Tom sat at his computer and heard his mobile ring. He looked at the mobile screen it was his best mate Paul.
“Hi mate, what’s happening, when we gonna meet up”
It had been four weeks since they last saw each other.
“How about tonight after work. Red Lion in the high street?
Tom sat wondering what Paul wanted, he’d been a bit quiet over the last few weeks, still no problem, it would be great to see him and have a few beers.
Paul pulled his car into the large car park of the Red Lion pub in Forest Gate East London. He saw that Tom was already there, his car was parked up close to the wall, typical Policeman he thought, no one could pinch it from there.
He walked into the pub and saw Tom sitting by a table by the front window.
“Got you a pint mate, it’s that cheap cooking lager, not the strong stuff cos I know we’re both driving, what can we have? Two maybe?
“You should know, you’re the bloody copper!”
“Yeh I know maybe just the one then, can’t be too careful, not like the old days when we didn’t give a fuck, let them catch us, I remember us saying, but that was twenty years ago, so what’s up, why the phone call?”
“It’s about Stella”
“You have got to be fucking kidding me, Stella? What about her?”
“I need to find her Tom; I need to find out if she’s OK”
Tom took a deep breath and sat back in his chair, his face changed from friendly to angry.
“Listen to me, she’s gone and good riddance as far as I’m concerned, she left you seven years ago, she almost destroyed you, do you remember, almost bloody killed you she did”
“Yes I remember”
“Well then, why now, why suddenly try to find her now after all these years?”
It was Pauls turn to look angry.
“Because I need to know if she’s alright that’s all!”
“Do I need to remind you of what happened? Eh, seven years ago she left you, for no reason, just up and fucking left you, just said it was over and fucked off one day. Who picked up the pieces? Me, I picked up the fucking pieces, when you decided to drink a bottle of scotch a day to get over it, when you decided to take a lorry load of the Columbian marching powder, when you were so high one day and went to work that they fired you on the spot, fucking primary school teacher, drunk and high trying to teach fucking six year olds, that bitch did those things to you and you want to see if she’s ok, you want your fucking brains tested!”
“OK, OK, I know, it was tough, but I just need to find her to make sure she’s OK”
“Why the fuck do you keep saying that, why would you think that she’s not Ok and why would you give a fuck anyway?”
Paul got up and went to the bar; he ordered another two pints, got them and returned to the table.
“Look Tom, it’s not what you think, I know you hate Stella for what happened but that’s not the real story, honest, she’s not the villain here”
“Are you listening to yourself? You have got to be kidding me, I saw you a few hours after she left, I saw the fucking state you were in, I saw the fucking mess you were, laying on the floor crying your fucking eyes out, fuck me mate I thought you’d got all this out of your system”
“I had, up until a few days ago”
“And? What happened a few days ago?”
“Look, it’s gonna sound a bit weird, will you just listen until I finish?”
“OK go on”
“That day she left, that day she told me it was over and she had to leave, well I never really told anyone what happened that day”
“So? Doesn’t matter the bitch left you that’s all that matters”
“No, No, shut up and listen, it was a Saturday, she was up before me, she’d already packed her bags and put them in her car, she was waiting for me downstairs. She broke down and cried, well, we both did. She said that she had to go, she couldn’t be with me anymore, she was afraid of commitment. She said that she loved me but realised that one day she would let me down so best go now rather than in a few years’ time, she left me and I’ve never seen her since”
“I know all this bollocks mate, don’t forget, I was there over the next few days putting you together again, I’ve heard all this before, she fucked off and left you”
“There’s one thing that I’ve never told anyone about that day, no one. When she was at the door ready to leave, we were both crying, I made her a promise, I told her that no matter what happens, no matter how many years go by, if she was ever in trouble or needed help I would be there for her, all she needed to do was contact me and I would be there, I made her promise also that she would let me know if she needed me, then she left”
“So? What’s your point?”
“For the past four days, I’ve had a vivid dream, Stella is in that dream, she wants me to find her, she’s in trouble Paul, I know she is, she’s trying to let me know”
“Bollocks, why doesn’t she just pick up the fucking phone or come to the house, she knows where you live”
“I don’t know mate, I just know she’s in trouble, I can’t explain it, I just know, every time I close my eyes, I see her, she’s trying to tell me something, I need to find her, well, you’re the copper, I need you to find her for me!”