Chapter 6

Felix and Robyn didn't talk about that which they couldn't seem to talk to each other about, attempting to move forward as if nothing had changed even though everything had changed.

Felix's secret was finally out - he never stopped crushing on Robyn all these years - and Robyn had confessed her guilt, shame, and mistakes to Felix that led to her years of unhappy and unhealthy relationships with unhealthy and unhappy flawed men.

Felix was just finishing cleaning up The Little Big League in the morning. He decided not to hire anybody for the task - feeling he owed it to Paulie to do it himself in tribute to his fallen friend. His cell phone went off and he answered it.

"There's been a break in the case." It was Detective Murphy on the other end. "You'd better give Robyn a call. I'll meet the two of you at the Tavern in a half hour."

The call ended before Felix could respond. He punched Robyn's contact on his phone.

"You'd better come down," he said into the phone. "Mike Murphy's on his way with some news."

"You don't think he's going to arrest one of us, do you?"

"I don't think he would have called if he was going to do that," Felix replied.

"I'll be right there," Robyn said.

Felix was surprised at how nervous he felt as he paced inside the closed tavern waiting for Mike and Robyn to arrive. Was it going to be a big bombshell break or some minor piece of new information that didn't really change anything or solve the mystery?

Murphy strolled into the tavern first, dressed in his usual jeans and Police Polo Shirt, ball cap and glasses, his gun on hip. Robyn rushed in almost on his heels, her hair still wet from the shower.

Dick Simmons had the first shift on this day and he strolled in, rolling his eyes when he saw Detective Murphy.

"Colombo would have solved it by now," he laughed.

"Is there somewhere we can talk?" Murphy asked Felix. "Privately," he added, giving Simmons an annoyed glare.

"Upstairs," Felix replied. "Dick can handle things down here."

Murphy and Robyn followed Felix to the back hallway and a door that led to a stairway to his apartment above the tavern.

Robyn realized that she had never been to Felix's apartment before. It was well kept and clean with not one baseball photo or artifact anywhere to be seen.

"I feel like I just stepped into 1955," Murphy remarked glancing around the vintage apartment.

"I didn't change much when I moved in," Felix explained, gesturing for Mike to have a seat.

The cop took a seat in an easy chair while Robyn joined Felix on the couch across from the chair.

"You have news?" Robyn asked nervously.

"A documentary crew from UMASS was doing some underwater filming in the Blue River for the biology department," Murphy revealed. "You know, the history of the plant life and fishery and all that."

"They found something?" Felix guessed.

Murphy sucked in his breath. "They found Paulie," he revealed. "Chained to a couple of twenty pound cement blocks not far from the old bridge abutments. His bike too."

"I'm guessing it wasn't suicide," Felix said sarcastically.

"Somebody murdered him?" Robyn asked with disbelief, wrapping her arms around herself.

Felix put his hand on her shoulder. "We knew he was dead, Robyn," he reminded her.

"I kept hoping we were wrong," she admitted through teary eyes.

"Those old cement blocks have been laying around on the banks around there forever," Murphy said. "It's pretty deep in that area. It would have been easy to catapult him off that old pillar by Randall's Turn."

"But who?" Robyn asked. "Who could have done such a thing?"

"When Bob Thomas left town, I was pretty sure he was involved somehow," Murphy said. "Circumstances seemed to point in that direction but there wasn't enough for an arrest or indictment. We had no physical evidence. There was no incriminating DNA found in the apartment or on anywhere else."

"At least we finally found Paulie," Robyn said, trying not to openly cry. "You really think my ex killed my other ex?"

"We were able to trace the chain," Murphy revealed. "It belonged to the Dalton Ford Dealership."

"Bob worked there as a mechanic," Robyn said in horror.

"Paulie did too," Felix said. "Cleaning cars."

"Yeah, several co-workers witnessed plenty of altercations between the two," Murphy said. "That's why Thomas was eventually fired."

"I thought it was because of his drinking," Robyn said.

"That too," Murphy verified.

"I broke up with him around that time," Robyn said. "I knew I couldn't be footing the bills with him out of work again. I finally figured out I was with another loser."

"Thomas was arrested in Bangor Maine this morning," Murphy said. "He's being extradited back here. There's a press conference at noon. We had to notify Paulie's family first. And I wanted you guys to know too, of course."

"So, you weren't involved," Robyn said with relief, giving Felix a long stare.

"You really didn't think I was, did you?" Felix asked with surprise.

"Just like you didn't think I might be involved?" Robyn responded.

Felix cleared his throat. "I didn't know what to think," he admitted.

"Me either," Robyn confessed. Then she turned to Murphy. "So, that's it?" She asked with disbelief. "Bob killed Paulie for no real apparent reason?"

"There's rarely a rational reason for murder," the cop replied. "Someone gets angry or jealous or obsessive or drunk or stupid and somebody ends up dead. It's really that simple."

"Just be glad it wasn't you," Felix told Robyn. "Thomas could just have easily taken it out on you instead of Paulie."

"I've got to get going," Murphy said as he stood. "I'm sorry about all of this, you guys. I'm sorry for your loss. For all his faults, Paulie did his best. He just couldn't get past the moon."

Murphy let himself out and Felix took Robyn's hand in his. She slumped over and rested her head against his shoulder.

"You okay?" He asked.

"I don't like living with my parents," she said.

"There's no commute living here."

"Come on," she said with a smile. "We'd better get to work."

They both stood and Robyn squeezed Felix's hand and she started to leave but Felix tugged her by the arm, pulling her back to him and he planted a fierce kiss on her lips.

Robyn returned the kiss with passion and they collapsed onto the couch in a clutching embrace as they made out, releasing all the pent up frustration, worry, and emotions they had been holding in for years.

Long after the memorial service and long after Robyn moved into Felix's apartment above The Little Big League, regulars still talked about Paulie Yellen, wishing it was all a hoax and that the legend would miraculously return, claim his stool at the Little Big League, and tell his stories about little league glory, Williamsport, and the Serguci League.

The regulars had to make do with the many photos on the wall - and listen to Felix and Robyn tell their own stories about the legend they knew and loved.