Suzanne gave them their due. The detectives were attentive and kind. It was very late when they arrived, past ten o’clock and they apologised. The younger one, a man – though she couldn’t help thinking of him as a boy, was good-looking. He had dark blond hair, cut close to his scalp and she thought that was probably because it was curly. She could see how blond curls might not convey just the image he wanted, but she imagined his mum was sad about it.
The woman was older. She was what Suzanne thought of as no-nonsense. She had worked with ward sisters with the same attitude. They were not really, hard, or unkind but life and the daily dramas had worn away all the sentiment. Her hair was on the way to being grey and it was pulled back into what they used to call a French roll. It was ageing but probably very practical. They were dressed in suits, both grey, both a bit worn-looking.
Suzanne offered them tea – the woman – DI Jane Tripp, apparently, refused on behalf of them both though the boy, the detective constable, looked as though he’d have liked one.
‘Is it okay if DC Myers has a look at your bathroom?” Tripp asked.
“Yes, of course. The other policeman, the one who came before, did see it. He told me not to touch anything. I have to say though, I’d already flushed the loo. It was instinct, sorry.”
“It’s all right. I understand that for sure,” Tripp said. She turned to the boy “Get on that will you Billy? Just have a quick gander.”
Once he had gone, she turned back to Suzanne. “Okay, I want you to start from the beginning and once I’m up to date we’ll decide on the next move. It could be we need the crime scene techs to come in. Is there anywhere you can go to stay if we decide to do that?”
“I suppose I could find somewhere. I don’t know what to do I’m scared to stay here but I don’t want to be driven out. What if one of the girls comes round? My friend Lucy. I think she might have just gone off in a huff. Maybe – although the longer it goes on the less likely that sounds. Oh, I just don’t know. She was near to tears again. She bit them back. Listen…” Suzanne leaned forward in her chair. “All this…” She swept her hand towards the ceiling. “This is horrible, I won’t pretend otherwise, it’s thrown me for a six it has, but to be honest, I’m more worried about my mates.”
Jane Tripp closed her notebook. “From my side, it all feels a bit confusing. We don’t know, do we? Whether or not what is happening with your friends, Lucy and erm…” She flipped back a few pages in her book.
“Ginny. Virginia.” Suzanne said.
“Oh yes. We don’t even know if the two things are connected. Your friends haven’t been in touch, and I get that you’re worried about them, but I am at a loss right now to see how that could connect with someone breaking in and trashing your bathroom.”
Put starkly, Suzanne could see the woman’s point but surely there was a connection. There had to be. Her life was in turmoil, and it didn’t seem possible that all of this – all of this chaos, could be unconnected.
She took a deep breath and went back to the beginning and the DI listened quietly, nodding now and then. For Suzanne verbalising it somehow made the happenings of the last few days sound far less worrying and far less scary than they were.