“The psychologist I’ve spoken with are of the opinion he’s not capable of handling direct contact which explains why he’s chosen this method of approach.”
“So you think he’ll get tired of the scenario and give up.”
“Yes, since it only leaves one other option open and one he’s highly uncomfortable with. He’ll get tired of the game when it becomes too difficult, too much work, and he’ll give up on you and choose another target.”
“While I’d be delighted with the prospect of his giving up on me, I don’t relish the idea he’ll choose someone else. I’m also concerned about the kids; the reason I approached you originally was to ensure my their safety. The possibility he may hurt any of them worries me.”
“We’ll take it step by step, ok?”
Hearing a sound at the door, they both turned to look and watched as Andrew entered. Upon seeing the stranger sitting on the sofa next to his mom, a quizzical look flashed across his face. “Andrew, how was the movie?”
“Joe Morton, I’d like to introduce my son, Andrew. Andrew, this is Joe Morton, a friend.”
“Hi, Andrew, nice to meet you.” Joe stood and held out a hand to Andrew.
“What’s playing at the theatre?”
“The Lost World, Jurassic Park.”
“You like it better than the last one?”
“Yeah, I do.”
“I have to go. I’ll talk to you soon, Eilea.”
“Yes, the sooner the better.”
“Mom, who was that?”
“A new friend.”
“Interested in some iced tea? I was just about to make some.”
“Sure, sounds good.”
“Mom, do you want to watch Independence Day now?”
“Why not?” As soon as the movie ended, Eilea turned in while Andrew went to play Nintendo 64 in his room. Moments later, a knock sounded on the bedroom door.
“Yes?” Eilea called.
“Mom, it’s me.”
“Come in, Andrew.”
“How come the phone is unplugged? I noticed it because I was going to call Jay and see if he would work for me tomorrow. It’s not the first time it’s been unplugged either. I noticed it a couple of times.”
“The girls seem to have one or two friends calling after I’ve turned in for the night.”
“Oh. I just wondered.”
“Do you want me to plug it back in?”
“Not tonight, Andrew. I haven’t had a chance to speak with the girls.”
“Ok. Good night mom.”
“Good night Andrew.”
As soon as Eilea arrived at the office, she explained Officer Morton’s proposal to George and he readily agreed.
The day dragged by, unbearably long. Eilea’s mind kept wandering she couldn’t stay focused, nor could she concentrate on work. For the first time since she’d started here, she found her job tedious and oppressive. The segment of the job she enjoyed most denied her. People contact. It was a monumentally satisfying part of her job.
To fill in the time, she updated information cards on flights out of Vancouver, Toronto, and Seattle then moved onto making flight arrangements for a group of local clients and their friends attending a conference in Tacoma. Her eyes constantly strayed to her watch until five o’clock finally rolled around and it was time to leave.
Lifting her coat from off the hanger, she wondered for the millionth time who really was the prisoner here.
She was almost out the door when George stopped her. “Well, I counted five phone calls. Is that a record of some kind?”
“It’s more than usual, perhaps he’s fixated on you now, George,” she quipped.
“Ha, ha!” he smirked at her.
“He usually calls once or twice a day. I guess that means the plan is working. How are you holding up?”
“To be honest, it would drive me crazy in no time. How in the world did you handle it for so long?”
“No other choice, really.”
“If you could put up with it, so can I,” he said turning away.
“Yes?” he turned back to face her.
“Be careful, George, I wouldn’t want anything to happen to you.”
“Why should anything happen to me?”
“If what Officer Morton said holds up, how do you suppose he’ll react if he loses control? This scenario might wash for now, but what about long-term consequences? If he can’t get to me because I’m otherwise engaged for a time, I can see him buying that. If, however, he thinks for a second you or anyone else is deliberately standing between him and his ability to contact me, what do you suppose he’d do then? Frankly, that worries me. I wouldn’t want to see you or anyone else hurt on my account.”
“I doubt it will come to that, so stop worrying. I’m sure the cops know what they’re doing.” His attempt at reassurance fell on deaf ears. Hers and his since those same thoughts occurred to him earlier.
“Go on, I’ll lock up. Good night, Eilea see you in the morning.”
When Eilea arrived home, Christina was already prepping dinner. ” I decided to make pasta with four cheese sauce and a salad with chicken strips. What do you think?”
“Sounds absolutely delicious!”
“I’m going to lay down for a half hour. Call me when dinner’s ready, ok?”
“Sure, no problem,” Christina said, surprised. “Everything ok?”
“Yeah, sure, just a difficult day at work, no big deal,” Eilea reassured her.
Shrugging her shoulders, she returned to the kitchen to continue with dinner preparations.
Eilea walked down the hall to the bedroom flopped on the bed, instantly asleep. The distant ringing of the telephone shattered a most pleasant dream. She sat up and reached for her phone. It was dead. A frown creased her brow before she remembered she’d disconnected it the night before.
She listened. Christina spoke briefly and hung up.
Getting up, she straightened the covers, entered the bathroom and ran a brush through her hair before joining her in the kitchen. “How’s it going?”
“Who was on the phone?”