The medical examination was an experience that I’d rather forget. The whole thing was done relatively quickly and they were all very professional so I had two things to be grateful for. Even the quiet professional manner could not mask their shock when they glimpsed the extent of Mark’s handy work. Cameras flashed and we were both poked and prodded. Charlotte whined a little in discomfort a few times but not a sound passed my lips despite some violent flashes of white hot pain. Mark would have been proud of my behaviour right then because the silence was the way he had taught me to behave. What a shame I had broken that rule so devastingly that one day and involved Charlotte. Well in all honesty honestly I can’t be entirely sorry about that because without her where would I be? Not in a police station that’s for sure.
The whole examination was all done without us giving our full names. I was still a bit uneasy though knowing that these people probably worked with my brother and were possibly friends of his. I could only hope that I looked different enough for them not to make that family connection. There were similarities though, Mark reminded me often enough of them. I tried to mask all my emotions with my hopefully blank expression and passed the shaking off as chill when they removed my outer layer of clothes. I didn’t speak much and neither did they which I was glad about. Their looks of pity had been enough and sympathetic words probably would have made me cry.
They had patched us up as best as they could on a temporary basis and told us of recommended treatments. They wanted to operate on me and open the stab wound to stitch it properly. I was covered in bandages, tape, and medical creams and had some antibiotics in a small bottle to take. They also wanted to operate on Charlotte in order to repair the damage done by the rape. They said she was torn very badly and there was a risk of internal bleeding which they couldn’t see. They said it was very unusual for a female to be so affected by a rape but that showed the sheer brutality of the act. I felt really guilty then because I never should have got her involved. I was also the one who Mark had watched have Charlotte in a small way and gave him the idea of rape and then made my stomach churn.
We were given clothes to wear and then the examiners had gone saying that they would send in the agents. Charlotte crawled onto my lap when they had left the room and looked into my eyes. “I can’t believe we are here and free.” She whispered, cuddling into me. “It is all down to you that we got out of there. You saved me.”
“We got out of the house but not away totally,” I replied. “Mark is out there somewhere and I can’t help but think that he will come back. Charlotte, this is the ultimate in betrayal and it will only make him angry.”
“We will be protected babe and you are not the one doing the reporting. You should be though he deserves nothing less.”
“I am more worried about you sugar because he can hurt me through you. I can’t report him because it feels like I drove him to do this. I mean, what is it about me that deserved it all? Why did he get nothing? It must have been torture watching me do everything better than him and receive all the praise.”
Charlotte frowned and bit her lip, the butterfly stitches where her ring had once glistened moving slightly as she did so. “That isn’t the way it was Simon. You didn’t create the monster he was a part of Mark. He saw you succeed at things he knew he couldn’t do and he somehow blamed you for that. Those thoughts got to the point he blamed you for everything that went wrong in his life.” She raised a hand and placed it on my cheek. “It was not your fault, nothing is you... Baby and you need to understand this. Mark did this and not you.”
I wanted to believe her, I really did, but I just couldn’t. I was the root cause; I had to be because the alternative wasn’t a good thought. My own brother was a cruel and heartless monster? No, I couldn’t think like that about him, I just couldn’t. So, I shook my head at Charlotte. “No, some of this has to be my fault.”
Charlotte just sighed and put her arms tightly round my waist, her face pressed against my chest. “One day you will see the truth,” she mumbled sadly.
Just then the agents came in to discuss with us the case so far and our return to Charlotte’s house. Seems we were to do this very soon and so I was suddenly excited. After all this time I was going to live like I used to, in comfort and without fear.