Girl Gone Wild part 4 (A Lenny Parker serial)
by Jochem Vandersteen
I met Bagley again in the Janpongs’restaurant. I had a Singha, he drank a Coke. I told him he might like to drink something stronger for what I had to tell him. He gave me a quizzical look.
I didn’t know how to tell him what I’d found out, so I gave it to him straight.
“Bullshit,” he said after I finished my story.
“Think about,” I said. “It explains the extra money. Becker has been playing sugar-daddy, buying Melinda expensive gifts.”
“Nonsense. You’re making my daughter sound like a whore!” His face reddened.
“I’m sorry, but I know what I saw.”
“You didn’t see shit. You fucking lost her in fifteen minutes. What did you see exactly? Just that my daughter got in the car with her boss. That means jackshit. You’re making my daughter sound like a fucking whore.”
I held up my hands. “Whoa, whoa. I didn’t! I just told you Becker is taking advantage of her. He’s the one deserving the bad names.”
“Fuck you, Parker. I’ll pay you your fucking bill and then I never want to see you again.”
“I don’t need your money.” I could in fact use it a lot, but this was one of those matters of principle all the tough guys in my favorite pulps hold in such high regard. “I just want to protect your daughter from that creep.”
“I know Norman Becker personally. He’s a good guy. Happily married. Suggesting he’s a lecherous kind of… of… pedophile is just ludicrous.”
I shook my head. “It just didn’t look innocent to me. Becker’s a dirtbag.”
“Enough!” Bagley stood. He left a few bucks on the table to cover the drinks and walked off.
I watched him leave, there wasn’t much else I could do.
Mr. Janpong walked by, saying, “Another satisfied customer, yes?”
“Just bring me another beer,” I told him.
I wasn’t going to walk away from this. Not just like that. I was sure as hell that Becker was up to no good. He didn’t seem to be holding a gun against Melinda’s head, but still… She was underage, he was her boss that put him in a power-position as wrong as if he was her teacher or something. This couldn’t be good for the girl. I’d only seen her a few minutes up-close but that Carebear innocence had to be protected. Lord knows I’m not a superhero or something, but walking away from a wrong like that wasn’t the way I was raised and not the way I was going to lead my life.
Now I just had to think about how I was going to handle this. Maybe I’d think of something after a few more beers…
TO BE CONTINUED