Picture Perfect 60
“Figures.” Dan gave a little laugh. “What about the RCMP?”
“Oh them. They did what they could. Asked us lots & lots of questions. Made it seem like Pops might have had something to do with it. You must know all about that, Dan, being one yourself. Is that why you joined them? To make victims sweat?”
“Nope. They recruited me.”
“That all they do? That Sergeant, or whatever he was, Davis, I think, certainly wanted to recruit me too. He came to the house more times than I care to remember to ask one more thing. I thought he was trying to get me to rat out on Pops but he was like every guy I’ve ever met. Found out he was talking to your sister right after he’d been to see me. Wonder if he got the information he wanted out of her.”
Dan flied that away for later. His sister never mentioned being questions by the RCMP.
“What do you think happened to Timmy?”
“Oh my God! No one has ever asked me that. I used to think he just ran away. Never to look back. Maybe went to the States and got into the airforce. After he was gone I’d imagine him in a pilot’s uniform. Flying the President around the world. I don’t like to think of him in the hands of some … sicko … or that he’s …” she teared up. “that he’s dead.” She began to weep noisily. “He was just a kid, you know. A good kid. That’s all we were, kids. Those RCMP fellas trying to make out that we were more than that. That everyone was hiding information, being cunning and sly. It wasn’t like that. We just didn’t know what happened.”
Barbra came over with handful of paper napkins.
“Another one?” Barbra picked up the empty beer bottles.
“Nope I have had enough. For the afternoon that is.” she smiled. “Sorry, Dan, I didn’t mean to get all mushy like that. We never knew about all them others either until the show. We knew about some of them but not that there were so many. So many.” She began to tear up again. “When I think of those poor children. Now that I have a couple of my own I feel it all even more. I realize what my folks had gone through. It wasn’t a loss, it was like, having your heart ripped out and then some asshole in a uniform acting as if you ripped it out yourself to spite them.
They had no sympathy. That’s what got to me anyway. How did you feel when they talked to you?” she asked Dan.
“But you and Timmy’s was great pals.”
“I didn’t know he’d been abducted until I saw it on Cold Case a few months ago.”
“Go on! They talked to your Dad and Linda. Not you?”
“Yeah. I even wrote Timmy a few times after we moved to Toronto but when he never answered I figured he wasn’t going to.”
“You don’t look much like your Dad. Like, I can, for a bit, see the boy I knew when I look at you. You sound just like him though. When you say some words it’s as if your Dad was speaking to me.”
“I may not of inherited his looks but I did inherit his eye and his voice.”
“Your looks are good. Your Dad was handsome. Charming. My mother said that he was charming. I’d never thought of a man like that until my mother said it. We girls were always trying to get him to take our pictures too. Provoke him as if we were woman enough to … tempt him. We wanted so badly to grow up. Trouble was what we’d lose when we grew up.” She was silent.
“Our researcher said you had some photographs from around that time?” Dan said.
“Oh yes. I forgot all about them. They’re in my purse here.” She reached for it on the chair next to her. It wasn’t there. “Where the fuck .. sorry, or can you edit things out?” she asked Cameron.
“Edit is easy.”
She looked under her chair, inside her jacket. “Did I have it when we went for a smoke?”
“Don’t think so.” Cameron said.
“Did I take it to the bathroom with me? I’ll be right back.”
The waitress came over and cleared their table.
“Anything else?” she asked.
“Not for me. You?” Dan asked Cameron.
“You want us out of here?” Dan asked the waitress.
“Oh no. Your prediction manager made sure you could take all the time you wanted here. Owners did put their foot down about not letting in our regulars though. How was the food?”
“Let’s just say be glad we’re not restaurant reviewers?” Cameron answered her.
Teresa retuned to the table with her purse clutched under her arm. She had hastily reapplied her make up.
“Would it be okay if we got out of here?” she asked.
“I don’t see why not?” Dan glanced at Cameron.
“I may have to mike you for out of doors.” He looked into his equipment bag for microphones. “I usually have a couple with me.”
“I hate to be a bother but I just gotta … I get restless sitting around talking like this.”
Cameron clipped mikes onto each of them. “These ought to work.”
They went outside.
“Which way?” Dan asked her.
“Let’s go to Allan Park. Not too far from here. You remember it?”
“Sort of. Timmy and I used to play around the train yards a lot. Then the Maple Woods.”
“Woods is gone now.” she said. “Sounding okay, camera guy?”
He gave them a thumbs up.
“Funny I thought it’d be … weird with a camera like this but he sort of stops being there.”
“That’s the idea. Was there anything going on the week before things happened?”
“What do you mean?”
“Like a big festival. Was it Stellarton’s Homecoming Week or a Celtic Music Show.”
“Oh, no. Not here. Hippo was the most exciting thing that usually happened around here. Even that was pretty small potatoes. It was always something if they brought in a new ride. No, if we wanted something to do we would go to Truro. Guess that’s part of why even your Dad stopping by for awhile was an event. Never understood why he picked here. Like New Glasgow or even Truro would have been better.”
“Sounds like you thought any place was better.”
“Yeah. I guess I sound like all those soured bitches who drag themselves back to their roots. I’ve been to bigger places and they were no better or worse than here. Lots more of the crappy stuff but the same amount of the good stuff.”
“So there was nothing special that week.”
“Not that I recall.” She unzipped her purse. “Here and those pictures I was talking about. Mama had a drawer full of them. Most of them still in their envelopes. Putting them in albums was something she was going to get around to some day. But after Timmy she didn’t want to look at them. That’s where I found the one of you two on the steps. The one they used on that show.”
“You remember much about that day?” Dan asked as he sorted through the pictures.