When you take an isolated location, add in a confined space and then top it off with Daniel (or I should say ‘John’) this would seem like the stuff of my nightmares.
In fact it is exactly like some of my nightmares.
So why is it (I ask no one in particular) that the only horrifying part of today, is the realisation that it was not horrifying?
It was Director Moore who suggested they send me into talk to ‘John’. I was surprised when Katie agreed and really not surprised when Michael asked them (loudly) if they were on drugs. It’s really sad how accustomed I am to people talking about me like I’m not there. After a long and drawn out argument (I had time to do my shopping list in my head.) the only thing Michael wasn’t overruled about was his insistence that he get to be in the room again.
Trying to describe what it felt like is difficult so bear with me. (Or is it bare with me? Bare, bear…bugger it) Okay, Imagine that you have to go into a cage with a tiger but it doesn’t know it’s a tiger and you’re just hoping it doesn’t remember and think to itself “What’s that sound, oh yes that’s my tummy rumbling and oh look they brought me dinner!” (This analogy is rubbish, sorry. Lets just say it was tense.)
‘John’ seemed genuinely pleased (and a little surprised) to see me as I shuffled in clutching the little notepad Director Moore had given me like it was some kind of protective shield. Before we got started he put his hand out on the table leaning forward. “Lee, isn’t it?” (I think I’ve only ever heard him use my name once before.) I nodded without looking up from the questions on the notepad. He continued, “Can I just say again, I really am sorry about what happened last time we met…”
He was interrupted by Michael, “You mean when you held her hostage.” I’ve never seen Michael look that stony before, (I think he has an issue with Katie having been in contact with Daniel during her “time off”.) he’s usually so warm and sweet and dashing and… I should stop now.
When I turned away from Michael I caught ‘John’s’ expression he looked really guilty. I managed to squeak out a response that it was okay. From then on I stuck to the questions I had been given and he answered them. It was all very formal and professional, apart from the odd moment where he would try to make me smile (I will never, ever admit that he succeeded!) After we got through the questions in the notepad, I still had one question of my own that was jumping up and down in the back of my mind.
I closed my book and stood up to leave but halfway to the door I turned back and before I could stop myself, I was already talking. (I really have impulse control issues that I must address… at some point… not now.) I asked him why he said what he said, about me.
He smiled cheekily and responded, “you mean about you being cute?” He knew fine well that’s not what I was talking about he just wanted to see if I would blush.
I was flustered and annoyed that he’d gotten the reaction he was looking for. I was distracted by my own shyness and I made a stupid, stupid mistake. I said “No Dan…” and that was all I got out before I caught myself. (I saw Michael take a step forward out of the corner of my eye.) I saw ‘John’ look at me his eyes narrow for a second moving between Michael and me.
I tried to recover, “No I meant when you said you trusted me.”
‘John’ stood up and Michael took two long strides forward, looking about as menacing as I think I’ve ever seen anyone look. “Because you Lee, are nothing more than you seem to be.” (?)
I felt rather like I’d just been insulted. (I’ve experienced it enough to be fairly familiar with the feeling) Before Michael could escort’ him out the door I said, “That’s not a compliment.”
He just smiled and said, “Depends on what you value. Now you being cute, that’s definitely a compliment.”
Repeat to yourself: I do not like his smile. I do not like his smile. I do not like his smile. (Bugger.)
Bugger. Buggering. Bugger. Double bugger on toast with a cup of tea and two spoonful’s of bugger.