“This was his old room, before he got a flat closer to university,” Mrs. Craig pushed open the door and stood aside to let me in. She let a little sob, muffled slightly by the same pocket-handkerchief as earlier, and then said, “I better leave you alone to continue the…investigation.”
“I understand.” Yeah, Joshua Craig’s old room would be hard for the old woman to face…
As the door closed lightly, I turned around and surveyed this different room. Angular and narrow like the rest of the house, differences that changed the room were just the odd souvenir from Mr. Craig’s younger days; tack marks from posters (probably of 90s supermodels) and the scent of old cologne. The room itself, though, wasn’t spectacular. It was petite but cosy with a simple wooden bed (pine or oak), a record player on a writing desk and a wardrobe of the same material, and a few vinyl disks in a small tower under the desk. I moved towards those as they seemed likely to have a clue more than the simpler furniture. The top two disks were 80s bands that I had never heard of, but, subsequently, the rest were all ABBA. I rolled my eyes. I flicked through the different covers, not really sure what I was looking for; becoming bored, I started to properly view them. ‘Mr. Jacket’ actually had quite a good collection: Waterloo, The Visitors, Super Trooper, The Hits Volumes I and II. I picked out the Super Trooper one and placed it onto the record player. One of the first tracks I recognised was ‘Andante, Andante’.
So I sat on the nearby bed and mimed strumming the beginning notes. Yes, shamefully I know a few ABBA tunes on my guitar, but it’s probably the genetics passed down from my ABBA-fan mother!
‘I’m your music-
I’m your song
Play me time and time again,
And make me strong.
Make me sing,
Make me sound,
Tread lightly on my ground,
Oh, please don’t let me down!’
Mid-song, Caroline Peterson warily stepped into the room.
“ABBA, huh?” she said, “I’ve never liked them. Josh did, though. He was a good man really, trustworthy and all that…”
I closed my eyes and leant back against the headboard to sing the last sixteen-beat-long note. Caroline grinned, and “What?” I responded like a typical teenager.
“You have a good, strong voice.”
“Thanks, but, really, it’s nothing. Couldn’t make a career out of it.” I added darkly under my breath.
“It is something!” She replied, not hearing the undertone in my voice. Controlling my wobbling emotional current, and pushing the wave of regret out of my thoughts, I changed our conversation topic.
“She’s my namesake you know…Agnetha.”
We stood in silence during the next few tracks, considering all of the last day’s action, and then said our goodbyes; it was late and I needed to get going…