Chapter no 45

Anxious People

Witness Interview Date: December 3o

Name of witness: “5ules” and “Ro”

5ACC: Because you’re witnesses to such a serious offense as this, I really must insist on being able to speak to you separately rather than both at the same time.

5ULEs: WhyṢ

5ACC: Because that’s just the way it is.

5ULEs: Sorry, but has your body been taken over by a demon that sounds like my motherṢ What do you mean, “just the way it is”Ṣ

5ACC: You’re witnesses in a criminal investigation. There are rules. 5ULEs: Is either of us suspected of committing a crime, thenṢ 5ACC: No.

5ULEs: Well, then. Then we’ll do this together. You know whyṢ

5ACC: No.

5ULEs: Because that’s just the way it is!

5ACC: Christ, if there’s ever been a more diAcult group of witnesses, I have no idea where that could have been.

5ULEs: Excuse meṢ

5ACC: I didn’t say anything.

5ULEs: Yes you did, I heard you muttering.

5ACC: It was nothing. Okay, you win, you can do this together!

RO: 5ules is just worried I’ll say something stupid if she isn’t here.

5ULEs: Quiet now, darling.

RO: SeeṢ

5ACC: For God’s sake, don’t you two ever stop babblingṢ I said okay! I’ll interview you both at the same time! But this isn’t how it’s supposed to work!

RO: Do you have to be so angryṢ

5ACC: I’m not angry!

RO: Okay.

5ULEs: Yeah, right.

5ACC: I need your real names. RO: These are our real names. 5ACC: They’re nicknames, surelyṢ

5ULEs: Please, can’t you just focus on the interviewṢ It doesn’t really matter, does itṢ I need to go to the toilet.

5ACC: Okay, okay, sure. Because “what’s your nameṢ” is a really complicated question.

5ULEs: Stop muttering and just ask your questions.

5ACC: Right, I’m just a police oAcer, so obviously it’s perfectly reasonable for you to decide what goes on in here.

5ULEs: WhatṢ

5ACC: Nothing. I just need to confirm that the two of you were inside the apartment for the entirety of the hostage situation. Were youṢ

RO: I don’t know about “hostage situation.” That sounds very harsh.

5ULEs: Please, Ro, pull yourself together now. What do you think we were if we weren’t hostagesṢ Accidentally threatened with a pistolṢ

RO: We were more just an unfortunate consequence of some bad decisions.

5ULEs: Because someone tripped and happened to slip inside a ski maskṢ

5ACC: Please, can you both just try to focus on my questionṢ

5ULEs: Which oneṢ

5ACC: Were you inside the apartment the whole timeṢ RO: 5ules was in the hobby room for quite a long time. 5ULEs: It’s not a hobby room!

RO: Closet, then. Stop being picky.

5ULEs: You know perfectly well what it’s called.

5ACC: You were in the closetṢ How long forṢ I mean, how long before you came out of the closetṢ

5ULEs: What did you just sayṢ

5ACC: I mean, well, no, that’s not what I mean.

5ULEs: Right. So what exactly did you mean, thenṢ

5ACC: Nothing. I didn’t mean “come out of the closet” in any way except in relation to the fact that you were physically inside a… well, a closet.

5ULEs: We were in the apartment the whole time.

RO: Why do you sound so angryṢ

5ULEs: Maybe it’s the hormones, RoṢ Is that what you’re trying to sayṢ

RO: No, it really isn’t. Well, I certainly didn’t actually say that, in which case it doesn’t count.

5ACC: I appreciate that you’ve had a diAcult day, but I’m just trying to understand where everyone was at various times. For instance, when the pizzas were delivered.

RO: Why’s that importantṢ

5ACC: That’s the last time we know for certain that the perpetrator was in the apartment.

RO: I was sitting on the chaise longue when we had the pizza.

5ACC: What’s thatṢ

5ULEs: That bit at the end of the sofa. Kind of like a divan.

RO: No it isn’t—how many times do I have to tell you that it’s nothing like a divanṢ Do you know how you can tell that a chaise longue

isn’t a divanṢ Because then it would be a divan!

5ULEs: Give me strength! Are we going to have the same argument now as when I didn’t know what a commode wasṢ Do you know what a commode isṢ

5ACC: MeṢ It’s a type of lizard, isn’t itṢ

5ULEs: SeeṢ I told you.

RO: It’s not a lizard!

5ULEs: It’s that cabinet in the bathroom, under the washbasin, apparently.

5ACC: I had no idea.

