by Rachel Walsh
Usually I get up at about 8.30am if I have got to go and see Adam or Maddy, which is most days. I have never been an early riser, but I don't like lie-ins either. I will get dressed in a casual shirt and jeans, and of course my duffle coat by about 9.30am. I don't really think about my appearance very much and I do not care what people think of me.
I am meeting Maddy at 12.30pm, at her flat. We will probably go from there to some new café she has heard of for dinner. I am not really fussy about my food either so I don't mind where she is taking me. I usually eat simple food such as chicken, fish or pasta with some vegetables. I don't like anything fussy or fancy.
When I get to Maddy's house, I find that the door is open. I walk in and see that there is a note on the table. It says:
Something came up. Had to go. Meet you at 5pm. Sorry.
Before leaving, I notice that on the notice board (where Maddy writes down what she has to do) is a message saying; 1pm Gordon Hill.
This does not particularly surprise me. Much as I love Maddy, she is always double booking herself or flitting off some place or other.
I am, however, intrigued by this mysterious reference to Gordon Hill. Anything unusual fascinates me. If I have a case to solve I will sit for hours on end pondering the significance of an elastic band. I suppose this is why I like Maddy, because she is a bit of a puzzle to me, one that I have yet to work out. That is one mystery that I cannot solve.
I decide to go to work to see Adam for hour or two, but I do not stay long as he is in a strop. His latest "girlfriend" has disappeared without trace and the show has got a bad review from Sylvester Le Fley, the famous theatre critic. He described the show as "a ragbag of charmless chicanery, ill-conceived by witless tricksters who appear to confuse mystery with misery." Adam decides to take all this out on me.
I believe Adam thinks I am a bit emotionally underdeveloped and I suppose I am in a way. I would much rather just leave a room than face an awkward situation. I am a great person for just walking out of an argument and getting a taxi home, rather than face the full horror of the situation. Adam sees himself as my master and I don't undermine this as it does not bother me. I just roll my eyes and get on with life.
In my opinion, we are just two sides of the same coin. On one hand there's the flashy show man and on the other hand there's the behind-the-scenes man and I think that is me. I suppose it is a case of opposites attract with Maddy, Adam and me.
I meet Maddy at 5pm and she says she is taking me to Cicada Park. She seems a little upset and I later found out why You can always tell when Maddy is upset, even on the phone, as she is quieter than usual. Her past was always a dark side to her and it was revealed today. "Gordon Hill" was a row of terraced houses where she used to live. Twenty years ago today she came home from work to Number 17 Gordon Hill to find her mother had hung herself. Today was the day all that was going to be put in the past as Gordon Hill was being demolished
It was a sad time for Maddy. Sometimes when she is like this, I go and see her, other times I leave well alone. I can never seem to get the subtext on women quite right. In fact, I always seem to get it wrong and offer too much help at the wrong time. This time, however, I was lucky.
At 5pm I get to Maddy's flat and she takes off in that Volvo to Cicada park, wherever that is. She is an absolute terror in that car of hers. I don't know how she passed her driving test in it! That name, Cicada Park, is still bugging me. I cannot pinpoint where I have heard it before.
Cicada Park turns out to be a huge house and I am getting suspicious as to how we are going to have dinner here. The thing that hits you when you first enter the room is the smell. There is a bowl of potpourri on the table, but it cannot be that. In my opinion, potpourri is the biggest rip off the 20th century. I later found out that this smell was caused by Mr Le Fley and his wife sprinkling perfumed talc on the floor to create dust. (This was all part of their master plan to claim off the insurance company.)
Maddy confesses that she did not bring me here for dinner but to solve another mystery case for her book. Oh well, I may as well take a shot at it now I am here, but now I find out who I am solving it for! Sylvester le Fley, The theatre critic from hell. Cicada Park is his home, that is where I heard the name before. Why should I help him, the person who slaughtered the show, and everything I do in his review?
Answer: I shouldn't. This is not like me at all. I usually just let people like him walk all over me, but today is different. I have something that he wants, and he is not going to get it without a fight.
Maddy always seems to be able to twist me around her little finger. I am just too good-natured to say no. I seem to get dragged into her grisly murder cases unwillingly, but I suppose I enjoy it really. The most enjoyable part of today will be seeing Maddy's face when I tell her I know how the painting disappeared, but I am not going to tell her or anyone else. She will be furious that I am going to turn down the £50,000 reward for the sake of my pride. Adam will be just as mad at me, but I am just tired of being pushed around.
I am, in the end, going to tell them all how it was done but this is mostly to get Adam, Maddy and Mr le Fley off my back. I am not however just going to say it straight out. I am going to use their son (who is actually the link to the thief) to help me.
I suppose I am happy with my life in general. I like Maddy, I like Adam and I like my work. I suppose I even like going on all the cases she keeps dragging up. I think some people see me as some weird type of recluse who makes models in a windmill, but I just see myself as a sort of behind-the-scenes person. My only time in the limelight is when I solve a case and amaze everyone with my "lateral mind".
I don't really think there is anything I would change about my life if I had the choice. I am happy the way I am.