— Chapter 4 —
THE MAN IN THE SUIT
Molly turned in her position and raised a hand to her head. The mere movement made her let out a moan of pain, and she could barely keep her eyes open. In the distance, she was able to hear men chatting.
They were coming down the stairs.
Oh god, she was saved.
Moaning, she tried to sit up, but gave up the minute she raised her head and the world actually spun around her. Maybe it was the drug effect, still wearing off. How long did he leave her there? She couldn't be certain. It felt like minutes, but it could have been days, as far as she was concerned.
The men opened the door and got in, loudly and unceremoniously.
Molly heard their intake of air when they saw her lying on that table.
Table? No, she was lying on the floor, she could feel the wooden floor beneath her. She still had her eyes closed, too drugged to open them.
"Bloody hell" whispered one of the men, shocked. His voice was one of a very young man. Molly wondered what exactly had happened to her, but besides the terrible headache, she felt her body just fine. No funny aches, which she considered a relief, if not a blessing.
"Oh…" she moaned, turning on her back.
"You girl!" shouted the other man, not at all young, and Molly could feel him getting closer. "You better be going very quickly, this ain't no homeless shelter!"
"Wha-?", she tried to speak, so instead, she sounded like a squeaking duck.
"You heard me!" said the same voice, and to Molly's utter surprise, she actually felt a boot connecting to her middle, which made her curl up in pain.
Had he just kicked her?
She finally opened her eyes and looked up, bewildered. He was a bearded, green-eyed man, with the slightest Irish accent to him. And he was a very angry Irishman.
"Get up! Go away!" he demanded, pointing at the door through which he had just got in – the same door Molly remembered her kidnapper getting in. "We're patching up a sound-proof wall, not a bloody shelter! Go, go!"
This time, the man actually grabbed her arm and dragged her to the door.
"No! Wait!" she squirmed, trying to free her arm and accomplishing it. "You don't understand, I've been kidnapped!"
Both men laughed hard at that. "A street kid like you?" asked the younger man, skeptically but cautiously, as if he was considering her frame and her story. He couldn't have been older than 18 years old, but he looked like he already had seen a lot of pain in his life. He was red-haired like the older man, but his eyes looked a lot softer.
"Now you!" the older Irishman admonished her. "Stop telling lies and just be happy that I don't actually beat the shit out of you! Go away, I don't know how you got into the pub but go away already!" He took her by the arm once again, but this time he actually put her on her feet, instead of dragging her through the floor like a piece of garbage.
"But you don't understand!..." she screamed, trying to free herself once again, but this time failing. "I really was kidnapped! What day is today?", she asked, trying to make out for just how long she was left there – maybe that could explain why they thought she was a street kid.
The Irishman was now dragging her up the steps to toss her violently and unceremoniously on the street walk. "You had your warm night, go away" he muttered under his breath, his face red as a tomato. He was mad, alright, but Molly noticed that he wasn't up to hurt her, not really. The kick was just to scare her.
"What day is today?!" she insisted, now feeling really lost as she looked around. She had no idea where she was.
Without turning back, and already reaching the door, the man replied: "Today is the day the Berlin wall fell, not that a kiddie like you knows anything about it, right?" He smirked.
She shook her head, unsure. "What?" she asked again, confused. What had he just said to her?
"Today is November 9th, you stupid girl!" exclaimed the man, looking up at her from the pub's door. Molly stood very still, astounded. She couldn't have been there for over a month. She just couldn't. "Now go home… Or wherever you live" he mumbled, "I don't wanna see you near me pub anymore, do you hear me? I don't make charity."
She gulped, and whispered a "yes, sir" in response, though nothing made sense.
At all. What had he said about the Berlin wall?
She turned and started walking. Not that she had a plan, mind you, but walking had always helped her think and, at the moment, it also kept the cold at bay. As Molly walked, she looked around, eagerly, trying to figure out in which part of London her kidnapper had brought her. There were a few old-fashioned cars parked along the street, which could be any street, really. She couldn't see any big advisements or big stores to help her.
She shook her head. Maybe the man was a History enthusiast and liked to recall great events from the past… Though he did not look like the History fan type.
People passed through her quickly, and once or twice she felt them averting her gaze or crossing the street before actually passing her, but it was only when she found herself shivering with the cold that Molly finally considered her own image in a huge glass window of a coffee shop.
"My god…" she mumbled, mortified.
She looked like shit.
No wonder the two men in the pub thought she was a street kid. No wonder people averted her gaze. She did look like a street kid. Her clothes weren't hers. She was wearing rags and trousers just too big for her. They were all dirty and over-worn. Her face was smudged with dirt and her hair could really do with four of five bottles of shampoo.
Molly was utter crap, and she hadn't the faintest idea of how this could have happened to her in such a span of time.
