Well decided to put Chapter 3 up. I must say this is the most I have written in my life I think. About 9,000 words altogether.
Julia felt glad to be out and about. The fresh air and brisk walk helped to rid her memories of the night before. She was a very keen walker who enjoyed walking as it helped her to think. As she was walking she decided to try contacting Patrick. She would like to have surprised him and turned up on his doorstep but knew with his hectic work schedule it was better to try and arrange a long weekend visit. Maybe travel down on the Thursday and stay until Sunday. It would make a change for him instead of travelling up to them. She scrolled down to the number and pressed enter. Expecting him to answer within two or three rings she was surprised when it went to voice mail. “Hi Patrick, was wondering if you are free this weekend. Need to talk to you” Julia decided to keep it brief and explain more when she visited him in person.
Arriving back at Emily’s house Julia let herself in with the spare key that Emily had provided. She settled Denise in front of the television while she made a start on dinner. It was a nice way of saying thank you to Emily who had been generous enough to let them stay. They would have to go back to the flat; they couldn’t stay at Emily’s forever. As she started peeling potatoes she thought back to the man who broke into their flat. There was nothing distinguishable that made him stand out in Julia’s mind. She hadn’t recognised his voice even although he was shouting at them. He was dressed head to toe in black and wearing a balaclava. The only point she could come up with was he was very tall and thin. But so was 90% of the population. The police couldn’t exactly narrow the person down on that basis.
As she was putting the potatoes in a pan of water for boiling her mobile phone rang. Thinking it was Patrick she answered without checking the number. “Hello Patrick” She heard what sounded like muffled voices. “Hello” she said again. Assuming somebody had dialled her number by accident she hung up. She had just begun browning the mince when the doorbell went. Making sure she turned off the heat she went to the door and checked through the peephole. A smartly dressed man and a woman stood on the step. Julia opened the door on the chain. “Miss Forbes?” DC Mullen and DC Reid”. They both held up their ID badges for inspection. “May we come in?” “Of course” said Julia. She closed the door to release the chain then opened it wide to let constables in.
She showed the constables into the kitchen. “Tea or Coffee?” “Nothing for me thanks” replied the young female Detective. Julia reckoned she was in her 30’s. She smiled as she remembered thinking how young the other two police constables looked. Once the usual hospitality was out the way then the questioning started.
DC Mullen started off the questioning “Miss Forbes we have been trying to get in contact with your ex husband in Wilmslow Cheshire. However when our colleagues went to his house there was no reply. From our other enquiries it would appear that nobody has seen Patrick Wayne for quite some time. We know you said he got work in a Solicitors in Wilmslow but we contacted all the solicitors in Wilmslow and none of them had heard of him”
Julia lost colour in her cheeks and went as white as the walls. “Why would Patrick tell me lies? He’s a lawyer for heavens sake”
“Miss Forbes how did you meet Patrick?” We know you said it was at University while he was studying law. Could you elaborate a bit more?” DC Mullen questioned.
“It was like I said, at University. It was at the student bar. I know it sounds old fashioned and clichéd but our eyes met and it was love at first sight. He was in his final year of studying for a law degree and I was a First Year studying for a Degree in Business Administration. We dated for six months before deciding we were meant to be together and got married that same year. We had Denise a year later” Julia stops for breath and looks through the glass door at Denise giggling and laughing watching the Teletubbies.
Julia carried on “After Patrick graduated from University he got work in an upmarket solicitors in the centre of London. He was so pleased to get the job, it would be a great start for the beginning of his career. Of course he would be earning more money in a month than I would be earning in a year. I completed my three year degree and got a job in a Beauty Salon as a Receptionist. It might not seem very ambitious for someone with a degree but with Patrick earning good money it would allow me to focus on my passion rather than being a means to an end to pay the bills”
As DC Mullen was writing in the notebook he asked “Did you and Patrick have separate or joint bank accounts?”
“We had separate bank accounts” replied Julia. “Patrick preferred it that way. We agreed he would be in charge of paying all the household bills: electricity, council tax etc and I would use my money to buy shopping and stuff for Denise. Why are you asking all these personal questions? Do you think Patrick has done something illegal? I can tell you now he is as straight as a die. He’d have to be to be a lawyer.”
DC Reid looked at her and said in a calming voice: “Miss Forbes all we are trying to do is establish what type of person Patrick was. It just seems odd that he would lie about getting work in a solicitors in Wilmslow and no one has heard of him or seen him for weeks.
Julia remembered trying to phone him and getting his voice mail. “I was going to visit him this weekend to explain what happened the other night. You don’t think his disappearance has anything to do with that do you?”
“We always keep an open mind.” replied DC Reid. “Now could you tell me about Patrick’s affair?
