At customer service they were greeted by a friendly, round-faced lady with short brown curls and a wide gap between her front teeth. The label on her blue Walmart vest said her name was Wanda. Emil gave her a big smile and said, “Hello, Wanda. My wife and I are looking for someone we were told was possibly working here.”
“Richard David something – we’re not sure of the last name.”
Wanda looked at them curiously. “I don’t think I can help you without his last name. What’s this about anyway?”
“He’s an old friend who used to live in New York. We’re passing through town and thought we’d look him up.”
“New York?” She laughed. “I wish I could help you folks, but I don’t think there’s anyone here from New York. What’s he look like?”
“About fifty-five years old. Average height.”
She laughed again. “That could be a lot of people. Let’s see –” She screwed her eyes up in thought. “There’s a Richard of about that age who works in the camera department and another one who works in produce. Oh, and I believe there’s one in home goods. And possibly also one in women’s apparel. There’s probably a whole lot of them I don’t know because we all work different shifts, so you’ve got your work cut out for you.”
Emil thanked her and led a perspiring Alicia over to the bathrooms. “I suggest we check out each of those departments. Wanna get a drink of water first?”
Alicia shook her head. “This seems hopeless, Emil. And say we find him. What do we do then?”
Emil held up his iphone. “Take a picture. Go home and speak to a lawyer. It’s worth it, honey. Think of what this guy did to you and what he’s probably done to lots of other women.”
He was clearly very excited, his eyes bright and sparkling, his whole body poised for action. For the second time that day, Alicia wondered whether she’d done the right thing enlisting him in this adventure so shortly after his stay in rehab. All his gambler’s instincts seemed to be fired up, like an orchestra with every player tuned up and ready for the flash of the conductor’s wand.
Emil took her by the hand again. “C’mon, we’re wasting daylight. Let’s start in cameras, see if our Richard is working there.”
In the camera department there was indeed a guy named Richard, but he was about thirty-five. They went to home goods – no Richard – and then to women’s apparel, where a sweet-faced Richard in his forties and probably gay helped Alicia with a sports bra. In produce the only Richard they could find was a teenager. Feeling discouraged, they headed for the checkout with Alicia’s bra. And that was where their luck turned around.
To be continued…
Cover photo ~ http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/on-the-prowl-2/