Kim flicked on the kitchen light.
“W-“ she could scarcely believe her eyes, “Wang?!”
“Oh my god,” Wang cried, “I’m so sorry Kim, I’m so, so sorry…” the woman before Kim was no longer her boss, she was a sobbing, shaking mess.
The clothes she wore were muddy and wet, her hair all over the place… her make up was non-existant and her face pale. Wang’s eyes were red… her lip split and her cheek bone bruised.
Kim put down the Jack Daniels and approached the woman who sat on her kitchen floor.
“Wang…” she advanced towards her, unsure of what to do. “What’s happened?”
Wang starred up at her, tears trickling down her cheeks.
“H-he… he’s gone too far…” she shook her head.
“Who?” Kim queried.
“I shouldn’t have come here…” Wang shook her head, attempting to get up.
“What? It’s fine…” Kim reassured her, placing her hand on her arm, “Stay, tell me what’s wrong…”
“Otan…” Wang whispered, her eyes wide and starring into Kim’s.
“My…” she swallowed, “My husband…”
Kim brought her hand up to her lips, the shock of finally realising what Wang was going through.
“He… did this to you?” Kim asked.
Kim paused for a moment, absorbing the information she had just been given. How could someone do this to their wife? What kind of a man hits a woman? A coward… a miserable idiotic little coward…
“Come, come and sit in the livingroom, it’s more comfortable than the kitchen floor,” Kim smiled kindly, helping Wang to her feet.
As she led her through to the sofa, Kim flicked on the light.
“I’m sorry Kim,” Wang said, slightly more composed, “I didn’t know what to do, I haven’t got anyone else… I moved over here with Otan… to be with him… he’s isolated me from everyone I know… all my friends live back home in Takobe City… I don’t speak to them anymore… it’s what he wanted… he wants me and he doesn’t want anyone else to have me…and he hates me going to work, he wants me to stay home – I just don’t know what to do… who to talk to… and then today when you saw my arm – I’m so sorry I yelled at you.”
“It’s OK,” Kim said, “I understand…”
Wang shook her head, “It’s not OK,” she said, “It’s really not… What am I supposed to do…? Otan… he’s… he’s a powerful man…”
Kim opened her mouth to speak, but before she could say what she meant to, the front door crashed open. “WANG!”
Wang gasped, “He’s here!” The fear was written all over her face, Otan burst into Kim’s living room, his expression irate.
Kim got up, blocking the man from his wife.
“Get out of my house!” she yelled.
Otan approached her; he was a big man, much bigger than Wang and Kim. Kim doubted she could stop him hurting either one of them.
Otan spread his arms wide, mimicking submission, “I just want my wife,” he said simply, a sinister smile playing on his lips.
“Wang is staying with me tonight…” Kim said, refusing to budge.
“Oh really?” Otan approached her, and Kim swallowed… cold with fear. If this man could hit his wife, the chances were he wouldn’t think twice about hitting a stranger.
Suddenly, he was up close, right in Kim’s face, she could see the tiny flecks of gold in his iris’, the pores on his face… the redness in his eyes… he grabbed her face roughly. His breath smelt of alcohol and vomit – Kim desperately tried to move her face away from him, but it was hopeless.
“And you are?” Otan spat at her.
“What the fuck are you doing?!”
Otan was pulled away roughly, releasing the grip on Kim’s jaw which ached from the pressure of his touch.
“Kye!” Kim shouted, rubbing her throbbing chin, “Be careful!”
Kye swung and Otan fell to the ground, his face ridiculously shocked at the presence of another person – he hadn’t counted on that.
Kim was amazed that one hit had done it; Otan lay unconscious on the floor.
Kye rushed to them, shaking his bloody knuckles. “Jeez, are you guys OK?”
“Oh my god,” he looked at Wang, taking in her bruised face and tattered clothes. “I’m calling an ambulance…”
It was past midnight when the paramedics and the police were finally ready to leave.
Given the option as to whether she wanted to stay elsewhere or where she already was, Wang refused to be taken to hospital and asked to stay with Kim.
Otan, now concious, was removed from the property and taken into police custody.
“We’ll have someone call round to do a follow up call tomorrow ma’am,” Police Constable Penright said, standing up.
Marisa Penright had been fantastic, and Kim couldn’t help but admire her for all the time and patience she’d had with Wang.
“Are we OK to contact you at this address?” Constable Penright asked, Wang turned to Kim,
“Is that OK?”
Kim nodded, “That’s fine, I’ll give you my telephone number…”
.As Kim jotted down her telephone number Constable Penright handed her a card, “This is my direct number, legally we can only hold Mr. Zute for 24 hours before we charge him… he will be told he must not come near either of you, under any circumstances… but if you have any trouble do not hesistate to contact me…”
“Thank you officer,” Kim smiled. Wang said nothing, her face unreadable, starring into the corner of the room – her whole body was trembling.
Kim hung up her phone without bothering to answer it. Lily May… again.