“Well” Julia replied hands shaking “he had been working very long hours. It didn’t seem too odd because being a lawyer is a very stressful job and on top of his cases he was trying to impress the partners of the firm. But the final straw came one afternoon. I phoned his office to speak to him and spoke to the new Receptionist. When I said it’s his wife she was a bit hesitant before putting me through. She seemed slightly stunned to hear from me. Just the way she spoke made me suspicious straight away. When I thought about it more afterwards he was always answering phone calls and getting texts. I just assumed it was about his work. Like I said before a lawyer is a very highly stressful job. I confronted him the minute he stepped through the door. He didn’t even try to deny it, just nodded sheepishly and explained he had been having an affair for the past year. I screamed at him to get his things and get out. He stayed with his parents that night and he moved to Wilmslow before we were divorced”.
“Did you ever visit Mr Wayne in his flat in Wilmslow?” asked DC Mullen
“No he always insisted on coming up to London to spend time with Denise. The reason being that there was more to do in London than Wilmslow. They go to different cafes, feed the swans in Hyde Park or go to museums”.
Julia sighed a shaky breath. Patrick may have been unfaithful to her but he wouldn’t break the law. What was going on?
The next question came from DC Reid “On the night of the break did you notice anything out of place or anybody acting strangely?”
Julia thought back to the night in question. Then she remembered. When she had come home from work she had seen an old white van with three men sitting in it. Later on she had been preparing dinner for herself and Denise when there was a knock on the door. A young man was standing outside and enquired whether she was Julia Forbes. When she asked why he wanted to know he muttered something unintelligible and walked off quickly. She relayed this piece of information to the DC’s who took the information down in their notebooks.
“Just one more question Miss Forbes”. What was the name of the firm he worked for?
“Robert and Smith” replied Julia.
The detectives stood up and promised they would be in touch with any further developments.
Julia showed them to the door and watched them get in their Ford Mondeo all the time wondering what was really going on?
DC Reid and DC Mullen were both thoughtful as they drove back to the station. DC Reid was the first to break the silence. “So where do you think we should start?”
“Well we need to find out more about the white van and who was in it. We also need to talk to the partner with whom Patrick was having an affair with and get her side of the story.” Replied DC Mullen. “There doesn’t appear to be any CCTV so it looks like it’s going to be down to old fashioned police work, knocking on doors and asking if anyone else saw the same white van Julia Forbes saw. I also feel it wouldn’t go amiss to delve deeper into Patrick Wayne’s past. We have no substantial evidence that Julia Forbes break-in had anything to do with Patrick Wayne but he is a link to Julia Forbes and now he is missing. Let’s get some lunch, go back to the station and do some digging. DC Reid grinned. Her partner’s stomach was always rumbling. Food was all he thought about. “Fine let’s get you fed!” she laughed.
Back at the station after a quick bite to eat and updating DI Jack Dawkins the two detectives sat down and compiled a to do list. They decided to contact the solicitors in London where Patrick Wayne had worked and interview Elaine Robert, the partner with whom he had an affair. As luck would have it she managed to fit the detectives in that afternoon at 3:00pm. That left the detectives with 4 hours to do some more investigating.
“Tell you what let’s go back to Wynd Road and see if any other neighbours saw the white van that Julia Forbes did. Maybe other neighbours were approached by the man who knocked on Julia Forbes door. Or did this man know exactly where Julia Forbes lived”? DC Mullen scratched his chin thoughtfully.
As the two detectives walked down the corridor to the multi storey car park DC Reid opened up her notebook and examined her notes.
“According to Miss Forbes the van was an old white Ford Transit round about the 90’s era so quite distinguishable. However we do not know if the same man who came to the door was one of the men in the Transit van. It was too far away for Miss Forbes to get a look at them and to be honest she wasn’t paying too much attention. The only reason it stood out was because of she had never seen it before and its age. I’ll drive”
DC Mullen gave her the car keys and got in the passenger side.” Let’s hope we can glean some information from the neighbours.”
The first neighbour they went to was Mrs Margaret Dewar. Although she was in her 70’s she was very spritely and sharp. She had been out visiting friends when her burglary took place. “I don’t know what the world is coming to!” she exclaimed. “In my day we could leave our doors unlocked and neighbours would let themselves in for a cuppa of tea and a chat”.
The two detectives smiled at her memories. There would never be community spirit like that again. Ever since the age of the internet people didn’t make the effort to get to know their neighbours and community, preferring to communicate sat behind a computer screen on Facebook or the like.
“Did you notice anything out of the ordinary on the day you were burgled?” DC Reid prompted her before she could go back to the good old days
“Not that I can remember.” It was a perfectly ordinary day for me. I always go and see my friends on a Tuesday” I usually stay in the house until I’m ready to go just catching up on washing and ironing”.
“Thank you for your time Mrs Dewar. We’ll be in touch if there are any more developments” The two detectives stood up and walked to the door.
“You will catch the people who burgled me won’t you detectives?” Mrs Dewar said imploringly as she opened the door to let them out.
“We promise we are doing our best”. Replied DC Mullen. “Like I say if there are any developments we will let you know as soon as possible”
The detectives did not have further luck with Adam Donaldson who just reiterated what he had told the police constables. He had heard some banging and got out of bed to look out the window just in time to see two men running away. He couldn’t tell them anymore than that except he was shaken.
