“I’m not really sure.” He still won’t look at me. “She wouldn’t talk to me after that. I assume Moira told Annie I confronted her.” The truth, but not all of it. He is sweating again, so I push the issue.
“What did you talk to Moira about the night before the party?” I have definitely caught him off-guard. There is a look of panic on his face, and I haven’t even asked him about the supposed attempted rape.
“Who told you I talked to her then?” The words tumble out of his mouth before he can stop them. “The bitch! I wouldn’t have thought she’d have the nerve to tell anyone.” So it is true. I look at him expectantly, hoping he’ll fill in the blanks. It’s a well-known trick of the cop trade to stay silent, forcing the perp to talk. It works. “It wasn’t enough that she seduced my daughter, oh no. She couldn’t be satisfied with just that, could she? No, she had to do more. Moira did cocaine once in a while. Crack. I bet you didn’t know that.” I didn’t, but I keep quiet. Now that he’s finally talking, I don’t want to do anything to stop the flow. “She only did it recreationally. I think she thought it made her cool or something.” I see where this is going, but I want to hear him say it. “She gave some to my Annie. Imagine that! The girl is only twenty-three, and this barracuda gets her hooked on crack. ‘Just try it,’ she says. ‘It’s like nothing you’ve ever felt before.’ So my Annie, my innocent daughter who is so in love with Moira, does what she is told. Before she knows it, she’s shooting up daily.”
“How did she get that kind of money?” I ask. Crack, while cheaper than its glamorous cousin, cocaine, is still not cheap if being done every day.
“My ex gave it to her before she realized what Annie was doing with it. Once it became clear that Annie was using, Ginny—my ex—refused to give her any more money.” A font of information up to this point, Emil stops. He doesn’t want to tell me anything else, but I wait him out. There’s no contest, and he breaks. “Annie started hooking to make the money to feed her crack habit.” It is what I’m expecting to hear, but saddens me, nonetheless. Any residual good feelings I had for Moira drain away; I’m glad I never went on that date with her.
Emil hadn’t been able to put Moira’s treachery out of his mind which is why he met with Moira the night before the party. He had been brooding about his daughter almost nonstop for three months, and he couldn’t take it any more. His work was suffering from his lack of concentration; he was having difficulties sleeping at night; he’d lost ten pounds because he couldn’t eat. It was one reason he was taking a sabbatical next year. He had to talk to Moira again, if only to give him peace of mind that he’d done everything he possibly could to help his daughter. He said Moira wasn’t so high-and-mighty when Emil threatened to tell the department about her conquests. In fact, she looked absolutely panicked until she realized that she had something to threaten him with, too. She told him she’d turn Annie in to the cops if Emil ratted on her. Emil’s nostrils flare as he starts breathing harder. His skin is ashen, and he is panting slightly. I worry that he will have a heart attack in front of my eyes. I won’t be able to handle the guilt if I send this man into cardiac arrest.