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Psychological Thriller by Neal Chadwick
The size of this book corresponds to 120 paperback pages.
He knew that he would never get rid of these pictures...
Images that he sees again when his girlfriend suddenly disappears and investigates the crime scene.
NEAL CHADWICK IS A PEN-NAME OF ALFRED BEKKER.
A CassiopeiaPress Book: CASSIOPEIAPRESS, UKSAK E-Books and BEKKERpublishing are Imprints by Alfred Bekker
© by Author/ Cover:
ORIGINAL: BLUMEN AUF DAS GRAB
© of this issue 2018 by AlfredBekker/CassiopeiaPress, Lengerich/Westphalia
He often thought of the past.
Over and over again.
And he knew he'd never get rid of those pictures.
"Never!" - a word spoken by a bitterly cold woman's voice.
It was a cold, uncomfortable autumn day when they went to the cemetery. The woman had brought flowers.
Geraniums. She laid the flowers on the grave with a deliberate, almost solemn gesture. And then she stood in front of it for a while and kept silent while the boy with whom she had come braced herself against the cold wind and froze.
The boy knew not to disturb the woman now. She got pretty upset then. So he said nothing and remained calm as time crept forward like an infinitely slow snail.
The grey clouds had darkened in the meantime. It started to rain. It was not the first shower on this dark day, but a particularly heavy one.
"It's raining!" he said, but it didn't seem to bother the woman at all. She didn't hear what the boy said.
She seemed to be lost in herself, almost in a trance. "Mother, I'm all wet!"
Now she looked down at him and the boy met the look in her ice-grey eyes. Something was moving in her face. Her lips almost smiled.
She knelt down to him.
"You're the man of the house now," she said with a strange seriousness in her voice. "You know what that means, don't you?"
"Can't we go home? It's raining!"
"Yes, we'll be leaving soon."
"I'm all wet! And there's already water in my shoes!"
"Yes, yes. I'll make you some hot chocolate."
She bent over a little further and then said, "You have to promise me you'll never leave me, you hear?"
"Why would I leave you?"
"You promise me, right?"
"There's nothing I can do about your stomachache, young man."
"You can write something down for me."
"Of course I can. But that won't solve your problem."
"What kind of problem?"
The doctor had a black full beard, a high brown forehead and a very gentle, very deep voice that was capable of immediately inspiring confidence.
"I don't want you to misunderstand me," he began clumsily, constantly twisting his fleshy thumbs around each other. The doctor already knew he had started it wrong.
"Don't worry," came the rather cool response.
The doctor leaned back and looked at the other person. Once he opened his mouth half open, but then only blew a little air through it. He just didn't have the words yet.
"It's like that," he then began very carefully and with an undertone that the young man did not like. "You're perfectly healthy organically."
"Oh, yeah?", it came back with an ironic undertone.
The doctor nodded decided. "Yes."
"Do you think it's all in my head?"
"No, not that."
"That's how it sounds!"
"If you don't write anything down for me, I'll go to another doctor. There's enough in the phone book!"
The doctor sighed.
"I'll write something down for you. But I've really tried out my whole repertoire of research and testing on you."
"And my stomach is healthy!"
"Perhaps the pain radiates from another organ to the stomach area. There is such a thing!"
"Yes, of course... But I guess that's not the case with you. "I can give you something for the pain, but..." The doctor hesitated and scratched his earlobe nervously before he finally brought out: "But you should do something else!"
The young man was skeptical.
"And what?" he asked.
"You need someone who... to talk to you."
"Yes, I think your symptoms are psychosomatic," the doctor finally explained.
Finally it was out.
The doctor bent over the table and tried to put on a neutral facial expression. "I can recommend a colleague who can give you psychological counseling."
The young man looked at the doctor in horror and then muttered: "You know what? Just give me something for the pain and spare me with such offers!"
The doctor shrugged his shoulders.
"As you wish. It was just a suggestion."
"And I turned him down!"
"I meant well."
"If your father were alive, everything would be different," she once said to him.
She'd said that many times before.
Mostly when everything that happened to her at a nice regularity threatened to grow over her head.
She stood at the window, had her arms crossed in front of her chest and looked out into the garden, lost in thought.
It had just stopped raining and the clouds slowly tore open.
"What would be different?" he asked carefully.
His own voice sounded strange to him, as if it were someone else's.
"Everything," she muttered absently.
He wouldn't let up. Not this time.
"What exactly?", he hooked and fixed her with his gaze.
Now she turned to him.
Her smile was fleeting and a little sour.
"I've got a lot of work to do, boy," she explained then and left.
He watched her, looked through the window, and a little later she started working in the garden. He breathed deeply and shook his head slightly.
She really believes in it, he realized it with a mixture of astonishment and horror.
Their first meeting went quite unfavorably. It was in the parking lot of the supermarket when he had probably left his thoughts in the car and just ran around them. He simply hadn't seen her.
He looked at her a second time when it happened.
