But it hadn't been a dream. Vincent had met a girl calling herself Catherine, who looked just like his ideal woman. Jonny had met a woman calling herself Catherine who - he had no choice but to admit - looked just like his ideal woman. She also seemed to have appeared to a guy called Steve. There was no way all of this could possibly be unrelated.
Vincent had said that he had been having really scary dreams a lot lately. Jonny had started having frequent nightmares recently, too - or at least, he felt like he had. He couldn't remember them, so he couldn't say for sure, but he felt strangely bad when he woke up. And the woman calling herself Catherine that he had met at the aquarium told him that he would fall into a dream.
Rumours were still spreading throughout town that those who died in a nightmare would die in reality, too. There was, of course, the string of unexplained deaths. So did that mean the woman called Catherine was making men have the nightmares? Maybe she was using some kind of drug that caused the dreams and the deaths. The only problem was the way she appeared to look different to everyone who saw her. Was there more than one woman? If so, why did she appear in the man's ideal appearance? And how did she even know what that was?
"Maybe I should investigate..."
"What are you muttering about? You're creeping me out today." Orlando looked over at him suspiciously.
"Oh... It's nothing."
Jonny took another mouthful of sake. The quickest way would be to meet up with the mysterious Catherine, but she had told Jonny that she wouldn't be seeing him again. Waiting around at the aquarium would probably be a waste of time. It seemed like she was still continuing her relationship with Vincent. Maybe it would be faster to meet her through him. But it would be odd just to ask Vincent to let him meet her. He probably wouldn't like the idea, either.
Maybe he should just wait around after all. Even if he had to stand around in front of Vincent's house. Or maybe he could try calling her...
"Oh, yeah. Vincent?" Jonny said, putting on a carefree air. "Lend me your phone, would you? I want to call a client."
"Alright. What happened to yours?"
"Musta left it at work."
"You know the client's number?" Orlando asked.
"I've got their card in my wallet," Jonny answered right away. He would be screwed if they asked to see it, but he didn't think they would be that suspicious.
"Don't you have messages and stuff from your mistress on there?"
"Oh, lemme see!"
Orlando and Toby's words caused Vincent's hand reaching into his pocket to pause. "Well shit, I don't know..."
"I won't look, idiot." Jonny purposely put on a stern expression. "If you're that concerned, I'll borrow Orlando's."
"No... It's okay. It's only you."
"Hey, what's that supposed to mean? It wouldn't be okay if it was me?"
"Obviously..." Vincent sighed, pulling out his phone. "I guess not. There's nothing on it that I wouldn't want you to see."
"That's good." Jonny took the phone from Vincent and stood up.
"Can't you do it here?" said Toby.
"It's going to be a long one. I'll move away a bit."
He went down the aisle, opening the swing door and standing in front of the bathroom mirror. He straight away opened the phone. An idea sprang to mind, and he took out his own phone, choosing a client's number at random. He put the number into Vincent's phone and let it ring for just a second, then quickly hung up. He no longer had to worry about leaving no traces of calling a client.
He examined Vincent's call history. Most of them were conversations with work. The second highest in number were to and from Katherine. His heart ached a little. The rest were mostly calls from clients. Vincent hadn't made many calls. He probably used his work phone when he did.
He couldn't find a number that looked like it belonged to his mistress, neither sent nor received. There were no records in his message history, either. He checked his contact list again, but no numbers stood out. Had he deleted it, fearing that Katherine might see? Had he memorised her number?
He couldn't imagine Vincent being so competent, though. Nor did he think that Katherine was the kind to sneak a peek at her boyfriend's phone. Vincent must have been well aware of that, too. It was unlikely that he had deleted the data himself.
"What the hell...?"
"Oh, are you done?"
Toby opened the swing door, poking his head in. He probably wanted to use the toilet. In a panic, Jonny lowered Vincent's phone. "Yeah, just finished." He pressed the power button with his thumb, shutting off the screen. He had gotten in the way, but it didn't look like it would be worth wasting any more time looking at Vincent's phone.
"Vincent seems to be pretty much head over heels."
"Looks like it. Let's do our best to help him cool it."
He passed by Toby, heading into the aisle.
When it was time to leave, Jonny suddenly had a thought. "Oh, hey, Orlando. You said something about dreams recently as well, right?"
"Huh? I think I've had some, yeah. What about it?"
"The dream rumour has spread quite a bit," Erica said as she saw them off. "Even when people have normal dreams, they start to wonder if they had the nightmare. Maybe it's because they're scared?"
"Yeah, that's gotta be it," Orlando said with a red face, hiccuping. He and the three others were all quite drunk.
"Must be," Jonny agreed in words alone.
