“Hey sweetheart, I saw on Facebook that you’ve started learning Krav Maga.” Dorothy chirps.
“That’s right,” I confirm. “Loved it!”
“But why? I mean, you can fight.” Dorothy wants to know.
“I know I can,” I tell her quietly. “Bad genetics there, I’m afraid. My father was a psychopath and his grandfather was a professional boxer in the army during World War I.”
“Talk about heritage…” Dorothy looks me over as if I’m some kind of rarity.
“I know…” I say softly. “I never quite understood my own internal turmoil until I traced back my roots.”
“How did you find out?” Dorothy wants to know every little gritty detail.
“Private detective,” I say as I sip from my glass of bubbles. “Money talks, you know. Anyhow, now that I know about my genes, I can act more to control that. I don’t believe in violence.”
“So why the Krav Maga?” Dorothy insists.
“I haven’t put up a good fight in years.” I confess. “I might be rusty by now. And it’s great to learn new techniques. Besides, that first lesson has really revived something hidden away inside of me. I feel strangely alive again.”
“You’re worried about your stalker, aren’t you?” Dorothy looks around furtively.
“I’m staying safe.” I correct her. “Funny, my instructor gave me a weird look. He was telling me how I would have to make sure to get out of the house as fast as I could with my three kids if anything happened, before the guy would be back on his feet. I asked him about the legality of finishing him off once he’s down on the floor.”
“Oh my, Fiona, you didn’t?” Dorothy gasps. “He’s going to be worried about what he teaches you now, in case he’s held responsible.”
“That’s Belgium for you, isn’t it.” I exclaim. “I am single mother with three littles to protect. Don’t tell me I don’t have the right to eliminate a threat in my own house.”
“Let’s just hope it never comes to that.” Dorothy soothes me over. “What makes you think things could possibly go that far?”
“After the Eric affaire…” I pause for a moment. How much info am I going to give her? “I contacted Philippe, another lawyer who I knew at the time, to ask him advice for my divorce. Three months after that, he was found back dead in his bath.”
“What what what?!” Dorothy cries out.
“Yes, you heard that right.” I look at her sternly. “The story goes that coke was fatal to his heart.”
“Come on, that’s suspicious!” Dorothy looks alarmed.
“No it’s not.” I retort. “People die all the time. Using too much coke will turn out to be fatal. No need to be a neuro-surgeon there.”
“Okay, no you’re right,” Dorothy concedes. “These things do happen.”
“And to top off the mystery,” I continue amused. “Six months after that Michel died. He was a close friend of Philippe’s. Suicide.”
“Noooo…” Dorothy’s complexion turns to white. “This is spooky.”
“Michel’s suicide was built as a birthday present for his companion.” I’m spilling the beans. “Traumatised her.”
“I bet…” Dorothy has gone ghastly quiet.
“He called her to come over right before hanging himself. To make sure she would be the one to discover him.” I tell her with a feeling of nausea. “Not sure why. Apparantly he was kind of bankrupt.”
“Reminds me how a friend of mine used to quote Fight Club.” Dorothy murmers. “Murder, crime, poverty… These things do not concern me.”
“She never told me why though. Can only make educated guesses.” I try to ignore her insinuation to Fight Club. “Rumour had it he had hung himself upside down, which did indeed sound suspicious. But the truth is that it was nothing but premeditated and scenarised suicide.”
“How come you know all these weird people?” Dorothy enquires.
“Well you’re rather strange yourself, aren’t you dear?” I look at her with a big smile.
“Your stalker?” Dorothy comes back to where we started. “I still think it’s Marc.”
“You could be right about that,” and I think back. “When we were still together, I would sometimes find him sitting in the dark on my terrace. His thinking was that I would have to come out at some time or another to smoke a cigarette.”
“There you go. Mystery solved!” Dorothy is happy for a moment.
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*** No disclaimer.