Just Let Me Die Here (A Serialized Novel) 36
My mind is a mess with thoughts. None of this makes sense. Tucker leaving, taking Millie, abandoning me in a foreign country. And now this. If they weren’t with me that day at the airport, where were they? I try and think back. Had Tucker stepped away to go to the bathroom? Did he take Millie to change her diaper? I remember he did that before we boarded the plane back home. But did he slip away again on this end?
No! No! They were definitely there. I remember it. Tucker had Millie strapped into the carrier. He was walking in front of me. The customs officer had made some comment about how cute she was. How we should treasure this special time with her. Hadn’t he?
I look at the picture again and gape. Tucker is not in front of me. In the photo, a middle-aged woman stands in front of me. She is carrying a case that seems to house a small dog. I don’t remember that woman or a dog at all. In the photo, I am behind her, looking tired but happy. I even seem to be mid-conversation, like I am talking to someone. But who?
The room starts to warp, as if the walls are made of funhouse mirrors. I stare at the table in front of me and I grab its edge for support. Rivers of hot and cold rush over me at the same time. What is going on?
“Can I have some water?” I feel the words form in my mouth and fall into the room.
“You really had me fooled,” Detective Singh says, pushing a bottle of water across the table. Her eyes flare with accusation. “I was feeling so sorry for you.” I drink the entire bottle in one long glug before I can speak again.
“Me? What do you mean me? It can’t be me. I mean, that is me.” I look at the picture again. It is me. As if they need further proof, I’m even wearing the exact same thing in the photo as I am right now. “But I wasn’t alone. They were with me. Tucker and Millie. They were there.”
“Unfortunately, the evidence shows otherwise. We have some calls in, and we’re trying to figure this all out, but it would be very helpful if you would just tell us the truth.”
“I have been. I am. My family and I were here on vacation when my husband took our daughter and left.”
“Okay, Mrs. Logan, I’m going to give you some time to think things through and I’ll be back in a bit. Please, make yourself comfortable.” Her tone implies a complete lack in caring over my comfort level. She gets up and leaves the room.
Make myself comfortable? I could be in the most luxurious of hotel suites, surrounded by cushions and the finest food, and I still couldn’t be comfortable with the situation I’m currently in. I look around at the interrogation room, a stark, confining space that is slowly constricting around me. Comfort will not be coming any time soon. I try and take a deep breath to calm my panic, but it catches in my throat and I gag. I try to stand but everything spins and I fall back down onto the chair.
“Are you comfortable, Mrs. Logan?” My doctor had looked up at me over the rims of his glasses.
“Um, sure.” The bright light at the end of the hospital bed was shining towards a part of me that I could no longer see as I lay back and tried to adjust the small paper gown across my chest.
“Okay,” he said. “If you could just scoot a little closer to me and spread your knees just a little further. You will feel a bit of pressure, but it should not hurt at all.” He took the long wand that he held in his hand and slowly pressed it up in between my legs. I took a deep breath and exhaled, trying to relax. On the monitor next to me, the dark screen jumped to life and a grainy black and white half circle appeared. Monitor lines started pulsing across the bottom of the screen.
“Yep, there it is,” the doctor said, pressing a few buttons on the machine to save the image. He moved the wand around a bit and then stopped the picture again. “Can you see that?” he asked, pointing to a small spot on the screen. I squinted, trying to see what he was talking about. “This small white dot right there that looks a bit like a mini lima bean? That’s your baby.”
My baby? But it was so tiny. How could that possibly be a baby?
When the exam was over, the doctor printed out the two images and gave them to me along with a pile of pamphlets, the top one titled ‘So You’re Going to be a Mommy’.
“Do you have any questions?” he asked. I had looked at him, shock surely screaming from my eyes, and he chuckled. “Don’t worry. A lot of first-time moms are panicked when they find out they’re pregnant. But you’re young and healthy. Everything looks great. You’re going to be fine. Now just stay here as long as you like. Take your time. I know it’s a lot to take in right now. But everything will be fine.”
I got up and changed back into my own clothes. I went to the sink in the corner of the doctor’s office to splash some water over my face. When I looked up in the mirror, I was surprised at what I saw. A smile. Everything will be fine. I’m a mom now. As long as I have my baby, everything will be fine.
You never really wanted to be a mom.
I would know.
You never loved her.