They left the bar. The nighttime air was quite cold. Erica waved from the entrance. Each of the four began to walk off in separate directions. Jonny would usually go part of the way with Vincent, but ventured over to Orlando.
"What's up?" Orlando asked.
"Nothing much. I'm going this way tonight."
"Is it a woman?"
"Don't be stupid," he said, then thought up an excuse. "There's something I want to buy. There's a liquor store over this way, right?"
"Oh, that's right. Breakfast?" Orlando said sleepily, stifling a yawn.
"Yeah, sort of. There isn't one in my neighbourhood."
The two walked for a while. At this time one could just about make the final train, but he hardly saw any pedestrians. There were more offices than houses in the area.
"Have you met any strange women lately? By strange I mean... really great girls, but they seem to have an interest in you."
"What's this about?" Orlando said, shaking his head, as though it sounded silly. "I only wish there was."
"Really? I heard from an acquaintance that you were seen with a hot girl," he lied.
Orlando looked up at him, startled. "Who told you that?"
"A regular at the bar. Not someone I know too well, though." It looked like his guess had been spot on. "So, what's she like? Where did you meet her?"
"It's not like that. It's not that kind of relationship." Orlando avoided his gaze, as though uncomfortable.
"Then what kind of relationship is it?"
"What kind? Shit. We only saw each other once, and not again since."
"A one night stand, then?"
"Don't tell Vincent about this, alright? Erica, either. Even I don't know why I did it."
"Feels like I've heard that before."
Though reluctant, Orlando told him about the woman he had met at the women's wrestling. How she had suddenly started talking to him, how she had an expensive, chauffeur-driven car, how they drank at the hotel bar, then went up to the suite on the top floor...
"What happened after that? What about the next day?"
"Nothing happened," Orlando answered, a wry look on his face. "When I woke up, she was gone. I was all alone in this huge room."
"Is that all? What's her address?"
"I haven't seen her since and I don't know where she lives. I told you before, remember? It was just a one night stand. That's all she meant to happen from the start, and I... I don't know about me." He tutted. "Well, maybe it's for the best. If I'd asked for her address, things might have gotten deeper, and I might have ended up like Vincent."
"Yeah. From what I've heard, she doesn't sound like that decent of a woman," Jonny said, tutting mentally.
It seemed as though Orlando had been pursued by the mysterious "Catherine", but the trail had gone cold.
"Oh, right," Jonny said. "That woman. What was her name?"
"Didn't tell me. She didn't ask what mine was, either."
They both came to a stop outside of the liquor store. For whatever reason, they could hear classical music playing from inside.
"Which hotel was it?" Jonny asked, wanting some kind of clue, however small.
"Why do you care?"
"Maybe if I drink at the bar there, I might meet her. Maybe she would invite me up to the suite."
Orlando smiled sarcastically, but did tell him the name of the hotel. It was classy indeed, but not the best in town.
Maybe I'm kind of obstinate, Jonny thought. He got in a taxi and told the driver the name of the hotel. Taking out his phone, he searched for the night on which the Feather vs Sirius match had taken place. It hadn't even been two days. The woman Orlando had met might still be staying in the same room.
He took the taxi as far as the hotel entrance. The doorman opened the door for him. He headed straight for the front desk. The hall, with its high ceiling, was almost deserted due to the time. He thought for a moment, coming up with something that seemed appropriate.
"My friend is staying in the suite on the top floor. She's been here for two days, maybe a little longer. Anyway..." He thought a little more, creating a story for himself. "Tell her that Orlando's here and wants to see her right away. And then... yeah, tell her that I enjoyed the fight the other night."
"Please wait just a moment."
The receptionist was young, looking like he was still around twenty. He seemed like a conceited egghead. He used the computer in front of him, then looked up, confused.
"Are you absolutely sure you mean the suite on the top floor?"
"My apologies. That suite doesn't appear to have been in use for over a week..."
"Absolutely no one's been in there?"
"That is correct. Um, might you tell me the name of your friend who is staying here?"
"Oh... Must've been a mistake on my part. Let me think for a sec."
He staggered away from the desk and sat down on a sofa in one corner of the hall. All records related to Vincent's mistress were gone from his phone. Or, at least, Jonny hadn't been able to find them. And the beautiful woman Orlando had seen had vanished, without leaving a trace, as though she had never existed at all.
It was difficult to imagine that Vincent and Orlando were lying, though perhaps Jonny would have thought that they were imagining the blonde Catherine and the Latin Catherine if he himself hadn't met a woman identical to Katherine who called herself the same thing. What did it all really mean? He didn't know. He didn't know, but he felt as though the loose ends would start tying up very soon.