The next day at work found Dave Frankston feeling elated. Everything was going as planned and now Conno had phoned him yesterday evening with the news that he was coming to the reunion, he could start making arrangements. First on his list was contacting Debbie’s biological mother. Suddenly, elation made way for a surge of anxiety. How would her mother react? ‘Well, mate, there’s no turning back now,’ he said to himself as he poured himself a cup of nice strong tea and walked over to his desk.
Dave looked up in surprise. His mind had been occupied by the conversation he was planning to have with Debbie’s mother, and so he had not noticed his colleague standing nearby.
“Oh, hey Mark. How’s it going?”
“Not bad,” Mark replied. “You look like you had a good night’s sleep.”
“Yeah, you bet ya,” Dave said absent-mindedly, as he started rummaging through the mess on his desk, in search of the manila folder with the details on Debbie’s mother.
He frowned. Where was it?
“Have you seen the Carruthers case file?”
“No, I haven’t,” Mark replied while Dave began upturning files in a panicky way. “Is there something wrong?”
“Kind of. I’m sure I left the file here when I went home yesterday arvo,” Dave said running his hands through his hair.
“Do you need a hand?” Mark asked.
“No, it’s okay. I’ll find it,” Dave said and walked to the window. “I’ll just have me cuppa and calm down first.”
“Sounds like a good idea. Good luck,” Mark said and left the room.
Dave sipped at his tea and gazed out of the window at the hill in the distance. In a matter of seconds he began daydreaming. He was standing on the same hill and out of nowhere, a vast plain appeared before him. He looked around until he noticed an old gum tree that had been uprooted from the ochre coloured soil. The tree looked as if it had been dead for quite a while. It had been bleached pale grey by the sun and was missing most of its branches. Then the wind picked up, brushing his face and tugging at his shirt. It became a voice that whispered to him: ‘Life gives and life takes. But, you have the power to restore the natural order. Simply follow your intuition.’ Suddenly, the scene changed into a luscious rainforest. Dave noticed the dead tree, only now it was very much alive.
He blinked his eyes and returned to the present moment.
“Hmm,” he hummed softly, “intuition, eh.”
Then he walked back, sat down and closed his eyes. It did not take long before he sensed something to the top left-hand corner of his desk. He opened his eyes, leaned towards the left-hand corner and picked up the file that was lying on top.
“Ah, there you are,” Dave said with a contented smile on his face.
Still, it’s very strange you’re not where I left you, he said to himself.
“Good morning, Dave!” his colleague Alison shouted as she walked through the corridor past his open door.
“Good morning, Alison,” Dave answered and looked up to catch a glimpse of the woman accompanying Alison. It was long enough for something about her to attract his attention. Her hollow stare look gave him an uncanny feeling. It reminded him of someone, except he could not remember who, as he did not have much of a memory for faces. He turned his attention to the file in front of him. While he began to browse through the documents and photos, in search for the contact information, he came across Debbie’s childhood photo again. He held the photo up in front of him and stared at Debbie while his eyes became moist once more.
“Your time has come, Debbie and for once and for all, I’m going to set things right.”
Then, as he put the photo down, Dave’s eyes fell on another photo. This one was of a young woman holding a young girl by the hand. When Dave looked closer, he recognized the girl. It was Debbie. He then looked at the woman and racked his brain for a name.
“Angela,” he gasped.
Suddenly a bolt of fear struck his heart. No, it can’t be, he said to himself, but his memory got the better of him. He knew full well that the woman in the photo he was staring at was the exact same woman who had walked past his office only minutes ago.
Simple Minds – Soul Crying Out
‘Outback Australia’ by Jenny Rollo on Freeimages.com
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