In Chapter 3, we learned about the last time I wore my favorite bra, which disappeared shortly after I moved in with my Lady Friend. If you missed the first three chapters of this riveting whodunit, you can read them on my web site: www.jenniferparello.com )
In the weeks following the disappearance of my favorite bra, my life fell into a grim pattern of endless searching and empty longing. Every evening, I would rush home from work determined to find the bra. I'd crawl under dressers and peer into spider-infested crawl spaces. I'd rifle through my Lady Friend's lingerie drawer in hopes that my bra had somehow fallen in with her bras, an anemic collection of wilted cotton that seemed to sigh with exhaustion each time she'd strap one on.
My Lady Friend would watch me from a safe distance, clutching her chest in horror as I wiggled my way under the bed, holding a flashlight between my teeth. She'd stare in disbelief thinking that this was not the sane, terrifically attractive ( stunning, really ) woman she had fallen in love with only a few months before. Rather, this was an obsessive nutcase who didn't seem to mind mingling with dust bunnies and who got weepy eyed at the mere mention of her lost bra.
You never really know a person until you've lived with them. When we were dating, my Lady Friend was charmed by my many quirks, a set of goofy habits and facial tics that place me on the oddity scale somewhere between housewives who collect Precious Moments figurines and weirdos who sleep in hyperbaric chambers. But after we moved in together, I'd catch her looking at me askance as I'd fantasize aloud about how I'd love to be transformed into a cartoon character ( of the impish, vintage Warner Brothers variety ) and she'd quietly leave the room when I'd dress up the pets in Victorian outfits and make them perform in comedies of manners of my own creation.
One afternoon about three months after my bra disappeared, my Lady Friend came home to find me tearing through my dresser drawers for the umpteenth time in search of the bra.
'Maybe there is no explanation for the bra's disappearance,' she said. 'Just like we don't know why the dinosaurs disappeared from Earth.'
I shrugged and kept searching.
'Maybe,' she said, slowly, carefully, 'Anna stole the bra.'
I jerked my head out of the drawer and smiled. Anna! Of course! Our cleaning lady had been in the house the day the bra disappeared. And, from my uncanny ability to size up a woman's breasts, I knew that she and I shared the same cup size: 36C.
I quickly grabbed a handful of my finest bras and artfully draped them on furniture throughout the condo.
'What are you doing?' asked my Lady Friend, her eyes wide with worry. She was regarding me in what can only be described as buyer's remorse.
'Baiting the trap,' I said. Anna would be at the condo the following day. If she were a bra thief, she wouldn't be able to resist snatching another one. I felt I was finally coming close to cracking this case.
Next time-Chapter 5: The curse of the bourgeoisie
( Do you know what happened to my bra? Send your theory to email@example.com . If you guess correctly before the last chapter in this saga, I'll send you an excellent prize. )