[adjective. not known or made known publicly.]
Kyle Cook hated to get his hands dirty. A contradiction, considering that is all he had done since moving to Peppercorn Patch and becoming a police officer; a sworn protector and law enforcer.
Leading Senior Constable Kyle Cook had to use what was around him: a rock and a few branches. He had managed to dig a shallow grave underneath a large gum tree. He had been digging for a while and his whole body was covered in dirt. It would have been pitch black had it not been for the light illuminated from his headlamp.
He had to act quickly before someone noticed the light amongst the trees above the small town. He knew that this would only be a temporary solution to his problem until he was able to sort out what he was going to do with the body. Surely someone would start asking questions.
For now he had to hide the body of Inspector Wesley Manning.
Kyle Cook was frantic. He had lost his calm.
“The scans of your brain suggest that you had an epileptic episode,” Doctor Joel Prasad tells his patient, Amber Harp. “Most certainly this was caused by the violent trauma you received when you were attacked all those months ago.”
“And the memory loss?” Michael Anders, sitting on the bed next to Amber, asks.
“An unfortunate side effect of the seizures,” Joel explains.
“Will she have epilepsy forever?” Michael is concerned for his lover.
“It’s hard to tell, but it may be something that Amber will have to live with. Fortunately, there are drugs that can help alleviate the symptoms and reduce the severity of the attacks.” Joel Prasad scribbles down something on his clipboard folder.
“But she’ll make a full recovery?” Michael interrogates the new doctor.
“Early days yet, but it seems our patient seems to be remembering some things.”
“Yes,” Amber Harp smiles from her hospital bed. “I am having some memories returning to me. I feel like I’m finding myself again.”
Joel Prasad laughs at his patient, touching her gently on the shoulder and scribbling more down on his clipboard. “I’ll go and organise your medication and let you two find yourselves again.”
As the doctor leaves the hospital room, Michael Anders leans over his lover and strokes her brown hair from her face. “I love you, Amber Harp.”
Amber smiles, grabbing hold of Michael’s hands and holding them to her face. “I love you too, Michael Anders.”
Michael Anders had been discharged from the hospital and was returning home to see out the rest of his recovery. He would be returning to his old job as the Sergeant of Peppercorn Patch Police as soon as he was well enough. For now, things seemed to be looking up for Michael Anders. He was hopeful that Amber Harp would be discharged from hospital shortly too, and that she would live with him.
“I don’t want you to return to Holgate,” Michael says. “I want you to come home with me.”
Amber smiles, closing her eyes gently and imagining her new life with Michael Anders.
“I was going to save it,” Michael says, reaching into his pocket, and kneeling next to the bed. He pulls her hand towards him and pushes a silver ring onto her finger. “Marry me, Amber.”
Kelly Driver grabs her school bag out of her locker and closes the door, fastening the padlock. She throws the bag over her shoulder and makes her way out of the school grounds, walking amongst the mass of students making their own way home.
“Kelly!” she can hear someone call out to her. She looks around, expecting to see a fellow classmate. Instead, standing next to her car, Kelly sees Miranda Smart. “Kelly, over here,” Miranda motions for Kelly to come to the car.
Kelly is hesitant, particularly given the circumstances. The last time Miranda Smart spoke to her was not pleasant. She makes her way timidly over to where her best friend, Henry Smart’s, mother is standing.
“Kelly, I’m so glad that I’ve caught you,” Miranda Smart says. “I can drive you home. Please jump in.” Miranda opens the passenger door and motions for Kelly to enter.
“I can walk home, Mrs Smart, but thank you for the offer.” Kelly knows how to be polite.
“Please, Kelly,” Miranda Smart says, almost tearfully.
Kelly Driver throws her bag onto the floor of the passenger side and jumps into the car.
“I’m sorry for the other day,” Miranda says to Kelly as she starts the car and takes off. “I’ve just been so upset about Henry. I worry about her all the time.”
“I understand, Mrs Smart,” Kelly offers. “I’ve been worried about Henry too.”
“I know that you too are close,” Miranda continues, “so I wondered if Henry told you anything. Maybe she told you something.”
Kelly knows how Henrietta’s disappearance would be affecting Miranda Smart. She takes a deep breath and decides to tell Mrs Smart about Henry’s plans. “But we never ended up running away together,” Kelly adds after confessing.
Miranda pulls to the side of the road and switches off the ignition. She lowers her head. “I know why she was going to run away.”
“Why?” Kelly asks.
“She told her father,” Miranda says. “She told Reginald that she was…was gay.”
Miranda looks up and faces Kelly. “He didn’t know how to react. He told her that she was being silly and she didn’t know what she was talking about. He grabbed at her, tried to tell her she was being stupid. He told her she didn’t know what being gay meant.”
“She was running away because you didn’t accept what she was saying?” Kelly tries to understand what Miranda is telling her.
“I believe so. Reginald could never understand,” Miranda sighs.
“What about you?” Kelly asks.
“I know what she’s feeling,” Miranda replies. “Kelly, I know what Henry must’ve been feeling.”
“Kelly,” Miranda whispers. “I’m gay too.”
Before Amber Harp can answer Michael Anders, there is a knock at the door. Joel Prasad enters the room and hands Amber her medication. “I hope I wasn’t interrupting anything,” Joel says as he notices the ring on Amber’s finger.
“Michael just proposed,” Amber replies excitedly.
“Congratulations, you two!” Joel shakes Michael’s hand. “Just in time to tell your visitors, it seems.”
“Visitors?” Amber asks.
“Some friends from Holgate are here to see you,” Joel adds.
Amber and Michael both see a man walk into the room holding a bouquet of flowers. “Amber,” the man says. “I’m so glad you’re safe.”
Michael looks at the man inquisitively. Amber looks at the man curiously, trying to search her fragmented memory bank.
“She’s had some memory loss,” Joel Prasad explains. “It may take her a while to remember.”
The man places the flowers on the table next to the bed, leans over and gives Amber a kiss on her forehead.
“Steven?” Amber says, her brain working hard to search for memories.
“I’m sorry, who are you?” Michael Anders asks the male visitor.
“I’m Steven Harp,” the visitor introduces himself, shaking Michael’s hand.
“Amber’s brother?” Michael asks.
Steven Harp laughs out loud. “No, I’m her husband.”
From behind Steven, a little boy of about ten years of age appears. He looks up at Amber sitting on the hospital bed.
“Drake?” Amber says, looking at the boy.
“Mummy!” The little boy rushes to the bed with outstretched arms.
Next Episode – Monday April 25