“What kind of drinks?” asked Clarity.
“Cocktails mostly from what I hear, our waiters tell me that she likes to try out new combinations of fruit all the time. In fact, here she comes, why don´t you ask her yourself,” said Maximiliano, pointing his finger towards the lobby.
“Oh, no, we don´t want that, duck behind the counter,” said Clarity.
Clarity stepped behind the wooden desk, to the left side of the concierge. She saw Lanai opting for a hideout directly behind the concierge and LT coiled his legs under the desk, at the feet of Maximiliano. Clarity held her breath and overheard Ms. Avenworth speak over the phone.
“Yes, I´m trying out a new formula, this one will top all others, there´s nothing like it in the market…two or three days, yes it could be done, I have to prepare it and test it first, one of the ingredients is not readily available…Yes, you let me know when is a good time for you.”
Clarity eyed the woman, who was wearing a discrete blue grey dress and a sports bag. She pulled on Maximiliano´s arm, who tried to wave to the woman unsuccessfully. After Ms. Avenworth crossed the hotel glass doors, Clarity slipped her last five dollar bill that LT had given her in his vest pocket.
“Ok, a surprise party for Ms. Avenworth, I like that,” said the concierge, “you may want to know her schedule for today then.”
“Very good idea,” said Clarity.
“She´s headed for the local fruit market two streets up the strip, it comes twice a week and Ms. Avenworth likes to buy fruits for her new cocktails there. Then, she normally goes to her yoga class at the Golden Ray Center, the biggest gym in Acapulco.”
They saw Ms. Avenworth take a taxi and they followed her in another cab to a busy street with merchants selling fresh fruit and vegetables. They watched the woman in the blue grey dress from a distance, and jotted down in Lanai´s note pad the various fruit she was buying, which included bananas, pineapple, guava, mango, coconut milk and strawberries. Clarity let her eyes settle on a man wearing a colourful poncho who was selling fruit to Ms. Avenworth. He was searching with his hands inside a bag made of canvass.
“Carambolas are not in yet, Miss,” said the man, “we can deliver them to the Center if you´d like.”
“Very good Mateo, please do that, the strawberries look very good today.”
“They are organic, Miss, like every fruit we sell here,” said the man with a respectful smile. Clarity saw the woman pay the fruit seller and walk to a normal street, where she took another taxi.
“I´m starting to run out of money,” said LT, as they stepped into a taxi.
“We´ll find a job here as waitresses, you can find a job as a barman,” said Clarity.
Clarity bought a cap of Tijuana at a local shop. A few minutes later, they reached the Golden Ray Meditation Center and followed Ms. Avenworth from a distance.
“Wait outside, I´ll go in, she would notice us three right away,” said Clarity.
Clarity watched the entrance, tucked her auburn hair into a ponytail, donned her cap, and followed a middle aged couple five minutes after Ms. Avenworth had crossed the entrance of the gym. The woman was carrying a white cotton bag with the words Golden Ray Center on it.
Inside, Clarity felt immediately the serene atmosphere of the place, which included a fountain in the lobby area, pleasant relaxing music imitating the sound of waves crashing on the beach, and employees, all dressed in white. The cost of membership was high, over one thousand dollars a year in inital membership fees, and over three hundred dollars in monthly fees, all disguised as donations for the Center´s economic harmony, a way for the Center to promote its non-profit outlook for prospective members.
Clarity picked up a schedule of activities and followed the woman with the white cotton bag to the locker room and found Ms. Avenworth in the second row, changing clothes and placing them in a wide lock five foot high. The girl with auburn hair glanced at the next row of lockers and saw a familiar silhouette she recognized immediately, changing as well. Miss Tik was there, directly across Ms. Avenworth.
TO BE CONTINUED, HERE - THE ACAPULCO COCKTAIL.
Previously Released: THE MALIBU CASE.
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