Accustomed To A Face
“So, she still won’t leave the building?”
A week had passed since Tina found Edna being depressed about something. The next day, she had called Anika and Bianca and told them about this and they, in turn, told Gregor, Sebastian and Amy. They all, except Amy since she had been busy with work in another town for a few days and only returned an hour ago, tried to get Edna to talk to them but it was in vain. They still did not know what was wrong, Tina’s housemate refused to tell them. Since that day, Edna rarely left her room, only to use the bathroom or to get something from the refrigerator. But she had not gone outside once; every time Tina saw her, she was reading her mother’s diary or typing on her laptop like there was no tomorrow. At the moment, Tina, Bianca, Anika and Sebastian were at the marketplace, sitting at the well.
“It’s even a miracle to see her leave her room”, Tina answered Anika’s question. The dark skinned woman nodded with a worried frown. “And the worst part is that she still won’t tell me what’s wrong.”
“Do you reckon it’s got something to so with her crush?“, Bianca wondered aloud. That was something none of them had thought about yet.
“Edna has a crush on someone?“, a surprised Sebastian asked but the girls ignored him.
“Hm, she did seem so upset that one could think her heart had been broken...“, Tina mused. “Maybe she saw him with another girl and that broke her heart but...” She shook her head. “In all the years I’ve known her, she never came across as the kind of person to disconnect herself from the outside world after a shocking experience.”
“Maybe she doesn’t leave the apartment in fear of seeing him?“, Sebastian suggested. Bianca looked at him with big surprised eyes:
“That could actually be possible. Are you sure you came up with this on your own?”
“No need to be so offending”, Sebastian sulked.
“Guys, you two have plenty of time to flirt later”, Tina retorted, rolling her eyes. “This is serious.”
“Me and Gregor are going to visit Amy and Ben later, I could ask my sister to talk to Edna”, Anika offered.
“You do that, please”, Tina replied. “Perhaps she can figure something out.”
The blond sighed and looked up to the endless blue sky, watching the passing clouds and thinking back of the day Edna started to behave strangely. She had tried her best to cheer Edna and initially thought she was doing a good job but it actually did little to nothing. All Tina could safely say that her housemate had stopped crying, though she did hear her sobbing once or twice since then. Tina wanted to see what was wrong with her and comfort her but when she knocked at her bedroom door; however, she only heard her say in a thick voice she was fine and that she wanted to be alone. So, Tina respected her wish, despite having qualms about it.
“Hm, let’s see, we know Edna met a friend she hadn’t seen in years again about a month ago and since then, she’s been seeing him every day”, Bianca said musingly. “So, he must be living nearby but where?”
“Why? Do you want to visit him?“, Sebastian questioned.
“I thought we could go see him and ask him if he knew anything about Edna but”, Bianca sighed, “all we know about him is that he’s eight years older than her.”
“Yeah, she could have told us his name at least”, Anika sighed before taking a look at her watch. She stood up. “Well, gotta go now. Call me if you guys learn anything about Edna.”
She waved at her friends while she departed. After she was gone, Tina looked at Sebastian and Bianca:
“Any ideas what we could do to get Edna outside again?”
Sebastian glanced up to the skies above, one of his eyebrows was arched, and the other was a straight line. He rested his head on his fist and the arm attached to the fist rested on his other arm, which lay on his thigh. Bianca let her dark eyes wander; her right hand covered her mouth and chin. She had her eyebrows furrowed under her fringe. Tina supported her head on her fists, her arms, in turn, supported themselves on her thigh. Her eyes, like Bianca’s, wandered around, taking in the people strolling around in the marketplace.
“I’ve got it!“, Bianca suddenly exclaimed with a face that basically said ‘Eureka!’. Her sudden shout startled people, causing a couple of them to stare at her. However, she ignored them. Both Tina and Sebastian looked curiously at their half-Italian friend. She indicated them to come closer, so they leaned forward.
“My parents, Nonna Francesca and my brother aren’t home on Friday, so we could throw a party for Edna at my house”, Bianca suggested. Tina thought about this. She knew Edna liked loud music but could never listen it as loudly as she wanted since the neighbors would just come complaining. Edna even once lamented about this fact.
“Sounds good, but we should make sure the party has everything Edna likes”, the blond replied. “It is for her after all.”
“What!?“, an obnoxious voice shrieked. The three friends looked up to see the unpleasant sight of Heike, who was being flanked by Daniel and Gabrielle, looking down at them. “Why would you throw a party for such a useless weirdo as that insult to fashion?”
“What do you care?“, Bianca spat. “That’s none of your business! And stop insulting Edna! She’s worth more than you!”
Heike laughed loudly and shrilly, sounding like a goat that inhaled helium and was dying miserably. Daniel held his stomach and howled in laughter, he looked like he was about to get onto his knees. Gabrielle, however, looked unsure and only forced a meek laugh out. Tina, Bianca and Sebastian glared at the two who were laughing out loud.
“Come poppet, let’s go before we start agreeing with those nutties”, Daniel laughed and snaked an arm around Heike’s waist. The couple left while Gabrielle remained with the other three.
“Just out of curiosity, why are you planning to throw a party for Edna?“, she asked.
“Well, Edna’s been depressed lately, so we thought a party for her could cheer her up”, Sebastian explained. Gabrielle frowned at him:
“Do you know why she’s depressed?”
“That’s the thing, we don’t know”, Bianca piped up. “She won’t tell us.”
“Say Gabrielle”, Tina leaned forward and eyed with a questioning face, “you had to go to the police because of the incident in the park too, right? What did you tell them?”
“I told them the truth, how Edna was provoked to push Heike into the pond, although Heike wanted me to lie for her”, the girl with the dark brown hair replied. Suddenly they heard Heike calling for Gabrielle and storming towards them.
“What are you waiting for, you good for nothing hussy? I need you to tell me how perfect I am!“, the platinum blond girl exclaimed angrily.
“Isn’t it enough that Daniel is always kissing up your ass, both literally and figuratively?“, Bianca asked in a bored voice. Tina, Sebastian and even Gabrielle roared in laughter.
“I don’t know what these words mean but a girl can never get enough compliments!“, Heike said haughtily. “Now come on, Gabrielle!”
Heike stormed off with her nose high in the air, so that everyone coming across her had a good look at her nostrils. Gabrielle gave the three friends sitting at the well an apologetic smile before following the annoying girl. The moment they were out of sight, Tina, Bianca and Sebastian started talking about the party again.
