Sunday, 25 January 2015

Poppy

It was such a little thing. Such a tiny insignificant part of the decor; an almost invisible accessory to your home. I almost missed it. Initially I had come here to ask a few questions, to find answers for someone else and when I first discovered that your door was broken and your home invaded I felt frustration that I wouldn't get my answers. I sighed and entered the building with my partner behind me. 

We found you quickly and called it in. You had clearly lain there a short while and so there was no urgent chase to catch up with your killer. Instead we had to stay. I thought about how this meant I would probably be working late again and how I never seemed to catch a break recently.

My partner had taken on the role of guarding the entrance to the property - it was likely our presence would garner local interest and we couldn't afford visitors contaminating the scene. I looked around for any obvious indicators of what might have happened here.

There was a knife, some blood, generally the room was tidy. The TV wasn't on and there were no super sleuth type clues to instantly solve the questions of what exactly happened here but I still built up a narrative. I hoped it was connected to my earlier set of questions, because if it wan't I had a nightmare amount of paperwork coming up.

I glared at you. I already knew a lot of the basic points about you - your name, age and obviously residence, as well as a few more facts but right then you were nothing more than an inconvenience. 

The knife had impaled your stomach and was angled up through your sternum. Lots of blood on your clothes, some one the floor, but it seemed the carpet had absorbed it rather than letting it spread. Why couldn't you have fought? I bitterly reflected that if you had struggled and broken any of the many bits of glass lying around we'd have a blood sample and potentially an easier way to identify the perpetrator than hours and hours of interviews, research and loss of my own life which I hold infinitely valuable.

I resented you too much to carry on at that moment so I glanced over your shelves - your book selection, the picture frames and the occasional knick knack and there it was.

A ceramic bracelet made crudely in the shape of a poppy and with a tiny ribbon threaded through tiny holes which tied together at the back. We'd made them, you and I, when we were at school. You were three days younger than me and we were both army brats. Every year, although we didn't understand it, we all wore poppies in November. One year we decided we didn't like wearing pins any more and asked for necklaces instead. My Mum was furious but your Dad was home and understood. He was the one who suggested bracelets and he was the one who found the clay we could bake in the oven at home.

It took several attempts, lots of splashed paint and a whole lot of ribbon, but we finally had our bracelets. We wore them with pride every year until we suddenly were old enough to understand and we went back to the pins.

My parents were redeployed and I was taken in by my aunt. We lost touch and I buried my bracelet with my mum. 

I'm so sorry.

I loved you so much back then. You deserve better from me than this. Anyone would deserve better.

I wish this hadn't happened. And since it did, I wish I had asked you my questions first.