“Your girl seems to have finally lost her mind.”
He tensed up. “What did you ask her to do this time?”
The voice on the other end laughed. “Nothing. I was actually calling to congratulate her on behaving properly this time around, until she went ballistic and started asking me where she could kill herself just so I’d return her sweet little daughter back,” the voice laughed again.
He stayed silent for a spell. Was his Lara unravelling this much? Was that why… he had to figure out what was next.
“What’s the end game to this? What do you want her to do before we give little Barbara back?”
“What,” the voice sneered. “You’re worried about her?”
“Yes. I am. Barbara can’t keep taking these injections to make her sleep. It’s definitely bad for her health.”
“I see. The girl is none of my concern, and shouldn’t be yours. Your concern should be—”
“No! She is my concern. She’s a little girl that needs love and care and attention and—”
“Now you listen to me you despicable piece of trash,” the voice on the other end dripped with venom. “I brought you in on this to do a simple enough job. I don’t need you getting your head in the clouds. Do you understand me?”
There was no answer from him.
“I said… Do. You. Understand. Me?” the voice was cold.
“… Yes ma’am. I understand.”
“Good. Do anything stupid, and I’ll make sure that you regret it for the rest of your life.” And with that, the line went dead.
The man walked back into the room with little Barbara lying on the couch. She was still sleeping, but she would be up soon enough. He didn’t give her a large dose. He couldn’t bring himself to do so.
She looked so peaceful, like a miniature angel. The man sighed. Lara had learnt her lesson. It was time to end this all.
Several minutes later, little Barbara was lying in the back seat of his car as he sped off towards her home. Despite his initial doubts about everything, it looked like it was going to work out in the end. Lara’s call had made him see that to be the case. But what if she was faking it? What if she just wanted to use him again?
Nonsense, he chastised himself. She had finally opened her eyes. She had learned humility, and learned to appreciate what truly matters. They would be together like it had always supposed to be. Maybe little Barbara would follow them as well. She could learn to call him father if it came to it.
“Mm… daddy… where…” a sweet innocent voice said from the back. He looked at the rearview mirror and saw Barbara stir.
“Ssh… it’s alright, lovely. Looks like the game of hide and seek is over. We’re going to see mummy now.”
Little Barbara rubbed her eyes. “Good. I don’t want to play anymore, Uncle Mike.”
“I know precious. We won, so you don’t have to play anymore.”
Did you hear the one about the couch potato? Me neither. I was too lazy to listen.