She was pretty, he thought.
Brown, shoulder-length hair, green-grey eyes and a finely cut face.
"I'm really sorry," he said as he watched her pick up the things that had fallen out of her bag. One of those yoghurt cups would be beyond saving. "I'm really sorry."
"Yes, it's all right."
A few quick moves and she had collected her things again.
She also took the yoghurt - at least that which could be held with two fingers. She grimaced as she fired him into a nearby wastebasket.
Then she breathed deeply and he stood there quite helpless and had no idea what to do or say in such a situation.
"I'll replace the yogurt, of course," he heard himself say and felt very stupid.
She rolled her eyes.
"Better save your money so you can afford a pair of stronger glasses when you get the chance!"
"An even stronger one?"
He thought it was funny and just couldn't suppress his grin.
She looked at him rather angrily and then had to laugh herself. They both finally laughed and a quarter of an hour later they sat together in a street café and drank a cappuccino together, which of course he paid for.
"Two sugars?" she asked in surprise as he ripped open the small paper bags and poured the contents into the cup.
He looked up.
"Isn't that too sweet?"
She waved her face and he bobbled as he stirred.
It started a bit sluggish, but in the end they even got something like entertainment. He heard her voice and his and felt like he was standing next to it and listening. His lips moved as if automatically, which surprised him, because in the role of the extroverted entertainer he was anything but practiced.
But basically it didn't matter what he said or what she said.
He looked at her and thought: She reminds me of... But he refused to think it through. No, he said to himself. That's not important right now. Only the here and now mattered.
Meanwhile, she gave him an enchanting smile.
"I'm sorry I just reacted a little violently," she said, showing a charming kind of embarrassment.
"It doesn't matter," he said, leaning back a little and crossing his legs.
But she contradicted him.
"Yes, yes, you'd better have yourself under control!" She shrugged her shoulders.
"Really?" he asked with a smile, slightly raising his eyebrows.
"I think so," she said in her very decisive way, which was somehow sympathetic to him.
His left went to one side, finally found the earlobe and plucked something on it.
"Well, I don't know..." he muttered.
She lifted her hands, then took her cup and sipped cautiously on the cappuccino.
"I'm quite impulsive," she said with a smile. "I guess there's not much I can do about that either."
Why should I? he thought.
He liked it.
It seemed to him that she had an abundance of energy.
And although he was sitting almost half a meter away from her, some of it still seemed to radiate to him. Anyway, in her presence he felt a strangely stimulating tingling that seemed to flow through him from top to bottom.
He hadn't felt that in a long time. Not for a long time..
It was the same feeling. Almost, anyway.
"What do you do for a living," she asked and looked at him as if she could tell him from the tip of her nose.
Her voice seemed to electrify him.
He was just noisily sucking the cream off his cappuccino.
"Let me guess!", she demanded.
He shrugged his shoulders.
"You're a civil servant!"
"I could have sworn on it."
She rolled her eyes. That made them gorgeous. "You just look like that," she said.
"Which proves once again how deceptive appearances can be," he laughed.
She crossed her arms in front of her chest.
"Come on, tell me! What are you really doing?"
"I am a merchant. Publishing house clerk."
"Then you're involved with books?"
He shook his head.
"No, the publisher I work for produces some advertising papers and a free magazine for pharmacy customers."
It almost sounded a little disappointed.
"And you?" he asked.
"What do you think?"
"Why would you say that?"
"Well, you've got a good haircut."
"No," she said with a smile. "I'm afraid you're wrong, too!"
"I work in a glasses store."
"Even though you don't wear glasses?"
"Isn't that damaging to business?"
They had a second and a third cappuccino. Finally, she said she had to leave.
"Will I see you again?" she asked.
He was far too surprised to say otherwise.
Two days later they met again. This time they drank their coffee with her, in her anything but spacious one-room apartment.
"Not much room here," she apologized.
At some point she said, "I think you're a nice guy."
He smiled dull.
She was sitting quite close to him on a couch which, folded out, also had to serve as a bed. He thought she smelled good. She had her hair tied up in the back.
It looked good on her.
They looked at each other and he was hypnotized by this pair of green-grey eyes. Seconds later he felt her soft lips on his own.
"Don't you want to stay the night?" she asked a little later.
He hesitated for a second, then nodded decisively.
"I have to make a phone call first."
"Officially," he lied and kissed her. "Can't be postponed till tomorrow."
"Hey, you coming to squash tonight?"
He stood at the snack bar and had just told the strong woman behind the counter what he wanted.
A hot dog and a beer. Alcohol-free, of course.
He turned around halfway and looked into the angular, tanned face of Jürgen Brock, who also had a job at the publishing house, as a driver.
"What is it, Peter?" Brock asked when he didn't get an answer right away.
"Not in the mood?" Brock hit him in the shoulder with his fist. "Or too weak?"
Peter shook his head and squeezed something around.
"No," he said then. "I have plans."