A week later Sandy was hurriedly getting dressed as Ella would be by soon to pick her up to head to the restaurant, when she heard an insistent knocking at the front door. “Gups!” she yelled. “I got it!” he yelled back. She struggled into some leggings and pulled the blue work jersey over her head. She grabbed the copy of “Thornbirds” sitting on the side table in Guppy’s room, her latest read since she has finished ‘The Waterbabies”, made her way into the living room but stopped dead at the door.
Two policemen stood just at the front door.
“Ma’am are you…” said one as he looked own into his book, “Sandy Constantine?”
“Yes” she answered in a near whisper.
“So you know a Jerry Conant?” he continued.
“Uhm… well,” she answered, her face growing slowly more and more pale as fright began to creep across it. She flicked her eyes over in Guppy’s direction but he seemed cool while her insides began to melt to jelly.
“Officer what is the matter exactly?” Guppy interrupted casually.
“Well seems Mr. Conant’s brother… amm” he flipped through the pages of his notepad before continuing, “John… reported him missing a few weeks back. Seems someone found his car abandoned not too far up from here and called us. We found Miss Constantine’s purse in the car with her IDs and so we asked around the neighbors led us here,” he turned back to Sandy.
“Oh” replied Sandy, her mind was becoming as blank as the officer’s expression.
“I’m sorry Officer what did you say your name was?” Guppy interrupted once more.
“Ah I’m sorry I’m Officer Davis and this is lieutenant Jones”, he responded coolly. He regarded Guppy with more interest now as he realized that Sandy was deferring conversation to him so he turned his attention more intently to Sandy and said “You didn’t give me an answer.”
“Answer to what?” responded Sandy as she snapped back to the reality before her and willed herself to push the image of Jerry’s body being swallowed by the dark sea out of her mind.
“DID you know Mr. Conant,” Officer Davis said sharply. At that Lieutenant Jones began to look more interested.
“Yes, Yes I did” Sandy answered as her mind started to race. It made no sense lying about knowing Jerry, everyone knew they had been in a relationship – that was easy enough to investigate.
“Good so then you can tell us where he is!” Officer Davis exclaimed flipping his notepad shut and looking her straight in the face.
“No… I can’t” Sandy said as Guppy interjected “Officer I can explain..”
“I want HER to explain” stated Davis with his mouth set hard.
Officer Davis was a full six foot four inches tall- he made Guppy seem small which was no easy feat. He has a shock of dark hair on his head and a ruddy complexion with equally dark probing eyes and a hard set mouth. Lieutenant Jones by contrast was barely five foot four with a wiry frame and a pale sickly hue to his complexion. Jones seemed to be a lithe shadow to Davis’ imposing stature. Sandy did not feel that Davis was one to expend a lot of patience and she knew she was beginning to test his.
She gathered her thoughts and then stated calmly, “I left Jerry months ago. I was having an affair with Guppy.”
“You left without your purse and IDs?” Davis questioned with his eyebrow raised.
“Jerry was jealous. Ask anyone. He didn’t want me to leave so he hid my stuff… so I just left. I figured I would just get an affidavit and get a new ID since, technically, I had lost them,” Sandy answered.
“How long have you and this woman been in a … relationship sir?” Lieutenant Jones finally piped in, directing it to Guppy.
“Oh well probably a year and a half now?” Guppy mused and absentmindedly stroked his beard that was no longer there.
“That’s right,” Sandy corroborated as she sidled up alongside Guppy and he put his arm around her shoulder.
“Yup Sandy been here living with me and working with my sister, ask anyone,” Guppy said evenly.
“I see….” replied Officer Davis as he gave Lieutenant Jones a look. “Well in that case Miss Constantine, I will return your belongings to you. We will be towing Mr. Conant’s car back however… if he happens to get in contact with you, you will let us know won’t you?” said Davis as he handed Sandy her purse.
“Of course,” answered both Guppy and Sandy.
The two policemen turned to leave when Davis turned back to them, “one more thing… you’re sure you have NO idea what Mr. Conant’s car was doing in this area.. as in you did not see him AT ALL?” he asked.
“No idea… I assume looking for me but… he never came here,” answered Sandy firmly.
“Ok. Well we will be in touch,” Davis replies and Guppy closed the door behind them.
As the door shut behind them, both policemen turned to look at each other.