This is the fifth part of a fiction serial, in 905 words.
“Come in and get out of those wet things, Ros. What the hell happened?” Marian went into the bathroom to get clean towels as her sister stripped off the saturated clothes in the hallway. When she still hadn’t answered the question, she asked it again. “What happened? How did you end up here, bruised, bleeding, and soaked?” But with her bottom lip quivering, and tears still streaming down her face, Ros was unable to say anything.
Marian rubbed the sobbing woman’s hair with a separate towel, and softened her tone. “Okay, love. It’s alright, you’re here now. Go and get warm in the living room, and I will bring you a drink”. She picked up the wet things and took them into the bathroom, draping them over the wire airer. The she went into the kitchen , returning with a glass of Brandy. “Get this down you and calm down, then tell me in your own time”.
Since splitting up with Steve and moving into London, Marian had not seen so much of her sister. Neither of them had a car, and it was a mission to get up to Hatfield, or for Ros to visit her in Hackney. Keeping in touch on Facebook seemed a better option, and they had drifted apart gradually. When they met up again at dad’s funeral, the mood was tense for everyone. He had died suddenly and unexpectedly, and mum had seemed almost happy about that. When she announced her intention to marry one of dad’s best friends less than six months after his death, both the sisters had more or less cut her off.
It was almost thirty minutes before Ros felt okay to talk about it. She told Marian about the date with Lee that had happened ages ago, and how she had told him she didn’t want to see him after. When the Brandy was topped up, she relaxed and explained why she was there that night.
“The rain was awful today, and when I finished work I couldn’t face the walk to the bus stop to get the bus home. I hadn’t taken an umbrella, as it had looked fine this morning. So I rang for a taxi, and they said it was a fifteen-minute wait. I walked to the main entrance of the shopping mall, and stood under the canopy out of the rain. When a car pulled into the drop-off area instead of taking the exit for the main car park, I ran across to it, sure it must be my taxi. It was raining so hard, I didn’t even stop to check.”
She picked up her glass and swigged down some more of the warm spirit.
“As I closed the car door, it drove off really fast, and I looked at the driver only to realise it was Lee. I screamed at him to stop and let me out, but he had taken the turning onto the A1 and was driving fast in heavy traffic, heading south. I tried to reason with him, saying I wouldn’t tell anyone if he just dropped me off and left me alone. But he just laughed at me, saying I had got in his car willingly, and he hadn’t done anything to me. So I asked him to get off the motorway at the next junction, and at least take me home to Hatfield. He shook his head and said he was taking me for a nice meal, and I would enjoy it”.
Placing the now empty glass on the coffeee table, she turned back to her sister.
“I was really scared, Mal. I took my seat belt off, ready to try to jump out of the car when he slowed down, and when I did that he suddenly slammed on the brakes. My head went forward and smacked onto the dashboard. That really hurt, my eyes were watering and I had terrible pain in my nose. I was half-unconscious, and he pushed me back in my seat and told me to put the belt back on”.
Shaking her head in disbelief at what had happened to her sister, she went to get them both another drink. “I have some cheese and crackers, but I can ring up for a delivery, pizza or something, you should eat”. Ros shook her head. “I couldn’t face eating anything, I’ll tell you the rest”. Marian sat down again, and held Rosalind’s hand.
“Once we hit the traffic around North London, Lee had to slow down a lot. A couple of times I thought I might have a chance to jump out, but he accelerated into a different lane. Then there was a big traffic jam on the roundabout at Millhill, so I got my phone and bag and opened the door. He grabbed the collar of my jacket and pulled me back, that’s when I cracked the back of my head against the door frame and cut myself. But I managed to get out and run, though as I ran along the pavement I dropped the phone, and smashed the screen. So I couldn’t ring anyone to help me. Then I was walking along the main road for ages until I saw a London Taxi with it’s light on and waved him down. I don’t know how I remembered your address, but I did”.
Marian sat up straight. “Right then. Now you have calmed down, I’m going to ring the police”.