"So what do we know?" Caitlyn asked herself and the flipchart paper stuck to her wall. To her suprise, she was greeted with a response from Moggie (Mrs Smith's cat). Usually Caitlyn couldn't tolerate cat's but Moggie was her first friend in this apartment block and she had even found herself buying cat food. She put down a carton of Sheba and Moggie purred contentedly.
"We know that, My Dad, Andrew Price, a.k.a Peter Reydon, a.k.a Valour was the head of prolofic hackers who sold information to those willing to pay the most. Valour (she certainly did not not want to call him Andrew) was assisted by Phantom who sent me information for my birthday. Phantom wants to set-up The Smilers again... Then there's "Fox". He was in prison for eight years out of three-hundred-and-two. I go to see him and he dies of a heart attack? Something's not right there, eh Moggie?"
Moggie meowed in agreement. Or maybe she had finished her Sheba, thought Caitlyn.
"Then there's MayfairOuDoiu lead by Christopher Ghoole. Ghoole is happy to employ anyone he believes could help the business whether they are thieves, hackers or downright murderers. Did you know that nearly 80% of their staff have a criminal record! I asked a policemen to do a quick search for me. They owed me a favour after a information leaking incident."
'Meow?' replied Moggie. Caitlyn had understood that as clear as English
"No!" She snapped, "it wasn't Tim!"
Moggie suddenly felt unwanted and disappeared down the corridor and out through the cat flap. Who puts a catflap in an expensive London apartment anyway? thought Caitlyn. She suddenly felt lonely again. She had often considered buying a dog for company but had been dissauded by her trips involved in her line of work. If a client got on a plane to Switzerland, she thought, I must follow to get the best results. And if she was gone who could look after the dog? Blind Mrs Smith upstairs who spent her time arguing at Question Time so loud Caitlyn wanted to go up there are pull the plug out herself.
Her other option were her neighbours below: Mr and Mrs Mersey, however she always thought they were quite odd. They would frequently have guests and in the summer when they were not needed as Museum Guards, Mrs Mersey would disappear and be replaced by a trophy wife. She would hear them sometimes hard at work and wondered what it was like downstairs for the banker, wife and three kids. "Bloody Swingers!" she told her friends once when they enquired about the noise, "It's disgraceful!". They all burst out into fits of laughter attempting to imagine what was going on downstairs.
Just as she had decided she didn't want to cook and walked to the phone for a take-away: It rang. It was her mother, "Hello darling. I was wondering if you do my a favour?" Caitlyn sighed, the only time Emily ever rang was when Henry needed babysitting. "Of Course Mum," she said, "What do you want me to do?" "The WO want me to run the raffle tonight" She covered the microphone and laughed. Her mother was in her late forties. She sounded like an old lady going out to play bingo "Tell Henry to bring a game, I have an article to write and stirdy deadline to reach" The phone cut-off and Caitlyn decided to order Pizza Hut to satisfy her brother. She knew that her mother never allowed junk food in the house and she often ensured she caught up on all the things she missed.
She jumped into her Punto, remembering it as a birthday present. She also remembered the driving lessons with Aiden. He was just 23 and she was 17. She looked over at the passenger seat. She had just parellel parked, put the handbreak on and Aiden had stuck his tongue in her mouth. She didn't mind them making-out but she had always hoped to get rid of the car.
She slotted into a space by the house as Henry galloped down the path. "Sister. Sister" he cried. She got out of the car, picked him up and spun him round. She was ushered in by her mum for a cup of tea and she watched as Henry played in the Garden. Emily was telling her about Mrs Ramsey's out of date Pertunias but all Caitlin could think of was the wedding photo strewn up on the mantelpiece. How happy they looked, she thought.
Henry raced her to the car, she let him win and he clambered into the front. Caitlyn was short like her mother but Henry, Henry was tall like his father. She drove back to her flat past Pizza Hut as Henry cheered for unhealthy food. As he bundled into the apartment Moggie made a swift exit chased by Henry. He means well, thought Caitlyn, but cats don't really like hugs.
Stuffed on unhealthy Pizza and Coke, Henry sat and watched CBBC while Caitlyn finished her article, "Electric Cars. Are they the future?". She was asked by the newspaper she was providing the story for to lean towords yes but once she had shut down her computer she had convinced herself there were too many uncertainties.
She noticed the flipchart paper stuck to the wall. She felt a sudden feeling of dread: Had Henry seen it? Henry was so enthralled with kids TV she doubted it but tore it down and threw it in the cupboard to be safe. At 9pm Henry was flagging. He refused to admit he was tired but Caitlyn set up the camp bed only to find Henry asleep on the sofa. She rang her mother and told her she'd drop Henry down in the morning before going to bed herself. She needed to get a move on with the "case" as she now called it. Phantom had threatened to reinstate The Smilers when she was seventeen, she was nearly nineteen and she was no closer to knowing anything about her father's past, who Phantom was and most importantly: who killed her father.