The Silver Lining

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Chapter 17 - Zoe

That morning, I woke to the sound of Viv on the phone with work. True to her word, she was faking an illness to stay with me. I got out of bed and flicked the kettle on, wanting to offer her a token of kindness.

“Coffee?” I asked as she finished her conversation.

“Please,” she said as she nodded and inched closer, phone still clutched in her hand. “Listen, I had a phone call early this morning from DC Wilde. He spoke with your father yesterday and wants to tell us how it went. Get dressed and we’ll head on over, yeah?”

My hands rested dead on the coffee mug.

“Is he in custody?”

Viv sighed, “…They had to let him go, Zoe. He was cooperative, and they had nothing to hold him.”

The kettle rattled as the water hit boiling.

“So he didn’t confess then? What is there to talk about?”

“Let’s find out exactly how the conversation went at the station. It is the least we can do after DC Wilde and DI Jones followed up on our meeting yesterday.” There was an edge to Viv’s voice. Whose side was she on?

“No. I’m not going. I’m not leaving this house. My father has a key to my home. He knows I had something to do with all this and he’s out there…roaming the streets…free!”

Viv stood with both her hands on the kitchen countertop, head dangling between.“Zoe, they don’t think your father is the killer.”

I couldn’t believe my ears. Yesterday, Viv was ready to go into battle for me. Now, we faced our own standoff.

Viv’s features softened. “They say he doesn’t fit the photofit from the Jane Powel case, and Jane never mentioned an Irish accent, something that would have stood out.”

The spoon in my hand dropped onto the countertop, and I spun around to face Viv square on, my feet resolutely planted in place.

“I saw that photofit and the eyes matched. Anyone can fake an accent. Don’t you think a murderer would cover that up, to avoid being identified?” Doesn’t she think I’d already considered the accent thing?

Vivienne backed off and began gathering her things.“Listen, I’m going, with or without you. We started this journey, and now we need closure. I need to know what he said.” Her hand hovered over the front door’s handle. “Are you coming?”

I turned Viv down a second time. I just couldn’t bring myself to go to the station again and listen to their apparent incompetence. If my father saw me leave Viv’s he’d know where I was holding up. Surely, it was safer to lie low.

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