Heike, meanwhile, stormed off to the stand where Daniel was waiting for her, with Gabrielle in tow. The brunette had to admit that Bianca was right, both in why she was even Heike’s friend – or rather lackey – and what she had said only a minute ago. She really needed to stop doing whatever the platinum blond wanted and start doing what she, Gabrielle, wanted. She was her own person, her own boss. It was time Heike understood this, and Gabrielle herself too.
“Really, what are you doing with these idiots? Don’t you realize they’re too stupid to realize the brilliance of me?“, Heike ranted.
“As brilliant as the author of the Twilight books”, Gabrielle mumbled so low the other girl could not hear her. Then she added in a normal volume: “You know what, I think it’s enough that Daniel comments on your looks and outfits. I go now.”
Thus, Gabrielle rushed off, ignoring the blonde’s calls of coming back, and returned to Edna’s friends.
Meanwhile, a couple of kilometers away from the marketplace, sat Edna in her room, in front of her laptop, typing almost as fast as Sonic could run. No one but she and Harvey knew what she was writing; she did not want anyone to know yet. She would let her friends read it when it was finished. Their opinions mattered to her.
“I think a break is in order”, she said to herself and saved the file. She shut her laptop and stretched her arms.
“I don’t understand it”, Harvey piped up from his place on Edna’s bed. The young woman looked at her lagomorph friend questioningly:
“What is it that you don’t understand?”
“I don’t understand why you don’t write an anonymous letter to Doctor Marcel and tell him about the Key Master’s whereabouts”, Harvey explained. “He is mad, insane and a psychotic killer. He is dangerous. He belongs in a cell.”
“I can’t, Harv, I just can’t”, Edna replied in a heavy voice. She stood up from her chair and went to her window, taking in the sight of the beautiful warm day outside. She longed to go out there and have fun with her friends and yet, she found she did not have the will to. Somewhere out there was the Key Master and he was currently the last person she wanted to come across. At the same time, however, she really missed him, despite still being mad at him. But how could she trust him again? He killed an innocent man – well, innocent not in the biblical sense – and did not even have the nerve to tell her the truth! She might be more forgiving if he had just told her about this. But the discovery of the murder weapon made her doubt him. If he kept this a secret, what else would he keep a secret? Was everything that happened between them over the last month nothing more than an act? A facade to get close to her to... what exactly? He would gain nothing from killing her. But since when did psychos ever need a reason to do a person in? It might have been a game for him, a sick game to demoralize and depress Edna.
“I go get something to eat”, she muttered almost inaudibly and left her room for the kitchen. If she would walk past a mirror she would see an image of herself not unlike the reflection she saw when she escaped the asylum. Her hair hung lifelessly down from her, her eyes were large and bulgy – though not as large as they were back then – and she had rings under the ocular organs. All in all, she looked terrible and she knew it. In fact, she had not taken care of her personal hygiene for a week and even she was starting to feel uncomfortable. Perhaps she should take a shower or two and brush her teeth. So, she changed her course and went to the bathroom instead of the kitchen. Edna chuckled and shook her head as she thought about the irony of this. In her childhood, she had to be forced to take care of her hygiene and now, she was about to do this voluntarily. After all, she was not a little girl anymore; she had grown up and changed. The times of playing in mud or blowing up tadpoles were over.
Edna shed her rather smelly clothes from her body and stepped into the shower. She turned the water on and, a second later, shed felt the warm drops raining all over her body, landing on the bathtub with loud splashes. Once she was wet enough, she reached for the nearby shower gel and applied it all over herself. After having done so, she took a bottle of shampoo and used it on her hair. Then she turned the water back on and let her mind wander. It was unfair that childhood was so short; people were required to grow up too fast to really enjoy being a child. Maybe it was necessary hundreds of years ago, when the lifespan of humanoids was far shorter than it was nowadays. Would it not be better if people had more carefree days and give them more time to plan their future? So many students who were about to graduate were not sure what to do after school. They had not found their way in life yet. So, should people not get a little more time before they become adults? She did not mean people should behave like they were five years old when they were twenty-five but that they should not be required to have their whole future already planned in their teens. Adulthood took up the majority of one’s life and with it, hardships and responsibilities they did not have when they were children.
“Perhaps it’s just me wanting to live my lost childhood years...“, Edna pondered as she turned the water off and stepped out of the shower.
“Did you get lost on your way to the kitchen? Or did you buy that Knoppers in the store?“, Harvey asked half an hour later when Edna, with a towel wrapped around her body and Knoppers in her hand, returned to her bedroom. “You’ve been gone for a long time. And why are you wearing only a towel?”
“I’ve been taking a shower”, she replied while placing her Knoppers on her desk. Then she opened her closet and took new clothes – underwear, an oversized shirt and harem pants. She put these on and was about to leave her room when she saw the Key Master’s purple shirt with the coffee stain on the floor. It landed there a few days ago when she was looking for her mother’s diary after having misplaced it. With a shrug, she took it too and went back to the bathroom, where she put the in the washing machine along with her own clothes. The moment the clothes were being washed, she returned to her bedroom, took the Knoppers and Vivian’s diary. She opened the latter to March 1987, the time her parents had their trip to the United States of America. While reading about the adventures, the fun and sights Mattis and Vivian had encountered over there, Edna removed the wrapping from her snack and started eating. The more she read about the trip, the more envious she got. Since she was a child, she wanted to see more of the world than the village she grew up in. Mattis actually promised they would make a trip to Great Britain once she could speak and understand English well enough to ask essential questions and such. Unfortunately, the incident that led to his death and her being in an asylum occurred before it could ever happen. Maybe someday, she would be able to see the world. There were so many places she wanted to see...
Everything as the same as always in the asylum. Employees were doing their work, while the patients were either in the recreation room or in their cell, and then there were also the patients who were forced to do manual labor. Those who belonged to the third category had already given up on ever knowing why they had to make these things. It was certainly less painful than asking questions. Anes had a little too much fun pummeling them for asking questions. It was a miracle he was even married. What kind of woman could stand being together with a man like him? It was incomprehensible. At least none of the patients had to be worried about him at the moment since his shift had ended an hour ago. The other employees were not as sadistic as Anes was, though many still were rather mean to the patients. One of the few who treated them like they were normal, mentally healthy people currently stood guard outside the door of Edna’s former cell. Ben observed his surroundings for his colleagues or Doctor Marcel. When he saw he was completely alone, he opened the panel of the door cell to see through the grate four patients working on some kind of darts. He did not know what they were for or why they were forced to make them, all he knew was that they had been forced to make them after Anes presented one of those darts to Doctor Marcel. What was so special about them? Ben watched the four patients for a while, noting that they moved like robots – in synchronization without missing a beat. He was aware of Babbitt being annoyed of them holding conversations but even them talking with each other seemed to have stopped. They looked miserable and Ben really could not blame them. They only had each other for company and were not allowed to return to the other patients. The only other person they ever saw were the guard who currently kept watch at the door, if he decided to check on them, and whoever brought them their daily bread and water. Who would not get miserable in these conditions?
