Noni sat nervously outside D.I Thompson’s office door. She thought back to the conversation with Ellie, it was nice that she wanted to warn her of what the D.I wanted to question her about, but she knew that she would not be implicated in the incident. She could recall all the events of that weekend.
“Miss Smith?” the shabbily dressed D.I asked, from the doorway.
“Yes,” Noni nodded and stood nervously.
“Come in, I just have a few questions, shouldn’t keep you too long,” he smiled as he led Noni into the office. “Ok, during my investigation of the week leading up to the stabbing of Kate Morse I came across your name and then cross referenced it to a statement made by Ellie Gordon earlier in the week.”
“Yes, yes, I worked at Grazing about a month ago and was involved in the photo shoot that Kate was in. I was one of the fashion assistants with Grazing!” Noni blurted.
“Hmm, yes that is the information I have but I was also told that Kate and you had a minor altercation and she accused you of stalking her! Is that true?” the D.I said reading from a wad of papers on his desk.
“Well it wasn’t an altercation. She wasn’t happy with some of the suggestions I made and then she expected that I would get her food, but that wasn’t my role.”
“Why would she accuse you of stalking her?” the D.I persisted.
“I’m not sure, I do live nearby, perhaps she had seen me in the local supermarket or something?”
“Well that’s not stalking, is it?”
“No, of course not,” Noni gave a nervous chuckle. Perhaps this D.I wasn’t so bad.
“Well there must be more than just a sighting of you at a supermarket. You must have been seen by her outside of her premises? Perhaps you followed her when she was going out?” the D.I pushed, his tone becoming more forceful.
“No, I have never been outside of her place, I’m not sure where she lives, I know she lives near me, I have seen her before on the street and in the shops. But I don’t follow her!”
“Come on, you can’t say to me that you have just ‘bumped’ into Kate on Kings Road, it’s a very busy road, there are millions of people a day who use the shops on that road, the only way you would regularly see her is if you were monitoring her movements, following her, making sure you are in the same place as her, so you can just ‘bump’ into her! That’s right, isn’t it?” D.I Thompson leant forward in his chair and across his desk, his face only a few centimetres from Noni’s.
“No, I’m telling you I have not followed Kate,” tears were welling up in Noni’s eyes, she wiped them with the back of her hand, before they fell. “I was not anywhere near her place on the weekend it happened. I was home with my mum, she can vouch for that.”
“Well I’ve looked into your mother’s record as well. Quite a long list of misdemeanours, at least she’s not on the streets any more, but a lot of drunk and disorderly, recently, I doubt she would be a viable witness for you!”
“What are you doing looking into my mother’s affairs? Surely that is illegal.”
“I am the law, and if I have a suspect I can check out her past and those she resides with! Quite a colourful past your mother has, must not have been easy for you growing up in a house she used as her ‘parlour’! All those men coming and going?”
“Look I had nothing to do with Kate’s stabbing, ok. You have nothing to hold me on.” Noni had trouble getting the words out as tears streamed down her face, she sobbed loudly, “I am not like my mother, I have put myself through college and I have regular, paid jobs.”
“Ok, but why do you seem to keep cropping up, I have a report, that I will investigate, that you also knew Rhys Green who died last November?”
“I, I didn’t know him. He came into the local newspaper where I worked, on occasions,” Noni stammered, disbelief on her face.
“Yes, well I will be looking into that. I don’t have enough to hold you on anything as yet, but don’t leave the London as I will have eyes on you…” the D.I began but before he could finish, Noni was out of her chair and out of the door.
* * *
Outside Scotland Yard, Noni searched for a tissue in her handbag, dabbing her eyes. She sighed and considered what the D.I had said. Yes it was difficult growing up in her mother’s ‘parlour’ but rather than sympathise with her he used it to attack her. It wasn’t her fault where she was born, and she had worked so hard to move herself out of that life, she really did need to move out!
Tears dropped from her eyes as she made her way to the bus stop on Victoria Street. She would talk to Billy, he always made her feel good, even if it was just a phone call.
* * *
“Bloody hell, why didn’t you tell me you were going to Scotland Yard after work, I would have come with you!” Billy’s voice was loud enough to be heard by the passenger sitting beside Noni.
“Look, I didn’t realise he was going to accuse me of stabbing her!” Noni whispered into the phone, but not quietly enough as the middle aged woman sitting beside her stood up and moved away, choosing to stand for the rest of her journey rather than sit beside an accused stabber. Noni’s eyes followed her as she moved away, Billy continued to speak on the other end of the line, Noni nodding her head. “Ok, I can’t really talk on the bus, can I see you this evening? I can come to your place, I don’t really want to head back home right now!”
Noni stood up to get off at Victoria Station she would get a tube to Kings Cross, Billy would know what to do, she thought.
Speaking to Billy was so easy, he didn’t make any judgements of her and when she finally told him about where she lived and her past, her mother’s profession and how sometimes her mother’s clients decided to have some young flesh instead, he didn’t flinch nor stop seeing her. He had encouraged her to see a therapist, but Noni just didn’t have that kind of cash, nor Billy so she had seen her GP and was waiting for her name to come up on the list for therapy treatment. Her black out episodes had improved and so had her tolerance of people touching her, especially Billy, she smiled as she thought of his fingers on her.