“Do you think it could be blackmail Fiona. You know somebody does actually know about, well the thing and this is their way of getting to you?”
“I don’t see how to be honest. There is no sign of anyone breaking in and surely if that was happening they would have done something by now. I’ve been back nearly a year and it all happened three months before I left. Uh, when I think about working my three months notice I don’t know how I did it. I was terrified the whole time, every time I saw a police man I thought I was going to faint.”
“Did nobody ever ask about him, you know the bloke? I mean if someone in England disappears there’s a hue and cry and it’s on the tele and all of that stuff.”
“It’s so different there. The whole social and family set up is different. Some of the families are huge, if a man has three wives and they all have a bunch of kids, which they usually do, well you can’t compare that to your average British family can you. Then the boys are very much free to do whatever they like. I’ll bet there are people in his family who haven’t even noticed yet that they haven’t seen him for ages and if they do they’ll have assumed that he’s off in the Gulf staying with mates or in the Capital at college. I knew one woman who only found out her son had got married because somebody else told her. No, it is possible for someone there to disappear much more easily than you would think. The distances are so great as well you know, his home was miles and miles from the hospital and so nobody would think about him being there.”
“Well, I can only speak for myself but I think that he was a brute. You protected yourself and if it had happened in UK then I would be calling the police myself, well I think I would but from what you said I don’t know what other choice you had. To be honest I don’t know how you’ve carried on.
“Saying that, how badly do you really think your nerves have suffered? What I’m coming round to saying really is, oh please don’t be offended, don’t get mad. Do you think that the roses and the noises and such like could have been your imagination?”
“And the barbecue, the plants. I didn’t imagine that did I? There is no way that was my “”nerves””
“Yeah, I hadn’t really connected those things. You don’t think it could be coincidence? Oh of course it’s not take no notice, I’m just so out of my depth here.”
“I know love, I know and I want to say that although telling you hasn’t taken away the horror and the guilt and all of that it is nice to be able to talk to someone about it. I’ll never forget what you’ve done, letting me tell you about it and most of all not judging me. Thank you.”
The two women hugged each other and shed yet more unheeded tears.
“What are you going to do though, are you going to sell the house, move out or rent it maybe. Of course you can stay here for now if you want but do you think you’ll be able to go back there eventually.”
“Oh, I don’t know. To be honest I can’t think straight now. I was at my wit’s end but I feel stronger now, with you here. There must be an explanation about the rose, there must be.”
Look do you think you’ll be able to sleep?”
“I’ll take a sleeping pill. I feel safe here with you and I have to say the thought of a good night’s sleep sounds heaven.”
“Okay let’s get to bed and then tomorrow we’ll give it all a good dose of thinking about and see what we come up with, yeah.”