“Psh, hey”, he whispered just loud enough to get their attention. Tiger Head was the first one to look up. She lightly hit with the back of her left hand on Peter’s shoulder and then did the same with her right hand and Bruce’s shoulder.
“What?“, the latter asked, a little aggressively, which got the Washing Maniac’s attention. Tiger Head simply nodded towards the door, where Ben was still looking at them through the grate.
“Oh hi, Ben!“, the Washing Maniac greeted him cheerfully. However it was crystal clear that his smile was forced and not genuine but Ben could see in his eyes he was glad to see him. “What can we do for you?”
“I just wanted to see how you all are holding up”, the young man replied. “Are you alright or at least as alright as you can be under these circumstances?”
“I guess it could be worse”, Peter answered in his usually depressed voice, though it did sound more depressed than it used to. “But if I’m already denied the mercy of a quick, painless death, I would rather have more company. I wouldn’t even mind Petra’s company.”
Tiger Head stared at him with eyes as big as saucer plates. Her eyebrows went up so high that they disappeared under her fringe. Then her facial expression changed into a grin and she drew a heart in the air with her two index fingers.
“She’s not my girlfriend”, Peter glared at the only female in the cell. Ben chortled. Suddenly, he heard a nearby door open.
“Gotta go now”, he whispered hurriedly. “If I get the chance to, I’ll give you some of my lunch next time I talk with you.”
He closed the window before he could hear their response. Not even a minute later, he saw Hulgor coming his way.
“Are the loonies behaving?“, he questioned.
“All things are in order”, Ben said in an emotionless voice.
“Good”, the blond man with the permanent five o’clock shadow replied before turning to his right and descending the stairs. Ben shook his head at his colleague. Every time he heard Hulgor talking, he either got the feeling he was losing brain cells or that he was speaking with a Neanderthal. Perhaps Doctor Marcel was in need of someone with more brawns than brains, even if Ben could not imagine why. Having someone like Hulgor for a minion still did not help when the old man was pushed down the stairs. Seeing how he treated his patients, Ben felt he deserved it. Of course he would never say it out loud, at least not when the risk of his employer hearing this was great. In the end, Doctor Marcel would fire him and make sure he would never get a job around here anymore or worse, he could use his controversial therapy methods on him. Ben knew of the ‘correction of character’ method and he did not like what he heard about this at all. It was no different from brain washing, in his opinion.
The day was slowly coming to an end. Edna had not left her room since she put the dirty and smelly clothes in the washing machine. She spent hours reading the old lavender blue diary so that she already reached the entries written in 1988. At the moment, the diary lay on her bed, open on a page that began on Valentine’s Day of the year. Edna herself, however, was back at her laptop, writing her story. Next to her laptop was an empty plate, which was filled with chicken nuggets, French fries and salad until an hour ago when she ate it all. Tina had once again asked her what was wrong with her, like she did every time she brought her meal over the course of last week. Edna kept quiet; she did not want to talk about this, no matter how often she was asked. She heard the door bell ring and wondered who would come to visit at this hour. Did Tina invite someone without informing her? Edna fell as silence as a grave and tried to listen to the faint voices from the hallway. She could make out four different voices, one male and three females; one of the female voices was obviously Tina but she had a hard time distinguishing the other two voices. Figuring she would not be dealing with the guests, she turned back to her story and resumed writing only to stop a minute later when she heard a knock at her bedroom door.
“Yes? Who is it?“, Edna called.
“It’s me, Amy”, a female voice on the other side of the wooden barrier replied. “Can I come in?”
“Uh, sure”, Edna responded, baffled as to why Amy would want to speak with her. But a moment later, when the older woman had already entered her room, she remembered she was a psychologist. Now she could imagine why Amy would want to talk to her. Good one, Tina, a very ingenious move, Edna thought somewhat irked. She kind of – no, definitely – preferred her housemate when she asked little to no questions.
“What can I do for you?“, Edna asked, pretending to not have figured out why a psychologist was in her room. Whether Amy realized this or not, she could not tell.
“Anika told me you haven’t left your room for a week”, Amy said without preamble. “And Tina also told me of your strange behavior you showed over the last week. Did anything happen between the sleepover and today? Is your crush perhaps in relationship with another woman? Or is it something else entirely?”
The only answer Edna gave her was a shaking of her head when Amy asked if the Key Master was involved with another woman. Other than that, the girl who was once stuck in a padded cell defiantly turned her back to her visitor. She stared out to the darkening sky beyond her window and wished she would be outside to watch the sunset.
“Edna please, we’re all worried about you”, Amy calmly but also worriedly stated. “We want to help you but you need to tell us what happened.”
If Edna would be looking at Amy right now, she would see how her eyes suddenly widened. But the comforting hand on her shoulder was hard to miss.
“You weren’t raped, were you?”
It took all of Edna’s willpower to restrain herself from rolling her eyes. Where did Amy get an idea like this? If that had been the case, she would have gone to the police to press charges and also to the gynecologist. Rape was something she considered as bad as Doctor Marcel’s therapy methods. The last things she needed were sexually transmitted infections and a child growing in her womb. Sure, there was no guarantee that one or both of those would not have occurred. But it did not mean it was impossible if she had had a sexual encounter, which she had not.
“What gave you this idea?“, Edna asked incredulously.
“Thought it could be since you refuse to tell us what is wrong. So, I just thought you were raped and are too ashamed to say anything”, Amy replied.
“Hate to disappoint you but this is as true as anything that’s coming out of a politician’s mouth”, Edna retorted.
“I see... were you perhaps traumatized by witnessing a murder taking place? Or were you nearly killed?”
Amy did not seem to be giving up. Nonetheless, Edna remained with her back turned to Amy, never moving a muscle or saying anything. Amy tried other theories, ranging from Edna being bullied to something ridiculous as watching every horror movie that had been released since 1911 in one single night. The psychologist eventually gave up, being out of ideas. With a word of good bye, she left Edna’s bedroom. Edna waited for a minute after she heard the door close before she crept towards it and quietly opened it so that she could look into the living room with one eye. She could see Amy from behind talking to the three current human beings of the living room.
