I should be in shock.
Was I in shock? Would one know if they were and if so, would I feel the ache in my abdomen that was threatening to have me lose the contents of my stomach?
Travis had sat me down on the couch, wrapped me in a blanket and continued talking to me in a low calming voice. Yet his words were like fuzzy background noise that never really settled in my brain. Everything seemed so far away and out of place. My house was a flurry of activity, with police and detectives, family members, and….”HIM”. Handcuffed to a post on the back deck being questioned by someone of authority. I couldn’t look at him. I never wanted to ever see his face.
Travis kept asking me if I was okay. But I couldn’t look at him either, too embarrassed, too aware that everything happening at these very moments was all my fault. This was here and now. But before, for all those weeks before it was just something I had done. A mistake that I had lived through and to some degree would always carry a sense of awkwardness for the rest of my life. Having “Him” here, now, made my foolishness and stupidity all too real. This was real. HE, was real.
“Jade, it’s all going to be okay now,” Travis stated again and I attempted to swallow his statement down along with all the rest I had heard that early morning. With one more sharp pain stabbing my stomach, I jumped from the couch and made it to the toilet in the knick of time.
As I stared into the newly flushed water, my mind was blank to all the commotion on the other side of the door. All I could focus on was the first two lines of my favourite writings from Beau Allen’s work Destruction,
“You awake from a restless sleep.
Immediately you can sense it; there is no safety here.”
Those words kept running over and over in my head. I could still FEEL his hand on my mouth, taste the sweat of his palm as it touched my lips and stained my tongue from biting his hand. My stomach rolled and I remembered a few more lines from his writing.
“If regret had a taste, it’s perched upon your lips,
and all that you can breathe is the sour scent of failure.”
“Ah Jin, someone is coming to the house,” Sun called.
“Hello Mrs Bell. I’m Jaymes Fraser. Jin, it’s good to see you again although I wish I was here under better circumstances”
“Right, so it only takes my sister nearly being abducted to get the notice of the head of our legal firm.”
Jaymes sighed. “Jin you know you and your family are always a priority to me. Especially since we have known each other so long. It’s just that you aren’t my only priority and unfortunately I can’t be everywhere at once. But I’m here now because you do need me and we will get this taken care of in the best possible way.“
“Oh there is my cue,” Sun said once hearing the todds begin to cry out. “Excuse me.”
“Now,” Jaymes said. “Tell me everything I don’t know starting from the beginning.”
A few hours more…..
Jin had been pacing the living room getting increasingly angrier every time he glimpsed outside to see how the detective was getting on. Jaymes tried to distract him with conversation, but all he received were one word responses which told him Jin was not paying attention to him at all.
“This is driving me crazy! What the hell is taking so long? Oh I know, it’s because some kid posing as a detective has been put on the case. I’m going out there to show him how it is done,” Jin growled in determination.
“Hold on Jin,” Jaymes said blocking his exit. “Not a good idea. I know you once were a police officer, but you aren’t one now and I’m certainly not, nor is anyone else letting you anywhere near the man who tried to hurt your sister. I’ll be helping Sun bail you out of jail next. Do you really want that on top of everything else?”
Jin emitted a low gutteral growl. “This is maddening Jim!”
“Privately and as your long time friend, I will tell you I’m with you on wanting to beat the snot out of the guy. As your lawyer, I’m telling you we are staying right here. I can have an officer put you in cuffs to keep you put if necessary.” Then Jaymes gave Jin a stern look.
“FINE,” Jin replied back.
“Oh! Looks like your wait is over,” Jaymes said interrupting Jin’s pacing.
“Mr Bell, I’m sorry to have kept you waiting. I’m detective Foy.”
“Damn right you should be sorry. We’ve been waiting here for hours! I could have handled that interrogation in half the time. But then again, I’m a much older and more experienced officer than you.”
Detective Foy responded by giving Jin a tight lipped smile showing frustration at Jin’s condemnation.
“My Bell, despite my youthful looks, I can tell you I have been doing this job for 11 years now and I’m quite capable of handling an interrogation. Since this case involves you and your family, I was being thorough. Your reputation as a police officer is well known, sir.”
