I have a busy day today. Much to do and many people to do it to but when you have someone’s interests at heart, well, this is what you have to do isn’t it? I have the list of telephone numbers which I have noted down from your telephone when I gained access to it. It was not difficult to do so. Using my famous ability to move around without making much of a noise I stole up behind you and watched you enter the passcode for your phone and I stored that in my memory to enable me to use it when you were sleeping. Naturally I had a good look through all your messages, your diary and e-mails but that is for another discussion. I recognised the names of numerous people and made a note of their numbers inside my little book and then hid that in readiness for when I decided it was time I needed to use it. Now that time has come and it is incumbent on me to take this step.
The first number I enter into my phone is that of Sarah, a friend of yours. She answers after two rings. Like many people she is surgically attached to the ‘phone.
“Hello Sarah it is HG. Listen, I just wanted to let you know, since you are such a good friend of hers, that Gemma is, well I think the easiest way to describe it is that she is not well, not well at all. What do I mean? She has been acting rather strangely. The slightest thing seems to either have her shouting or crying. At first I wondered if it was just, you know, women’s things, but it has been going on for months now. You had no idea? No I know, I have not said anything before because well I was hoping I could help her deal with it but it is beyond even me. I am going to get her some help. I try and talk to her about it but she just clams up on me, gives me silence and then a little later accuses me of not caring. I don’t think she is sleeping properly either and it takes me an age to get her to eat. Should you come round? No, thank you, that is kind of you, but I don’t want her to do anything which might upset you. She is very erratic in her behaviour but it is something more than just mood swings. I am going to get her the proper help but I am just forewarning you that if she contacts you just be aware that she is not herself. She has been saying things about people, me included, which are not very nice and I don’t want this period of illness to affect her relationship with her friends, you know how some people can be overly sensitive to what someone says and they miss the point they are unwell. Yes, that’s right. Yes I think it would be a good idea if you just give her some space. Yes, absolutely. If she does contact me, let me know, you have my number on your ‘phone now. Yes I will pass on your kind words and thanks for your help Sarah, it is much appreciated at this difficult time.”
I end the call and place a tick next to Sarah’s name. She was most understanding and fully appreciate the need for space in order to allow you to get better. Now, who is next. Ah yes, another of your friends, Helen. I call Helen and explain the situation almost word-for-word as I did with Sarah. She asks more details about what is wrong and I reluctantly tell her about the violence and the lying. She is shocked I can tell and she spends some time searching for an amateur diagnosis as to what it might be. I listen as she drones on, checking my watch and noting I have other names to get through too. Eventually I am able to conclude the call and place another tick. I continue working my way through your list of friends, the ticks adding up. Next is John, your fitness instructor.
“Hello John, this is HG, Gemma’s partner. We haven’t met. Look John, difficult call to make but Gemma is unwell at present. It is pretty serious. Yes, thank you, it is a difficult time but I am doing the best I can to help her. It is unclear at present what it is, I am organising for a doctor to come and see her today but it is making her very difficult to be around. She may be suffering from some kind of breakdown brought on by exhaustion. Yes, it is a worry. I know you would not have thought it to look at her outside of our house but I think this has been brewing for some time, you know, she even started telling me that she was going to marry you. Yes I know that is ridiculous isn’t it? You are already married? I thought you were. Don’t worry, I know nothing is going on, I am sure you are far too professional for that kind of thing, but this is part of the problem, she keeps coming out with outlandish comments and I can handle it but I worry others might not so she won’t need your services until further notice. Payment? Well yes if she has an agreement with you then just continue to take her monthly payment after all this is not your fault is it? I will let you know when she is well again but just in case she tries to contact you I think it would be best if you don’t take her calls, I don’t want her causing you any trouble especially between you and your wife. Thank you John, your discretion is appreciated.”
Another tick and a similar call is made to your choral group and your book club. Next is your employer. I made you take today off under the pretence of you gaining a lie in and then us doing something together. We stayed up late last night so you are still fast asleep upstairs allowing me to make these important telephone calls. Your employer is understanding and I can confirm that arrangements will be made to provide the relevant doctor’s note because I explained this situation is likely to last a number of weeks. My preparation thus segues into arranging for the local doctor to make a house call after I explain to the receptionist, in worried tones, that having you leave the house in your current state might be a risk to both you and other people. She was most understanding and confirmed that a doctor would attend after surgery, around 5pm. Next on the list are your family members. I secured the advantage of persuading you to move with me away from them and they are now a flight away. The inconvenience of having to fly and the distance is something I play on as I call your parents and your sister, forewarning them that they may experience some unpleasant comments about them and especially me given her condition. I assure them that I am taking care of you and there is really no need for them to come all this way. I confirm I will keep them updated and they are pleased I have taken time off work to care for you and that I have arranged for a doctor to attend. I spend considerable time reeling off examples of the terrible behaviour you have exhibited, explaining the awful things I have been subjected to and the lies you have told about me, your friends and family. I explain that I can deal with it but I just feel so sorry for your parents and your sister having to hear such things and in order to prevent it happening again the best thing is to contact me and not you and to keep you at arms’ length. I explain I understand that it is hard but it will be the best outcome for all concerned if you are prevented from lashing out and hurting people. My explanations and good intentions are accepted and thanks is offered for my understanding and support.
The final tick is placed on the list and I place both ‘phone and pen down. I really should go and wash my hands now after smearing all that mud around.