Chapter 6. A Whole New World.
Maeve got home and phoned Ada. Who else could she turn to? Ada listened, “you’ve jumped right in at the deep end, haven’t you?”, she sniffed. Did Maeve sense a little tension there, might Ada be irritated that she wasn’t the one at centre of all this drama? No time for that. “But what do I do now?” Maeve sounded a bit pathetic and ‘whingy’. Ada could trigger responses in Maeve that Maeve had spent a considerable amount of time and money in therapy trying to stop. One of which was sounding ‘whingy’. It didn’t bode well for developing this new and better relationship. Ada, “well you are the one he chose, I suppose you do what he asked you to? Sorry, have to dash. Talk to you tomorrow.” With that the phone went dead. Great. Maeve was now in possession of potentially vital evidence and she felt completely on her own. Think. What are you supposed to do in a situation like this? Wracking her brain for anything useful she worked through options. She couldn’t think of any friends who might have a clue, the books she’d read were fiction so not reliable, she’d seen the occasional bit from Crimewatch on telly and seemed to remember each episode ended with the Crimewatch phone number. This wasn’t on telly so no number…...Whichever angle she considered, it looked more and more like making contact with Steve was the right next step. “Oh God!” This is not what she wanted to do, in fact he was probably the last person she wanted to speak to. He hadn’t been back in touch so must think that at best she is a flake, ‘not all there’, or at worst trying to make money out of those left behind, not quite an ambulance chaser for the injured, more of a hearse chaser for the bereaved. Not a pleasant image. Best not to overthink it. Taking a metaphorical deep breath. She called the station and left a message for him. ‘Coffee in the Micro Roastery? Maeve’ and she left her number. As she put down the phone, she stopped for a moment. Up to now she had been so busy trying to figure out the next practical step that she had forgotten to check-in with herself. Was she okay? She had been sitting at the breakfast table which often stood in for an office desk. She looked down and noticed that her hands were shaking. Time for a cup of tea, she didn’t like sugar in her tea but it's the thing they give you when you have had a shock, isn’t it? She opted for a Rich Tea biscuit instead, and got out a pen and some paper. Better to make notes, make it something with a list to be dealt with, have items to cross off. Don’t freak out. The bag was sitting in the middle of the table in front of her, by the jar of marmalade, the butter and remaining dirty side plates. The table cover was a William Morris design waxed piece of cloth from Liberty’s, it had been there for years but she was focusing on it as if she had never noticed it before. She really wasn’t okay. She moved, seeming to wake up, and quite suddenly she got up. Seeking some level of normality she started clearing the table and making tea, this was routine, and that was good. By the time she sat down at the, now clean, table, mug in hand, things were a little better. Focus on something she told herself. The list. The list needed to be divided into sections: Facts known; Facts that can be checked; Things to do in order of importance. Write out the things we know, suspect or need to confirm. She wrote as much as she could from what she remembered and left blanks for the bits to be filled in, the bit that stood out was his mother's name and contact info if there was any. She began to rethink the journey, Kamal had seemed solid, real. Was he actually dead? If he was, who would know? The hospital? She was about to make the call when the phone rang, an assistant had a message from Steve, ‘Out of the station this afternoon, tomorrow morning 10am okay for you?’ She told them it was, relieved that she could put off having to speak directly to him even if only till tomorrow morning. Maeve hadn’t opened the bag. She still had a feeling that it needed someone official to do it so that they would do the right thing. Even as she thought this, it seemed faintly ridiculous. She didn’t even know if a crime had been committed. She had some time before the girls got in from school so decided to call the hospital and find out. Knowing one thing for sure would help. She was automatically put on hold and as she listened to a ‘tinny’ version of Vivaldi, Maeve reflected that she didn’t even know when the ‘accident’ had happened. The woman who answered may have meant well but was definitely not helpful, she trotted out some stock phrases, “we are not in a position to give out that kind of information, in situations like this the next of kin are notified,” Another call came through “ ...please hold,....” As Maeve waited she thought about his mother so far away, not knowing, and then she began to think what it would be like for her if that had been one of her daughters …..she hung up, put her head in her hands and cried.