Jin grimaced. “I was out of line and I apologize. What did you get out of him?”
“I would like to sit the whole family down as there is much to discuss.”
“Jade,” Travis said softly. “Can you come out? The detective is here and wants to talk to all of us.”
“Can I come in then?”
“Jade, please! This is important. You need to hear this.”
I knew he was right. I just didn’t want to face anyone. I made my way from the bathroom, eyes to the ground and asked Sun to please move over some. It was my version of placing myself in the corner, I guess, then I turned away. This was all too much to face.
“Mrs Bell, I’m Quentin Foy. Lead detective put on this case……..”
“Mr. Foy…detective…..can we dispense with all the politics till later. I want to know how this man got in my house? How did he even get here?”
“Well, Mrs Bell. It is my understanding that previous to this incident and about a month ago, Jade was stopped from meeting up with the perp. It turns out, he never left. In fact, the only thing I can’t seem to get out of him is exactly how long he has been living out there on his boat. He could have been here for quite some time. The coast guard found his boat just far enough away it was safe from view. The boat has now been seized for evidence.”
“But our house? Our security system?”
“He claims that he got into the house while the whole family was on the beach last night. He says he came in through the back door and hid in a room in the basement. One with a sliding secret door? As for the security system, we found the patio door security connection had been tampered with, which is the reason the alarm didn’t sound when he opened the door to leave with Jade.”
“Hiding in the house,” Sun almost whispered. “In the house while we all came and went? The babies. Jade. All of us!”
“So he claims. His explanation is plausible considering the officers did find evidence, he had been in this secret room downstairs. I ah, I have some other information as well. Jade, my understanding is that you have a dog? Named,” he stopped to look at his notes. “Biscuit. Is that correct?”
All I could do was nod.“Biscuit went missing about two weeks ago,” Jin said looking my way. I glanced back to the ground.
“I’m very sorry to tell you Jade, while speaking with him he let it slip that he may have done something to Biscuit to quote, get him out of the way.”
Foy’s word punched me in my chest and I dragged in a breath gasping for air as I did so.
“No, no, no, no, no.” Tears began running down my face.
“Okay I think that is enough for now,” I heard Jaymes firmly say to the detective.
But then I heard this sweet little voice over my sobs.
“Jade crying?” With her hand lightly on my shoulder, Bonnie leaned over trying to see my face.
“Jin take her,” Sun said.
But Bonnie firmly said “NO! Jade need me!” and plopped down on her bum. I sat up, wiped away my tears and tried not to cry anymore for her sake.
“Jade, I know this whole thing has been a shock. I just have one more thing I need from you. I want to show you his picture so you can give me a positive identification.”
“Oh please. Please no! I don’t want to see his face. I don’t want to know what he looks like.”
“Well I do!” Travis said quite abruptly. “I only saw him in the dark lit by the moon. But I’m sure I could identify him.”
“Jade listen,” detective Foy said as he knelt down in front of me. “I understand how you are feeling. This whole thing has been quite the scare and I’m sure you are feeling a whole slew of emotions on top of that. I can’t tell you how to feel, but I will tell you that if you don’t do this, you will spend your whole life wondering. With every man you meet from now on, this man, whose name is Russ Reeves, will be in the back of your mind. You need to do this, for your own sense of security. Don’t let one deranged man rule the rest of your life.”
I stared into his eyes for what seemed like a long time, before coming to the understanding he knew deep down what he was talking about. He looked back at me with such a knowing look, that I knew I could trust what he was saying.
I nodded, then whispered “okay.”
“This is him,” detective Foy said to me. “Russ Reeves. Just an ordinary man. Nothing special about him. He is not a monster. Just very much screwed up in the head.”
“This is his picture from a year ago, when he was caught for a minor crime but he pretty much looks the same. He was let go then, but he won’t be this time. Do you understand?”
“Take a look at this photo again. Is this the man who pulled you from your bed and dragged you from your room?”
“Thank you Jade. That is all I need.”