“She’s more stubborn than a donkey”, she heard Amy say. “I couldn’t get anything out of her. Well, actually I did get something out of her.”
“And what was it?“, that was Gregor’s voice.
“It’s not about the man she is crushing on having someone else to love and she wasn’t raped either.”
“I guess we should be relieved it’s neither of those”, Edna recognized Anika’s voice. “Though we hadn’t thought of the rape theory... at least I didn’t.”
“Me neither”, Edna heard Tina admit. Quietly, she closed her bedroom door and went back to her laptop, where she resumed her writing of her story of the beautiful warrior princess and her comrades and their battle against injustice, slavery, intolerance, poverty and an evil empire. Sometimes, she considered writing a crossover with this and Amazonian Space Girl but she was getting ahead of herself. If she were to write two different stories at once, she might get confused and use one relevant plot point of one story in the other by accident. No wonder why novel authors usually had somebody who would go over the novel and point out any mistakes before it would be printed and published. Edna paused her writing and leaned back, shaking her head. She was once again getting ahead of herself. Besides, this was more of a hobby at the moment; she would seriously consider publication when the story was finished and she was satisfied with it... and she thought of a cool pen name.
“Edna, why don’t you just tell the police or Doctor Marcel where the Key Master is hiding out?“, Harvey suddenly asked. Edna stared at her oldest friend with a mixture of bafflement and disbelief.
“One, why are you starting with this again? Two, why now? Four, are you ever gonna stop asking this? Five, where was three?“, Edna counter-questioned. She sighed and added: “But to answer your question, I just can’t bring myself to...”
“But he would be behind bars if you tell the police that he was the murderer of that old man and then, we can finally go outside again”, Harvey retorted.
“I know but I still can’t... The thought of him behind bars depresses me...“, Edna spoke the last part in an inaudible voice. Her sad eyes wandered from Harvey to her lap and she hung her head. No matter how mad she was at the Key Master at the moment, she certainly did not want anything to happen to him.
Tina, Anika, Bianca and Sebastian met again three days later, but this time with Gregor joining them and in the park. Tina filled Anika in on what happened after she left the marketplace, which Tina forgot to do when the half-African visited her the same evening, along with her sister and boyfriend.
“So, you really think a party might be what Edna needed?“, Anika questioned, apparently unconvinced.
“Maybe she just needs to let herself go, let her hair down. You know, with loud music, lots of dancing and causing mayhem”, Bianca replied. “Those are all things Edna likes but hadn’t been to enjoy them in a long time. By the way –” She looked quizzically at the others “– when was the last time she could enjoy those?”
Her question as met with a collective look of puzzlement and frowns. None of them could say for sure when Edna had last been able to have her music blaring from the stereo or wreak havoc.
“Well, I have my doubts it could work but I guess it’s worth a shot”, Anika said doubtfully. Gregor took her hand and gave it a gentle squeeze, while he smiled comfortingly at her.
“Anything to see her happy again, right?“, the pale young man commented, to which all the others nodded in agreement. “Still, do you have any ideas what to do if this plan fails?”
“No”, Tina admitted with a shake of her head. “But I guess we would do anything to get our old Edna back.”
It was just not the same to meet with each other without Edna’s company. Sure, she usually declined meeting Tina’s friends from school whenever she was seeing them but this was not as bad as cutting herself off from the outside world. The times when one of them would tell her they were going for a swim or to a funfair, anything, and they would invite her along with her usually agreeing seemed so far in the past. They all knew it was just a week but it felt more like years. Each one of them was aware of how much Edna was looking forward to summer vacation and now she was wasting it away all alone in her room.
“Well, she still has Harvey keeping her company...“, Tina mumbled her comment.
“Harvey? Wasn’t that this ugly rag doll rabbit?“, Sebastian responded.
“Don’t let her hear you calling him ‘ugly’“, Tina warned the young boy.
“Tina, he’s a toy, he can’t keep her any real company”, Bianca said, rolling her eyes.
“But he’s her most precious possession and I’m sure she won’t have it if anyone described Harvey as ugly”, the blond argued.
“Guys, I thought we wanted to find a way to cheer Edna up and not talk about her rag doll rabbit”, Gregor pointed out in a somewhat bored voice. Frankly, he did not care what they all thought about the lagomorph toy. This was something that only concerned Edna and if she saw her toy as her best friend, so be it. But what was really important was that they would not lose sight of the matter at hand. Tina, Bianca and Sebastian knew he was right, so they, along with Anika, huddled together to discuss what else they could do for Edna. But as they spoke, they realized that they had attempted all of their ideas over the course of last week and the only other plan they could think of seemed to be impossible. None of them knew how to call a dead person from the afterlife to their realm and have them talk with Edna. Anyone who was close friends with Edna knew about the losses she had endured in her childhood, which was the reason why Tina, who knew her out of all of them best, suggested they should talk to the dead. It was Bianca who pointed out that the plan was impossible to go through with. So, they were back at where they started.
Unknown to the five friends, the reason why Edna refused to go outside happened to be nearby, listening to them. The Key Master had not seen Edna since she figured out that he was the murderer but he had figured she would have gone on with life like normal, albeit without her daily visit to him. It was only now that he learned the extent if what he had done. He had spent a lot of time with her over the last month and had gotten to know her quite well but the thought of her isolating herself from everyone else for a longer period of time... Why had he not told her the truth? Maybe, just maybe her reaction would not be as depressingly bad. The Key Master considered going to see Edna but an announcement from the chubby blond young woman dressed in a turquoise shirt and blue jeans made him reconsider.
“Well, I should be going home now. See y’all”, she said before heading towards home. The Key Master decided he would be talking to Edna on another day. It might be better if he would just go home now. He was furious at himself for letting things turn out the way they did. He was a danger to his environment. He had to get away from the public, from Edna’s friends. She was already mad at him for killing a man who harassed her. One could only imagine her rage if he were responsible for the death of her friends. That was why he had to return to his hideout. At the moment, he was still able to keep a cool head but he did not know for how long. So, the Key Master walked the path home, appearing calm, relaxed and tranquil, as casual as the citizens of this town, on the outside. On the inside, however, his emotions were running wildly, worse than a bunch of scared chickens. Each step he took was another step closer to safety but he was also losing more and more of his control. The trees were starting to thin out, he was almost there. But it did not matter; his emotions had caught up with him. All the anger, rage and sadness he felt surged through his body, momentarily taking control of his limbs.
