Vanessa fretted over the situation and endured a restless night’s sleep. More than once she found herself wishing she hadn’t touched Sarah, which brought on guilt. She weighed up several options, including confronting Sarah directly but decided she couldn’t do it. Abused women were often in denial.
She tried to put the matter aside but she couldn’t concentrate on her work. With a sigh she made herself a coffee and sat down to try to come to a conclusion. After much back and forth with herself she was forced to conclude that going to the police would only result in being ignored and confronting Sarah would only cause denial and alienation. Perhaps it would be best to do nothing. It was, after all, none of her business. When she thought about asking friends what they would do she knew it was what they would say.
She went back to work and achieved some productivity and then made herself a light supper. As she was doing the dishes she heard raised voices coming from next door. She peeked through the curtains and opened the window slightly. They were arguing. She couldn’t make out what it was about but James sounded quite angry. She closed the window and sat down on the sofa.
This was bad. She imagined him hitting Sarah and she felt herself cringe. She couldn’t ignore this. She knew there was a problem, and a bad one at that. How did people ignore these things? She couldn’t do it. There had to be a way forward. Racking her brain she glanced down at the coffee table and saw her camera sitting there. That was it! She could get evidence. All she needed was a photo or two of the abuse as it happened and then she could go to the authorities.
Picking up the camera she slipped out the front door and tiptoed across the drive. As she approached the house she realized all was quiet. She picked her way quietly through the shrubs and peeked in the nearest window. James and Sarah were watching television. He had his arm around her. The argument was over.
Red-faced, she made her way back to her house and sat down again to consider her options. She knew what she had heard. She knew what she had seen in her mind when she’d touched Sarah. She resolved to keep an eye on things next door and keep her camera handy. She couldn’t for the life of her think what else she could possibly do.
The next morning she concluded that getting to know Sarah better might lead to an opening. She wanted to get to know her better anyway, so why not? As near as she could tell Sarah didn’t have any friends anyway, being that they were new in the area.
Thinking there was no time like the present she went over and knocked on the door. No answer. She hadn’t seen Sarah leave, but it might have been while she was in the shower. She went back home and busied herself with work. She moved her laptop to the table by the window so she’d see Sarah when she returned.
Later that afternoon she saw her coming up the driveway. She waited awhile to give Sarah time to settle in and then went over again and knocked.
Tomorrow – Part 3