Humming to herself, Esther weighed the flour and the sugar. She broke the eggs in the bowl and added a generous amount of cacao.
Her husband would be home from his business trip this afternoon and tomorrow their 18 year old daughter would join them for the weekend. Of course Dana would be hanging with her friends while Esther did her laundry. But Esther didn’t mind.
She loved her life. Her husband and girl home for the weekend, while she got to enjoy endless hours of alone time throughout the week.
A rapid knock on the door startled her. For a second her hands froze in mid-air. Again a knock and the doorbell.
She wiped her hands on the apron and made her way to the front door.
“Mrs. Witherspoone, Esther Witherspoone?”
She turned white on the spot. “What’s wrong?” she asked. There was a hint of fear in her voice.
Something happened to Bruno, or to Dana, she thought.
“Would you come with us, please? We would like to ask you some questions about your whereabouts last night.”
“Bruno, Dana…are they ok?”
“It’s not about them, Ma’am. Please come with us.”
“Just a moment, let me get my coat.” She was too overwhelmed to do anything else.
The badges they flashed in her face convinced her it had to be something serious.
“You might want to get a lawyer to be present.” One of the men advised her.
“Why? What is it all about? Why would I need a lawyer?”
At the police station she was fingerprinted. And after filling out what seemed an endless questionnaire she was put in an interrogation room.
She was scared.
Detective Daniel Sanders could see it through the two-way mirror. She was highly uncomfortable. She really didn’t know why she was there.
He entered the room, followed by a female officer.
The woman remained at the door, Daniel sat down opposite of Esther.
She looked at him. Scared and fascinated.
“Esther Witherspoone?” He asked. He had a kind tone in his voice.
She nodded. “Please tell me what this is about. Am I being charged with something? Why won’t anyone tell me anything?” She was on the verge of tears.
“Where were you last night?” The man asked, ignoring her plea.
“I left home around 10, went to a bar, Hailey’s downtown. Had a few drinks with someone and we left there around 1, to his hotel room. About 5 I left and went straight home. Why?”
“Is this the man you were with?” Daniel held up a picture.
Esther smiled and nodded. “That’s him.”
“What was his name?”
“He said Jim. But I didn’t really believe him.”
“What? He didn’t tell much about himself. I could see the white band on his finger. He had just taken off his wedding ring. So probably he was married and out of town. Looking for a little adventure.”
“You mean to tell me you went to a hotel room with a man whose name you didn’t know, you suspected to be married?”
“I wasn’t exactly looking for marriage material you know. I have a husband. So what is this all about?” She desperately tried to keep calm.
“What happened in that hotel room, Mrs. Witherspoone?”
She bent forward a bit and looked him in the eye.
“We had sex. Nice, hot and mind-blowing sex.”
Daniel sat back, surprised at the passion in her eyes.
“How long did you know…Jim?”
“We met in the bar.”
“But your husband…”
“He knows. I love him very much. But he can’t exactly…take care of business, if you know what I mean.”
Daniel tumbled from one surprise into another. She had looked like any ordinary housewife the moment he came in. But turned out to be something quite different.
“Did anything happen to Jim?” Esther was a smart woman. She could fit the pieces together.
“He was found dead in his hotel room this morning. Murdered.”
She gasped. Oh dear.
“He was alive when I left. Snoring actually, that’s what woke me up.” She assured them.
“Staff saw you leave around 5, which incidentally is also about the time he was murdered. Is there anything you want to tell us?”
She shook her head.
“Dare I ask how he was murdered?”
Daniel took out a picture and put it in front of her.
She could see the waiter’s knife sticking from his chest.
Nausea threatened to overpower her, making her look away.
Daniel didn’t move the picture.
She looked at it again.
“Oh god.” She suddenly sighed.
“I opened a bottle of wine with that thing. My fingerprints will be all over it.”
Daniel looked at her. She hadn’t done it. He was certain of that. But right now it was the only lead they had.
“I guess we better call a lawyer then.” Daniel suggested.
She looked at him desperately. Her big blue eyes piercing him.
“I guess we better.”