No Matter What
Lizzy woke to her alarm at seven in the morning. She needed an alarm these days to get her going in the morning as work no longer gave her a reason to start the day. It was now something she did for the money which a lot of people do their whole lives but it was a new thing for Lizzy. Her work has been her life, it was the thing that got her going each day, and she enjoyed it.
As she felt around for the alarm she felt a sharp sting, she opened her eyes to see what it was and saw the rose. She jumped out of bed and quickly checked the house before returning to her bed room. She sat on the side of the bed picked up the rose and put it near her face to see it had a scent and then picked up the note. She opened the envelope and read the note, it only said.
She looked on the back of the note for anything else like a signature but nothing. She took the rose to the kitchen and placed it in a vase before getting on with her day.
Janet was making breakfast a bit late as she worked a four day week and this was her day off. There was a knock at the door, she answered it to find it was Lizzy.
“Hi,” said Lizzy.
“Hello Lizzy,” replied Janet. And then. “We were only talking about you last night.”
“We? … has he been here,” said Lizzy.
“Well, he might have been,” replied Janet. And then. “Come on in, would you like a cup of tea?”
“No thanks, I’m on my way to work,” said Lizzy. And then she added, “Is he still here?”
“No, he left about 11.00 last night,” replied Janet. She continued, “but I’m sure that if you put your mind to it you could find him.”
“I’ve been trying,” said Lizzy.
“Well try harder,” replied Janet.
Lizzy walked back to her car and headed to work.
As Paul drove through the night, the cars exhaust humming and the music turned up loud he had time to think, too much time. He could not get the image of Lizzy lying on her bed in the moon light out of his head. He started to feel sorry for himself and to spiral down into depression so he turned the music up even louder and sang along but it did not help. He eventually gave himself a stiff talking to. He told himself to, ‘make the best of things and get on with it.’ By the time he got home he was so exhausted he just wanted to sleep.
While standing at Janet’s front door Lizzy noticed a picture on the wall, it was of Paul standing next to his Ford Escort. The Escort may be something he could not let go off, this got her thinking, ‘maybe she could track him via the Escort.’
Once she got to work she searched the Police data base for Ford Escort owners. She narrowed it down to blue Escorts, then narrowed it again to owners that lived in country areas. The computer came back with a list of eighteen names spread over the state.
Over the next few months Lizzy started going away for the weekend to country areas checking out the owners of blue Ford Escorts. She would drive to country towns and stay over night at a motel and then she would, ‘keep an eye’ on the addresses on her list of Ford Escort owners. Slowly working her way through the list in the hope of finding Paul.
Her superiors had told her to, ‘let it go’ and work on her current list of crimes, so she was doing this at her own expense and in her own time. She was half way through the list and was not getting anywhere when she had an idea. She asked herself, ‘how did Paul get his false ID’s’ but she had no answer.
Lizzy sought advice from her old mentor, now retired, former Detective Sergent Steve Campbell. She went to see him at his home, were he lived alone having never married. He only retired a few years earlier but she was shocked to see him, he was a shadow of this former self. It was like he had nothing to live for, spending most of his time in the garden.
As Lizzy sat in his lounge room she had an awful thought, ‘is this me in a few years?’
“So, Elisabeth why have you come to visit today?” asked Steve, and then, “How can I help you?”
“I just came to see how you were,” said Lizzy, but Steve was having none of it.
“No you didn’t,” Steve replied.
“How does someone go about getting a new identity?” asked Lizzy.
“For yourself, Lizzy?” asked Steve.
“No of course not, I’m trying to find someone and I thought if I knew how he got a new identity I might be able to track him down,” said Lizzy.
“In the old days, well, …” he paused for a moment “… you would go to the State Library and look up old newspapers for anyone who died young, then you would go back further and look for their parents marriage. What you are looking for is the mother’s maiden name, the fathers name, dates of birth, all the information you can get. Once you have that you can get a birth certificate and with that you can get a, drivers licence, bank account what ever you want,” explained Steve.
“I see,” said Lizzy.
“Do you know when this person set up their false identities?” asked Steve.
“Roughly yes,” said Lizzy.
“O.K. just go to the State Library and get them to tell you who was looking at old newspapers around that date, it won’t be that big a list and if he is on that list, ask them to show you the material he looked at,” Steve explained.
“He is a Ford Escort enthusiast and I’ve got a list of owners,” said Lizzy.
“That will make it a lot easier. Just cross reference that list with people who died young listed in the newspapers and with a bit of luck a name will jump out at you.” replied Steve.
“Thanks,” said Lizzy. And then as they walked towards the door. “Nice place you have here.”
“You were never any good at small talk and I see you haven’t improved,” replied Steve.
Lizzy just smiled.
“Don’t be a stranger,” Steve said. He then just looked at her and added. “And don’t end up like me Elisabeth.”
Lizzy gave a half hearted smile and walked away.
The next day Lizzy took a day of work and spent a lot of it at the State Library looking at old newspapers and her patience payed off. One of the names on her list of Ford Escort owners and someone how died as a child in 1962 matched.
She spent the next few days trying to work out what to do. Should she arrest him or should she do nothing. She decided to go and check that it was him.
That weekend Lizzy drove to Kempsey and then followed the Navmans instructions which took her about an hour west. A few kilometres outside Bellbrook she arrived at her destination. She turned into his driveway and after a few hundred metres she found herself outside a small house. She got out of the car and knocked on the door but there was no answer so she walked around the house only to find no one about. She walked to the shed and looked through the window and saw a familiar blue Ford Escort. So she went back to the house and tried the front door, it was unlocked so she went inside. On the wall there was a picture of Paul and Janet so she knew she was in the right place then she noticed a framed press clipping of her which made her smile.
She made herself a cup of coffee and sat on the lounge and just waited. Lizzy was only half way through her coffee when she heard a car pull up outside, she just stayed where she was and waited.
Paul came through the front door and looked over at her, smiled and said.
“What took you so long Lizzy?”
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