I really didn’t want to go. Andrew couldn’t officially be classed as missing as he’d been in contact, but then in reality he was missing in the sense that no one knew where he was, nor did we know if he was a danger to himself or not. Maybe he had totally lost the plot. This wasn’t, after all, normal behaviour. So one very wet Saturday in May, I went down to the questura (the police headquarters) in Como and reported my husband as missing.
When I entered the building there was a big glass booth where the officer on duty sat.
‘Can I help you, signora?’
‘I need to make a statement.’
‘What for, signora?’
‘It’s about my husband.’
‘I don’t know where he is.’ Followed by tears.
He started asking me a ton of questions but I couldn’t tell if I was just providing some light entertainment on an otherwise wet and dreary Saturday afternoon, or if there was a purpose to his questions. I feared the former so I stopped answering them, pulled myself together and asked him what the procedure was. He said he would get two officers and they would take me into one of the rooms and I could make my statement.
What went on for the next hour and a half could only be described as a game of charades. One of the officers was in his forties, maybe early fifties, and the other was in his twenties and was tall with an attractive face and a smoking body. He was way better looking than any Hollywood actor. Maybe I should have given him my number and said, ‘If Andrew doesn’t show up, sure, give me a call.’
They were professional and very kind, and I felt as comfortable as anyone probably could while telling complete strangers, in a language that they could barely speak, that they had misplaced their husband.
Explaining all the details and answering the questions wasn’t easy. They were trying to ascertain his physical characteristics. I said Andrew was very tall, but I always got confused with metres because I was used to saying height in feet and inches. The older officer, who was of average height, stood up and started saying ‘To here? To here?’, pointing at his chin, then his nose. ‘No, he’s much taller than you, he’s more like him.’
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