Grenstone Clinical Psychology Centre
Callum Harlan Matthews Dates of Evaluation: 14/01/09 _ 16/01/09
Case No.: 146,487
Building No.: 16
Date of Report: 17/01/09
She let everyone go through the funeral thinking he was a girl bashing rapist. Not many people went; me, Ben, his parents, a couple of teachers from school, Holly and a few other people he'd once known. Nothing big, nothing fancy.
I think they would have rented out a stadium if she'd admitted things a few days earlier.
He's pretty much a celebrity right now. It's a story that makes pretty awesome news. Girl gets abused and raped by her own older brother her whole life, and blames it on her ex boyfriend the morning after a particularly bad round. Boy kills himself in the ensuing shame.
She was too scared of her brother to say anything sooner. We get that. She panicked. We get that.
I'd still like to rip her eyes out, but that's just me.
After seeing us at his funeral, after realising what she'd done, she just couldn't keep it a secret anymore, I guess.
Well, good on her.
But it can't bring him back.
I guess living with that for the rest of her life is punishment enough though, really.
Harlan looked at the ground, and then smiled forcedly. "With any luck, we'll be able to be side by side as well as together emotionally."
I nodded as he jumped to take hold of a tree branch nearby his head. "You wouldn't get… that long in jail, would you?" I asked cautiously as he pulled himself up, hooking his legs over the branch.
He released his hands from the tree and dropped until he was hanging upside down. His hair fell in spikes away from his forehead, and he folded his arms.
"Depends how bad your friends paint me, honestly," he replied. "Given their extreme love and affection for me, I shouldn't guess more than a decade or two."
"But you're a minor!" I argued hopefully.
"Eighteen in a few weeks, if I've been keeping track correctly. Though, I might be eighteen already," he paused, looking interested.
"When are you eighteen?" I took hold of his hands.
"Not for a week then," I said after making the calculations in my head. "Happy birthday."
"You can say happy birthday on the day."
I smiled weakly and pulled on his hands gently. He let go of me and proceeded to lower himself to the ground. His face was flushed and his hair was ruffled.
I leaned up and kissed him quickly, and then we walked into town jumpily. I kept myself pressed up against Harlan for safety, though obviously I wasn't the one in danger. Every movement from the small scattering of people going about their daily business as we walked on made me jump, and my eyes grew sore from darting around constantly.
To my indescribable relief, no police cars passed. I was slowly starting to feel a lot more optimistic.
"You know what's funny?" I said to Harlan after we'd been walking for a couple of minutes.
"What?" he asked thinly, looking around him nervously, and grabbing my hand, leaning his head towards me subtly. I understood the move. Emily had probably told the police Harlan had kidnapped me. If that were the case, we wouldn't be strolling along like young lovers.
"You even managed to be insanely attractive when you had a gun to my head, way back then," I laughed. "I just didn't mention it at the time."
Harlan laughed weakly. He was starting to look stressed.
I decided he was in no real state to hold a proper conversation. We walked along in silence, every now and then squeezing hands. I was finding it hard to stay optimistic with his attitude.
After about five more minutes, Harlan stroked my hand with his thumb. "Look… Alicia," he started.
"What?" I was alarmed at the tone of his voice. He couldn't back out now! I wouldn't let him. I could slap sense into him.
"Don't turn around, and don't panic, but there's been a guy following us for the last ten or so minutes. And I just saw him talk into his hand."
"No. It could be anything," I said, and he squeezed my hand tightly, as though it could stop me from doubting his word.
"It's okay. Alright? You can still see me," Harlan said quickly, and I jumped as I heard sirens in the distance. It didn't feel real. It was too quick.
"No," I protested, going pale. Then, suddenly, I realized that it couldn't be for us. In real life parents died, girls betrayed you and the law was against you. But true love conquered all. All the songs said it, so it must be true.
"Yes," Harlan insisted. "Don't tell anyone about the money. It's yours. You can decide what to do with it later."
"Harlan-" I started, and then suddenly there were three police cars surrounding us.
There are times in our lives when we make split second decisions. They might not be good ones, but they're the best we can do. It was one of these decisions that caused me to grab Harlan in one arm, pull out the gun with the other, and hold it against his head.
"Let us past!" I yelled, facing the crowd of police officers. A voice inside me was terrified, was demanding what I was doing, but I couldn't see any other way.
A male police officer to my left was the first to speak. "Put down the gun, Miss."
I felt Harlan start to pull away from me, and I thought fast. "No. If you come any closer to us, I'll shoot him. This asshole kept me and my friends locked up for over two weeks! He hardly gave us any food, threatened us every day, tortured us emotionally – Fucked if I'm letting you deal with him, I'm dealing with him myself!"
That did it. Harlan stiffened beneath me, suddenly not struggling anymore. It hurt, it hurt so much that he thought I could turn on him like that, but I had no time to ponder this.
"Just put down the gun-"
"No, let me through!"
"Put down the gun, and we will-"
"I will shoot him if you take one step-"
"And no one will get hurt!"
"Put down the gun, Alicia, now." Harlan's voice was thin, panicked.
"Miss, we're asking you to PUT DOWN-"
"Please, Alicia, now, quick-"
A crowd had gathered. People were screaming, shouting; the police were all yelling orders at once, and Harlan was sounding more and more desperate. I didn't know what to do; all I knew was that if I took the gun down, they'd take him from me. If I held it up, I had a bargaining tool, they might let us past, they had to let us past, then we could run, and-
So many screams.
