BERNADETTE CYNTHIA HEALY
'He seems quite set on interviewing most of the firm. Clearly you've made quite the impression. Care to tell me what's going on?'
'It might be worth checking your emails. I'll be over as soon as I can.' I put the phone down before Keith can argue with me any further. My heart is racing and I feel like a guilty schoolchild, though I can't think why. I hurry up the stairs, grabbing a cardigan and umbrella, along with the information I gleaned over the weekend, but I leave the original Last Will and Testament of Bernadette Cynthia Healy behind. I don't want that to leave my possession.
The journey to the office always takes thirty-six minutes, and this Monday is no different. I sit atop a double decker bus, staring at the bustling London streets as I try and focus my mind on the latest occurrence. A solicitor from Summerbees wants to do a background check on me. It's that simple. They're starting soft and asking a few questions but no doubt they already have a profile on me and my family, which indicates that Bernadette Cynthia Healy had this in mind for a very long time. It's far too organised and efficient, even though she's already been dead a month. Though now it makes sense why it took so long for the will to arrive on my doorstep. I'm very sure Summerbees didn't send it until they had all the information they required.
I walk through the sliding glass doors and say hello to Frankie, our receptionist. I nod so she knows to inform Keith of my arrival, and I take the stairs rather than the lift, giving myself a little more time to think about what I want to find out about Summerbees' lone ranger, who is making himself at home on my turf.
Keith stands and walks towards me, arms outstretched as he clasps my hands in his and whispers, 'frail and senile or sturdy and at your peak?'
'I'll let you know once I've met him,' and I pull away to see the Summerbees representative still sitting in one of my chairs. I grit my teeth, sturdy and at my peak it is then, and mouth 'the latter' to Keith.
'Good morning Mister...' I let my voice waver as I wait for a response from the insolent gentleman on my chair.
'Mr Hayworth,' at least he has the decency to stand up and shakes my hand with a limp wrist. I can tell straight away that it's an act, he is young and looks more like a paper pusher than an investigator, but his eyes have a familiar steely determination that I often saw in Jonathon.
'So Mr Nelson couldn't make it himself? What a shame. And how can I be of service to you Mr Hayworth? Normally for private clients we would reserve a restaurant for breakfast, we can still try and be a little more civilised if you'd prefer?'
'No, thank you. I would much prefer to see the office and the firm at work, it gives me a little more clarity, and I wouldn't want to waste your time.'
'Any more than you already have. So come now, how can I help? What would you like to know? I assume this is all to do with the Last Will and Testament of one of your clients?'