Turn a different corner 02/102
I don’t own anything Extra:
This an AU (Alternative Universe) story, so remember : The more things change, the more they stay the same. Here is part 1
***** JULY 2007: KEVIN/SCOTTY
“State your name and age.” Kevin starts.
“Scotty Wandell, 25 years old.” Scotty replies. So, that makes him 8 years younger than Kevin.
“I was a receptionist at Mangopean Insurances, but I am currently a cater-waiter,… part-time.”
“And exactly how did you find out that there was fraud taking place at Mangopean Insurance, Mr Wandell?”
“Like I said, I was just a receptionist and whenever I was bored, which was quite often, I eavesdropped on the salesmen’s calls, just to try and find out how they were selling the insurances. What stories they would tell to get customers… I didn’t mean any harm.”
“What did you hear?”
“They were selling fraudulent insurances, mostly to senior citizens.”
“Mr Wandell, one of these salesmen was … close to you?”
“He was … my boyfriend.” Scotty looks concerned and Kevin closes himself off from the pain Scotty shows.
“Did anyone ever ask you to lie?”
“Once Mark,… my ex…, found out I knew, he … he didn’t want me to go to the police.”
“Did he threaten you?”
“He said he’d kill me if I told someone.” Scotty’s voice trembles.
“Yet, you decided to go to the police anyway.”
“He…. I ….” Scotty’s voice falters. Kevin can see his panic.
“Mr Wandell, I have before me a police-report about a call about domestic violence at your former address. You left the house, went to a motel, when three days later you filed a rape-charge….” He looks up at Scotty, who’s trembling in his chair.
“That is a very severe allegation, Mr Wandell. You ex-partner however, said he believed, you were trying to get back at him.”
Scotty looks sick to his stomach and Kevin feels sorry for the young man.
“Mr Wandell, did he leave any marking and bruises on your body?” Scotty nods quietly and Kevin tries gently. “Please, speak up, if you could answer the question, because these guys have lawyers that will shred you. I know it must be hard, but….”
“The police-officer didn’t believe me.” Scotty replies, “He didn’t take it serious.” Kevin switches off the tape-recorder. He gently puts his hand on Scotty’s arm. As Scotty looks at him he sees the pain and humiliation and it fuels the anger in Kevin. Creeps like this Mark, who use and abuse people make him angry. Once he starts to talk his voice is soft and caring towards Scotty.
“That happens more often… unfortunately. But, please, you have to be strong now and tell us what happened. You were the one that stepped up and told the police about the insurance-fraud, and we need to establish that you were assaulted because you wanted to speak up, not the other way around, ,,, that you told a story to get back at your abusive boyfriend.”
“I understand.” Scotty’s voice is but a whisper.
“Do you need a moment to compose yourself?” Scotty shakes his head and Kevin turns the recorder back on.
“Mr Wandell. Was there only your partner or were there others involved?”
“Besides my ex-partner, I know of two other men who committed fraud.” Scotty’s voice seems stronger now and Kevin continues his questioning. After about twenty minutes, Kevin brings the topic back to Scotty’s ex-partner.
“Mr. Wandell, can you tell us in your own words what happened to you during the attacks?”
Instantly Kevin sees the color leave Scotty’s face again and his eyes become big in fear.
“Do I have to?”
“Yes, I know it is hard, but it will serve as proof of the ruthlessness these men have…”
“I don’t know if I can…. I already told everything to the police.”
“Yes, I read the reports, but we will make our own report and for that we need to hear it in your own words.”
“I’m not sure I can….” Scotty starts hesitantly.
“Please, Mr Wandell, I can understand this must be very hard for you, but …. Try?”
Scotty wraps his arms around himself and seems to think it over, before he starts to talk.
“He came home that night and I asked him about the fraud…. I needed to believe that I was wrong, that he wouldn’t do such an awful thing, but … rather than ease my mind, he got furious and …. He hit me. Over and over again.”
Under the desk Kevin clenches his fist. For some reason this story gets to him and it should not. It’s not the first time he has heard of this, but there’s something about Scotty that makes Kevin want to protect him… He has
to remain professional, however, so he clears his throat to ask his next question.
“Was this the first time he ever hit you?”
“Yes. Mark was not a gentle lover, he would often shove or push me around, he was tough, but until then, he never hit me.”
“I can imagine you were shocked. Is that when you left him?”
“Yes. The same night. After the police had left, … they got called because the neighbors heard all the noise and got worried… He got drunk, fell asleep, that is when I took some money and some clothes, my belongings and I ran away.”
“But he found you again?”
“I called him from the motel… yes. I…” Scotty now laughs sarcastically. “I didn’t want him to worry
Kevin gives him a compassionate look, knowing what followed next, those words indeed have a sour ring to them.
“He came to your motel-room?”
“Yes… with two or three friends….” Scotty’s voice wavers now.
“Can you please tell me, in your own words, what happened next?” Kevin is now too practical and it hits the wrong nerve in Scotty.
“I can’t do this.” He says, getting up.
“Please, Mr Wandell, I know this must be hard, but….”
“You don’t know anything!” Scotty replies, suddenly angry. “You close your file when I walk out the door and forget about me. I am the one who has to live with the nightmares… You don’t know anything! And I don’t want to do this!” Scotty leaps up, grabs his bag and nearly runs out the door.
For a moment Kevin doesn’t know what to do. But then he jumps up, grabs the recorder and clicks it off, and while he goes after Scotty, he lets it slip into his pocket. Once out the door he sees the bewildered face of Mr Benedict’s receptionist.
“Where did he go?” She points in the direction of the elevator.
Scotty hits the buttons, but the numbers indicating that the elevator is moving don’t seem to switch floor and Scotty feels like he can’t breathe. He needs to leave! He needs air! Panic is hitting him. He notices the door leading to the staircase and he decides, on a whim, to take the stairs.
Kevin reaches the elevators, just in time to see the door to the stair-case close. Oh, no! Kevin goes into immediate pursuit, hoping that Scotty’s physical condition is as bad as his own, but no such luck. He can see Scotty about a two stairs lower and he’s moving faster than Kevin wants. Thank God it’s always easier to go down the stairs then up.
Scotty has the feeling his lungs are burning. He cannot run anymore. He cannot breathe. He collapses on the stairs, finding the support of the banister and he just holds on to them. All the tensions of the last week and half are coming out. He cries, he coughs, he cannot breathe..
And then there’s a hand on his back. Somebody putting an arm around him, handing him a handkerchief, but Scotty cannot look up to see, the gentle caring touch is the final straw for him and Scotty completely falls apart. He is vaguely aware that somebody is softly talking to him, but all he can do is just sob out the pain that is in his body and soul.
End of part 02
Here is part 03