“Damn! Damn! Damn!“, the Key Master cursed, punching a tree with each ‘damn’. He was almost out of the forest when he hit a tree with the arm that never got healed from being broken with all his might. The result was him crying out as he felt unbearable pain shooting up his arm after a particularly hard punch.
The pain brought the Key Master, who was now back in the house, back to his senses but it also seemed his pain had increased tenfold. He currently sat on his bed, cradling his injured arm while trying to ignore the pain that seemed to eliminate all of his other feelings and perceptions. How could he let his emotions take control over him like this, with such an overwhelming force he rarely experienced? But the Key Master already knew the answer even before he finished asking himself the question. He chased his only friend away, lost the only person who willingly spent their time with him. It was his own fault that Edna isolated herself from everyone else. He had to set things right with her... and treat his injured arm. Biting his bottom lip, the Key Master stood up and walked to his closet, opening it. He took the tie as this was the only thing he could use as a makeshift sling for his arm. However, he had nothing he could use to put his arm in a splint, except maybe the rotten wood of the old furniture; if only they were not a little too big. He guessed he had to live with what he had and use only one arm for the time being. This is going to be fun, the Key Master thought in annoyance and lay down on his bed. His day was just getting better and better.
While the Key Master suffered, Edna as dealing with another problem. Tina had lent her a PlayStation Portable along with a game and a spare Memory Card and, in an attempt to forget about the Key Master, the young woman busied herself with playing the handheld console. So far, her attempt seemed to work since she was more furious at the boss she was battling against than at her green-skinned friend. Perhaps it would have been wiser if she had equipped more Ice-type Materia before the battle and not just the one she had with her. Or she should have fought more random encounters to level up. Still, she liked the game so far; it was not ridiculously easy and the main character was likeable. But she still had to get used to the battle system and the whole thing with elemental advantages and disadvantages. At least she figured out the boss she fighting against was getting healed by Fire and was weak to Ice.
“Damn!“, she cursed after the boss defeated her. Fortunately, she had saved not long before the battle, so she just turned the handheld off and put it on her bedside table.
“Giving up already?“, Harvey asked teasingly.
“No, I just need a break. My hand hurts”, Edna responded, massaging her wrists. Then she reached out to take her mother’s diary from her bedside table. Sitting cross-legged on her bed, she opened the book to a page that began in April of 1988. Judging from what her mother had written all those years ago, she was getting close to the day of her wedding. If she was not mistaken, she was also getting close to the date Mattis started to keep a diary. Edna stood up and walked over to her drawers where she kept his leather diary. She took it and opened it to check the date; it was the twenty-first of May. Edna closed it but chose to take it with her instead of putting it back in the drawer. She made the decision to read both diaries simultaneously once she reached the same date in Vivian’s. So, she went back to her bed, sat cross-legged on the mattress and now began reading. She currently read about Vivian’s shopping tour with her mother and sister and two friends for a wedding dress, accessories and shoes. Edna wondered if she got married in white, despite not being innocent anymore. If she thought about it, she only knew of white wedding dresses but not of any other color... Oh, except for two instances. One was an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, when Miles O’Brien married Keiko – she wore a rosé kimono. The other was in the movie Beetlejuice, where a character almost got married in a red wedding dress. Well, marry in red, you would be better off dead... Edna kept reading about the daily life of Vivian Rohrbeck from more than twenty-five years ago until she reached one important entry:
May 20th, 1988
Today is the day! Today is my wedding day. It will be a small wedding, with only our closest friends and family. We didn’t want an enormous party with countless faces we won’t probably recognize. After Mattis proposed, I didn’t think we would be getting married not even half a year later but I’m not complaining. I mean, why wait for many months or even years if you’re sure about tying the knot? We are completely sure about this and the preparations went along swimmingly, so I see no point in waiting for an eternity. Besides, it’s too late to call off the wedding.
This was my last entry as Vivian Rohrbeck. Next time I open this diary, I will have a new last name. I’m so excited!
Nothing more was written on that day. Edna figured she was too busy celebrating her wedding with friends and family and then alone with Mattis. She could imagine what they did, even if it was something she did not want to imagine. Honestly, what was it with Vivian and describing her intimate relations in great detail? This was a diary and not erotic literature. Still, there could be worse things – like not telling me you killed a man despite telling me you stopped murdering ages ago, Edna thought bitterly at the Key Master, even though he could neither hear nor read her thoughts. Her heart suddenly ached for a brief moment as she thought about this man. She did not want to admit it to herself but she was missing him. She had grown accustomed to his face, to seeing him almost every day that it was hard for her to not be thinking of him. She tried to forget about him but he always crept back in her mind as if he lived there. A part of her wanted to go out and see him but another was too scared to see him and perhaps learning he committed another horrible deed. Edna kind of wished she could just switch off her feelings for him and go on with her life. But she could not let go of the past. She had to cling to her past to learn her heritage and her identity. Without it, she would have no idea what her future might bring her. She could only be sure if she had both her past and present. Not wanting to think about this any more, she turned her attention back to the lavender blue diary:
May 21st, 1988
This here is my first entry as Vivian Konrad. Mattis and I got married yesterday. It was the best day of my life. I just can’t describe how happy I am! We’re going to live in his house, with my parents and sister living not too far away. I’m glad we stay in this village here, I had a happy childhood here and I hope our future kids will have a happy childhood, too. But we are going to wait before try for a child (or more). First, we just want to enjoy our togetherness.
Edna could not prevent her face from making a skeptical expression. Wait until they would go for a child? Seeing what their favorite hobby was, it seemed that they could not wait to have one or ten. Opting not to dwell on this too much, she took Mattis’s diary and opened the page of the first entry:
May 21st, 1988
Well, this is my first entry in this diary. Vivian had gotten it for me but I don’t really know what to write in here. Except maybe that I got married to Vivian yesterday. I’ve never seen anyone more beautiful than her, both in looks and personality.
The next entries were about them getting adjusted to married life and living together in Mattis’s house with its Spartan furnishings. Vivian took furniture of her old room when she moved, while it was up to Mattis to buy new interior, though it soon became apparent that he as a horrible interior designer. That explains a lot, Edna thought to herself with a smirk. She recalled the mismatched furniture and the lack of electric lamps in some rooms as if she had been in the house of her childhood days only the day before. Her bedroom seemed to be the only room in the whole house that seemed to be modern, by Nineties standard. Still, the eight years she lived there had been happy years for the most part, just like her mother wished. It was a pity that no one took care of it after it was abandoned by force and it therefore decayed. When Edna broke out of the asylum, she had hopes of living in her childhood home with Mattis once she found evidence that would have exonerated him. But alas, her hope diminished when she found his grave on the cemetery and was completely gone by the time she found out the truth, confronted Doctor Marcel, and had to flee the police.
