The policeman had gone. He left her a card with his number and said he would file a report and Suzanne knew that was what would happen. The report would be filed away with everything else that day. The barking dogs, the broken windows and the shoplifting. The shoplifting would be the one that had the most attention, probably. An older woman who wasn’t where she was expected to be, but who wasn’t considered vulnerable would hardly have a passing glance.
She could have lied. She could have said that Ginny had been depressed. Perhaps that would have made a difference. But the moment had passed before she registered it and it was too late to backpedal.
He had suggested she turn to social media. She told him she had. Now, sitting in Ginny’s rapidly darkening living room, she admitted that she hadn’t. Not really. All she had done was look on Facebook. It was time to get herself organised. She would put up some posts – some asking Ginny to get in touch and some asking other people if they had heard from her. She would need a picture. A recent one. Maybe she needed to have a Twitter account.
She scrolled through her phone and found the latest image. A day out in Southport. It had been nice. They ate lunch in a wine bar on Lord Street and walked along the seafront and through the park. It might not have been the crazy days when they would have gone to the fun fair and then to a club and rolled out in the early hours looking for a taxi home because they’d missed the last train. But it had been a good day.
She felt the sting of tears as she looked at the picture. This was all such an upset. She just wanted her friends back. Life had been small and simple but she wanted it back, as it had been.
She glanced around the room. It was sad and empty. She didn’t really know precisely how long it had been that way. She should flush the toilets, run the taps, and keep the traps working properly. Then she remembered the fridge. They hadn’t looked in there. She must do that.
There wasn’t much. No milk starting to smell, no rotting salad. There was a pack of butter unopened and one of cheese. Some drinks, a bottle of white wine. Suzanne pushed the door closed. That was reassuring, wasn’t it? Surely that was more proof this absence was perfectly under control, and she was making mountains out of molehills.
There was a calendar stuck to the fridge door. A small sheet printed out from the computer. It had squares for each day and notes written in. Order extra milk. Window cleaner – owe him two visits. A note about their trip to town just two weeks ago. There was an appointment at Broadgreen Hospital. The Rheumatology department. Creaky Bones Clinic, Ginny had called it. It was dated for the next day. Early afternoon.
Suzanne took a picture. She sent a copy to Jenny’s phone. See you there, mate. She won’t miss that. By the way, I’d love a call. Just let me know if you’re okay. I’ve spoken to Steve – the pig. If you want to talk, you know I’m here for you.