. “She’s coming with me. You guys back off or I’ll throw you in the clinker for good!”
    The guys mumbled something incoherent, and drifted to the side, as Mattheus led Cindy back to the road.
    “That was incredibly stupid,” he said to her, when they got to their cars. “There are some places you don’t go to alone. Especially in the middle of a case like this. ”
    Cindy felt immensely grateful that he was there.
    “At least you showed a little sense,” he continued, “when you texted me and told me where you were going. Look, it’s one thing to wander around talking to Dalia’s friends. It’s another to go down to the docks alone. That’s just stupid. ”
    Cindy felt speechless for a moment. She didn’t know if she should feel angry at the tone of his voice or thrilled that he cared enough to be concerned.
    “If you’re as serious about this as you seem,” Mattheus said, “then there are certain places you have to be accompanied. You can’t just walk into people’s worlds and shake them up and think they won’t react. In fact, I was just on my way to another place Ames’ hung out, when your call came in.”
    Cindy stood at the side of her car, feeling forlorn. “Thanks so much for coming,” she said in a quiet voice, shaken.
    “Does Dalia know you’re here?” he asked.
    “Yes, she does. I told her. ”
    Mattheus raised his eyebrows. “And she let you come by yourself?”
    “In my opinion,” said Cindy, “she’s not entirely in touch with reality right now. It’s been too much of a shock for her. ”
    “Right now or ever, maybe?” Mattheus said. “All kinds of types come down here to live on this island. Most of them have been running away from reality for a long time. ”
    “How about you?” Cindy couldn’t help asking. Mattheus fascinated her and she wanted to know more.
    He stopped and smiled. “Sure,” he said, “me, too. I ran away from what I couldn’t face. Just like you. ”
    “Sorry about that,” said Cindy, and meant it.
    “Listen,” he said then. “You can’t be alone now after what just happened. How about coming with me to my next stop? ”
    Cindy broke into a little smile. “That would be great,” she said.
    “Good,” he said, “but, it’s not a main tourist attraction. It’s a part of the island you’d never see on your own. And probably wouldn’t want to. Maybe I’m even crazy taking you there. ”
    “I want to go,” said Cindy.
    “So, get in the car,” he said then. “And buckle your seatbelt tight.”

    Cindy got into the car with Mattheus, weak in the knees. She wondered where they were headed as they drove the car wound down narrow, winding roads, along the edge of a cliff. Driving along, Cindy began to realize the danger she had placed herself in. With a shock, she wondered why she hadn’t realized it fully before. What was she really doing down here, anyway? Was it only about helping Dalia? Was there something else going on with her inside?
    As if

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