Chapter 26 - They Were My Everything
The following day of the challenge given by Lieutenant Stephens to Detective Henry on how he would take on attempting to solve the disappearance of Bryan Morrissey; Detective Todd Henry was at the front door of Mr. and Mrs. Morrissey. Detective Henry had already gone through most of the files the night before at home and looked at the pictures that were taken from the house, the lake they had drained, and everything else they had crammed into the cardboard boxes labeled “Bryan Morrissey Case.” There was nothing that stood out to him as an overlooked clue as he had expected. Joy, Todd thought, absolutely no clues anywhere.
After two rings of the doorbell, an attractive lady in her 40s opened the door slowly. She was wearing a long pink and white robe, not closed all the way down the middle, held in place with a loosely tied bathrobe tie.
“What do you want?” The very attractive lady asked in a slightly slurred speech.
“Hi, um, yes ma’am, would you happen to be Mrs. Susan Morrissey?” Detective Henry asked.
“Who’s asking?” Susan said looking directly into Detective Henry’s eyes.
“Well I am, Hi, um, my name is Detective Todd Henry and...”
“I am her, what do you want?” Mrs. Morrissey said quickly as she cut off Detective Henry.
“I would like to talk to you about your son, Bryan.” Todd stated.
“Did you find him? Is he alive??? What??? TELL ME!!” she said as hopeful as a mother that had lost two children could say…
Todd replied quickly, “No ma’am, I’m sorry. No, I don’t have any new information to pass along to you but I was hoping to visit with you for a few minutes and ask you a couple of questions.”
There was a long pause as she stood there looking at Detective Henry. Mrs. Morrissey was now on her third, maybe fourth vodka and cranberry of the morning and it was only 9:30 a.m. She drank a lot. She drank every day. She liked to drink. She needed to drink.
All day drinking that is. She hadn’t missed a day of drinking since Bryan disappeared. Usually it was Vodka and cranberry or vodka and Red bull, or vodka and tea, or bourbon and coke or bourbon straight up. Today, well today was a cranberry and vodka day.
“I don’t see what there is to talk about with you Detective. I don’t see any point at all. I have talked to so many cops since this happened and what has that led to? Absolutely nothing! Do you hear me, NOTHING! So unless you have information on my Bryan, than I have nothing to say to you and…”
Detective Henry interrupted her as she started closing the door. He knew how to talk to people and could relate to most anyone quickly dependent on the situation at hand. Detective Henry said, as he slid his foot in the door to keep it from closing all the way,
“Ma’am, I can’t imagine what you feel and I am not going to stand here and tell you I do or even can begin to understand the pain you are experiencing. But, what I can say is I have two kids of my own and if one of them disappeared, I think I would go crazy not knowing...”
Susan cut him off immediately and said, “You have no fucking idea!” as she took another sip of her vodka and cranberry drink that was almost empty now.
“You’re right! I know I don’t Mrs. Morrissey, but what I do know is this. I am a father of two children as I said and I am a man that puts everything he has into finding answers and I truly want to help find you some answers. I ask you to please just sit with me for a few minutes, let me ask some of my questions and I give you my word that I will do everything in my power to find out what happened to your Bryan. I promise you that!”
Mrs. Morrissey stood there and looked at him in silence reading his face and body language. Todd looked back at her showing her he meant every word he said. There was about thirty seconds of complete silence. Silence was good Todd thought. She took a long sip of her drink finishing it off and then simply said, “Fine,” And turned to walk back into her home. Todd immediately followed in and closed the door behind him.
“And Stop calling me ma’am. My name is Susan, I know you know that so use it!”
“Ok Susan, I will. I’m sorry.” Todd replied
“And stop fucking apologizing!” She sounded tipsy. Susan stood at her small bar setup in the dining room and fixed another drink of Vodka and Cranberry and offered to make Detective Henry a drink.
“Thank you but I am on duty so unfortunately no alcohol for me.” Todd said attempting to bond with her letting her know he likes to drink too.
“Too bad for you.” Susan said as she put a double shot of vodka in her drink.
“I guess you heard about my other son hanging himself?” Susan asked.
“Yes I did Susan, I read that in the file, I’m Sor” and Todd bit his lip immediately as he almost finished saying he was so sorry.
“Good job Todd. Thank you for not saying you are sorry. You learn quickly.” Susan said with a little sarcastic tone.
We are on first name bases already. This is good Todd though and said, “I have always been a quick learner they say.”
“Well Todd, you know that saying about you don’t know how much you love something until it is gone?”
“Yes I…” As Todd tried to reply but was immediately cut off.
“Well FUCK that stupid saying. I knew that before they were gone. They were my life. They were everything to me. EVERYTHING! Do you hear what I am saying?” Susan asked angrily.
Todd quickly replied, “Yes ma’am, I mean Yes Susan, I do, loud and clear!”
“Good because I want you to know that. And yes, I was hard on my older son Mark, too hard obviously. I told him over and over he should have protected his little brother. I realize now I shouldn’t have continued to say that and I was wrong. Obviously, a little too late to realize that wouldn’t you say?” Susan asked as she took a large gulp of her drink.
“Well Susan, there is no right or wrong way when it comes to dealing with a loss of a child. I have learned that over time. Everyone has regrets. Everyone!” Todd said
“Well I do have many regrets for sure. I wish my husband could have been a little more fucking understanding before leaving me. He walked out three months ago and I haven’t heard from him other than receiving divorce papers and the few times he has seen me at his office. Did you know that too?” Susan asked.
“No, Susan I didn’t know that.” Todd replied.
“Well at least everything isn’t in the Goddamn file!”
Detective Henry replied, “No it obviously isn’t Susan and that is exactly why I am here. A lot of time has passed so I just...”
Susan cut him off, “It feels like it was yesterday, YESTERDAY, when I had my Bryan, when I had my Mark, when I had my husband, when I had my life!!”
It was one of the saddest statements Detective Henry had ever heard and for the first time in his career, he was speechless…
There was Silence, a very long silence. Susan took several more sips on her drink. Todd scanned the kitchen that was adjacent to where they were. He scanned the table. There were four place settings on the table, but only Susan lived here now.
Susan broke the silence first. “Ask me your fucking questions!”
And Detective Henry did just that.
A lot of questions.
And what do you know?
Detective Todd Henry got his first clue…