“Are these real handcuffs?” asked Gordon lifting a pair from the top of an old cardboard box held together with tape. “Of course they are,” replied Mrs Henderson, smiling “I was in the police for well over twenty years. My old outfit will be in there as well, but not the badge of course. That’s on a shelf in my bedroom. Why do you ask?”
Gordon Lister hadn’t held any sort of genuine police equipment before, and was intrigued by the weight and the feel of what was in his hands. “I’ve only seen them on TV and was expecting something more….. well heavier. These look too flimsy to restrain anybody.”
Donna Henderson laughed as she said “That’s what men always used to say before I put them on!” causing him to wonder why a suspect would comment on the likely effectiveness of something that was being used as part of an arrest.
“So they’re in here because you don’t use them anymore?” he asked not really expecting an answer as he put them back where he’d found them.
She shook her head “no, not those I don’t. I’ve …..err… got alternatives…should there be any …err…. need.” This was the second time he’d been puzzled in less than a minute, but didn’t think it appropriate to ask what she meant as despite living just down the road from her for the last two months, this was the first time they’d had any sort of conversation as he was only there because his step-mother had volunteered him to help Donna Henderson clear out a garage after her divorce as she now lived alone..
They continued sorting through boxes for almost four hours, putting things that Mrs Henderson wanted to keep but didn’t need at the moment in new boxes which they labelled, taped and piled neatly in the corner, and putting the things she didn’t want on the back of Gordon’s trailer. He was just about to close the garage door when Donna Henderson pointed towards first box he’d opened which had been pushed towards the side, wall, “The uniform no longer fits so that can go, but the rest of it….well it’s functional I suppose so it ought to come inside.”
Gordon looked at Mrs Henderson and wondered how she’d looked in the uniform, as it may have been several years ago, and by her own admission she’d probably have been slimmer, but she was still good-looking and firm in all the right places. He smiled at the thought as she reached into the box and pulled out a black leather utility belt which she wrapped her waist and over her now-dusty grey tracksuit, instinctively checking its contents and condition. “Just like the old days” she said, almost triumphantly while fastening the buckle at the front.
Gordon bent down at her feet and picked out the handcuffs, offering them to her as he stood. “Where do these go?” he asked. “On a man usually” replied Mrs Henderson ruefully “but like I said earlier, it’s been a while.”
Gordon grinned back at her “Want to snap them on me? Just like the old days?” Donna Henderson laughed as she said “I’d love to, but I’ll only do it if you really want me to. They’re not toys. They’re genuine police issue.”
Gordon held out both arms, expecting her to snap the partially-open handcuffs, but Mrs Henderson gently spun him round, put both his hands behind his back, and gently clicked the metal cuffs on his wrists. “Comfortable?”
Gordon nodded as Mrs Henderson pulled his arm round ninety degrees so that he was now facing her house. “Walk” she said very matter-of-factly, her tone of voice completely different from what it had been only minutes earlier. He set off towards the front door with Mrs Henderson walking behind him and whispering in his ear “You have the right to remain silent…. but that’s about it.”
She opened the door, pushed him in, and closed it behind them before prodding him towards the stairs. “Up” she said as matter-of-factly as she had done outside. Gordon did as he’d been instructed and ended up in a large bedroom. “I probably should have mentioned it earlier,” said Donna Henderson putting one hand on his shoulder and pushing downwards so that he was sat on the edge of her bed, “but I don’t have the key those cuffs. That’s why I don’t use them anymore.”
“So you can’t unlock them? Is that what you’re telling me?” protested Gordon, beginning to wonder why she’d declined to tell him what was an obviously important piece of information, and why she’d now brought him up to her bedroom. “Well no, I can’t unlock them. But that doesn’t mean we can’t get them off. It means that we can’t get them off just yet.”
Donna Henderson walked from the side, stood directly in front of him, peeled her sweatshirt up over her head, and then did the same with the T-shirt underneath. “Not in bad shape am I?” she asked rhetorically as she pushed her tracksuit down her thighs and onto the carpet. She was now wearing a black bra, matching pants which were more functional than sexy, and a police utility belt. “I need a shower” she said in the same matter-of-fact tone she’d used before, and adding with a grin as if by way of explanation “I’m a very dirty girl.”
She laughed at what Gordon quickly realized was intended as some sort of joke, unbuckled the leather belt, let it fall to the floor by his feet and walked into the en-suite bathroom leaving the door open. Donna Henderson then turned round, stared at Gordon and slowly removed the only two items of clothing she still had on. “Sit there and don’t move” she said in a tone that was much more of an order than the emotionless instructions he’d been given since they left the garage.