When Rachel walked in through the door of her apartment in St John’s Wood, London, she never expected to see the envelope and her spare set of keys lying on that antique table, the one which she’d been given by her mother as a gift all those years ago. ‘That’s strange?’ she thought, and then it just hit her, like a flying mallet thrown into a bone china store! Slap bang in the middle of her normally calm and composed face. “Keith!!!” she screamed, “Keeiiithhhhh!!!!” Falling down on both knees, tears streaming from her white freckled face, she knew, and she didn’t need to or want to open that letter which lay on that table in front of her. Her worst nightmare had already come true. She was alone, and she knew it was going to hurt.
It was dark, which was to be expected, as Trevor rolled up on his mountain bike and decided this was a place that was as good as any other he’d found. Removing his helmet, his legs straddling either side of the crossbar on his $3000 Bianchi and his brand new Diadora’s half caked in mud, it was time. He’d decided a long time ago that if things materialized the way he believed they would then this place, and his second choice, which lay about 25 miles in the opposite direction, would be perfect hide outs until things blew over, or, if they didn’t then his third and final option would be to utilize the very thing he’d dreaded and stayed very far away from. His family!
Armando kept very quiet, his balance, perfect, as he ascended this very narrow and daunting stairwell which would take him from the first floor, all the way up to the top floor, some 5 stories above where he found himself standing. His heart was pounding, his breath, short, and very precise, his eyes scanning back and forth as he decided carefully if each step would be safe or if it would be too much of a risk, thus halting him in his tracks and giving him no option but to use plan B, a plan he’d hoped to avoid at all costs. It was nearly midnight and everyone in the building was asleep. Everyone except for Muriel. Armando was determined, he was cautious, he was truly frightened, but in his attempt to make all of this work, he was sure this was his only choice.
Jillian made sure that she’d cleaned up her mess before eating what looked like the best meal she’d ever cooked. Dishes, pots and pans were everywhere, but the smell of deliciously fresh lamb, hot out of the oven, was sending hunger pains to the nether regions of a diet she’d decided to pass in favor of a return to normality. It wasn’t that she was over weight, well not by more than a few pounds, she just felt she’d become ‘soft’ and needed a change. She missed her athletic body, the one she’d been proud of throughout her high school years, but now, at the age of 28, she felt that it was time to reclaim it, to take command, stop eating crap and try harder to look good for the man she’d just met, Keith, with who she hoped good things were about to happen. She cleaned up, sat down, opened a bottle of red wine she’d purchased from Tesco on her way home from work, picked up her fork and was about to take the first bite from a deliciously tempting piece of sweet potato, when suddenly her cell phone buzzed. The text message, which appeared bold and bright in the center of its screen read simply, SAVE ME.
Lewis Curdon had been a police constable in the Metropolitan constabulary of Greater London, for no more than 3 years. He loved being a ‘bobby’, wearing that uniform, carrying a ‘badge’ of authority that he believed set him apart from the rest of the population of what was, the largest city in the UK, and probably the most interesting. Lewis felt he’d been born to be a ‘copper’, and with three plus years under his belt, he also felt that this was the right time to make a move and start his journey towards his dream of becoming a sergeant, then into CID, and then to who knew where? He wanted to reach the very top of his profession, or at least as high as he could get, and knowing that politics wasn’t something he was particularly good at he believed that his journey into officialdom might be limited unless he could learn to play all those internal ‘games’ required for advancement inside the “Met’. Lewis had always been a realist, knowing exactly where his own strengths and weakness’ lay, but he was ambitious none the less, and no one, not even his brother, with whom he’d rarely seen eye to eye, could understand the burning desire that he had to be successful. Trevor had been the polar opposite of Lewis, and growing up in Epsom, a wealthy suburb of London, Trevor had always believed he was ‘entitled’ and really made no effort to make a life for himself, hoping, often praying, though never to God, that the money his parents had accumulated, would eventually ‘fall’ into his lap and leave him secure for the rest of his days on earth without having to do one iota of work or indeed make any effort whatsoever to join the ‘real’ world. Lewis had despised Trevor’s attitude since he was old enough to understand that without hard work, nothing ever came easy, and doing everything possible to distance himself from his brother as they marched through school together, and then on to university, where, sadly, Trevor had become reliant on drugs, dropping out in his second year and then using their parents as a ‘trust’ fund, while he roamed the planet in search of his nirvana. Lewis knew how much his parents had sacrificed in favor of Trevor’s happiness, a state of mind that Trevor had never really come to terms with or indeed fully understood, never the less, Lewis knew in his heart that if something every happened to his mother and father, he would be the one left carrying the burden that Trevor had now become.
