“If I’m being really honest, I don’t really know anything about her,” he responds, resistant at first but then with full vigor. “Very well. There are some things, however, that you can tell us,” the itinerant interrogator suggests. “Yes, sure, of course. I would love to help in any capacity,” he helpfully volunteers. “When did you first meet her?” He slinks back in his chair and feigns a good ponder, “At the gala, sorry, the New Year’s Eve Gala that’s thrown every year by the judge’s family.” “The judge?” “Oh, sorry, the Inter Terrace Judiciary Chief Judge, the Honorable Patrick Constance,” he nods vigorously. “Understood.” “Yes, the judge,” he habitually responds. Silence falls upon them.
“Please, continue. You met, and then what?” “Oh, right, sorry, yes. I was introduced to her by Mrs. Constance herself.” “And?” “And we exchanged names as well as laughs about the general overdoing-it-ness of Judge Constance at New Years.” The interrogator jots down a note on a loose leaf of paper set upon many other sheets of loose leaf situated within a file folder. “What was your first impression of her?” “Oh, yes, right well, she seemed younger than I had been expecting.” “What age were you expecting her to embody?” “Uh, I don’t know, maybe the beginnings of elderly? Sixty or seventy?” “Why were you expecting this?” “Well, she’s a very prominent business woman, or prominent woman in general, so, one assumes that her success has come over … at least a few decades.” Jotting down another small note, the interrogator glances at him with doubt. “And at what age would you put her now that you’ve met her?” “Uh, well, I actually know her age.” “You do?” “Yes, uh, yes, since I was so surprised by her youth, I asked Mrs. Constance later in the evening.” “So, how old is she?” “Forty-two.” “And she looks like she’s forty-two?” “Oh, no, she looks like she’s maybe in college still.” “So you were surprised by her youth and are surprised by her youth?” “Well, I mean, I don’t mean to be indelicate, but she sort of looks like a child. Not like a childish child, but you know, for a man my age, I could be her father … or grandfather, if you were to just look at us.” “But you could be her father at your age.” He ponders this for a moment, “Oh yes, right. That’s true.”
“What else, then?” the interrogator begins again. “Uh, yes, sure. I mean that’s probably the extent of my knowledge.” With attention paid to the notes, the interrogator’s eyes remain fixed upon the page, “Did she eat or drink anything that evening?” He thinks for a while, “Uh, yea, sure, probably. I think I saw her with a glass in her hand, but I couldn’t begin to tell you what was in the glass.” “The color of the liquid?” “Um, I want to say clear, but I’m sure I’m just making that up.” “And did she eat anything?” the interrogator continues while simultaneously taking notes. “I couldn’t say for sure, but one would assume that she ate something at some point.” “Assumptions are never helpful. You never saw her eat anything?” “Honestly, I hardly gave her much attention after we were introduced.” Why?” “Well, many of my friends and colleagues were there that night, so I was having a good time.” “Very well.”
“Anything else?” “No, that’s all for now. Thank you for your time.” He slaps both hands on the top of the table, “Yes, sure, no problem. If you need anything more from me, you know where to find me.” The interrogator nods in acknowledgement. He stands and excuses himself from the conference room table. As he reaches the door, the interrogator —still seated— asks one final question, “When did you first meet Mrs. Constance?” He stops at the door mid-pull, “Sorry?” “How long have you known Mrs. Constance?” “Oh, right, yes, I met her that same night.” “Who introduced you?” “Uh, um, that’s funny, I can’t remember. I think she just approached me and introduced herself.” “Very well. Goodbye now.” Turning slowly away from the interrogator, he exits the room.