There were times when self-interest had to give way to something better, and as he lay in the relatively safety of the hospital room, surrounded by the very best medical care, he felt protected like a child by a parent.
And underneath this lurked his suspicions and fears about her. After all, if they didn’t find a second victim to Andrew’s fury, then he’d know..he’d know they were in ‘it’ together, whatever ‘it’ was.
He fought to repress these suspicions. They felt unworthy, and they distressed him so much that the pain he already suffered increased, far past the capacity of the heavy-duty painkillers he had been prescribed.
Greg came to visit him each day. He begged him for news. Eventually Greg relayed that the police had not found Lisa. Not even any record of her employment with Andrew. David almost wailed when he heard it.
‘So she was part of it!’ he cried.
‘What do you mean?” Greg asked.
‘It was all a vicious game, they set me up..they were in it together, otherwise she’d be in hospital, like me.’
‘Or worse, mate,’ Greg said, placing one hand gently on his arm to steady him, ‘She might be dead and Andrew might have covered his tracks very well. You saw her working for him..that makes her apparent lack of existence now very suspicious on that level, don’t you think? You shouldn’t just assume…’
‘Do the police think that?’
‘I don’t know..I don’t know.’
‘Well, her existence has been a bit mysterious in more ways than one..’ David muttered, but wanted to believe Greg’s hypothesis.
My God, said Voice, you’d want her dead rather than being the victim of a ruse?
Yes Voice, shut the fuck up, David thought.
Two weeks later David was discharged. He’d have months of physiotherapy and dentistry ahead of him, and working was out of the question for at least a month more. He had learned to use crutches for the first time in his life. He was not a physical creature so had never indulged in sports of the kind that risked such injury. It was all new to him. He applied himself to this with a kind of cold, vicious determination. He had nothing left to strive for, after all. A comedy career was unthinkable. Andrew had somehow escaped the heavy hand of the law, and he still reigned supreme in that world, in Sydney at least, and his networks extended far. Plus, it was comedy that had gotten him into this mess, and so now to even think about treading the stage boards made David physically ill.
All dreams shattered with his shattered body. He’d be an accountant forever.
All he wanted now, other than to heal physically, was to know, once and for all, what had actually happened. Lisa remained a mystery to the police and to everyone. If she was part of it, he wanted to know, if she was a victim he wanted to arise from the situation as an avenger and seek out the evidence to bring Andrew down. One way or the other, he wanted something from this, even if it was just closure.
Since he woke in the hospital and surveyed the wreckage that was his form he’d surprised himself with nightmares not of physical violence, but of a computer screen and the elusive author of a script that teased and taunted him by turns. He thought about Norman, unable to ban the creature. He thought about Andrew’s allusion to her moniker – the name that meant taking pleasure in the pain of others. He dreamt of ghosts and monsters, of the uncanny, not of brute force.
If nothing else he needed to find out the truth so he could rid himself of this fear of the unknown, this sense that something alien to him, something he could not even begin to comprehend, had somehow insinuated itself into his world. He had to do this if he was ever to feel comfortable behind a computer again.
(c) Helen M Valentina 2016, All Rights Reserved