Detective Foy stood up and gave his goodbye’s to everyone. For a moment I sat there shaking, but when I saw him walk out the door, I jumped off the couch and ran after him.
He turned around and gave me the faintest of smile. “Oh, Jade. Just call me Foy, everyone does.”
“Can I ask you a question?”
“Sure,” he said in that easy going nature of his.
“Did it get better?”
He looked at me with a raised eyebrow before asking, “Did what get better?”
“You. Did it get better for you? After your somebody hurt you?”
He looked a little surprised for a second and then his eyes softened. “Yes.” He stepped closer to me and spoke quietly. “The hardest part is right now but it may even get a bit worse after this. Eventually, it does get better. It’s just going to take time. Remember my words to you; he is just a weak, sick man, and he can’t hurt you anymore.”
Three days had gone by, so the calendar said but I had no idea how that had happened. It seemed I had been walking around in a fog, yet I had done much thinking during those long quiet nights. The police had taken my bedsheets and my clothes from the night “he” invaded my life and so I had been sleeping on the floor of the nursery with the quads. Unaware of the recent events, they all thought they were having this great sleepover with Auntie Jade. The truth of it was, I couldn’t take a step into my own bedroom. If I tried, a panic attack ensued and within those deep feelings of fear, I worried I would never enter in there again.
Travis had put off heading to school and I was feeling very guilty that my huge mistake was now impacting his life as well. This wasn’t fair to him and so on the fourth day,
“Hey, Travis. Come for a walk with me, will you?”
I walked him down to the port where the boat was docked. He looked at me as I stopped and waited for me to speak.
“Travis. I want to thank you for being such a good friend to me. I honestly don’t know what would have happened if you hadn’t been there to save me. You…you have your whole life ahead of you and-“
“Wait. Jade, what is this?”
“Travis,” I said almost in a whisper.
“No. Stop. This is sounding a lot like a good bye speech.”
“It is,” I said then looked to the ground.
“Jade, I’m not going anywhere.” When I didn’t respond he said my name more firmly, “Jade! Look at me.”
“Travis you have to go. You have all these plans for your life and I don’t want to be the reason you don’t do them.”
“I WILL. I will do them. But right now you need me more. Don’t you understand, I love you Jade. I want to be with you. Here, there, anywhere. Just with you.”
I started to softly cry. “Travis, please!”
“Tell me, tell me you love me. I know you do.”
I was fighting to hold back more tears, determined to set him free. But his words were wearing me down. “I do. But you still have to go. You can’t be here right now.”
Travis leaned in like he was going to kiss me and I held up my hand. Instead he leaned his forehead against mine.
“Travis please listen to me. I’m a mess, a complete mess. I have a lot of things I need to work out and I need to be by myself to do them. Having you here, it just reminds me of how badly I screwed things up. You make all this so real to me and I need to work on putting it behind me. I have a lot of bad days coming and I don’t want you to see them.”
I could hear his breath quickening and feel each one on my face. “Come with me Jade. Leave this place and leave all the bad behind.”
More tears fell down my cheeks. “I can’t go with you Travis. It will help me knowing you are out there getting on with your life. I want you to be happy.”
“I’m not leaving on a goodbye! I won’t go if that is the way it’s going to be. This doesn’t have to be goodbye. I can be back to see you all the time and we can talk on line like we always did.”
I nodded my head against his forehead, too scared to say anything else to him.
Travis sighed then. “If my leaving is what you need, I will go.”
He leaned in and kissed my forehead.
“I’ll be back before you even know I’m gone. Christmas is only two months away and then I will be here.” He hugged me lightly and stayed there for a few moments. “I love you Jade,” he whispered softly to me.
I stood there watching his boat grow smaller and smaller on the horizon.
Special Special ThanX – To Kymber for making the police photo for me! I could never had done that so well! You can see Kymber’s fabulous story Noble Doubt, HERE
Special thanX to Beau Allen for his most inspiring writings! They were a perfect addition to the story to represent Jade’s current state of mind. His site is just fabulous, filled with writings to move your soul and make you think. You can find him HERE