Tom sat in his car and watched as Paul drove out of the car park. He couldn’t help thinking what a fucking idiot his mate was. But he was his best mate and he’d promised to do what he could for him. He was no Private Investigator, but he was a Detective at Forest Gate Police Station and he did have access to certain records.
The main thing he could do was check if Stella had any criminal record at all. It was unlikely, although he hated Stella with a passion for what she’d done to Paul, she was no criminal.
She was a lovely looking girl, when Paul had first introduced her to him, his first impressions were very positive. Slim, attractive, long brown hair, beautiful smile, great tits, which was always a tick in the box as far as he was concerned. But there was always something, something he couldn’t put his finger on, something beneath the lovely exterior that worried him. She looked needy. Something told him that she would be hard work for Paul. Paul was a larger than life type character, complete extrovert, loved the social life, something told him that she would hold him back, she was shy, hated going out, rarely spoke to anyone, didn’t try to fit in or make friends with the other guys wives or girlfriends. They were like chalk and cheese!
Paul had given him her National Insurance number, there were a few checks he could do with this, but he would have to be careful, it was not something he was comfortable with. But there were a couple of people that owed him a favour and now was the time to call them in!
Oh well, no time like the present, he drove off towards the station, it was just before 8.00pm.
Paul was pleased that Tom had agreed to help him; he was sitting indoors in his two bed flat in Plaistow East London, the same flat that he and Stella had shared for almost five years.
He thought back to when they first met, he was a primary school teacher at a local school. Stella was working there as a classroom assistant. The attraction was instant and within a few days they were going out together.
She was so very shy, it took her months to open up and tell him her background, then one night over a couple of bottles of wine, she told him about her upbringing.
Stella had it tough, her parents had died in a car accident when she was only eight years old, there were no other relatives so she was put into a children’s home in Gravesend in Kent. She had been abused in the home by one of the male staff. She resented being there and was by her own admission difficult to control. She told him stories of being drugged to calm her down and to make sure she did what she was told. She stayed there until she was fourteen and was then fostered by an elderly couple, but being a typical teenager they fought a lot, something she always regretted.
At the age of 18, she left and got her own flat, sharing with a friend. At 19 she met a guy and moved in with him, he, unfortunately, was very useful with his hands and not in a good way. He would beat her for no reason; if she said the wrong thing at the wrong time she was liable to get a punch or a kick. Twice she’d been in hospital saying that she’d tripped over or fallen down the stairs, but she had no one to protect her or look after her. He left her after three years, probably the best thing that could have happened.
When he met her she was 23 and living alone in a studio flat in Bow. After just three months she moved in with him at his flat in Plaistow.
The years of living with a violent man had taken its toll; she was a frightened little thing back then, shy, and no confidence, all of that had been beaten out of over the past few years. She was scared of everything, especially commitment. Because of her upbringing she assumed that everything and everyone would one day let her down and leave. Her parents, her carers, foster parents and her man had all let her down. She didn’t believe in happiness.
He remembered one evening, they were watching a good family film that had a happy ending, she got up afterwards and simply said “well that was a load of nonsense, people aren’t like that in real life” he spent the next hour trying to persuade her that life wasn’t all bad, it could be really good, you just had to work at it. But no matter how hard he tried she was having none of it, they ended up having a blazing row and he decided not to mention it again.
Even with all her quirky mood swings he loved her, without doubt she was the love of his life, he thought eventually he would change her and she would become the woman that he always knew she could be.
They were together for over four years and then one day she just left. It tore him apart, he lost his job, his career, he almost lost his mind. But he never forgot the promise he made her as she left. No matter where she was, no matter how many years passed, if she ever needed him he would be there.
He sat back in his chair and fell asleep.
In his dream he was walking, walking along a country lane, it was a bright sunny day. In the distance was a woman, standing at the side of the road, she was shouting but no words were coming out of her mouth and no noise either. It was Stella. He started to run towards her, the closer he got the fainter she became, until as he reached her she was gone.
He woke up in a sweat.
“She’s trying to tell me something, she needs me, I’m sure of it!”
He said it to himself over and over again.
Tom was at his desk at the Police station, he had entered Stella’s full name into the computer. It was as he thought, she had no criminal record. He was now waiting for a call from one of his mates on the Central National Database (CND); he had given him her National Insurance Number and date of birth. This would tell him where she was living now, where she worked, even how much she earned per year.
His phone rang, he listened to the person on the other end of the line giving him information, Tom said very little apart from “Thank You” then hung up.
He dialled Paul’s number.
“Hi mate, I’m coming over, I’ve got some news, can’t talk now, I’ll be with you in twenty minutes!”