After the second video had been watched there was a long and piercing awkward silence in the security room. Michael looked lost as if his soul had drifted off somewhere else and was no longer inhabiting his body, as he stared blankly at the black screen. Finally Ryan spoke bringing back Michael from the alternate universe he had ventured into. They went back to the bar and ordered themselves two stiff drinks, with Michael surprisingly gulping them both down. Everyone looked at him bewildered but didn’t attempt to comment, because judging by the expression that was on his face the slightest of hope had been drained from him.
He had started regaining flashes of memory from the previous night but he couldn’t bring himself to tell the others. In his mind he began trying to fix the jigsaw puzzle before him, joining together which event came before the other.
Then all of sudden it all came back to him like a gush of wind on a calm summers day and instantly he had a pounding headache. Tears started slowly falling down his cheeks, a thorn grew bigger and bigger inside his throat. It was an unfamiliar feeling of complete despair and self hatred, it was unlike before when he held on to a thought at the back of his head that told him he was innocent. His guilt was now beyond reasonable doubt. Even when he kept repeating the mantra “It was not intentional Michael it was an accident” he was unconvinced. Now where all that blood in his lounge had come from was no longer a mystery. He wondered if he had just blocked out the whole memory of the previous night and he had actually not had amnesia.
Conversation flowed all around him, between the bartenders and Ryan but he was oblivious to it. He played back over and over again the memories he had just regained yet there was still a gap in the timeline. “Dylan” he now remembered, that was his name the guy who had been with Paula and had followed after them in his BMW. He had driven all the way behind them until they got to No.4 Hudson Road (Michael’s house) Upon Michael and Paula entering the door Dylan had forced his way through. This was the spark of another heated argument and an enraged Dylan had started trashing Michael’s lounge, first the tv, then the chandelier and then anything else within reach.
From then on the situation had escalated quickly. It exploded into another all out brawl, this time one without limits because there was no one around to separate them. A helpless Paula kept screaming for them to stop until she couldn’t take it anymore and had tried to intervene. That was to be the fateful moment. In the midst of their fight they had violently pushed off Paula from between them, with such force that she fell through the glass french door cracking the back of her skull on the concrete.
Yet even in that moment her life could’ve been saved if they had just called an ambulance, but trying to put blame on each other had led to 15 minutes of a shouting contest. When tempers finally cooled down it was too late. The last remaining sparks of life in Paula had ebbed out. From then on Michael’s memory went completely black. The last thing he remembered was kneeling down and crying while he held onto Paula’s lifeless hand, and the next thing was waking up to a chaotic house.
The self torture had already begun, he now kept repeating “I killed her” nearly saying it out loud. Suicide was now hovering on the edge of his mind. However his thoughts were interrupted by the tv, there was Sunday football on yet suddenly a news caster had appeared.
He said “We interrupt the sports broadcast for a special news bulletin. Residents of Uppington surburb have been left in complete horror after the discovery of a females dismembered body at No.4 Hudson Road. The body is said to have been found in the boot of a car, packed in a suitcase and police are asking for assistance in locating this man (Michael’s picture appeared on the top left corner of the screen). His name is Michael Sterling and is said to be extremely dangerous so the public should dial the emergency numbers and not try to approach him…”
The rest of the words and even the interview with the lead detective Martin Phillips died out to Michael. There was an echo in his head that kept repeating “dismembered body.” It wasn’t adding up to him but at this point his entire world had crumbled. Everyone in the bar stared mouth open and unblinking at him, while he in turn looked back at them even more shocked than they were…