A sudden knock on the door startled her and pulled her out of her reverie.
“Yes? Come in”, Edna called after having recovered from the unexpected surprise. She watched how the door handle was pressed down on the other side and the door was pushed open by Tina.
“You don’t have anything planned on Friday, do you? Oh, what am I asking? You don’t have anything planned”, she rambled, not really giving Edna a chance to reply to her question.
“And what makes you say that?“, the former inmate of an asylum inquired with a raised eyebrow.
“Really, Edna? You’re still asking this when you haven’t left the house for a week?“, Tina responded dryly. “I’m only asking because we’re going to have a party at Bianca’s house on Friday and we want you to join in.”
Edna was about to decline but then she reconsidered; the party was supposed to take place at a friend’s house, a location a certain someone she did not want to see did not know of. Perhaps she should say yes; she was in need of a change of scenery after all.
“I will think about it”, Edna eventually replied, noting that Tina seemed to be glad she was not saying no.
“That is all I’m asking of you”, Tina said with a tiny smile on her round face. “Well, I leave you to your now stuff now.”
With that, she was gone and Edna only had Harvey for company.
“She really didn’t say no?”
“That’s already the second time you asked me this, Gregor. She said she will think about it.”
It was around noon the day after the Key Master injured his arm. He was in the park at the moment, albeit without the tie as a sling for his arm, and overheard a conversation between two of Edna’s friends. Hearing that she thought about going to a party after having isolated herself for a week made him glad. Maybe it meant she had gotten over the fact he had not told her of what he had done.
“Anyway, my lunch break is almost over. See ya”, Tina departed with these words. As far as the Key Master knew, Edna would be alone at home at the moment. Perhaps a visit to check on her was in order...
Shortly after the Key Master made the decision of going to see her, he found himself the elevator riding up to her apartment. He hoped she would be willing to listen and find it in her heart to forgive him. He reached the intended floor and made his way to the door behind which Edna and her housemate’s domain lay. At first, he thought about using the key Edna had given to him but opted to use the doorbell instead, the memory of last time he had used the key and invited himself in was still fresh in his mind. So he rang the bell and waited, ringing again after not receiving any response a few minutes later. Edna answered the door at last, her face changing from mild curiosity to a frown.
“What do you want?”
“I want to speak with you. Can I come in?”
She rolled her eyes and stepped aside, indicating with one arm for him to enter the apartment, though he could see it in her face that she rather would not have him in her humble abode. The Key Master walked past her as he stepped into the apartment. He heard her closing the door and then saw Edna heading for the living room, waving at him to follow her. He did so, stopping in the middle of said room. She, however, walked a few more steps and only stopped behind a chair, which seemed to act as her shield. While supporting her arms on the chair, she eyed him with a mixture of mistrust and fear. He guessed he could hardly blame her, considering his past. But she seemed to be willing to listen to him and that was what mattered to him at the moment.
“What do you want?“, she asked again, a little harsh.
“I want to ask for your forgiveness”, the Key Master answered right away, his eyes never leaving hers. Edna seemed to be taken aback by the question, judging from the slight widening of her eyes and the blink one usually did when being surprised. Her eyes darted around the room in an obvious attempt to avoid answering. The Key Master wished she would just answer and not waste any time. Then she looked back at him, or rather the arm he was cradling, with a worried face.
“What’s wrong with your arm?“, she questioned.
“Do you remember how I told that, after you pushed me down the railing in that church all those years ago, I broke my arm and since I couldn’t possibly march to a hospital without being recognized, it could never really heal?“, the Key Master asked. After the young woman nodded, he added: “Well, I had a little accident yesterday that seemed to have injured my arm again.”
He saw sympathy flashing in Edna’s eyes as she slowly and hesitantly approached him with one of her arm outstretched. She touched his injured arm with fingers as light as a feather. Normally, he welcomed her touch but this time, he visibly flinched.
“Sorry”, she apologized. She dropped her hand and she scrutinized him with a frown on her face. “My friend Anika knows a lot about medicine and such and she is about to study medicine in university. I think she could help you.”
“Do you really think she would do that?“, the Key Master retorted skeptically.
“I really do think so”, Edna confirmed. “I would just need to ask her.”
“Then do so”, he responded. He watched her nodding determinedly and leaving the living room through the door that led to her room. He wandered around the living room while he waited for her return. He skimmed the titles of the movie collection, noting there were a lot of movies he knew or at least heard of and there were also quite a number of motion pictures he had never heard of. Some of the latter were rather peculiar, like the one with a dead girl as a bride or a rat in a restaurant. There were also four pirate movies, which seemed to be a series. Then he walked away from the movie collection and admired the decorations. On the walls hung several pictures, almost each of them was drawn or painted – most likely by the two occupants of this apartment. The only picture that was neither painted nor drawn was a black and white picture of Audrey Hepburn in her role as Holly Golightly from Breakfast At Tiffany’s. The Key Master could hear Edna’s voice drifting from her room to the living room. What she was saying, the Key Master could not tell since she kept her voice low. He kept wandering around, remaining only in these four walls, never going to any of the other room. He figured Edna would prefer if he would stay where she left him. Maybe not exactly the same spot but the same room. The voice drifting from beyond the open door stopped talking and, a moment later, Edna reappeared.
“Anika’s on her way”, Edna said. “She’ll be here in a few minutes.”
The Key Master nodded in acknowledgment.
“I still have a question, though. Aren’t you going to tell me to take a seat or offer me something to drink?”
He wanted to lighten the mood, something he rarely, if ever, did. But he felt he could make an exception for her, even if he only got a tiny smile out of her. After all, he did think she looked better if the corners of her mouth were turned upwards. A thin straight line for a mouth or its corners pointing downward just did not suit her. However, all he managed was for her to roll her eyes and indicate at the chairs standing by the dinner table.
“Please, take a seat”, she invited him with a sarcastic undertone. “Would the gentleman care for a drink?”
Edna added a fake British accent to her sarcastic undertone when she made the offer. The Key Master remembered vividly how she produced either a menu or a dirty cocktail glass, which was probably filled with the Stinkydrink, and asked exactly the same question, albeit without the sarcasm in her voice.