Lil had been trying to get hold of her everyday, on average about 6 times- Kim was still angry about their argument, Lil’s betrayal.
Kim made her way to her work station, she needed to speak to Antony about Wang, who she’d left at home in bed. Kye had been a true gent and let her sleep in his bed whilst he took the sofa.
“Heeeeey,” Crys approached her.
“Wow, are you OK?” Kim asked, taking in her friend’s dishevelled appearance.
“Oh, I’m fine,” Crys chuckled, waving away her friend’s enquiry – “Had a good night last night, that’s all…”
“Did you stay out after I left?”
Kim shook her head, “You’re going to be knackered. What time did you get home?”
Crys shrugged, “About midnight… but I didn’t go to sleep,” she winked, “So, missy, tell me about what happened at your house last night?”
“I was getting a taxi with a… friend… anyway, I saw a cop car… and an ambulance…”
“Oh,” Kim wracked her brain, trying to think of a feasible explanation for the car… “Er… a friend was in a bit of a situation…” Kim said, I don’t need to go into any other details…
“Must have been some trouble,” Crys said.
“So who were you with last night?” Kim enquired, eager to change the subject.
“I have no idea,” Crys yawned and stretched.
“Chop chop ladies!” Antony passed them.
Crys rolled her eyes and went to her station and Kim was thankful for her departure, the less people who knew about Wang’s circumstances, the better.
“Fancy some drinks?” Crys asked Kim, retrieving her handbag – it was 5:30 – home time.
“Er… I really should get home,” Kim said, “I’ve got a friend staying with me…”
“Oh, I’ve seen him!” Crys smiled and winked, “He is something… those eyes are stunning…”
“Oh… yeah…” Kim forced a smile, she hadn’t meant Kye, but there was no need to divulge anymore information.
“Well… he could come too…”
“Um… no, maybe some other time though… besides, aren’t you tired?! This is the 2nd night in a row you’ve been drinking… You’ve been yawning all day..”
“Pah, I’m hardcore…”
“You meeting your ‘date’ from last night?” Kim smiled.
“Who…? Oh! I can’t even remember what he looked like…”
Crys shrugged “What does it matter?”
“I guess it doesn’t…” Kim frowned, “See you tomorrow then?”
“Sure thang…” and with a small wave, Crys departed.
Crystal Rennock was glad to see the back of another working day, especially feeling the way she did, and that was nothing to do with the enormous hangover she’d had since waking up.
The thing was; Crys had slept with lots of men and she knew she was known as an easy catch – this didn’t bother her. Crys liked sex, and men liked sex with her. It was a win win situation and it suited Crys just fine, thank you very much- but – last night had been something a little different.
Crys smiled, her heels clippity clopping the pavement, she tucked a stray hair behind her ear. What a guy… it hadn’t been her intention to bring anyone home last night… but when this tall, dark mysterious stranger had approached her, one look had been enough to make her go weak at the knees… and that was before they fucked. I didn’t even catch his name…but who cares? That sex… now that was amazing…and the fact that he didn’t speak to me once? Hot.
I’ll go out on my own tonight… she mused, turning the corner and seeing her apartment in sight just a few hundred yards down the road… maybe he’ll be there again… I could get me some more of that… she chuckled quietly to herself.
To go out straight away… or go home first?
Crys unzipped her hand bag and routed inside for her compact mirror.
Unclipping the lid, she turned it to check her reflection and scowled. Ugh…I’m definitely going home first…
In the background of her reflection, she saw a man turn the corner and start walking towards her… his walk was that of confidence, purpose, he was dressed from head to toe in black garb.
Dropping her mirror back into her bag she resumed the walk home, listening for his footsteps as he caught up with her.
Slowing her pace and moving to the side of the pavement, Crys waited for the man to pass – only he didn’t. When she expected him to go by he only slowed his pace behind her, matching her.
As she continued her journey, she was very aware of the sound of his shoes on the pavement as they scuffed the concrete… she increased her speed.
As she approached her apartment building a loud crash shattered the peaceful evening air and Cry’s breath caughing her throat… her nerves were tatters.
“Shit…” came a voice over a garden fence, and then a call – “Moira! The shed’s shelf has fallen off again!”
Crys took a deep breath and recommenced her walking.
Part of her wanting to turn around… the other part telling her to keep going…he matched her pace all the way and she resisted the urge to run.
The man was closer now, catching her… she could almost feel his presence entering her personal space.
It wasn’t until she reached her apartment lift and pressed the button to her floor that she realised she had run the rest of the way home – he was no longer behind her.
As the lift pulled her upwards, Crys was aware of the sound of her heart beating frantically, her palms were sweaty and her clothes stuck to her with perspiration… she breathed a sigh of relief.
There sure are some weirdoes out there…
As she approached her apartment door she once again delved into her bag, this time for her keys.
A vice-like grip secured her arm, spinning her around with such force that she nearly toppled, and she was pinned against the door-frame.