“So you’re Ellie?” the detective said writing in his minuscule notebook. Ellie was flustered, she had raced from home as soon as Emma had called her about the Detective coming to interview them that morning.
She looked at the policeman, wondering why the police had notepads that were so small, surely the force could afford bigger ones?
“My name is Detective Inspector, Thompson, from the Camden Town station. He was a small man whose head seemed to blend effortlessly into his neck, he had a five o’clock shadow that was more like ten o’clock and trousers that were far too long for him. He looked like he had been out later than Ellie, and had had a bit more to drink.
“Yes, we’re Kate’s friends.” Emma responded.
“So you’re not related?”
“No, Kate’s mum is in Majorca.”
“She has a brother but we’re not sure where he is,” Ellie added, “he hasn’t been in touch with the family for some time.”
Emma gave her a stern look, but Ellie just shrugged, after all it could be useful if Kate had been attacked and besides, Ellie’s head was a little sore and her thoughts a little fuzzy!
“Ok, so do you know her mother’s contact details?” the gruff detective asked looking from Emma to Ellie.
“Um, I have her mum’s London number, the maid is there.” Emma offered.
“Ok, I’ll take that. What’s her name?
“It’s Maggie Morse, this is her number,” Emma said, showing him her mobile.
“So do you think Kate was attacked?” Ellie asked.
“Unfortunately I’m not at liberty to say. I will need to talk to the victim’s next of kin before I can say anything else about the matter.”
“Do you know when the victim’s mother is due back from her holiday?”
“Well, it’s not a holiday, it’s her winter home!” Emma offered, “but when I rang the maid said she would let her know immediately.”
“But she hasn’t been in touch with you as yet?” he said, looking from Emma to Ellie, again.
“And why do you think that is?”
“Well, when she is away she doesn’t like contact from anyone else. She doesn’t like to be disturbed.
“Oh and you know this is the case?” the DI persisted, madly scribbling.
“Yeah, last year it took us a few days to get in touch with her, when Kate had…” Ellie looked at Emma, she felt she had said the wrong thing again, Emma looked at her sternly.
“Yes, go on,” the DI pushed.
“Um, well, Kate had a suicide attempt last year. It was shortly after a close friend died, suspected suicide as well.” Ellie said, feeling very uncomfortable.
“Oh, so this is common for, ah, Kate?” he said after locating her name in his minute notebook.
“No, not really.” Emma said, not too convincingly, looking at Ellie for support.
“Hmm, well, when was the other incident, so we can check on that then?”
“It was late last year, just before Christmas. It was our first Christmas without Rhys.” Emma said, he voice fading.
The DI continued to scribble madly. Once he had finished he flipped it closed and placed it in his pocket. “Ok, well I’ll be in touch,” he said, turning on his heel and briskly walking out of the empty waiting room.
“Any updates on Kate?” Ellie asked, as she tried to find a comfortable position on the plastic coated lounge in the waiting room.
“Well she made it through the night, which means she is improving. She is still out to it and I think they’re going to wait until she is awake before they move her to a ward.”
“But you would have heard that from your surgeon boyfriend?”
“He’s not my boyfriend, I just went out for a bite to eat with him and with his mates!” Ellie said defensively, emphasising the with. “And I popped back in after to check on Kate.”
“Well I’ve been here since I dropped Kaiden and Kailyn at school and Karson at day care?” Emma said, Ellie could feel this was going to be a lecture on the hard work and unsung heroism that mothers undergo on a daily basis, “I know you have to go to work, and I really appreciate you helping out by taking over the evening shift but using it to further your romantic life! Really??”
“Well, it’s really busy at work, I’m under lots of pressure at the moment, I’ve got a big client coming in next week.”
“Look your friend has been attacked, close to death, you can’t go around picking up random good looking surgeons who have just operated on her!!”
“His name is Michael, Mike!”
“Doesn’t matter, what does Sergio say about this?”
“He’s in Italy, a family funeral, I think. He didn’t call back last night so I figured he had other, more pressing matters to deal with, so he wouldn’t mind, nor will he know!”
* * *
“Hey, good you decided to show up today!” the receptionist called after Ellie as she briskly walked to her office.
Yeah, well you’re lucky I decided to show up today, Ellie said to herself.
“Hey how’s everything?” Morgan asked from Ellie’s doorway. “Kate on the mend, then?”
“Yeah but she was still in ICU when I left this morning.”
“Oh, well thanks for coming in. Is there someone else with her?”
“Yeah, Emma said she’d take over for a few hours and we have another friend who can step in as well, but I’ll need to get back this evening, again.”
“Ok. Well let’s get this campaign on the move. What have you got there?” Morgan sat down across from Ellie at her desk.
“Hi Noni,” Ellie said as she entered the photocopy room on the art production team floor.
“Hey, hi. How’s Kate?” Noni, smiled warmly and was genuinely happy to see Ellie.
“Better, she’s still out to it and in ICU but they say she’s stable. Emma’s with her at the moment.”
“Oh, Emma, say hi to her from me. Did she remember me?”
“Look, I need a big favour,” Ellie said, ignoring Noni’s question, “I’ve got to get these invites out for Gregory James’ author talks, next week, but I’ve been out for the last day and missed the schedules for the print room, any chance you can run them through here?” Ellie handed Noni a copy of the invites.
“Yeah, sure, why not. I’m sure I can get them through in 20 minutes or so, the team here won’t notice.”
“Great, I’ll be back down in 20 minutes. We’ll have to grab another coffee, soon!”
“Yeah, sounds great, I’ll have them ready for you.”
Billy came in immediately after Ellie had left.
“Hey do you know Ellie Gordon?”
“Yeah, we went to school together.”
“Well you’re a dark horse, I wouldn’t have thought that.”
“Oh why, because I’m too common to know Ellie?”
“No, you’re too nice to know her!” Billy responded, as he brushed past Noni, reaching for his copying. She felt a tingle as his arm brushed hers.