Then Molly remembered she had been shot in the leg, but when she checked for the wound… It wasn't there. Not even a scratch that could resemble a bullet wound.
It was just gone.
She turned her back to the glass window, feeling a bit dizzy. "Oh my god" she mumbled again, finding herself unable to form a logical thought in her mind. "What the bloody hell…"
Instinctively she reached for her (now ragged) coat's inside pocket. To her surprise, it was there. Her little red notebook. She flipped it open, and the sight and smell of it felt like home. She unfolded the article about her mother's death a stared down at it. It was ok. Everything was going to be ok.
She folded it back and put it inside the notebook again. She flipped through the pages. Her annotations were all there, immaculate, just like she remembered. She could spell them by heart. There, she noted about her mother's last case, DCI Sam Tyler's suicide, and how she planned to make a book out of it. Molly also noted about her mother's development since she was brought to hospital – the surgery, the spasms of consciousness their machines could detect.
Molly flipped a page and looked down at one of her most bittersweet annotation. It was only one word, really. One little, four-lettered word, but a word that gave Molly such hopes she could burst with joy in the hospital. She was there when it happened the first time. She was there when her mother mumbled it: "Gene".
It didn't make any sense, but it was a response that she was still there. That little word that, for a few hours, had been Molly's only shelter from complete breakdown. And in the end… It had failed her. It had proved to be just a false hope. It had broken Molly's heart in a way she didn't find possible to comprehend.
And as she stared down at that little word, she felt her body sway. The dizziness was back and she knew she was losing her footing. She shook her head, trying to get rid of the dizziness, but it was no use. Carefully, she put the notebook inside her pocket once again. She could not afford to lose it. Not her notebook, not when she needed her token more than ever.
That was when the November wind blew even harder and a newspaper page found its way to her face, flustering her. After clumsily fighting against it, Molly was able to take the paper in her hand. She looked down at it, her head spinning a little more now. It was a middle page from The Telegraph, and Molly couldn't care less. However, something made her look closely at it.
And there, in small, italic letters, she could read the day's date: November 9th, 1989.
Help. She needed help. The dizziness was getting worse. She was losing it. She was totally losing it. She ripped the paper in half and threw it away, as if she would be able to annihilate what it said by doing so. Shivering, she broke into a cold sweat.
Was she hallucinating? Was that it? Was her kidnapper playing with her, was all this a huge, over-the-top act to drive her mad?
It was too cold and she was feeling hungry, she realized suddenly. Very, very hungry. Where was she? How long had she been kept prisoner?
Wait. Was she awake at all?
Molly looked around. Of course she was.
Suddenly the street had become very empty… She felt the cold sweat dripping down her face, making her colder. One long look through the area and Molly was able to spot a man, just across the street, facing away from her, as if absorbed with the showcase in front of him. It had to be him, then, she decided, throwing caution to the air.
"Sir…" she mumbled, feeling her throat clutch, fighting the sudden weakening knees. "Sir, please… Could you help me?…" Molly walked with unease towards him. Each step was an effort, and each time she touched the ground, her head swayed. Her vision was getting blurred, but she could see no cars coming from either way of the street. The man had his back turned to her, but he looked somewhat a distinct figure: he was wearing a black, expensive-looking suit and a fedora hat. "Please…"
She kept her uneasy pace in his direction, though he seemed to either be ignoring her pleas or being deaf. "Sir…" Molly blinked very slowly, trying to clear her vision, "just tell me where I am…"
Before she could realize it, though, she fell on her knees in the middle of the street. Molly could feel a pressure inside her head that crushed her will as if bricks were falling over her. "Please!"
He finally turned to her.
And that was when she saw it. His face. Better still, his absence of face. The man had no face. A blank, unmarked head was turned at her. And it laughed. Somehow, it laughed at her, and the sound pierced through her ears and brought tears of pain to her eyes.
"Baby girl!" he said, through his lipless head. "Once a disappointment, always a disappointment!" the voice echoed and made her tremble.
The yellow Chevy Camaro screeched loudly on the street as it came to a halt, mere inches away from Molly's body.
She was still on her knees, her face covered in tears, unaware of her own almost-run-over. She was shaking with cold and fear, staring blankly to the sidewalk where once a faceless man stood, but had suddenly vanished in the blink of an eye.
She could hear the car door being opened and violently shut. An enraged, sharp voice screamed at her: "Oi! You smelly street rag doll! Are you trying to hurt my car?!"
Molly looked to the driver. He wasn't tall or anything, but to Molly's point of view, he looked huge and angry and powerful... And oddly enough, safe. "Help me" she pleaded, defeated and tired, just before finally letting herself dive into oblivion as she closed her eyes and fell face-first on the street.
A/N: Hopefully, it will be the third and the last chapter in which Molly passes out, 'cause this is getting tiring. =P