On the wall just across from me in the interrogation room, there is a large mirror and I have to wonder if anyone is behind it like you always see in the movies. Is Detective Singh back there, judging my every move? Is Evans or Michaels keeping watch on me, the crazy woman who might break at any moment? Because that’s what they think, isn’t it? That I’m insane? How am I suddenly the focus of this investigation? Tucker is out there, somewhere, with my baby and now it seems everyone is looking at me.
Officer Evans comes in with a notepad and a bottle of water. He places the bottle in front of me, next to the empty one, and the notepad in front of him as he sits in the chair that Detective Singh vacated a few minutes ago.
“Mrs. Logan,” he says. “I just want to follow up on some details of your life before coming to Canada, so we can check everything out.” I balk. What does any of that have to do with Tucker taking Millie? Why are they wasting all this time? “Please, Mrs. Logan. We’re just trying to do our best to help. Let’s start with where you’re from. What’s your address?”
I tell him and he writes it down on his notepad.
“And you live there with your husband and daughter?”
“And what’s your occupation?”
“I am a professor of History.” I give him the name of the university where I work as well as the dean’s name and contact information. I also give him the name of Tucker’s company and their contact details. “There may be a problem there, though,” I say.
“Yes. I tried contacting one of his partners at work just this morning and he acted quite weird about my asking about Tucker. And when I checked the company website, Tucker wasn’t listed as a partner anymore. So, I don’t know what’s going on. Tucker apparently had a lot of secrets.”
“Well, we’ll check into that, Mrs. Logan. Lastly, when was Millie born?”
“March first of last year.” He notes down the name of the hospital and my doctor. Why does any of this matter right now?
“And is there anything else we should know?” he says. I go through the whole thing again in my head, trying to think of any detail I may have left out. I want to be thorough. I need them to believe that things happened the way I say they did so that they can get back to looking for Tucker.
“No,” I say. “I think that’s it.” I don’t think now is the time to tell them that I’ve recently lied to get access to a patient who happened to be the man who caused the accident and who I think might have a connection to my baby-stealing husband.
“You sure there is nothing else?”
“Yes. I’m sure.”
“Alright. We’ll get right on this.” He leaves the room, and I wait.
I wait for over an hour before the door opens and Detective Singh comes back in. She closes the door behind her, walks to the table and sits before saying anything.
“We have a problem, Mrs. Logan,” she says, looking me directly in the eye. I’ve always hated direct eye contact. It’s so intense, so invasive. Her eyes look at me as if she can actually read my thoughts.
“Yes. We were looking into other avenues to your story.”
“Yes. Other possibilities as to what may have happened.” She still doesn’t believe me. “One of these avenues led us into your past and we came across the name Dr. McKinny. Does that sound familiar?” What does Dr. McKinny have to do with any of this? And how did they find out about her?
“She was my therapist for a while. But I haven’t been to her in years.”
“Are you sure about that?”
“Yes.” Almost. There are those memories that have been bothering me recently. Dreams that my mind seems to be grasping at.
“But isn’t it true that you called her? Just a few days ago. After your accident.”
“Yes, but that was just one time. I needed someone to talk to, with everything that was, is, going on.”
“Just one time?”
“Yes. I just called her once. And she wasn’t even there. All I did was leave a message for her. I haven’t actually spoken to her since before Millie was born.”
“But, Mrs. Logan, that’s not what we’ve found.” Where is all this going? What have they found? The only thing I care about them finding is my daughter and now they are off on some ridiculous tangent about a therapist I used to see. “We have been in contact with Dr. McKinny. She’s concerned about you.”
“Yes. And she led us to believe, without divulging too much information, doctor-patient confidentiality and all, that it would be in your best interest to have you placed in hospital. For observation.”
“The hospital? Why?”
“She, we, are concerned about your mental health.”
“My mental health? There’s nothing wrong with me.”
“I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t make sure you got the proper care you need.”
“But I’m not crazy.”
“And that’s what I want to confirm. So, what we need to do is put you on a seventy-two hour hold for observation.”
“You’ll be in a safe space and we can have a doctor confirm that you are not a danger to yourself or anyone else.” A danger? Me? How could I possibly be a danger? Millie is the one in danger and Tucker has her. Why aren’t they looking for him?
“Seventy-two hours? You can’t keep me for seventy-two hours. My child is missing!”
“And if that is the truth, it’s my job to find her, which is what I’m trying to do. Right now, what you can do to help is continue being cooperative and submit to the observation.”
“Do I have any choice?”
“Given the circumstances, Mrs. Logan, no.”
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