A Story – part 63


The security specialist came around that morning to give me feedback. I spent a while hearing about how this sort of crime is committed.  It filled me with dread.  We both spoke to Anthea’s parents and her brother and we made a list of every place she is known to go. This gave the security personnel a better way to start following her tracks.

Meanwhile the issue of the orphans now rested with me.  I had the child protection unit go and check on them at the army base.  I phoned an architect and a builder, both of whom friends of mine had used and arranged to meet them at the orphanage the following afternoon to inspect the building damage and plan for reconstruction.

Meanwhile with the house mother and other staff dead or in hospital, I had to start planning for new staff. The children couldn’t stay at the army base for ever.

I had a formal event to attend in the early evening, this kept me from worrying about Anthea for a while, but when it was over, I could not stop worrying. I put on some casual clothes and went for a walk. I saw Philip running through the park and the hatred swelled in me, I wonder if I’m just paranoid about him, or if he really has something to hide. I had to stop myself chasing him and beating him to a pulp. I’m normally quite a peaceful sort of man, but Anthea is so dear to me that the thought of this man ever hurting her again makes me turn aggressive. Maybe I’m as bad as he is?

When I got back to the palace I phoned Anthea’s brother and he said he too had been doing the rounds of her most common places, but no luck – no one had seen her for a few days.

Next morning I had another report from the security man. Philip went to work, had a run, had a drink at the athletics club. Then he went home and didn’t leave by any of the entrances all night. 

They are beginning to think Philip must have already killed Anthea as revenge for her breaking off with him.  I could not believe the wave of fear and grief that shook me.  I had lost my mother as a youngster, my brother and sister a few years ago, and now Anthea. This was the hardest blow and I realised how much I loved her.

That afternoon I drove to the town where the orphanage was, to meet the architect and builder to begin planning what was needed. I got there a bit early.

I drove round the ruined building to the car park, and there was Anthea’s car. She was here. Not taken by Philip. I ran around but couldn’t see her. I tried to phone her, and heard a phone ringing. Somewhere under the rubble. She was there, but no one had found her. I called and called her name, but there was no answer. My heart sank.

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