stories about diversity.
Mike had a short break and decided to check on Ellie, as he entered the room he heard her muttering and thought she was on the phone, until he got closer and realised she was asleep. Mike sat beside he on the bed and held her hand, which seemed to calm her as she stopped muttering, her features relaxed and her eye movements slowed down under her lids. He lifted his other hand and rubbed his face, hearing the scratchy sound of his stubble.
Night shifts always killed him, especially Friday nights, with the drunks and MVA’s. He lay down beside Ellie on top of the covers his hand touching her belly and he watched her chest rise and fall, feeling her belly move with it.
He had no idea what he wanted to do, his initial reaction to the news earlier that day was of fear. Did he want to be a dad, did he want to be with Ellie forever? He knew he knew that in this day and age these things did not need to be consider together but it made it a hell of a lot easier if he and Ellie were together.
His eyes returned to Ellie’s face. They had only known each other for only a few months, but he knew her like he had known her forever. The period that she hadn’t contacted him had been difficult and it was at Jonnie’s opening night when he had decided, with the help of his mates, to play the field again and forget about her. It was almost as if fate had brought them together.
He wondered why Ellie hadn’t been in touch with him. He knew she had said she was in a relationship but if she had felt as strongly for him as he did for her, she would have felt the lose as badly as he had.
Then his thoughts went to the last few days, the constant searching for Kate and how, when there were viable options for why Kate was missing, Ellie had not accepted them.
He liked that Ellie was passionate and that she was a good friend. He had met a lot of girls who were very interested in Mike once they found out he was a doctor. He knew they were only thinking of themselves. Ellie was different, she always knew him as a doctor and still she treated him or rather his profession with indifference, making him work for their relationship.
His gaze returned to her stomach, where his hand rested, protectively. He knew Ellie would be a good mum, she would put their child before her needs. He smiled and looked up at Ellie’s face, to meet her eyes.
“Good morning.” He said, pecking Ellie gingerly on the lips.
“Hey, hi.” Ellie responded, her hand went to his on her stomach.
“How are you feeling?”
“Hmmm, no painkillers, and now I could do with them. Combined with nausea. Not so bad.”
Mike chuckled, “You should have taken them when they were offering.”
“Yeah, I guess so. But really, I’m pleased I didn’t.” Her hand wrapped around his on her belly.
Mike nodded. He knew what she meant and he was going to be there for her, he knew it.
He didn’t say anything, squeezing her fingers back and kissing her a little more deeply on the lips.
He rested his head on the pillow beside her and closed his eyes.
+ + +
Ryder shut the door on the basement room, turning the key in the lock on the outside.
Kate sat down on the bed thinking about what he had said about the possibility of her being pregnant, she realised he was right, was that why she felt so ill everyday? It wasn’t withdrawals but morning sickness. She tried to calculate how long she had been there. At once Kate felt a hopelessness wash over her. The last thing she wanted was a child and especially one with this lunatic.
Kate produced the knife she had slipped into her gym leggings and looked at the sharp blade. She ran her finger down the edge of it, feeling the sharp steel cut into her fingertip. The last thing she wanted to do was to bring another life into this hell and now he was using Ellie as blackmail, she wouldn’t be able to live knowing that Ellie’s life was in constant threat.
+ + +
Kate went into the ensuite and turned on the shower. She stripped and turned the heat up, knowing that her flesh would be softer. The knife lay on the floor of the shower, the blade glinting in the light as the water from the shower formed perfect spheres on the silver edge.
Kate picked it up, looking at her wrists. She knew that she had to slice down the vein, she had done it before, when she was 18. She ran her finger along the old scar and then ran the blade along it.
She closed her eyes and dug the tip of the knife into the top of the scar and took a deep breath.
As Kate pressed the sharp blade into her wrist the door to the ensuite burst open Kate spun around to see Ryder grabbing at her hands, wrenching the knife from her grip.
“What the fuck are you doing?” he yelled, holding the knife against her neck.
“Go on Ryder, cut me. Cut me.” She screamed, water washing over both of them.
“I’ll cut you, but you’ll survive. Ellie won’t.” He dug the tip of the knife into her neck, Kate pushed against him, hoping the knife would plunge deeper into her neck.
Ryder pulled the knife away, leaving a narrow trail of blood running from the small incision it had made.
Kate fell to her knees, holding her head in her hands.
“God just kill me.” She cried.
“You die, so does your friend. You go that?”
He brought his fist down onto her bent head, Kate sprawled on the floor of the shower, water running around her.
“Come on Kate, I thought we were doing so well.” He said into her ear as her grasped a fistful of hair. “Now you go and do something like that. What about our baby, Katie. Don’t you care what happens to it?”
Ryder let go of her hair and hit her across her face with the back of his hand, sending her flying back against the tiled wall. Kate lay there sprawled momentarily and then curled into the foetal position as he pulled back his right foot, Kate watched his foot coming toward her and then he stopped, instead he offered his hand to help her to stand. She nervously took it and stood facing him.
“Katie, Katie, when will you learn?” Ryder pulled her hair and with a closed fist punched her face, blood spurting from her nose. He let go of her, and Kate sank to the floor, the blood running red and then pink down the drain.
He picked up the knife and left locking the door behind him.
She couldn’t end this if it meant Ellie would die as well. She knew that her only option was to play along and stop him from doing this to someone else or even from hurting Ellie.
Kate’s stomach clenched before she heaved omelette and blood into the drain.
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