It was nearly time to drive into the City of London to interview Elaine Robert. They drew up at the offices and walked into the Reception area where a pretty young lady was sitting typing at her computer. “DC Mullen and DC Reid to see Elaine Roberts at 3:00pm”. “Just take a seat over there” pointed the young Receptionist. The two detectives looked around at their surroundings, plush leather seats, polished marble floor. “Do you think it would be worth talking to the Receptionist after we’ve interviewed Ms Robert? DC Reid enquired of his partner. “After all she let the cat out the bag” he grinned. “I don’t think it would go amiss replied DC Mullen. “We need to try and build up a picture of what he was like, the more information, the more we might work out where he has gone or what he has been doing”
She was interrupted from carrying on by a tall lady. “Are you the two detectives here to see me?” “Yes” replied the two detectives showing their badges.
“I’m Elaine Robert, Senior Partner of the firm” “We’ll go upstairs. Can I get you anything to drink, tea or coffee?” The two detectives declined the offer as they stepped into the plush elevator. “I understand you are here about Patrick Wayne?”
It could be DC Reid’s imagination but was there the slightest blush at the mention of Patrick Wayne?
“Take a seat. “Are you sure you don’t want tea or coffee?” Again the two detectives declined. It was time to get down to business.
“Ms Robert we’ve come to talk about one of your solicitors Patrick Wayne who was in your employment from September 2003 to August 2007. Could you give me an idea of what he was like? This question came from DC Mullen.
“When he first started here he was rather hardworking and desperate to prove himself to the company. He had just graduated from University and was keen to work hard. He got on well with clients and colleagues alike. I feel he was so excited to be given a foot in the door. He was very ambitious and willing to learn. Why are you asking these questions?”
“We know you were having an affair with him” said DC Reid very directly. Could you tell us about that?
If there hadn’t been a blush from Elaine Robert before in the lift there was one now. But it wasn’t for the reason the detectives thought.
“Affair!! What affair? I never had an affair with Patrick Wayne. Where on earth did you get that idea from!?
The two detectives looked rather chastised before replying: “His ex wife told us you had an affair with him. That’s the reason he split up with his wife and moved down to Wilmslow in Cheshire” His wife told us she phoned the office and spoke to the Receptionist who seemed surprised when she said it was his wife phoning. His wife had been rather suspicious for some time because he had been getting phone calls and messages.”
Elaine Robert looked as if someone had said pigs were flying to the moon and back. “The reason the Receptionist was hesitant and surprised is because he had told us he wasn’t married so to hear that it was his wife came as something of a surprise to all of us. Please could you tell me what this is all about Detectives? It seems his wife has jumped to the completely wrong conclusion”
This revelation was as much of a surprise to DC Mullen and DC Reid who were as clueless as Elaine Robert. This left them with more questions than answers namely why would Patrick Wayne just tell his wife that he was having an affair when he wasn’t? Who was lying and why? To be fair Elaine Robert did seem genuinely surprised when they asked about the affair.
DC Mullen decided to try a different line of questioning: “Ms Robert when did Patrick Wayne resign from your company?”
“I don’t know the date off the top of my head but if you could just give me a couple of minutes I would be very happy to check.” Elaine Robert turned to her computer and clicked the mouse a few times. The detectives waited patiently while she scrolled through details. After a few minutes Elaine Robert replied “Patrick Wayne resigned from our company in February 2007”
The detectives glanced at one another with puzzlement. That was a whole six months before he left Julia. What was odder still was the fact Julia had told the detectives that he had told her he resigned in August 2007 the day after he confessed to having a so called affair with Elaine Robert.
“When he resigned did he offer any explanation as to why he wanted to resign?” asked DC Reid”
Elaine Robert looked thoughtful before replying “The reason he gave was vague, he decided his time had come to an end and he wanted to move on. It struck me as rather odd because he had been doing really well here, in fact he was in line for promotion although we hadn’t told him that yet.”
“Did you tell him that when he resigned?” asked DC Reid
“Yes” replied Elaine Roberts. “I was dismayed because he was doing so well and was popular and liked by everybody including clients. But he was adamant and nothing I said would change his mind”
The detectives decided to finish up the interview and try and tie up the loose knots they had encountered so far. They had been left with more questions than answers and those questions needed resolving. It was time to go back and visit Julia Forbes to see if she could help shed any more light on Patrick Wayne. She had already had a shock so far about her ex-husband’s disappearance and it would seem there was more to Patrick Wayne than met the eye.
“Thank you for your time Ms Roberts. If we need any more information from you we will be in touch. Likewise if you can think of anything else no matter how insignificant it seems then please don’t hesitate to get in touch” DC Mullen gave her a card with his details on it which she glanced at and put in a top drawer. “I will do detectives” Elaine Roberts replied as she shook both their hands.
The detectives were thoughtful on the drive back to the station. Who was lying and why? Elaine Robert seemed really surprised when they told her Patrick Wayne had a wife. Why had he not told anyone and why had Patrick Wayne resigned six months earlier than he had told his wife. It was time to pay Julia Forbes another visit and dig deeper into Patrick Wayne’s past.