Finally, I became sick of watching Meg and the lady converse. They both looked satisfied, but, to be honest, neither looked totally happy to be there. I wandered out of the tavern, looking for Alex. Perhaps we could have a talk, man to man (or Catholic to beast?).
I could really do with a cigar, or a pint of cava with a mate. I could have done with the guidance of one of my closest friends, Brother Alexander, right at that moment.
I looked back at the pub, feeling the remains of my cash in my pocket. It was tempting, but it wouldn’t feel the same.
Walking around the side of the public house, lost in thought, I suddenly found myself face to face with the girl, Erica.
“Erica?” I said, as though she might have just been a figment of my imagination.
Erica jumped back as she saw me. She seemed to be waiting for someone else.
“You…” she said, her pretty eyes narrowing to deep slits. I couldn’t comprehend what was passing through that complex mind of hers.
“Yes…?” I answered, “It is me, Aidan Bible.”
“No,” her eyes then had become large, “You…Meggie…” She spoke in fragments, opening and shutting her mouth like some sort of fish.
“Yes, Meggie.” Suddenly I threw caution to the winds and asked, “What do you know about her?”
“I know that you kidnapped her.”
“What? What?” I cried, profoundly confused.
“She never returned from her trip away, and you were the last known person seen with her. The TV report said-”
“The TV report!” My horror was being gradually replaced by laughter, “You should never believe what you hear on TV!”
“Then it’s not true?” Erica mumbled, her head down, “All that it said?”
“Of course not,” I was still laughing, but I felt bitterness start to creep into my heart, “Meggie is…a good friend of mine. We were travelling together… But not anymore.” I felt my throat go dry and my heart despair, “We separated,” I continued truthfully, “And now, I must be getting on my way. Goodbye fair Erica.”
I felt like tipping my hat (if I had one) to her, she seemed noble enough and a pleasant girl. I hadn’t meant to talk to her, though, and I wasn’t going to elongate the pain of mentioning Meg. I turned away and closed my eyes. I had to be getting away, but I had no idea where to.
“Wait,” Erica called.
Now what did she want to say?