Gloria watched the detectives leave the room. If she had gone in any harder, they would have been limping. They were good people, but they were reaching harder than a horny date on prom night and she had played along right up until they were virtually sniggering about Harlan’s sexual preferences. Who pitched, who caught and that made Gloria see really red.
Harlan sat there, pale and trembling, lips pressed together as he inhaled slowly.
‘I’m fucked, aren’t i?’
She shook her head.
‘They have nothing substantial, other than that you were there, which was -‘
He turned and looked at her, eyes soft with a need for sympathy. It was a surprise to her, to see him so unmanned. Love did that, turned people inside out with it’s power.
‘Mr Foster -‘
‘Harlan, please, you’ve earned that courtesy.’
She sighed. She liked the company of gay men, not exclusively because she had figured out that treating them as accessories was akin to the homophobic rejection of them entirely. The cliche of the gay best friend denied their autonomy as much as the term fag did. If a woman can’t find the self esteem to buy her own fucking shoes, then a swishing femme straight from central casting wouldn’t make any difference. No, she liked them because they were men, aware of what was good in a man and able to talk about it. She liked Harlan because he had been born in the sullen, harsh psychic dirt of this town and bloomed hard and bright. She would not tell him that, not here. Her job was to get him out of this as fast as possible.
‘Harlan, they’ve got nothing. They’ll wait on the forensics but even that isn’t a guarantee of anything concrete.’
He swallowed and looked at his hands before he looked up.
‘They don’t like me.’
She sighed and shook her head as she smiled at him.
‘Doesn’t matter. Look, if you’re suffering from the idea that they’ll fake evidence to get you, that’s way more difficult than tv makes it out to be. They took blood from you, yeah? Skin samples, all that stuff. Add to that the fact that 80% of victims know their murderer, then there is a base for your concern. But, the idea that you, with your good manicure and your posture, somehow got the drop on a trained law enforcement official? No.’
Harlan blushed and looked away.
‘Plus, Harlan, the time they’re wasting on you is time they’re not spending on the fucker who actually did this and cold cocked you for it.’
He put his face in his hands and sighed heavily.
‘So, now what?’
She looked towards the door, took a sip of the coffee that sat bitter on her tongue and swallowed.
‘I’m interested in that myself.’
He gave a dry chuckle and shook his head which made her smile and put her hand on his forearm.
‘We’ll see what they say when they come back in, won’t we?’
https://mbblissett.com/ogden-review/ for previous episodes. Please share and leave comments.