“Ms. Hallowell,” Cochran says. She sighs. “Please Ms. Hallowell, may I call you Genevieve?”
Genevieve Hallowell sniffles into the tissue and looks up at Lt. Inspector Emily Cochran’s brown amber eyes. They are softer, not so piercing. Genie sniffles. She looks full up at Cochran, and manages a slight smile. Cochran smiles back.
“Ms. Hallowell,” the inspector queries.
“You can call me Genie. Everyone calls me that.” Genie says. Her voice is calmer.
“You can call me Emily.” They shake hands. Cochran returns to the table and sits opposite of Genie.
“Ms. Hallowell, Genie, we need to know what happened. What happened to Salvatore Klement the other night?”
“Yes, poor Sal. I was so scared.” She looks and begins to tear up again.
“Genie, I met him once. He worked at Horseshoe Tavern, right?”
“Yes. Sal usually worked the close. He was a sweet man.”
“I remember him as fine person. I remember his upbeat nature.” Cochran adds. “I was in the Horseshoe late one night and a stumbling drunk Marina local came in and ordered a shot of tequila.”
“Sal would’ve never served him; he didn’t cater to out mind drunks too well.”
“Your right, he brought the guy a glass of water with a lime in it. He told him that he was too drunk.” Cochran says. “The drunk became outraged.”
“Sal could hold his own with any trouble.” Genie says.
“I thought I might have to help. I don’t know what Sal said, but the guy calmed down immediately. Seems his wife just left him with his best friend, and Sal listened to him for an hour, refilling his water.”
“He was really great with people.” Genie adds.
“Long/short, Sal gave him a hug and bought him a cab ride home.” Cochran finishes.
“I, I,” Genie begins to tear up, “I can’t believe he’s gone.”
“I know Genie,” Cochran takes her hands, “so help us. Lets put the son of bitch who did this away forever.”
Cochran releases her hands and reaches for the tissues. She pulls out a handful and passes them across the table. Genie lowers her head into her hands and sobs full on. Cochran stands and circles around the end of the table. She grasps Genie’s shoulders and Genie turns up, salty mascara washes down her face. Emily can’t make out the color of her eyes under a deep puddle of tears. Genie closes them and grabs hold of Emily.
“Knock, Knock.” The blue raps on the observation room. Detective Sampson turn toward the door and stands up. He opens it and the uniform hands him two cups of coffee.
“I should have the report in a few minutes Sir.” He says.
Sampson closes the door, and walks over to Bardo. “Here.” He extends the paper cup to him. Seven looks up at Sampson, a forced frown and a harsh glance cannot hide the puddles in his eyes. His neck stiffens as he takes the coffee.
“She’s not that bad you know.” Sampson says.
“Yeah, I know. It’s just hard to see Genie suffer. I’ve known her for a while. She’s a class act.” Seven says.
“She just needs to tell us the truth.” Sampson replies.
“I know that, but she really doesn’t know anything.”
“She may know more than she realizes?”
“No. You guys are wasting time. Emily knows I would never lie to her.” Seven says.
“Maybe. I don’t know much about that, but we need to hear it from her mouth.”
Another couple of knocks on the observation door, and Sampson stands to answer. “Yes.”
“Hallowell, Genevieve Alicia, sir.” A different uniform hands a file folder to Detective Sampson. It is a plain manila letter-size, and on the cover “Confidential” is stamped on it several times. The Tab is filled out with G. Hallowell.
“Thanks Mike. Thanks for the rush.” Sampson pats Officer Mike Manson on the arm.
“De Nada, man,” the blue answers and turns to leave.
Sampson shuts the door, folder in hand, and returns to the window. Cochran is back on her side of the table, and Genie’s face is flush but clear.
“What happened at the Plaza Bridge Motel Genie?” Cochran asks. She stares into her eyes.
“I don’t know. I just don’t know.” Genie says.
“Start from the beginning. Lt. Cochran says, “it’s usually best.”
“Well,” Genie shrugs, “I met Sal at the bar; he was closing.”
“Come in.” Sampson raps on the interview door and Cochran looks up from the table.
“Lieutenant, I have the report.” Sampson says as he enters and hands a manila folder across the corner table. Bid red letters are stamped multiple times on the cover and back. Genie follows the movement as if it were in slow motion, silencing her tears.
“Please continue.” Cochran says and opens the folder. “