– Will you want to talk to us?
– Have proceedings begun?
– No. And perhaps they won’t have to. In fact, that’s what usually happens in cases like this.
– I see. And in what status am I going to answer your questions?
– You don’t have to. If you should agree, it would be “voluntary cooperation with the authorities”.
– Well, voluntary… You burst in here, into my office, in the middle of the morning to interrogate me no less. As if I could refuse. What do you want me to say?
– Maybe we have chosen a bad moment. It’s all very recent. If you prefer, you could call us and we’ll talk another time.
– No. It doesn’t matter. Let’s talk now.
– Are you sure?
– How long have you been working here?
– I don’t know exactly. About three years I believe.
– And have you been in this office all that time?
– Is there anyone else?
– No. We were on our own.
– Did you know her well?
– No-one here knew her well. Not personally. She kept herself to herself.
– Are you sure there wasn’t anybody?
– No-one. Without a doubt. And I would have known. I mean anyone would have known. She didn’t exactly go unnoticed and if she had become close to someone it would have been obvious.
– We’ve been told that she had a good relationship with your colleagues in the office next door.
– Are you interviewing the whole Faculty? It’s going to take you a long time.
– Well? Did they have a good relationship with her?
– I don’t think so. At any rate, I would love to know what she thought.
– You seem to be rather categorical considering that you’re talking about someone who kept herself to herself.
– Perhaps so, but I bet “those from next door”, who say they had a good relationship with her, haven’t told you anything specific. Am I wrong?
– No. But you? You shared an office and a subject for almost three years…
– Yes, we shared an office and we had a courteous relationship. But we were obviously not friends. She never opened up, and neither did she confide in me at all. I was no exception in that.
– Did you treat her like a friend?
– I had been here for quite a few years when she arrived and, as a colleague, I tried to make it easier for her to fit in. Then the only thing I did was to respect the distance she imposed. I don’t come here to make friends either.
– Did she reject your help?
– No, not in an offensive way. She made it very clear early on that she didn’t need it.
– And why did you say that she didn’t exactly go unnoticed?
– But haven’t you seen the photos? Well, perhaps it can’t be seen very well in them.
She was always very smartly dressed. Well, at least, that’s what it seemed like to me. She didn’t neglect any details, left nothing to chance. It always seemed as if she were going to receive an award. A lot of people thought she was eccentric and perhaps she was. Well, thank goodness for her eccentricity in the midst of this aesthetic tedium invading us, don’t you think?
– And aside from her clothes, how else did she stand out?
– She was strange. She didn’t mix with anyone. She came here, impeccably turned out, wrapped in cloaks and with impossible hairdos, gave her classes and left. Everything about her was mysterious: so extreme and obvious in her appearance and so aloof in her manner. Maybe it was her way of letting us know that things weren’t going well.
– So you expected what happened.
– Not at all. Not something like that.
Photos courtesy of Cibeles Madrid Fashion Week