woensdag 8 april 2015

The Woman in Red: Chapter 22

22. A fatal distraction.

        Meanwhile, it was early in the morning. A light haze hung over the fields, and the surroundings eyed dreary and abandoned. Katarina had been able to get hold of the keys to a little delivery van. Obviously it belonged to Helga and Irene, considering the items they found it the back of the car. Those ladies possessed a large selection of instruments of torture.
            Jean-Pierre had seen a brass knuckle between these sadomasochistic things and he had picked it up and put inside a pocket of his pants. It wasn’t a knife or a pistol, but it was certainly a weapon he could use to defend himself. Obviously he was in need of such a thing being in the neighborhood of Katarina.
            ‘What’s really happening, Katarina? Why all this fuss? Is there more going on than the things I’ve seen?’ Jean-Pierre needed answers. This game has gone too far. He didn’t want to be more holy than the Pope, but this was a bridge too far for him.
            ‘I can’t imagine that someone is ready to use torture to extort confessions about… well, about the things you do on the castle.’ He was unable to use the word prostitution. Jean-Pierre had agreed to be part of their organization, but to say it out loud that he would rent his body for money, obviously, was still difficult.
            Katarina bit her lip while she attentively drove the car. She looked aside to Jean-Pierre with a desperate smile. Should she tell him the truth? What did it matter? They were already too far. With the attack on the SM-chicks, Katarina had taken a road of which there would be no turning back.
            ‘You know, Jean-Pierre… it shouldn’t have turned this way, but without wanting to… I’ve fallen in love with you.’ She put her hand on Jean-Pierre’s thigh. He could feel the chilliness of her hand through the fabric of his pants. After that, Katarina was silent but Jean-Pierre could fill in some blank spaces. Katarina had to recruit him to be to be employed in the castle. As a matter of fact, she had confessed she had screened him, so the meeting wasn’t a coincidence. He looked at her, and he saw a tear gliding down on her cheek.
            ‘Katarina…,’ his voice faltered. He felt the same. This woman in red had indeed seduced him with the wrong motives, but he had lost his heart on her. They both were in trouble, and he didn’t know how to get out of it, and still he felt like taking her in his arms and kiss her.
            ‘I can’t expect that you’ll stay with me,’ Katarina herself ended the silence. ‘I wouldn’t blame you if you left me. I would understand if you never wanted to see me again. But I can’t help it… I love you like I’ve never loved anyone. Actually, I don’t want you to be on the payroll of my mother anymore.’
            Jean-Pierre had listened to her. He had heard her faltering voice confessing him this. Her hand on his thigh felt cramped because of the fact he could acknowledge her sayings and ask her to stop, step out of the car and go away without looking back.
            He cleared his throat. ‘I can’t say that I’m not feeling upset if I consider the way we met. I also would lie if I say I feel nothing for you. On the contrary, Katarina.’
            ‘Really, Jean-Pierre?’ She laughed at him through her tears. ‘You don’t know how happy you make me. I’m going to make it up to you, I promise. It will be worthwhile.’ Her hand on his thigh now relaxed.
            It only took a couple of seconds. Just at the moment Katarina looked at Jean-Pierre with a thankful smile, there was an oncoming car who took the turn too sharp over the white line in the middle of the street. Katarina saw it and tried to redirect the car more to the right, but it was too late.
            The heavy SUV brushed their delivery van, and their car began to spin. Katarina hadn’t the car under control anymore, and they broke through the fence and landed into a lower grassland in a ditch. They lost their speed and stopped with a hard blow by which the airbags of the car unfolded. The car stayed stuck in the shallow ditch that surrounded the grassland.
            A disastrous silence followed the slip. There were pieces of broken glass and parts of the bumper that witnessed of the hard blow the car took. The other car had stopped a bit further on the road. Smoke came out of the delivery van. Neither Katarina nor Jean-Pierre gave no sign of life.

© Rudi J.P. Lejaeghere

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