“You have a visitor.” Barbara said, “His name is Michael and he wants to talk to you.”
No, I have two visitors. Lindsay wanted to say as she tried to focus on Michael and ignore the decaying body of her friend that lingered behind him.
“You look like you’ve seen a ghost, please don’t be scared of me, I’ve done nothing wrong.” He spoke with an Irish accent. Barbara disliked him immediately and is showed.
“Who are you and why are you following me?” Lindsay asked.
“Can I sit down? I want to explain myself.”
She motioned to a chair. Barbara sat opposite him, a hateful look on her face. To Lindsay’s relief, Mel was gone, although her stench remained. Why does no one smell it but me? Michael looked uncomfortable. He opened his mouth to speak several times, but no words came out. Eventually Barbara spoke.
“I saw you in Richmond earlier, you came to the car while I was in the chip shop, what is it you want with Lindsay?”
“It’s the fire, I don’t want to be blamed for it, I was there but it was nothing to do with me. I was outside the disco with me brother John that’s all. We were across the road when the car exploded.”
“Why haven’t you talked to the police?” Barbara asked.
“I wanted to, but John’s been in trouble before, he daren’t. He thought they’d blame him for the fire.”
“Do you know how many people died in that fire? Have you any idea? I lost most of my friends. Young soldiers who’d suffered enough in your bloody country were killed in that fire. What were you doing parked across the road? Did you enjoy watching? I don’t believe you had nothing to do with it.”
Michael stood up. “Please believe me, I had nothing to do with it. I’m from Dublin, not Belfast. I want no part in the fighting. I have to go before me brother misses me.”
“Why are you so afraid of your brother?” Barbara asked.
“He’s got a temper, that’s why he’s been in trouble with the police. He likes to use his fists. I have to go.”
Lindsay heard the voice of her dead friend clearly in her head. “Let him go now, he’ll be back, he can help you.”
“You’re not going anywhere. You’ll wait here until I call for backup. You need to go to the Police Station for questioning.”
“No, me brother will kill me.” Michael stood up quickly, knocking over his chair, and left through the back door before either girl could stand up. Lindsay was relieved he’d gotten away.
“He’s scared, but he’ll be back. He knows something, leave him be.”
“Can I use your phone, I’m calling this in.”
“Leave it Barbara, we don’t want to scare him away. He didn’t have to come and see us. Lets give him another chance.”
The smell of burning flesh faded. Lindsay got a bottle of brandy from the cupboard and poured herself a big glass. Beer just wasn’t strong enough anymore. She wanted to drink herself into oblivion.