Having responded to Abbie's absence in his own inimitable style, an unexpected reconciliation sees Joe conflicted by a need to seek revenge and a need to seek gratification, but as he wavers between hope and hatred, an unlikely reunion throws all those involved into further turmoil, deepening wounds and threatening fragile minds. Battling for normalcy, accusations and revelations abound until a devastating discovery proves almost fatal. There are lessons to be learned and theories to challenge, but who is really responsible for the endless stream of fear and betrayal? Dark minds and dirty deeds will only cause destruction when obsession knows no bounds.
Explicit - strictly 18+
Abbie felt as cleansed as the house, having allowed herself the liberty of much conjecture, a myriad of memories and a modicum of unbiased self-evaluation – all comfortable partners to the chores she’d elected to tackle – and whilst the tears were plentiful, they were also soothing and unavoidable if sanity was to endure, but as soon as they emerged, Abbie knew they’d be fleeting, and that knowledge alone made them easier to bear. What remained intolerable, however, was the gravity of her most important task, for she was out of time and excuses, mindful that, no matter what further strategies she devised to defer, the longer she waited, the higher the chance of complicated questions, and life was already too convoluted. Visualising the trauma she was about to inflict, she paced the room, fretful and undecided, but she had no option, and she grabbed a bottle of wine, desperate for it to assist her disclosure. With a glass downed, she summoned the energy to call and finally deliver the bad news, and she received the reaction she’d anticipated and dreaded, crumpling under the weight of her responsibility and the elusion of it. The despondency she’d succumbed to at the hospital was mirrored now by the recipient of her call, and she could do nothing to ease it, acknowledging that her delay in communication had amplified the pain, but she had been incapable of garnering the strength to act sooner. Her apologies were accepted but completely inept, and she cried with her confidante, partly in grief, partly in shame, but mostly for the understanding being tendered – as it always had – for her dilemma. Insisting on settling all costs, a tentative request to be allowed to attend the funeral – but only if it would cause no further distress to Abbie – and anguish coupled with unreserved consideration, broke her heart. Refusing the support would be insulting, and Abbie had no desire to alienate her fellow mourner – he’d provided for her son his entire life, demanding nothing more than subtle inclusion that would not be detected until Abbie felt ready to divulge his affiliation… but that time had never come, and the regret in his voice was insufferable. He vowed to inform no one until after the funeral and pleaded with Abbie to never lose touch; her standing in his life was undiminished by the essence and delay in her imparting such devastating news, and he would continue to assist her in any way possible.
Ending the call, Abbie collapsed to the floor and sobbed uncontrollably, once again, for her loss, her role in that loss and for the weakness that had prevented her from enlightening her son to his roots. The effects were indeterminable and that had been her concern, but hindsight suggested it would have been no worse than what she faced now, and this was final.
Seeking solace in the wine bottle, Abbie sipped slowly as she fought to subdue the irrepressible sobs that stole her composure and hope. The temptation to lose herself totally to alcohol had never been greater, but the ensuing repercussions would only intensify the current despondency, and she’d been there before, so she moderated her intake and strived for the serenity she’d experienced earlier, to no avail. Screaming to the empty house, Abbie’s despair continued, but drained by her phone call, she allowed its course, welcoming the exhaustion that allowed temporary alleviation.