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 Fragment #73 - The discovery of betrayal

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MessageSujet: Fragment #73 - The discovery of betrayal   05.01.09 14:36

Friday, November 7th 2008
in Glasgow

Giulia opens the door of the office and comes in, after closing carefully the door.
“Charlie, there is someone for you at the reception desk. He said his name was something like Dembeley. Apparently, he’s from…”
“The Embassy of Senegal. I know, Giulia. Would you mind taking those pictures to Jake please? I want him to work on the contrasts…”
She leaves. I get up, breath in and out slowly, and go to the reception desk.
“Mr Dembelé? Charlie Collomb.”
I stretch my hand out and he shakes it.
“Nice to meet you Miss Collomb, although I wish it was under different circumstances…”
“So do I. Please, follow me.”
I lead the way back to the office, and open the door.
“After you, sir.”
I tell Daniel not to let anyone in, and I follow the man in. I show him a seat and sit down myself in my chair.
“I suppose, Miss, that you know the reasons of my presence here?”
“I have a fair idea, yes, but I’d like you, if you don’t mind, to tell me again those reasons.”
“Very well. Mister Sankoun Mancabou, Senegalese citizen, was found dead on Wednesday morning, in his house of Dakar. During the investigation, the house was searched and a safe was found hidden, containing among other documents a file on you, Miss Charlotte Collomb. By file, it was actually reports of activity, extracts of phone calls, and details of private life. And, also, pictures of yourself were found along with those documents. The French and the British Embassy confirmed that you spent two weeks in Dakar in the last month. Is that correct?”
“Yes, it is.”
“Do you confirm that you were there with someone else?”
“Can I ask for his name, please?”
“Steve Brymer.”
“Age, nationality, status and relationship with you, please.”
I stay silent a bit. He looks at me.
“Miss Collomb, we are trying to resolve a murder. It so happens that the victim and you were somehow linked. In order to find the culprit, we need all the information you can give us.”
“Am I a suspect?”
“No. Not that I am aware of. According to your passport, and your colleagues here, anyway, you were not in Senegal anymore at the time of the crime.”
Imperceptibly, I start to relax.
“Very well. Steve Brymer, 28 years old, British, physiotherapist. Boyfriend.”
“Same as mine, we live together. He’s currently in visit at his parents’, in Inverness, but he’ll be back this weekend.”
“We might need his disposition as well. Well, Miss Collomb, I am going to ask you your full name, age, nationality, status and address, and then to give a precise and detailed report of how you came to know mister Mancabou.”
“Charlotte Mary Paulette Collomb, 28 years old, journalist…”

About an hour later, M. Dembelé leaves the office. I’ll see him again tomorrow, when he’s going to come home, to get Steve’s deposition. I grab my phone and call Dad.
“Charlie, at last!! I was getting worried. How did it go?”
“It was ok. The gentleman was actually very civil. I am not a suspect, but I felt through what he was saying that it’s an element that they consider: that file gives me a hell of a motive…”
“Don’t say things like that on the phone, honey!! You never know who’s listening!”
“Oh, come on, Dad, you’re going to make me paranoiac!” I giggle a little.
“Don’t laugh, it’s very serious.” I stop giggling. “Well, hum, did you say anything about me?”
“No, of course not. Why would I mention you? You were not with me there and you have nothing to do with all this.”
A long silence answers me.
“Dad?” I start getting nervous. “Dad, you DO have nothing to do with all this?”
“Charlie, it’s Africa. We’re all involved.”
“Oh my God. What are you talking about?”
“Don’t get upset. I didn’t kill anybody.”
“And I’m just suppose to believe you?”
“I’m your father. You should trust me.”
“Oh my God, I just can’t believe it.”
“Listen, don’t be hasty in your conclusion. I have NOTHING to do with what’s happening now. But being a diplomat… well, sometimes you do things without clearly seeing their long term consequences.”
I stay silent. It’s too hard to realise my father’s betrayal.
“Listen, ma petite. I’m taking the plane tonight. I’ll be in Glasgow at about 10. Can you come and pick me up?”
“What are you coming for?”
“Well, to help you, of course.”
“And why didn’t you come in Dakar?”
“Er, you didn’t need my help there.”
“Oh, but I didn’t need your help here neither! I can manage myself, Father.”
“Oh, please, don’t get so angry. I need to come and see some things as well. And I want to see Paul and meet his Emma. Come on…”
“I’ll pick you up, but you’ll stay at the hotel.”
“Er, ok, sure. Whatever you want, sweetheart.”
“Yeah, whatever.”
I hang up, and contain myself from falling into tears. I pick up the phone again and call Steve.
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Fragment #73 - The discovery of betrayal
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