“A glass of water, please”, the Key Master replied and sat down on one of the chairs. He heard Edna’s footsteps as she went to retrieve a glass of water while he carefully set his injured arm on the table. The moment his limb rested on the hard, wooden surface, he wished he had something soft to lessen the pain, or painkillers.
“Here’s your water”, Edna said emotionlessly and placed the glass in front of him. He thanked her before taking a sip. Edna made no move or noise to acknowledge his words. All she did was to move away from the table and, while he followed her every movement with his ocular organs, sat on the couch. It was quiet inside these four walls, so quiet that the Key Master could, if he listened closely, hear a heated discussion of two neighbors one floor downstairs. Apparently the male neighbor had washed the white garments of his wife with his red briefs and now all her white clothes were pink. The Key Master could not prevent a smirk appearing on his face. No wonder why it was usually the women who did the housework, even though they did not have to do so. There were times when he wondered if men only deliberately acted stupid just so the woman can do all the housework. His memory of his mother and of his girlfriend and how scary they could be had returned a long time ago, so he would never pretend to be less intelligent than he was. It would have only ended in injuries worse than the state of his arm. Besides, it would be an insult to himself if he were to act stupid.
The door bell suddenly disturbed the silence throughout the apartment, startling both occupants. Edna jumped up and rushed out to the hallway. The Key Master decided to remain where he was; it would only be a matter of minutes before he would meet the “doctor”. He was unsure of letting a future student in the fields of medicine treat him but he guessed it could be worse. As long as this Anika would not reveal anything about him, he supposed he was alright with her patching him up. Edna returned a few minutes later, with a tall, slim, and dark skinned woman holding a bag in tow.
“That’s him”, Edna stated, nodding towards the Key Master.
“So, that’s your friend”, she pronounced the word weirdly and gave Edna an even weirder look, “you’ve been talking about so often. Well, let’s see what I can do without the use of an X-Ray. Really, why can’t we take him to the hospital again?”
“Just treat him, alright?“, Edna demanded brusquely. The Key Master noticed Anika rolling her eyes before she began treating him. Since she had no access to an X-Ray, she could only make diagnoses based on touching and looking at his arm. She asked questions, like when and how he broke his arm. She did not attempt to hide her astonishment when he revealed he broke it after falling from a high place and had not gone to a doctor immediately but instead simply rested his arm for several weeks. Even Edna was flabbergasted at this, though he had told her about this. She probably forgot for a moment. Anika continued with her examination in silence.
“Well, consider yourself lucky”, she began. “Despite your previous injury and the fact that you were foolish enough to not go to a doctor, your break is not so bad. In fact, no surgery is required; you just have to wear a sling on your arm and rest. Oh, and cool it off with ice.”
“I will. Thanks, doctor”, the Key Master replied calmly.
“Still, I would feel more at ease if you were to go to a hospital. And if someone would take care of you”, Anika looked pointedly at Edna.
“Alright, I’ll do it”, Edna relented, rolling her eyes and crossing her arms. The way she said it, she might as well have said “if I have to”. Nonetheless, Anika smiled in satisfaction before beginning to put the Key Master’s arm in a sling and splint. While she was busy treating him, she instructed Edna to get some ice for him. He watched her leaving the room, not sure if she would feel comfortable with being alone with someone, who was a total stranger to him.
“So, how long have you known Edna?“, Anika asked in an attempt to start a conversation.
“A few years”, the Key Master said vaguely. He did not have the urge to converse with a stranger but he nevertheless decided to answer her question. A vague answer like that would cause no harm.
“She doesn’t seem to be very fond of you at the moment, does she?”
“We had a fight the other day...”
Anika stopped treating his arm and looked up with a frown. There was something in her eyes that told him she suspected something.
“Is that why she’s been acting so strange lately? Because you had a fight?“, she inquired.
“How has she been acting?“, the Key Master asked, deciding it was one of the rare times he was better off acting stupid. He could imagine she would inquire why he had not come and join their conversation if he told her he overheard her and her friends.
“She spends the majority of her time in her room, all alone, and only comes out to use the bathroom or to get something to eat. She doesn’t come to work, though Tina had arranged that she has her days off. She’s lucky that our boss is her housemate’s uncle, otherwise she could have kissed her job good bye a long time ago”, Anika counted off, hissing like a snake and looking as dangerous. She jabbed her index finger into the shoulder of his intact arm and added in a hiss: “I don’t care what it is about, but you two better reconcile, ASAP! Geddit?”
“Yes”, he answered, not being intimidated by her threatening look and voice. He was aware of this himself but he knew he could not force Edna to make up with him. This circumstance was something that needed its time before one could willingly forgive the other.
“Sorry for the wait. Couldn’t find the ice bag at first”, Edna apologized when she came rushing into the room, holding the aforementioned item.
“Just put it on his arm”, Anika instructed. She took her bag and looked from Edna to the Key Master and back. “Well, if that’s all, I should better be going now. Oh Edna, can I talk to you for a sec? Alone?”
Confused why her friend wanted to speak with her tête-à-tête, Edna gave one nod in answer. She led Anika outside to the hallway, where she started speaking without preamble:
“He’s the one you’re crushing on, isn’t he?”
“Uh”, was all a perplexed Edna could get out before being interrupted by her friend:
“And he’s also the reason why you’ve been so depressed lately. Listen, he told me you two had a fight and, frankly, I don’t know what the reason for your fight is, but I want you two to kiss and make up. It just can’t go on like this.”
Edna was about to snort. She could almost hear Harvey belittling Anika’s demand. What did she expect? That she could forgive a murderer so easily, as if he accidentally broke a vase instead of maliciously ending a man’s life? As Edna thought about this, she took a glance back to the living room, where the Key Master still sat at the dinner table. She had forgiven him once before and that was for a lot more murders while she was now unwilling to forgive him for one single murder. If she was honest, a small part of her was missing him and yet, she could not bring herself to forgive him. At least not yet.
“I’ll be going now. Tell your friend it was a pleasure to meet him”, Anika said and left with a friendly word of departure. Edna idly wondered if she ever realized she had never asked the Key Master for his name. She would probably realize this the next day at latest, Edna figured as she made her way back to the living room. A sigh made its way up her throat and out of her mouth upon setting her eyes at her male visitor. She could not describe how she felt being his nurse until he got better. At least it was not the kind of broken arm that would require surgery, so it would not be so bad, no matter what her thoughts or feelings were. She guessed she could live being a nurse; it was only temporary, after all.
“Well, um, is there anything you need?“, she hesitatingly asked. The Key Master, whose eyes had been silently wandering around the room, gazed at Edna as though he only just noticed her presence. Edna felt uncomfortable; it was like she was trying to sneak past a guard and he spotted her at the last second.
