Today my main focus is on re-working to cover to Caught in the Web, so - as I have no time to write much, here is Chapter 37
The light shining in her eyes was blinding. It hadn’t been a restful slumber. She’d dreamed of running down long corridors with no way of escape. The person chasing her was getting closer and closer, although she couldn’t see the face of her pursuer.
As she awoke, she could still feel the panic residue of her nightmare, followed by a fleeting relief before she remembered what was happening in the real world. The light in her eyes was still there. She closed them again, trying to block out reality.
‘Mrs. Edwards?’ It was Dr. Wright’s voice. ‘Can you hear me?’
Karen jumped, opened her eyes and squinted. ‘Stop shining that light in my eyes,’ she said. ‘What are you doing here, anyway?’
‘Now don’t be like that, my dear.’ He turned off the torch. ‘Your husband is worried about you. I was just trying to wake you up.’
‘There’s nothing wrong with me.’ Karen sat up, clutching the sheets under her chin. ‘I don’t need a doctor.’
‘We only want to help you, darling.’ It was Peter talking now. Karen turned and saw him standing in the doorway. A slight smirk formed on his lips.
‘What are you trying to do?’ Karen asked accusingly.
‘Now, just calm down,’ said the doctor. ‘I need to examine you.’
‘What for? Look, I don’t know what Peter’s been saying, but I am not ill. I don’t want any help from you or anyone else. Just leave me alone, please.’ She tried to quell the panic of being out of control.
‘You see what I’m saying, Doctor?’ Peter was still leaning against the door, smiling with concern as the doctor turned to look at him.
‘Yes, yes.’ Dr Wright turned to Karen. ‘Now then, Mrs. Edwards, we can’t have you wandering the streets at night in your condition, can we?’
‘I haven’t been wandering the streets!’ Karen shouted. ‘I told you before, he’s lying to you.’ She turned to Peter. ‘Why are you doing this to me?’
Peter’s eyes met hers as he fixed her with a sorrowful look.
‘Really Karen. This is for your own good. You can’t go on like this.’ He turned to the doctor. ‘This is how she’s been all the time,’ he said. ‘She either can’t remember what she’s been up to, or really doesn’t know. I’m worried about her losing control.’
‘Stop it, Peter!’ Karen was terrified. ‘Tell him you’re lying. It’s not funny any more. I don’t understand why you’re doing this.’
‘It’s for your own good,’ repeated Peter.
‘Now Mrs. Edwards, just try and calm down a bit,’ said Dr. Wright. ‘Let’s try to get to the bottom of this.’ He turned to Peter. ‘Perhaps I could have a word with your wife on my own.’
‘Are you sure that’s a good idea? Remember what I told you before.’
‘I don’t think I have anything to worry about,’ the doctor said. ‘I need to speak privately with your wife.’ He paused, waiting for Peter to leave the room.
‘Yes, let me talk to Dr. Wright,’ said Karen. ‘Privately,’ she added, glaring at Peter. He stood for a moment longer, then shrugged his shoulders and moved away from the doorway.
Dr. Wright got up and closed the door after him.
‘Now, why don’t you tell me all about it?’ He sat back down on the edge of the bed, taking Karen’s hand. ‘Your husband is very worried about you.’
‘I’m alright,’ Karen said. ‘He’s upset with me because I’m pregnant. He wants me to get rid of the baby.’
‘Now, why would he want that?’
‘Because it’s not his!’ Karen blurted. ‘Can’t you see, he’s trying to make out that I’m unstable or something, because I won’t do what he wants. But I can’t go through with an abortion. I know I’ve done wrong, but now that this baby’s growing inside me, I couldn’t ever get rid of it!’ She felt tears of anger on her cheeks.
Dr. Wright squeezed her hand. ‘Well, I can see that you’re feeling confused about your baby. Your husband has told me that he really wants you to have this child. He said nothing about it not being his.’ He paused. ‘Why don’t you tell me about the other things that have been happening.’
Karen was reeling. How could Peter tell such lies? ‘What other things?’
‘Wandering about at night, losing your temper, imagining things about your patients, banging your head against the wall...’
‘He’s not telling you the truth,’ Karen sighed. ‘I went out last night after he hit me. He hit me and I fell against the wall. I didn’t do it myself. I didn’t know what to do so I went to his mum’s. I just had to talk to someone. Then I wandered about for a bit before coming home. I was back by eleven. I haven’t been losing my temper - it’s him who’s been doing that.’ She could feel her voice reaching the pitch of desperation.
‘Yes, yes. Well, it must be difficult for you both.’
Karen slumped against the pillows. She felt herself giving up, knowing that he would take Peter’s word as the truth.
‘I’m going to leave you a prescription for some tranquillisers. I want you to take one tablet three times a day, and you’ll soon feel better.’
Karen lay staring at the window as he wrote the prescription. It was useless to argue any more.
‘There you are.’ Dr. Wright stood up. ‘I’ll just give this to your husband to take to the chemist. Now make sure you take them properly, and I’ll come and see you in a few days.’ He opened the door. ‘Right. Goodbye then.’
And he was gone.
Karen heard him talking to Peter in the hallway, then the front door opened and slammed shut behind him, leaving her alone in the house with Peter. She waited for his footsteps on the stairs but after a few minutes, he called up to her.
‘Just going to the shops. Won’t be long darling.’ The door slammed again. The house was silent.
Karen’s heartbeat was an echo of the emptiness in the house.