5ULEs: No normal person knows that.

RO: Did you both grow up in cavesṢ SeriouslyṢ A commode is a kind of cousin to a vanity. You know what one of those is, presumablyṢ

5ACC: Yes, I know what a vanity is.

5ULEs: How can you know that and yet still call a wardrobe a walk-in closetṢ

RO: Because a wardrobe is a word used by someone who blogs about juicing and hasn’t pooped a solid turd for three years, whereas a vanity is a proper piece of furniture!

5ULEs: See what I have to put up withṢ She was obsessed with vanities and commodes for three months last year because she was going to be a cabinetmaker. 5ust before she was going to be a yoga instructor, and just after she was going to be a hedge fund manager.

RO: Why do you always have to exaggerateṢ I was never going to be a hedge fund manager.

5ULEs: What were you going to be, thenṢ

RO: A day trader.

5ULEs: What’s the differenceṢ

RO: I didn’t get around to learning that. That was around the time I started to get interested in cheese.

5ACC: I’d like us to go back to my question.

RO: You look stressed. It’s not good to bite your tongue like that.

5ACC: I’d be less stressed if you just answered the question.

5ULEs: We sat on the sofa and ate pizza. That’s the answer to your question.

5ACC: Thank you! And who was in the apartment at that timeṢ

5ULEs: The two of us. Estelle. Zara. Lennart. Anna-Lena and Roger.

The bank robber.

5ACC: And the real estate agentṢ

5ULEs: Of course.

5ACC: And where was the real estate agentṢ

5ULEs: 5ust thenṢ

5ACC: Yes.

5ULEs: Am I your GPS or somethingṢ

5ACC: I just want you to verify that everyone else was sitting around the table eating pizza.

5ULEs: I suppose so.

5ACC: You suppose soṢ

5ULEs: What’s your problemṢ I’m pregnant and there were people with guns, I had a lot of things to think about, I’m not some preschool teacher counting knapsacks on a bus.

RO: Is this a candyṢ

5ACC: It’s an eraser.

5ULEs: Stop eating everything!

RO: I was only asking!

5ULEs: You know she opens the fridge in every apartment we look atṢ Do you think that’s acceptable behaviorṢ

5ACC: I really don’t care.

RO: They want you to look in the fridge. That’s all part of the real estate agent’s so-called “homestyling,” everyone knows that. Once I

found tacos. They still rank in the top three tacos I’ve ever eaten.

5ULEs: Hang on, you ate the tacosṢ

RO: They want you to.

5ULEs: You ate food you found in some stranger’s fridgeṢ Are you kiddingṢ

RO: What’s wrong with thatṢ It was chicken. Well, I think it was chicken. Everything tastes like chicken when it’s been in the fridge awhile. Apart from turtle. Have I told you about the time I ate turtleṢ

5ULEs: WhatṢ No! Stop talking now, I’m going to throw up, seriously.

RO: What do you mean, stop talkingṢ You’re the one who keeps saying you want us to know everything about each other!

5ULEs: Well, I’ve changed my mind. Right now I think we know just the right amount about each other.

RO: Do you think it’s weird to eat tacos at a viewingṢ 5ACC: I’d appreciate it if you didn’t involve me in this. 5ULEs: He thinks it’s sick.

RO: He didn’t say that! You know what is sickṢ 5ules hides candy and chocolate. What sort of adult does thatṢ

5ULEs: I hide expensive chocolate, sure, because I’m married to a wormhole.

RO: She’s lying. One time I discovered she’d bought sugar-free chocolate. Sugar-free! And then she hid that as well, as if I wouldn’t even be able to stop myself eating sugar-free chocolate, like some bloody psychopath.

5ULEs: And then you ate it.

RO: To teach you a lesson. Not because I enjoyed it. 5ULEs: Okay, I’m ready to answer your questions now! 5ACC: Wow. Lucky me.

5ULEs: Do you want to ask your questions or notṢ

5ACC: Okay. When the perpetrator let you go, and you left the apartment, do you remember who went downstairs with youṢ

5ULEs: All the hostages, of course.

5ACC: Can you list them, please, in the order you remember them going down the stairsṢ

5ULEs: Sure. Me and Ro, Estelle, Lennart, Zara, Anna-Lena, and Roger.

5ACC: What about the real estate agentṢ

5ULEs: Okay, and the real estate agent.

5ACC: The real estate agent must have been with you as wellṢ

5ULEs: Are we nearly finished hereṢ

RO: I’m hungry.

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