“Something to eat, perhaps. I am quite hungry, you know”, he calmly replied. A loud rumbling noise, like the growling of a beast, came from his stomach to verify his statement. Edna could not prevent a grin forming on her face. There was something funny about his stomach grumbling, though she could not explain what.
“I think starving would be a more appropriate term”, she commented, still grinning.
“I suppose you’re right, Princess”, the Key Master acknowledged. “I did eat the rest of my provisions just a few days ago.”
Edna’s grin faded:
“You mean to tell me you haven’t eaten anything for a few days?”
“That’s correct”, the Key Master confirmed. A mix if bafflement and sympathy flashed across Edna’s face the second she felt these two emotions in the pit of her stomach.
“I get you something to eat”, she said quietly, about to head for the kitchen before she reconsidered. She glanced at the Key Master, imagining he was most likely bored just sitting there. She went to the shelf and took a random, English-language book.
“Here, so you won’t have to sit and stare holes in the air”, she said and placed the small book in front of the Key Master.
“Thanks”, he said, taking it. That was when Edna went to the kitchen. Looking around, she opted to heat up spaghetti leftover from lunch the day before. At least that was something he could eat with one hand. While she heated up the food, she simultaneously made sandwiches for her visitor, so that he would have new provisions in his hideout. Every now and then, she stirred the spaghetti and the sauce until both was well done. Edna took two plates from the cupboard and filled one with spaghetti and tomato sauce; the rest, intended for her, ended up in the second plate. Then she returned to the living room with both plates and forks in her hands. The Key Master still sat, of course, in the same chair she had left him in. His eyes were down and slowly moving from left to right. Edna noticed he was reading the book she had given to him when she placed the plate in front of him.
“Thanks, Princess”, he said, moving the book away and moving the plate closer to him. Edna nodded in acknowledgement while sitting down opposite of him.
About twenty minutes later, Edna was back in the kitchen. The used plates and forks lay in the sink; she was too lazy to wash them. Right now, she was busy making more sandwiches for the Key Master; the finished ones were all wrapped in aluminum foil. The foil reminded her of Aluman. Last time she had seen him, he was struck by lightning. She wondered if he ever recovered from that incident. A moment later, she decided she made enough sandwiches and wrapped the final one in aluminum foil. Edna took a plastic bag from a cupboard, where all of the sandwiches ended up in.
“I must be crazy”, she mumbled to herself, shaking her head. Here she was, not wanting to have anything to do with the Key Master but nonetheless helping him. Sighing at herself, she returned to the living room with the bag in hand.
“Is there anything else you could need?“, she questioned, standing at the dinner table.
“Now that you mention it, Princess, I’ve got only very little of drinking water left”, the Key Master replied, looking up from the book. He took it with his healthy arm and waved it around. “Do you mind if I borrow this?”
“It’s Tina’s but I’m sure she wouldn’t mind as long as it’s intact when you give it back”, Edna replied. She was a little surprised; she had not expected he would want to finish reading a book that was not in their native language. Perhaps he needed something different than fairytales, she reckoned, or he wanted to improve his English, albeit without a dictionary.
“You can call me many things”, the Key Master started – like ‘hot’, Edna thought involuntarily – and put the book back on the table, “but you can’t call me ‘book ripper’.”
“Well, alright”, she said. “As for your water, I’m going to bring you home first, go to town to buy you two six packs of small bottles of water and bring them to you.”
“And why not while you’re taking me home?“, the Key Master asked confused.
“Well, I would but this bag here”, she held it up, “is already too heavy for me and since you’re busy keeping the ice bag on your injured arm, I would have to carry everything. That way, it would be easier for me.”
“Alright... when do we go?”
“Any time you’re ready.”
The Key Master closed the book and stood up, saying:
“Well, I think I’ve intruded on you long enough. I would suggest we go now.”
Edna felt relief surging through her body. Her emotions simply could not decide whether to let her feel happiness or fear with him sitting in the four walls she lived in. The only thing she was sure of was the sympathy she felt for him – and her pounding heart. Maybe if he were not in close proximity, she would be able to sort out her feelings.
“Then let’s go”, Edna said, taking and pocketing the book.
Nothing happened on the way to the Key Master’s hideout and later, when she bought small bottles of drinking water for him. While she was away, he put the sandwiches in the ice box and was still in the middle of doing so when Edna returned.
“Let me help you”, she offered and, without waiting for an answer, took the bag that was still filled with sandwiches and quickly put them all in the ice box.
“There”, she said satisfied and closed the box. She stood up and stretched herself. It felt weird to be outside again after having spent a week only in her room. Then she looked at the Key Master:
“Well, I’ll be seeing you tomorrow. I said I would take care of you, so I will.”
Edna was about to leave when the Key Master half-said, half-shouted for her to wait. The young woman, who was already at the doorway, stopped and turned around with furrowed eyebrows.
“Why are you helping me? You don’t seem to be that fond of me to be doing that”, the Key Master inquired, walking closer to her. Edna sighed.
“Listen, no matter what I think or feel about you, I didn’t like seeing you suffering”, she replied. “That’s why I called Anika; I knew she would be able to help you. She is about to study medicine after all, and she knows a lot about injuries and the like. Besides, she will want to check up on you in a few days and if she learns, I didn’t take care of you, I’ll be injured in an ‘accident’, she will be the one to take care of me and ‘incidentally’ forget the Hippocratic Oath.”
She made quotation marks with her fingers when she said the words “accident” and “incidentally”.
“Anyway, is that all? Or is there something else on your mind?”
“Just one more thing... I said earlier I wanted your forgiveness. Is it too soon to be asking for it?”
Edna frowned and averted her eyes, staring at a chair leg with glassy eyes. Was it really too soon to forgive him? A part of her wanted to welcome him back with open arms, another part of her – one that sounds an awfully lot like Harvey – told her to forget about him. Even if she wanted to forgive him, there was still doubt nagging at her in the back of her mind. Why had he not told her the truth when he still had the chance? Why did she have to find it out the hard way? Oh, how much she had hated him that moment and the following days. But most of all, she was disappointed. Disappointed that he apparently did not trust her. She told herself that she hated him but she knew that was a lie. Maybe a tiny part of her did – one that had slowly started to vanish over the week. But the fear was still there, even though she really missed him.
“I... I think I have to hate you for a little while longer”, Edna said in a tiny voice, still staring at the chair leg. “Good bye.”
And so she went home.