Part 84

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Caitlin smiled when she saw me. She let me in and offered me a drink. I took it and drank deeply, my bicep burning with fatigue as I lifted my arm.

"What'd you do today?" I asked, wondering.

"Writing down more memories. Getting reacquainted with some of my music…" Caitlin trailed off vaguely and my attention wavered until I realised she was looking at me expectantly.

"Sorry?" I asked, embarrassed at being caught out for not listening.

"I think I need to give a press interview," Caitlin said, looking frightened at the thought.

"Why?" I asked. "We've avoided the press as much as possible, with the help of the police, because you didn't want any publicity. Besides, what about the ones still left, who hurt you? What if they see the interview and come after you?"

"After that night in the night club, where everyone recognised me, what's the point of me trying to hide? They already know what I look like. I won't be able to fade into my life again." She sounded near tears and I thought I understood why. "And...I owe it to you. Every request I've had for an interview wants the fairytale story, the one with a hero in it. And no one knows who you are and what you did."

Because I don't want them to, I thought, but didn't say. "You don't owe me anything. I was in the right place at the right time to help you. Anyone would have done the same."

"Like the helpful guy in the club who attacked that bloke, who almost attacked you? I don't want that to happen again. This isn't a story I want to tell, but it's not just mine, Nathan. I want to make sure people know what you did for me. I don't want to see you framed because you helped me." She sounded firm, but she looked like she was holding something back. I assumed it was tears, but there was more. "I...need your help to do it, Nathan. They want to interview not just me but you, too."

NO! That was my first thought, and the second, too. I'll lose my job, was the third, followed by, Do I really want to do this job any more, now that it's over? I can go back to Uni next year... I realised what else was bothering me and voiced it. "You don't like telling anyone what happened. How could you give an interview about it?"

She bit her lip and her voice was barely audible. "Because if I do this, I won't need to tell it again. Everyone will know and I'll only need to tell it once."

And there it was. No matter what I felt about it, no matter how much either of us didn't want to do it, we both would – so that I would know she'd never have to go through it again. I still couldn't get her face out of my mind, that day in hospital when she first started telling me what she remembered so I could take it down. The way she'd cried torrents without stopping, as if something inside her had ruptured and spilled out through her eyes. I'd do anything to know she never had to hurt like that again.

"If you really want to do this, I'll help you." I told her. "But we'll tell the press crew that there are conditions, to make this easier for you."

And I'll be there every step of the way, so I hear everything you have to say. I can't lose my job over that – I'm still supposed to gather information. Even if it is in a TV studio…Fuck, how did I get into this mess? 

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