Chapter 39

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Kelly looked up at Raymond as he entered her hospital room and the first thing he noticed was how pale her face was and the dark circles around her eyes. It gave her the look of a skeleton, so much that Raymond had to hold back a shudder. With a weak smile she motioned for him to sit down on the chair next to her bed, pushing away a table holding a tray of untouched hospital food while he sat down and pulled out a small notebook.

“I look worse than I feel, doctor says he thinks I’ll make a full recovery in a couple more days” she said.

Raymond felt a small pang of guilt for his reaction when he walked in, he’d never had a problem with bodies at a crime scene or the brutal wounds he sometimes had to photograph on victims, but the sight of someone who looked so close to death always unnerved him.

“I’m glad to hear that,” he said finally, “I hope your doctor treats you a little better than he did me just a second ago.” He tried to make the joke light-hearted and ease the poor girl into his questions, but the only reaction he got was her rolling her eyes.

“Yea, he’s just awful. I don’t think he could say anything nice if he tried. My parents said he’s very good though and that I should just put up with it. Personally, I think I’d rather have someone not so good if he’s always gonna be like that.” She motioned to the small notepad in his hand and finally smiled. “I thought all you guys were using laptops and tablets now, what’s with the paper?”

Raymond chuckled and sat back in his chair, it felt like he was sitting on a rock but he made himself look as comfortable as he could. “I guess I’m just old-fashioned, never did like those computers. If you think you’re up to it, I’d like to ask you some questions about the attack.”

“Go ahead,” she said, “I can’t get it out of my head anyways. I even dreamed about it when I was knocked out from whatever poison they said I had in me.”

“OK,” Raymond said gently, “start from the beginning and tell me what you remember.”

She took a deep breath and pulled a small silver cross on a gold chain out from under her hospital gown, wrapping the chain around her fingers she looked back to Raymond. “Sorry,” she said, “it keeps me calm when I think about it. My dad gave it to me after I was baptized years ago. He told me my faith could protect me from whatever evil’s out there, I just wish I had it on when I was running, maybe it would have stopped him.” Tears were starting to form in the corners of her eyes as she fumbled with the cross, all Raymond could think to do was give her an encouraging nod.

“That’s ok” Raymond said, motioning for her to go on.

“Well I stopped off on Potter Road to take my afternoon jog. I’ve been going there for years ever since I read the Harry Potter series,” she laughed to herself softly, “silly, I know, but it always seemed to bring me luck at the track meets. Anyways, I was trying to make it a fast jog because I started late and wanted to get done before it got too dark. I was on my way back to my car when someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around but no one was there, so I just kept going. I thought it was just my imagination since I was still running, but then I felt someone run their fingers through my hair. I remember taking my headphones out and calling, but nobody answered. That’s when I felt cold fingers touching my face. I looked around again and didn’t see anybody, but I heard him laughing at me. I remember panicking and running away, but then he grabbed my ankle and I fell. Then I….”

At that point Kelly started to cry, she held up the hand holding the cross for him to wait just a second. Raymond didn’t say anything, he let her cry. A few minutes later she managed to stop, then she tapped the cross on the side of the cast on her other hand like she was using it to knock on a door. With a final sniffle she looked back to Raymond.

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