Rachel had spent the last 2 hours trying to pick herself up from her apartment floor. Each time she’d tried, she had looked at that letter, her spare keys and their meaning, as yet unconfirmed although ‘pretty clear’ in her mind, and then slumped back onto the cold wooden floor where she now lay crying continuously into the evening. She knew in her heart she loved Keith, and she also knew deep down that he was gone, although confirmation was too far from her thoughts right now. She just wanted to cry, feel sorry for herself and contemplate her immediate future, which would be alone. It wasn’t that she was unattractive, far from it, it was just that Keith had made her feel so alive, so special and so loved, for the few years she’d known him. It had started to become clear to Rachel about 5 months ago that things weren’t what they had been. Keith had become ‘lazy’ in bed, making love to her only once a week, and not the 6 or 7 times she’s become accustomed to in the previous years of their relationship. At first Rachel put it down to the fact that he’s found a new job, and one that relied on him working 15 hors a day, 6 days a week, but as time passed, she began to search, looking for the evidence that would prove her intuition correct, and eventually she came across the one and only thing that made sense. Wrapped up inside one of the arms of a folded sweater in his bottom drawer, a phone number, and a picture. Shocked would never properly describe her feelings the day she’s stumbled across this ‘evidence’ and at first she was surprised she’d taken so long to put two and two together, but now it all made good sense. She’d confronted Keith, almost immediately, only to be put down in a ball of rage by this man, who she thought she knew and loved. He’d gone ballistic after finding out she’d been going through his personal belongings, standing as the accused, and denying that this had anything to do with his relationship and they way he felt about Rachel. She’d pressed him and pushed him into submission, and eventually he collapsed into admission, telling her that yes, this was someone with whom he’d been having an affair, but that it was over and she was now completely out of his life. “Then why the picture and phone number?” Rachel had asked, and she’d never received a satisfactory response in return. She couldn’t forgive, or forget, and although they’d tried to get their relationship back on track, in truth, it was never going to work, and so here she found herself, alone with her keys and that letter, lying on her floor.
Trevor stopped, checked for a moment that he’d locked everything away, then proceeded to walk towards that big red front door. His plans had changed, but then they always did. Ever since he was a child, growing up in the west of England, he’d never been one for routine, always changing his mind at the last possible moment and doing things that others only dreamed of doing. He was an adventurous soul, perhaps too adventurous, as some of his scars and broken bones could attest to, but he was still athletic, still happy and still very much a ladies man. His handsome rugged good looks had not been altered even though his face had received the benefit of two skin grafts and a 2 inch bolt to repair a broken jaw. Trevor balked every time he recalled the reason for that pin, but he was grateful to have the chance to live life his way, and in his opinion, the only way, anyone should live. He was now in front of the door, and for the first time since he’s left his home earlier in the evening, his heartbeat was slightly elevated. He took a deep breath and raised his had ready to knock and announce his arrival.
Armando was nearly there. Every step he’d taken had been an effort. He had to remain quiet, and he didn’t see any other option but this pattern of continued stealth, taught to him during his days serving with the British Army in Afghanistan. His shoes were off, and his socks remained his only barrier between contacting large splinters from this old wooden floor, and the safety of silence. His 25 yard jaunt had been painfully slow, but now he found himself exactly in the position he’d wanted to be. He was slowly but surely becoming aroused, and he hoped that Muriel, who waiting patiently behind her closed-door, was feeling the same way. Before allowing his mind to wander to what might happen later on that night, he quickly returned to a state of concentration, ready and ever so willing to finally enter Muriel’s room. He placed his hand on the doorknob and gently turned it clockwise.
Lewis was having a quiet night so far. Nothing too much was going on in the small part of the world he patrolled. Yes, there were the usual petty thieves who frequented his beat, those he called ‘chancers’ but tonight, none of them seemed to be wanting to take any chance at all and his streets, the one’s he’d decided he now owned. They had remained quiet and peaceful, something that Lewis would always remain, eternally grateful. Although he loved to catch the one’s who required locking up, nothing made him happier than peace and quiet and no crime. This scenario was the exception rather than the rule, but he appreciated it all the same and it gave him a chance to figure out exactly what it was he was going to do with the rest of his life. He realized that making his own way in life was paramount to his own personal success and that he would never rely on the wealth his parents had accumulated to make himself comfortable. He, unlike Trevor, was his own man, his independence and his drive, the two most important attributes he possessed. On nights like this it just reinforced his goals and his aims and his determination not to be like him. Trevor, his brother, sometimes his friend, but more often than not, a real pain in the backside. A sudden break in the calm of his evening startled Lewis. It was his radio and a very irate dispatcher suggesting he head to a domestic dispute and possible break in, about 2/3 of a mile from where he now stood. Lewis confirmed his intention with the dispatcher and made off in a hurry towards this possible disturbance. All thoughts of Trevor evaporated as Lewis began to run towards his date with the next criminal he would ultimately place behind bars.
More to follow, PERHAPS!