Staring into the already half drunken wine glass, Rachel wondered. Why had you invited Eva over? Their friendship was an unusual one for sure. Unusual in the way that Eva had an abundance of ‘friends’, whereas Rachel didn’t. Using the term ‘friends’ loosely.
Rachel’s lack of companions meant she often turned to Eva as a source of comfort. So why was she now eyeing up her wine glass wishing she’d kept her thoughts to herself, and the door firmly closed?
“They don’t send innocent people to prison, Rach. He obviously did it.” There it was, the reason.
Eva dumped the remaining drops of wine into her glass. Rachel smiled tightly knowing that was the last bottle. Great, now, not only did she have to listen to Eva lecture her, but she had to do it sober.
Despite popular opinion, Jim’s criminal conviction seemed anything but obvious to her. The mere insinuation from Eva that it could be, bugged Rachel more than she let on.
“People make mistakes, they could have missed something.” She argued back. Why, was anybody’s guess. It appeared the world had judged Jim guilty, whether the evidence supported that or not.
“I get it, the guy basically raised you. But Rachel honey-” Eva leaned forward, her cold hands squeezed Rachels on the sofa. Her face was the picture of understanding, yet totally fake. Much like the rest of her, Rachel bitterly thought. Eva’s long raver hair came with a hefty price tag at the cities most sort after salon, the lips which were downcast with false empathy had only been filled last week, and her green eyes, well they were contacts. “-that’s why you don’t have friends and family on a jury. It’s hard to take but he’s in the best place. Your mother is right, you need to let it go.”
Rachel inhaled a slow steady breath, whilst watching Eva’s hand hold hers. The patronising tone Eva often used with her, had never been more grating.
Of course, she’d expected Eva to agree with her mother, she always did. Unfortunately, Eva’s agreeable manner to Rachel’s mother was one of the reasons they were friends. Most people who saw how the Burton’s interacted believed Susan to be overly controlling in her children’s lives. Those who voiced that point never came again.
Susan, being the founder of Knowing, the leading company in security, made her a formidable opponent. As a child Rachel hadn’t been able to breath without her mother knowing. Sadly, most people don’t enjoy being monitored every second, and their parents found it creepy. Hell, Rachel found it creepy. However, she couldn’t go home to escape it, it was her home.
So regardless of Eva’s annoying favouritism to her mother, Rachel bit her tongue, because having Eva as a friend was better than having no friends at all.
That being said, it failed to help her current dilemma.
“He’s getting hurt. They’re beating him.” The memory from earlier today of Jim’s swollen face flashed in Rachel’s mind. She could cry from the frustration. “Common on Eva, you’ve met Jim, he’s the nicest guy you’d ever meet.” How could nobody see the truth? Jim, although quiet and having an obsessive need to clean the pavements, was in fact harmless.
Out of everyone Rachel would know, he’d been her driver for the past twenty years. And whilst everyone else was bailing ship, including her mother, Rachel appeared to be the only person by his side. The injustice of the situation kept Rachel awake at night.
“They say that about all psychopaths.”
“He’s not a psychopath. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Rachel paced the lavishly decorated living room, unable to contain the energy rippling through her. “I wish there was something I could do. A way to stop the beatings, you know?” She spoke to herself, forgetting Eva was perched delicately on the end of the sofa, watching her.
“It’s not like you can hire him a bodyguard.” Eva laughed at her own joke, but the thought stuck. Why not? She had the money. Surely anyone in prison would be more than willing to protect Jim for the right price. She’d have to ensure he never found out, but Rachel saw no reason why her plan couldn’t work. “Just let it go.” Eva waved for Rachel to sit down.
Since this whole nightmare had started five months ago, only now did Rachel feel the weight lift marginally. Against Eva’s best intentions to deter Rachel from helping Jim, she’d provided the perfect solution.