Day 265 – Half Hour Hitman – Part 20

Word count: 745

“Do you take sugar in your tea?”

Fortrose was sitting awkwardly in Andy’s best friend’s student apartment. Rob was the typical post-graduate student: more interested in studying and beer than tidying a flat. There was a strange smell coming from the kitchen.

Rob came through and handed him a dirty cup of tea. He drank out of the cleanest side of the cup.

“I miss him,” Rob started saying, taking a seat by the computer desk. “It’s still odd. I keep on expecting him to send me a text wanting to go to the pub.”

“I expect its hard. I see a lot of families going through the same thing every day.”

“I’ve got it in my head that he’s not coming back now,” Rob paused to drink his tea, “I don’t know why he left, but I hope to fucking god that it was voluntary. I’d rather think of him as a selfish bastard rather than any harm come to him.”

“I’m sorry I can’t answer that question for you right now.”

Fortrose was here for one thing one: to get answers for himself. Andy’s mother had tipped him to go to Rob. They had spoken once or twice before, but that was months ago now. Fortrose was not meant to be here, just like he wasn’t supposed to visit Andy’s mother.

“So, why are you here then? I’ve told the police everything about that night already.”

“I’m investigating further – anything that we might have missed.”

“Oh right, so you’re clutching at straws then?” Rob looked sad, as if the slightest bit of optimism had been sucked from his soul.

“Not necessarily. We find that we have to go over things several times over in any case. We can’t shut down any line of inquiry, especially given that it has been so long since his disappearance.”

“So what do you need to know?”

“I need to know more about Andy. Did he get on with his parents, did he fall out with his girlfriend? What kind of person was he?”

“Pfft, well he loved his mum to pieces – and his dad too, though in a manly kind of way. His girlfriend – well she doesn’t speak to any of us any more – but she was, well, a little odd. Possessive. It wasn’t healthy.”

“Really? I spoke to her once, she didn’t come across like that?”

“She’s odd. She acts normal to most people, but I was there when he was getting the texts and the phone calls, asking him what he was up to all the time, making sure he did as she told him to do. I don’t know why he stayed with her to be honest. They were the oddest couple.”
“And why doesn’t she speak to you guys any more?”

“Lost touch, didn’t get on. The usual. Andy was the only reason we spoke in the first place, there’s no reason to speak now he’s gone.”

“When was the last time you saw her?”

“I saw her briefly when I was getting on the Tube to work about six weeks ago. Didn’t stop to stay hi or anything, it was very brief. I don’t think either of us wanted more than to wave at each other and get on with our lives.”

“I’ve been trying to get a hold of her – no one seems to have her number and the number we have isn’t valid any more.”

“Hmm, I don’t know it – but you could try where she works… assuming she still works there.”

“That would be good – what’s the name of the company?”

“Ernst and Sons. It’s a small-fry law firm. She was a junior there. She might have moved on by now though, she was always complaining it wasn’t big enough for her.”

“Thanks, I’ll look into that.”

“Anything else you want?”

“Just, well… do you have any pictures of Andy you wouldn’t mind me having to photocopy? I’m keen to get as many pictures together. See if there’s any way of identifying him through public searches.”

“Er, yeah sure. Can I hand it into the station tomorrow? I’m going to be late for my presentation you see,” he started gathering his belongings together.

“Absolutely, just tell the front desk it’s for me and I’ll pick it up.”

“Thanks, massive help.”

“I’ll see myself out,” Fortrose put his half drunk tea down on the messy coffee table. “Thanks for your time.”

Interesting, Fortrose thought, that the ex-girlfriend was so strange.

~ by S.G. Mark on June 28, 2012.

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