If Only by planet p
Disclaimer I don't own Anna Pihl or any of its characters.
She had been shocked, and taken off guard, Anna recalled. That was why, at first, she'd responded with something... had it been something close to hilarity? To dismissiveness? Because, too, she'd been embarrassed and felt this woman an intruder in her personal life, and how dare she? The bloody cheek of her? And, underneath that, What is wrong with her? It's my life – mine! I decide how I live it, and no-one else!
Then, when she couldn't help hearing Laura's words, listening to Laura's words, that little part of her that had nagged and nagged and said, 'What if Martin's just like Mikkel's father? What if he's just like Peter?', the little part she'd sent away with just a thought, had come back.
Now, thinking back on it, thinking back on how Laura's words had so easily struck the chord that had had her rushing to condemn Martin, she thought, Is it because I think of myself so badly as to never be wanted by a man, except for a man who who want me to use and manipulate me? Or is it because I think that badly of men, because I think, deep down inside, that all men must be like Peter?
Seeing Laura outside of her place that first time had been a little frightening, and a little confronting, but seeing her that second time, in the corridor at work, like that, had brought a heavy, heavy weight crashing down on her. She'd thought, Oh, goodness, she really is unwell, she really is mad! Martin wasn't lying but I couldn't hear what he was saying, I was only thinking of myself! She'd felt so bad, then, and so wronged by how Laura had affected her because, at that moment, all she could think was how badly she'd treated Martin and how he might not want her back again and how a relationship was about two people, not just one, and how she'd made it about herself, only herself.
Because of that, she didn't think, Why is Laura behaving like this? Is it spite or jealousy, or is it more, is there something more? Is there something wrong with her, and when did it start, why did it happen, how can I try to understand her and treat her in the proper manner as not to throw away my own self regard and at the same time so as also to take her seriously as a person and not as a monster or a nuisance?
Even when she'd learned that Laura had met The Red Indian and had almost ended up one of his victims, she hadn't properly grasped that Laura might need someone to talk to about how she was doing, or how she was feeling, or that she might be in danger.
So when she'd called that night, when she'd called for Martin to come and save her, to help her, Anna had only dismissed it as Laura trying to butt in again because she, Anna, had something which Laura didn't but so badly wanted back. She'd thought, Well, no, that isn't right, Laura, you mucked up and now Martin's with me, and, this time, I won't be the one mucking up. Sure, Laura, I'm not going to not enjoy my time with Martin because you're jealous of me, because you wish you were me. I'm going to enjoy it all the more, and I'm not going to hurt Martin; I'm going to make him forget all about you.
She could not believe, then, when she'd heard that Laura had been killed by The Red Indian, or when she'd heard that she'd tried to call Martin for help and her last pleas had been ignored, not just by Martin, but by her also; that she'd been the reason, more than anything, that Martin hadn't picked up that damn phone!
She wished, then, that she could have the evening again; that she could do it again and that she could save Laura. She hadn't been a monster or a fiend, she'd just been troubled and ignored. For all of Martin's love for her, he'd wanted nothing more, in the end, but to escape it all, to escape into the arms of a new lover, a lover who wasn't such a pain as Laura had been and was determined to continue to be.
She wondered how she could even think it, but she couldn't help to wonder so, if it hadn't been as much a relief as a horror to Martin when he'd heard of Laura's death? Had a small part of him felt glad that she was gone, that she would no longer continue to plague him? It was an awful, horrible thought, but a thought she could no less escape.
Then, when Martin had walked into the briefing room to play Laura's message for Eva and she, she had felt her heart breaking into a million tiny pieces. She blamed herself already, and now Martin was blaming her as much as himself; he was playing that message because he couldn't bring himself to say, 'You were the one I was with. You were the one I was with instead of Laura. If I hadn't been with you, I might well have picked up that damnable phone!'
She had wanted to break down, just break down, then. But, instead, she'd switched off the message; she hadn't even bore to hear it through; Laura's last message to a world that had ignored her too often, for too long, and she'd switched it off!
Would Martin and she be able to pull through this; would they be able to go on with their relationship, would they still want to? She didn't know, she couldn't say. Until the numbness that had invaded to sweep away the horror and pain had subsided, there was hardly much of anything she could say.
All she could do was do her job; keep on doing her job. Find justice for Laura. All she could do was do her job, which, if she'd been doing it properly from the first, if she just hadn't gotten in the car with Martin, she'd probably have been able to catch The Red Indian then, and Laura would never had needed to die, she would never have been dead.
If only Martin had said something to her, if only he'd said, 'No, we can't work together on patrol duty because we are too distracting to one another.' Oh, she wished that he had! If only she, herself, had!