And we'd be together.
Suddenly, Harlan's hands were on me, and I was flying through the air.
I hit the concrete hard, but it didn't even affect me. How could it, when the sound of gunfire was so loud that it overshadowed everything else in my world.
I couldn't even force my mouth to form words. Instead, almost as soon as I hit the ground I pulled myself up and scrambled over to Harlan's body beside me. He lay motionless, covered in blood. His face was still flushed, and his lips were slightly parted. He could have just been lying there, daydreaming, if not for the open wound in his neck.
The noise from the crowd, and the police trying to keep them back had become deafening.
Without even stopping to think about what I was doing, I lifted his shirt and pulled out the notebook, shoving it immediately under my own jacket. I covered the movement by putting my other hand on his chest, ready to feel the steady rise and fall of his breathing.
When I didn't, I fell onto his body so heavily that the book jabbed into my stomach. I began clutching at everything, still unable to make a sound; his hair, his hands, everything that I could reach, until I was gently pulled backwards by a policewoman.
I crossed my hands over my stomach, half to stop myself from throwing up, and half to hold the book still. And then I did throw up, crying so hard that my stomach hurt, and my throat ached.
I felt myself being led somewhere.
"… Her friend… shock… will be able to help… it's just shock… poor love…"
And then I was sitting down, and Katherine's arms were around me. Was the book still there? Yes. Thank God.
"Oh my God, baby, are you okay?" Katherine was saying. Okay? I wondered if I could possibly look any less of a wreck than I felt. My eyes were almost swollen shut, and my nose was running from being sick. I was covered in Harlan's blood. I doubted it.
"I thought they were going to hit you. I thought- Alicia, what were you thinking?"
"Will he be okay?" I asked numbly. Where was Harlan's gun? Could I get to it? Would a policeman lend me their gun if I asked nicely? Could I end this all now? Could I be that lucky?
Katherine didn't answer this. "They recognised the photo Emily showed them. His name wasn't Harlan. It was Cole."
Cole. Santa Clause… Santa Claws… brings you coal for Christmas. That is, if you're naughty. But who isn't naughty every now and then?
"His name is Harlan," I said firmly, my head clearing momentarily.
"Sure, honey." Katherine pulled me towards her. Numbly, I rested my head on her shoulder. I was staring straight ahead, right out the window, I assume. But could I see anything? It may as well have been black.
At the police station, I was only questioned for a few minutes before they decided that I was in no fit state to give a statement. Apparently it was no surprise, as according to Emily I had been sexually abused quite violently by 'Cole' several times a day.
And, of course, no one listened to me. They already knew that I wasn't allowed to tell anyone of how he had raped me. Obviously, I was too delusional to realize he could never harm me again.
And I felt myself dying inside.
I had a date booked to return to the police station to give another testimony when I had a clearer head. Somehow, I doubted they would believe me anymore then than they did now.
There were three of us waiting, while Katherine gave her statement. Emily, me, and a boy that I knew, who had been crying into his arms for at least half an hour.
I couldn't cry. Not yet.
Instead, I approached him. He looked up as he became aware of my presence, still crying.
"You're the one that was in the photo with him," I told him softly.
He grew silent at once, and examined me for a while. "He had a photo of me?"
I nodded. "Just the two of you. In your uniforms."
He digested this information, and I waited respectfully while he did. Finally, he asked quietly, "Was he happy?"
I thought about this question for a few moments. "Yes," I lied.
On the way home to the orphanage, I gingerly took the blood soaked book out from under my jacket, and opened it.
And then I read.
I read of his annoyance at my questioning on the first day.
I read of his observation that Emily was the quiet one in the group, Katherine the leader, and me, a mystery.
I read of how he called me Blondie so as to draw a distinction between me and the others from the start.
I read of how he found himself wishing to touch me constantly, but that he always managed to stop himself.
I read of how he had willed me to push him, that day he stood on the edge of the cliff, but when I didn't, he felt such a strong rush of relief that he couldn't bear speaking.
I read of how after he let go of the cliff and I helped him back on the ground, he needed more than anything to just hold me and cry. When he couldn't find himself able to do that, he got so emotional that he could only just bear it.
I read of how my kisses tasted of hope and security.
I read of how he wished it had been me instead of Holly two years before, because then maybe his life would have turned out differently. Maybe if he'd known me for a day, he wouldn't have turned into a monster.
I read of how when he was around me he felt a sense of solidarity he'd long forgotten.
And I read of how he felt that I wouldn't be in his life for much longer, because anything that made him this happy would have to be short lived.
And I read of how he knew he was going to hell.
I knew one thing for sure.
When my time was up, he would be the one to greet me at heaven's gates. And he would sing to me, and he would call me Blondie.
And he would tell me how he knew at last that the truth had been told, and that his friends had all forgiven him for the crime that had never been committed.
And he would tell me that even through all of it, he didn't regret any of it, because then he never would have met me.
Just like in real life, he would have a perpetual smile that would rarely leave his face.
But this time, the smile would be genuine.
A/N - Thanks everyone who followed this! :D It was lovely to get some reviews, too! If you liked it, if you hated it, tell me now please! I'd love to hear some final opinions now it's over! :D xx