(2011) The Gift of Death

(2011) The Gift of Death by Sam Ripley Read Free Book Online

Book: (2011) The Gift of Death by Sam Ripley Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sam Ripley
Tags: thriller
    Joe walked over to his wife and put a reassuring hand on her shoulder.
    ‘ Honey, I know it’s hard, but now is not the time to –‘
    ‘ To what? What Joe?’ She turned and looked at Kate. ‘We asked you here because we thought you were what you said you were. We wanted to thank you for trying to help Sara-Jane. But now we know that you didn’t help at all.’
    Kate knew that the distraught mother’s reaction was normal. She was angry with herself and was just looking for someone else to blame. Yet at that moment Kate wished she had never come. She should have sent them a card, some flowers maybe. But she wasn’t ready for this.
    ‘ Look – I think it’s best if I go,’ she said, turning towards the door. ‘I am sorry for what happened. And Mrs Gable? I’m sorry you thought I was a medic, but I really did everything I could to bring your daughter back.’
    ‘ Dr – Dr Cramer,’ said Joe, lowering his voice and turning towards Kate. ‘Please forgive my wife. She’s not herself. Perhaps if we –‘ He gestured towards the door.
    ‘ Goodbye, Mrs Gable. And sorry.’
    There was no response.
    Joe and Kate walked out of the house in silence. On the lawn he stopped and apologised once again.
    ‘ Really, there is no need,’ said Kate. ‘When I worked closely with the police I talked to many bereaved family members, Mr Gable, and I can assure you every one of them felt as you wife feels today. Angry. Guilty. Sick to the stomach with misery. I just wish there was more I could do to help.’
    ‘ I’m actually very worried about her,’ said Joe.
    ‘ Losing any one is hard enough, but to lose a baby. I don’t know how I would cope.’ She didn’t want to remind him about the manner of his daughter’s death. Kate thought about the tiny bud inside her and ran a hand over her abdomen.
    ‘ It’s not just that,’ he said. ‘The truth is, in the past, Susan had a history of mental illness. Anorexia in her teens, self-harming too. Ever since I knew her she has been on some sort of medication. But she seemed so much better with Sara-Jane. Like a different person. But now –‘
    His shoulders started to shake as he tried to suppress his emotions.
    ‘ If I ever come across the fucker who – who did this, I don’t think I’ll be able to answer for my actions.’
    Kate placed a hand on his forearm.
    ‘ I know it must be difficult for you, but I’m certain the person who took your daughter away from you will be brought to justice.’
    ‘ You are?’
    ‘ Yes,’ she said, realising that she was anything but confident. As she said goodbye she found it difficult to meet his eye.

    Cassie Veringer stretched out her right hand, almost feeling the cool tiles before she actually touched them. Her fingers traced the diamond pattern on the bathroom wall, moving over the ridges and grooves. The layout of the room was so familiar to her – she was sure she could picture it in her head just as well, if not better, than a sighted person – that she didn’t need to use her hands to get around. But it was force of habit.
    She used her left arm to feel for the edge of the shower curtain. As she moved towards it she felt the light breeze coming through the window, and smelt the saltiness of the ocean in the air. The plastic curtain rustled in the wind, a sound that took Cassie back to when she was a little girl on her grandfather’s sailboat in the sea off Newport. In her head she still had a clear picture of what he looked like – the head of silver hair, the bronzed, lined face, the glint in his grey eyes.
    What would it have been like if she had never been able to see, she asked herself. She tried to imagine it for a moment and couldn’t. Even though she had been completely blind for fifteen years – a result of juvenile glaucoma - at least she had the visual images of her past to call

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