Grabbing her unfinished chocolate frappucino, Kim headed back to her office. She set the cup on the coaster and collapsed into her armchair with a ‘plonk’. By god she was tired. She closed her eyes and massaged her temples. She slurped her chocolate frappucino, took one look at the thick folder on her table, gave herself two light slaps on her face and flipped the folder open to the first page. A mug-shot and a profile were staring right at her.
Ryuichi Takemori, Ryan to his friends. 33 years old. Thrice divorced. Twice for beating up his wife and once for marital infidelity. Graduated from Harvard University with a Masters degree in Marketing Communications. Worked in Circle Productions as their Public Relations Manager for the first 3 years. Was asked to quit after a major PR mess-up which apparently cost the company a few million dollars to cover up and repair the damage. Unemployed since.
Kim closed the file and thought about the months she had spent on this case. Too many months with too little sleep. There was only so much her body could take further. She lit a cigarette and puffed deeply, letting the smoke flow down her throat and feel it travel to her lungs before exhaling. She knew she shouldn’t smoke too much. But the temporary relief was too tempting. Leaning back into her armchair for a little shuteye, Kim felt relieved that the case was finally to be over.
While Kim was catching some forty winks, Doctor William Watts was busy taking Mandy through her road to recovery from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Recovery seemed very positive and at a good pace in the beginning but suddenly Doctor Watts seemed to have hit a blank wall. Mandy was no longer responding to his therapy. Something is not very right and Doctor Watts was worried and puzzled. It was as if he was facing this huge, blank wall with no end on all four sides. No way could he get over it. The only way is to break it. There has to be something he could use to break that wall. The wall of silence.
The worst thing is that nobody has any idea what happened to her when she was caught by Ryan, why did she stumble into the station badly injured, and why did she stab Ryan. Without this information it will be difficult to cure her of her PTSD. He didn’t know how to continue. Looking at his watch, Doctor Watts decided it was time for the session to end. He patted Mandy’s hand, smiled and left the room with a sigh. While walking back to his office, he is reminded of another case four months ago, where a sophisticated and intelligent 30-year-old woman was so afraid of this same person. Ryan.
Mandy, despite appearance of stupor, heard and saw all that was happening around her. She knew she was causing both the smart inspector and the handsome Doctor more troubles and holding them back. She didn’t want to do that but she was scared. She was scared even though Ryan is already dead. She was not just scared, she was terribly petrified. She couldn’t help it, but every time she closes her eyes, Ryan’s face pops up. She remembers the hut and its dead and bloody inhabitant. She remembers every word that Ryan has ever said to her. She remembers. Everything.
And she hates it. She hates how she shivers with fear every time she thinks of him. She hates how her heart beats ten thousand times faster when she hears the name Ryan. Such a common name yet it causes such misery and pain to her. She knew she had to get out of the rut. She could not and should not continue to live in his evil shadow.
Three different people, three different stories. One man.