Sorry!! A little late with this one. Just life and living 🙂
Chapter 2 – Oahu
As Tom parked his rental car in the parking lot of the State Capital building he stared up at the building. It was not what he had imagined. With it’s long columns that reached up to a box of a building, his first thought was a spaceship on stilts. But as he got out of his car and walked closer to the building, he appreciated the intricate architecture of the building. The columns looked like palm trees. He then noticed that the building was surrounded by a pool of water. As he neared the water he inhaled. Was that smell coming from the pool? He hated to think it, but, it smelled like dead fish.
“That can’t be good,” he said outloud.
“It’s not. It’s algae growing in the water. Been a problem for years.” A man sitting by the pool said.
“Too bad. It’s really a beautiful feature of the building. But, can’t it be fixed?” Tom replied, as he stepped back from the water as the smell got stronger.
“Brother, that’s part of my job here. We go into the water and try to clean it with wet vacs. It’s no use. The algae will grow back. The powers up there,” he said pointing up to the building at the top of the columns, “say they are going to fix it. We’ll see. It’s supposed to be symbolic of the Pacific Ocean. All it’s really symbolic of now is the pollution in the ocean.”
“Man. So sorry to hear it. I sure hope they can come up with a solution soon. I know you don’t look forward to going into that smelly water.”
“Yeah. I got to find me another job brother. This is a nightmare. Say, are you here to take the tour of the building? It doesn’t start for a few more hours.”
“No. Actually, I was hoping to see someone at the Governor’s office. You see I’m a Private Investigator on the mainland. I thought I could offer to help find the Governor. Can you tell me how to find the Governor’s office? Which way do I go when I enter the building?”
“Hmm, don’t know if they will tell you anything brother. But, it’s worth a try. Once you go in, go up the stairs, you’ll see his office on the left. Good luck to you my friend.”
“Hey thanks man. And good luck to you today with the pool.” Tom said as he hurried towards the entrance of the building, glad to get away from the smell of the pool.
Tom looked for the door to the building, but soon realized that like many buildings in Hawaii, the Capital building did not have a door but, had a wide opening to an atrium. As he almost slipped on the rain soaked entrance, Tom stared up into the middle of the area. Where most Capital buildings had a dome or rotunda, this building was opened up to the sky. Tom located the stairs and made his way up to the Governor’s office.
As he entered the office, Tom was amazed at the simplicity of the space. White washed walls were covered in maps and pictures of the islands. Stark, metal desks lined the walls of the room. Even the computers were the older, bulky models not the sleek,modern models that everyone had these days. The woman at the one desk in the middle of the room smiled up at Tom.
“Hello. Can I help you?”
“Yes ma’am. I’m here to see if I can be of help with the investigation into the Governor’s disappearance. You see on the mainland, I work for as a corporate investigator. I thought I could be of some help and…”
Tom is interrupted by a large, young man with a fierce look in his eyes.
“Don’t worry Nona, I’ve got this. The police have a handle on the investigation into the Governor’s disappearance. Now, why on earth would you think anyone would need your help here?”
“We’ll sir, with all due respect, they have had no leads in two weeks. It’s as if the Governor of this state has vanished into thin air. Maybe a fresh perspective, a fresh pair of eyes can help.”
Tom did not notice the man that had come up behind him and startled, he jumped when the man began to speak.
“That’s enough Tiny,” the man said as he stood next to the younger man. “I feel this man means well. We will hear what he has to say,” the man ran his fingers through his short black hair and then extended his hand to Tom, “Ralph Solomon, I am the Lt. Governor of the state. This rude young man,” Ralph said as he went over and linked arms with the younger man, “is my son Tiny Solomon. He is one of the Governor’s body guards. He meant well. But, he has taken the disappearance of the Governor very personal.”
“Dad, really. This man is a complete stranger. Is this necessary? Just let me throw him out.” Tiny said as he straightened his tie over his massive stomach.
“Tiny,” Ralph said with the same fierceness in his own eyes, “I mean it. We will here him out. You will come with us to my office but say not another word. Are we clear on that?”
“Yes sir,” Tiny said but kept a wary eye on Tom.
Ralph turned back to Tom, “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name.”
“Tom Carroll. Nice to meet you sir.” Tom said as he extended his hand again to the Lt Governor.
“Please call me Ralph. Come, lets go to my office to talk.”
Eagerly, Tom followed the Lt. Governor and his son. However, he thought to himself that it was odd that the Lt Governor of the state would so easily invite him into to his office to talk. Tom expected that at most he would speak with the receptionist and maybe to one of the Governor’s aides. Something about this was uncomfortable; Tom just couldn’t put his finger on it.