Thursday - 5:13pm Outbound

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When Kasey had told her father that she was going to slip out the back door and go to the shops, she had meant it. But when she had gone outside, the door slamming behind her, she had stopped just outside the door, standing on the coir mat. And before long she had heard her mother come in and her father, very politely Kasey thought, ask her to leave. She listened as her father went to and from the garage, packing the bags into the car, and marvelled at the lack of yelling. She had somehow expected them to yell at each other, call each other foul names and fling accusations at each other like weapons. Instead, she heard her mother weeping softly as her father packed the last of the bags into the car, and then her father's soft voice saying, "I was there this morning, Elouise. I saw what you did. You're lucky I've kept it to myself so far, but I can't stay in this house with you now I've seen what you are capable of. There are just two questions I want answers to before you go. First, how long has this been going on and second, who is he?"
Kasey couldn't see her mother, but she heard her sniff as she tried to bring her emotions under control, "It's ... we've. We've been seeing each other for about three years. I went this morning to break it off ... things got. Things got. Well, it got heated I guess ..." Elouise's voice cracked on the last word, and it seemed as though Robert stood patiently by, waiting for the answer to his second question. Eventually, it came.
"His name is Zach, Zachary Wright. He lives in Frank Street in the City, in one of the studio apartments along there. He's a painter - an artist." Elouise's voice faded into a series of hiccupping sobs, and Kasey stood, dumbstruck, for a heartbeat, while the information she had just heard sunk in. Robert had begun to speak, but Kasey's ears heard only a rushing sound as rage and jealousy overtook her.

She wasn't quite sure how it happened, but in the blink of an eye, Kasey was back through the door into the laundry, and through the house into the living room. She wasn't aware of it, but she was yelling the whole way, her face red with passion and anger. "How DARE you?! How DARE you! Why didn't you TELL me?! My own MOTHER!" she screamed, enraged, until she was face to face with her mother, her father stepping back a few paces in shock at the tempestuous fury that had appeared between them. Kasey put her face right into her mother's and yelled as loud as she could, "HOW DARE YOU FUCK MY BOYFRIEND!!"

And with that, Kasey stormed back the way she had came, Robert flying after her, leaving Elouise rooted to the spot, amidst the ruins of her household.


While he had been doing his round, Damien had been thinking about the little problem that Walter Spinner was causing him, and what he was going to do about it. He had no clear ideas, just some vague assumptions and theories that all felt as though they were dead ends.

He was busy with a patient in the room very close to the nurses’ station when he heard the alarm bell sound there. He apologised to the patient and stuck his head out into the darkened hallway to see what was going on, and one of the senior nurses called over her shoulder to him, "Code Blue in 36! See you up there!" as she ran up the hallway. He lifted his hand in acknowledgment, and went back into the room to pack up quickly. Within seconds, he was following the nursing staff up the hallway to room 36.

Damien liked to be around for a Code Blue emergency. Code Blue specifically meant an adult patient was in immediate trouble, with death imminent, but it was used mostly for cardiac arrest. Damien was rarely needed at these, he didn't have the medical qualifications to be able to help out, but often the professionals there would get him to grab equipment or run a message to someone in a hurry, and for that reason no one ever minded him being around. It was fascinating to be able to stand back in a corner and watch the commotion going on around him. To be able to witness someone in their death throes, and know that their future hung in the balance on the skills and reactions of those attending to them, was the ultimate gamble. Damien would call the game in his head as he watched the panic, trying to decide if the patient was going to live or die, right up until it was clear that the dice would roll one way or the other. Unfortunately, by the time Damien arrived at this one, the patient had been stabilised and sedated successfully and the nurses were busy patting each other on the back. The woman in the hospital bed still looked deathly white, but her chest rose and fell evenly and the monitors she was hooked up to had ceased complaining.

