This is the twenty-fourth part of a fiction serial, in 760 words.
My thanks to Sue Judd for the use of her photo. https://suejudd.com/
Norma refused to tell me what her idea was, but gave me a hint. “I have a plan, but it involves us meeting Gregg. You have to trust me on this, Alicia”. I told her that I trusted her completely.
With my nose swollen badly, and two black eyes, I wasn’t about to go into work. But I felt that it was time to involve my dad, as I couldn’t allow myself to keep lying to him. On the Sunday, I drove over to the house, and as he opened the door I quickly told him not to be shocked by my appearance. I could have used my key, but felt my injuries were a big enough surprise without just walking in.
During the time it took me to outline everything that had happened with Gregg, I managed not to cry at all. He went from furious to frustrated, but had to agree with me that the police were going to do nothing, given my failure to report him the first times, and his alibi now. Being dad, he told me to take unlimited time off, and to let him know whenever he could do anything to help. He suggested adding better locks to the house, and changing my car so Gregg wouldn’t recognise it.
That seemed very sensible, so I agreed that he would send a locksmith on Monday, and also have a new company car delivered next week, the old one being taken away at the same time. Trouble was, once it was parked outside my house, Gregg would soon work out it was mine. Dad also said he was going to ring a couple of men he knew that had connections with the Council in Gloucester. “See if we can’t make them put pressure on the police. At the very least, they could stop Gregg if they see him driving that Fiat”.
I turned down his offer of moving back into the family home, telling him that I was determined not to let all this nastiness stop me from enjoying my own house. I was actually more worried about him than myself. Although he wasn’t that old, I hated the thought that it would affect his dodgy blood pressure, and give him a stroke, or worse. But he seemed relieved that I had confessed everything to him, telling me that since Gregg’s return from The Falklands, he had been worried about me.
Before I left for home, I hesitated, wondering whether or not to tell him that Norma had some sort of plan to sort Gregg out. But I didn’t tell him, not wanting to worry him further. I got home and didn’t even bother to check the driveway or the house. If he was coming for me, then let it happen. Telling dad had been a weight off my shoulders, and I soaked in the bath that night drinking a large glass of wine and wondering if my nose was broken.
Oh, it was by the way, hence why you can see it is still crooked now.
The young locksmith asked me no awkward questions, but suggested a complete change of locks, just in case anyone had made a copy of the keys. I agreed to all his recommendations, including a mortice deadlock cut into the door at the front, and in the kitchen. There was also a device installed that stopped the metal patio doors being forced open. He said he had been told to send the bill to the auction house, and left me with three sets of keys. I was going to give one of those to Norma when she came to see me.
It wasn’t until the following day that they came with the new car. I was surprised to see what my dad had ordered for me. It was a Ford Capri, but with the large 2.8 engine and fuel injection. I presumed he wanted me to have lots of power if I needed to escape at any time. Compared to my old car, it looked very sporty and swish.
Three days later, Norma came over after she finished work. She brought me some groceries and other things I had run short of, and I cooked us a simple dinner. Once we had eaten and talked about everyday things as well as my new car, she poured me a glass of wine and told me to sit down and concentrate.
“Listen carefully, as we cannot write any of this down”.