It was particularly crowded today, more so than normal, so Angela had to squeeze in. Lifts always made her nervous, not because she thought for one minute that something disastrous was going to happen, but because it was the thought of being in a confined space with people she hardly knew. She felt as if her personal space was being invaded. Everyone seemed to be nervously looking at the floor or concentrating hard on the illuminated numbers rising to the appropriate floors.
Suddenly someone in the mirror caught Angela’s eye, a sideways glance at a face between the shoulders of the other lift travelers. It was a face that had haunted her for years. Angela did a double take, only to realise her biggest nightmare. She slid sideways to hide herself from the man she had tried so hard to forget.
The lift ground to a halt on the fourth floor and Angela made her escape, the fact she had got out of the lift ten floors before her own didn’t seem to matter as her head was spinning. She spun round on her heals once clear of the lift to check she had not been followed. Angela’s heart was pounding. She walked up the stairs as she couldn’t risk being seen again. Thoughts racing through her head. Why was Peter McAllister in the lift, in this building and more importantly in this town? Angela thought she had left her old life behind. Now it seemed to be back to haunt her.
“Angela, Mr Simmons, your nine o’clock appointment is in your office waiting for you.” Lyn her Secretary informed her.
Angela composed herself before breezing in.
“Good morning, Mr. Simmons. I do apologise for…” Angela stopped dead in her tracks. There sitting in the chair sipping a cup of tea was Peter McAllister. But how could this be Peter McAllister? His name was Mr. Simmons.
Angela fled the room, knocking a pile of paperwork onto the floor. All she could hear was the deafening sound of her heart beating and the distant shouts of Lyn calling her name. Now in the cold, blank surroundings of the stairwell Angela sat on a step and sobbed. She didn’t know what to do, she couldn’t go back to her office but she had nowhere else to go.
“Angela, Angela. Are you OK?” Angela froze when she heard her name being called. Lyn stood there with a puzzled look on her face.
“What on earth’s the matter? You looked like you’d seen a ghost. Are you OK?”
“Are you sure that man’s name is Mr. Simmons?” Angela asked.
“Well that is what he told me. He showed me his business card with his name on. He’s from Wainwright & Simmons.”
Angela started crying again. “Where is he now?”
“He left as he could see he had caused you some distress.”
“I bet he did.” Angela retorted regaining some of her composure. Lyn looked at her bemused.
“I need to explain a few things to you, but first there is something I need to do. Did Mr. Simmons leave his business card with you?” Lyn nodded “Well I need to see it please.”
Angela returned to her office shutting the door behind her.
Half an hour later the lift doors opened and out stepped two men.
“Can we speak to Mrs. Angela Jones please? She is expecting us.”
“Can I have your names please?” Lyn responded.
“Detective Salter and Detective Grimmer”
Lyn took the Detectives through to Angela’s office and shut the door.
“Hello Mrs Jones, I’m Detective Salter and this is Detective Grimmer. We understand you had a problem with a gentleman earlier? Could you please explain?”
Angela reached into her desk and pulled out a tatty copy of a magazine. She shakily passed the magazine to the Detective.
“The gentleman in this picture is the same person who sat in my office this morning, but that man was called Peter Simmons.
The story read “The Bigamist that married both my friend and I”.
Angela explained “My friend Sarah pictured with me in the article is dead. She took her own life when the article was published as she was so distraught at the thought of betraying our friendship.”
Angela passed Peter Simmons business card to Detective Salter.
“The company that Peter Simmons owns is called Wainwright & Simmons. Wainwright was Sarah’s name and she is listed as a Director of the company on the card.”