Her ghost appeared to me quite soon after I quit the force. She had been murdered by her husband. It was brutal and bloody but we couldn’t make it stick.
He had contacts in the judiciary, the police and a few other places. More he probably had dirt on a lot of them.
I couldn’t take the bullshit anymore so I quit. Technically I “retired” but it was only a matter of semantics.
She showed up at my front door one morning. She was initially helpful around the house. She talked without talking too much. I had continued trying to solve her case.
I went to my old station under the pretence of seeing some old colleagues. She came along and let me talk with them. Some of the old guys, I think, noticed her from the corner of their eye but didn’t say anything. I tried to smuggle some files relating to her case out of there and managed to get a couple of slim volumes.
It was enough to make some progress. This was it. I was there. I had him!
She was getting worried. She became uncooperative and wouldn’t even get into the car with me. I wanted her there with me when I confronted the bastard so we took the bus.
It was a long trip and we sat in silence for a lot of it. I held her file close to me.
Eventually we got there. I was full of bile, anger and anticipation. Victory was close I could taste it.
She was less impressed. I could sense she was anxious about it all. She kept looking around trying to get me to get off the bus. To go with her back home but I was defiant. This is what would put her to rest and I could get on with my life. But then what? Would other ghosts start to appear and ask me to help them too?
Suddenly I wanted to go home; maybe this was a bad idea. I could manage one ghost but what about a legion? All needing my help, all drawing off me until I joined them too.
I found a place to sit down and I started to weep.
She didn’t help me; I was lost and couldn’t see a way forward or back.
The chemist handed over the prescription to the man’s carer.
“Is he ok today? He seems a little upset”
They looked at the dishevelled man crying in the waiting seats of the pharmacy.
“He’s fine, today is a good day” replied the carer as she took the bag.
“What happened to him?”
“He used to be a police officer and his wife was murdered. He’s lucky that he wasn’t sectioned” she said with a sigh.
There was the standard oh bless look as the carer went and helped her charge out onto the street.
The pharmacist moved on to the next job, in twenty minutes she would entirely forget about the weeping man holding on to an empty folder.