The nurse that he had seen at the nurses’ station when the alarm went off turned to him when she saw him enter, "Oh, Damien! Crisis over thank goodness. Doctor Dreiser was here for another patient and she got her stabilised really quickly." she said with a smile. She turned to the mess laying on the bedside table next to the patient's IV pump and started picking up the rubbish of discarded syringe packets and single-use sleeves.
Damien walked up beside her and touched her on the shoulder lightly, "Here, let me do that, Robyn, I'm sure you have patients to see to."
The nurse looked up gratefully, "Oh, thanks Damien. That's sweet of you."
"No problem at all," Damien replied with a smile, "I'll see you later for the next round of obs, okay?"
Robyn nodded, thanked him again, and walked quickly out of the room, already concentrating on the next thing she had to do.

Damien looked back down at the mess of syringes and empty vials, sifting through it a little bit with his hands as he sorted the hazardous rubbish from the general refuse. The motion of his hands stopped suddenly as he noted a vial still half full with a clear liquid. He dropped what he had been holding and grabbed the vial, turning it until he could read the product name. As he did so he smiled - his luck was in. Immediately, he had a plan.


When Kasey left the house her feet, lacking any conscious direction from her mind, took her down the path they usually trod and she shortly found herself at the train station, exhausted but still very angry. The sun was starting to leech out of the sky but, undeterred, she walked on to the outbound platform and up to the very end, then sat on the edge of the concrete beside the gap in the fence. Her feet dangled into the long grass where they had found the dead girl, and she stared at the spot still marked by broken grass and embedded footprints as she seethed at her mother. When Elouise had poured her heart out on Tuesday evening Kasey had actually felt sympathy for her and had even come some way to understanding why she had done the things she had done. Elouise had explained how the affair had just happened, and how once she had started how hard it was to stop, and Kasey had nodded along, understanding as her mother explained how one day can flow into the next and before you know it you were weeks or months, or in this case years, down the line and it was too late to turn back. Kasey had believed her when her mother had said she was going to break it off. She had even believed that no real harm could come of it, thought that if Dad didn't know and Mum was ending it before he found out that there could be no real problem. But Elouise had never told Kasey his name, had never indicated where he lived, and had never implied that she knew about Kasey's relationship with him. It didn't occur to Kasey that maybe Elouise didn't know. She didn't think that Zach would be so selfish and self-centred so as to hide the knowledge. And she certainly didn't understand why Elouise would have withheld the information from her own daughter.

While Kasey was sifting through her thoughts, she heard foot falls behind her, and she turned slowly to see her father approaching her. His face was red, his breath fast and when he sat down beside her she could smell the sweat drying on his body. It wasn't an unpleasant smell, in fact it was somehow comforting, and reminded her of when she was small and helped him out doing things in the yard. She leaned against him, drinking in the warmth and reassurance that he emitted, and let the tears flow. Robert cried along with her, the high emotion of the confrontation with Elouise catching up with him in a rush.

The two sat side by side for some time, just bathing in each other's company, receiving solace from the other's presence. Eventually, they spoke in hushed tones, and Kasey filled her father in on the bits of the story he hadn't already worked out. Robert bit his tongue, deliberating, and eventually blurted out the truth about Zachary Wright's death, and her mother's role in it. Kasey cried again, harder than ever this time, and it was fully dark by the time she regained control over her emotions again. Robert drew her skinny, still child-like body into his own, and she crumbled against him. The automatic lights came on on the platform behind them, casting their shadows on to the grass in front, surrounded by sickly yellow light. The change in the environment was enough for them both to stir from their thoughts, and Robert gently suggested that they walk home.

The pair rose, the younger leaning against the elder, tears still making fresh tracks down her face, although the wracking, heaving sobs had departed for the moment. Slowly, carefully, father and daughter made the trek the few blocks back to the house, and Robert opened the door for his daughter to enter. The house was empty, Elouise's car missing from the garage, and a note left on the kitchen bench. Robert lifted it to read, "My darling Husband and Daughter, I have done wrong. I am sorry. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me. For I don't know that I will ever forgive myself. With love, forever and always, Elouise."


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