Chapter 2: Decisions
Georgia didn’t go home. She was rather concerned that this company, whatever it was had been able to find all of her details, and contact her from an app she had installed on her phone. She sat in a bar in the centre of town, staring at the screen. A notification from the app popped up.
BEAT YOUR HIGH SCORE! PLAY NOW! It said.
She swiped it away. Should she disable it? Uninstall it? Was it too late now? Was the damage already done? What if she already knew too much now? What would happen if she didn’t go back tomorrow? Would her phone explode and kill her? Don’t be silly. That wouldn’t happen, would it? Would it?
“You alright, love?” A man had joined her and she hadn’t noticed.
“What? Um… yes. Thank you.”
“In your own little world there, you was.”
“Yes, I was thinking.”
“Well, s’long as you’re alright,” he smiled pleasantly and stood up to leave, but the barman put his hand on his wrist.
“Without the lady’s handbag, if you don’t mind, mate?”
“Dunno what yer on about,” he returned.
“I didn’t have a handbag,” Georgia added. She never carried one. It’s what pockets were for.
The barman stabbed the man in the hand with something sharp, and he yelped and crumpled to the floor.
“What?” Georgia staggered backwards, and looked around. No one had even noticed what had just happened. They were all going about their business.
“Leave your phone, love,” the barman said. “And you can go.”
Georgia nodded, and continued to back away. Then she turned and bolted out of the bar and ran down the street, back in the direction she had come. She didn’t want to go home. What if they were waiting for her? She needed to go to the last place they would think to look for her? But where would that be? Her adrenaline had spiked too high to notice how breathless she was, and that she was running in blind panic back towards the office where she had had her interview.
“Woah, there!” Helen caught her as they nearly crashed. “Oh… it’s you. Do you often jog in a business suit?”
“Stay away!” Georgia shrieked, shoving her, hard and trying to run again.
“What’s happened?” Helen asked, matching her pace easily and not needing to catch her breath when she spoke.
“Leave me…” Georgia panicked, tripped on a paving stone, her ankle turned and she felt a wrench and a shooting pain. She squealed and clasped her ankle, clinging to it and panting. She couldn’t stand. Was this it?
“Relax,” Helen crouched calmly next to her. “Look at me. We’re going to focus on your breathing for a minute. Just look at me and breath. In. Out. That’s it. Breathe. Now, let me see your ankle. Just let go of it a minute. That’s right, I’m just going to feel it, see if there are any breaks.”
Georgia sighed and gave in, releasing the throbbing area and watching Helen as she examined it.
“I don’t think it’s broken,” Helen concluded. “You’ve probably done the ligaments, and that’s worse in someways. We’ll get you home, get it elevated and put some ice on it. Come on,” she helped her up. “Rest on me, my car’s not far, I’ll drop you home. Where do you live?”
“Don’t you know?”
“Ha! Why would I know?”
Helen gazed at her. “Tell me what happened,” she said finally.
“I was in a bar…” Georgia began. “This man was nice to me… but the barman stabbed him, and told me to leave my phone… and I’m sure it had something to do with the interview, and I don’t know where’s safe now!”
“I’m sure it did, too.” Helen agreed. “But not for the reasons you think. I’m going to get you back into the office, they’ll take care of you, then I’m going to get your phone. Tell me what the bar was called, please.”
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The Duplicate Affair
Written by C H Clepitt
Copyright Claire Evans 2019.
This is a work of fiction. All persons, places and events are products of the author’s imagination. Any similarities to persons, living or deceased, places of business or residence or actual events is purely coincidental.