Thursday, 8 March 2007

Chapter 22: New Partner

Five minutes later, we pulled up next to the patrol car hiding around the corner from one-two-four Castle Crescent. Sitting in the car was Officer Greg Myers. He was a good cop and we’d worked with each other before on several occasions. He’d picked the best spot on the road: most of the vehicles driving past wouldn’t see him at a glance. If there was anyone in Doctor Forrest’s house, there was a fairly good chance they didn’t know we were here already.

Officer Myers and I got out of our cars and shook hands.

‘Good to see you, Detective,’ he said.

‘You too, Officer. How have you been?’

‘Pretty good. Should be going for detective soon.’

‘Really? Which division?’

‘I think I might go for homicide.’

‘Good choice,’ I said. What’s more, I meant it too. Officer Myers would make a very good homicide detective. He’s smart, good with people and never scared to kick down a door with no idea what’s on the other side. When you’ve got to tell people their friends and relatives are dead, you’ve got to be good with people. I’d found that part of the job pretty difficult since Sarah was murdered.

‘I suppose you’ll need a new partner soon,’ he continued.

‘No, I’m still on the same partner I had last time we spoke.’

My partners have a tendency for getting shot. Or worse. It’s not a secret either. Some potential partners have volunteered for demotion or redundancy rather than work with me. That kind of sentiment from potential partners doesn’t exactly give you a warm fuzzy feeling inside but after a few years you just get used to it.

‘Wow, he’s lasted at least six months! Well, why don’t you use this opportunity to try me out? It might help to get me further up the waiting list when your current partner has had enough.’

‘Okay,’ I said reluctantly, ‘lead the way but I have to warn you, it’s a very short waiting list.’

‘Can I do anything?’ asked Agent Simpson.

‘Yes, wait there and keep the engine running,’ I said, expecting another sigh.

‘Okay detective,’ she said and saluted me.

Hang on a minute, is she flirting with me?
I’d almost forgotten what that was like.

We walked across the road towards the house. There were no people around and no cars cruising up and down but I was sure I saw some curtains twitching in neighbouring houses for the second time today. The trees lining the long crescent swayed in the light breeze, which was a relief in the current heat wave.

I stood at the bottom of the steps at the front door, staying alert while Officer Myers pressed the doorbell. There was no answer so he tried the door handle. It opened and we drew our guns. Very slowly, he led us inside.

We were faced with a very plush upper-middle-class house. The carpet was so soft and expensive-looking I almost thought I should have taken my shoes off before going any further. There were gold fittings on the furniture and even though I had no idea who painted the pictures on the wall, I suspected they were originals or at the very least limited edition prints. A stark contrast to the cheap sofa, Dali prints and wafer-thin rug in my apartment.

I pointed upwards and Officer Myers edged his way up the stairs. I looked up the stairs and noticed that it was unnaturally dark up there. This struck me as very weird considering the blazing sunshine outside.

Rather him than me,
I thought selfishly as I made my way into the kitchen at the rear of the house.

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