Kaptain's Blog

The writings and musings of The Kaptain

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Number One Under Heaven (54)

Blake watched as the second hand of his watch moved slowly up to the top, before he punched the number into the phone. It was exactly ten o’clock, and he had already suffered another frustrating conversation with the police. Why is nobody doing anything to find my little girl? he seethed. And now it would be the Consul General’s turn to feel the heat. “Terry Williams,” he said flatly, as the voice at the other end began babbling away in Cantonese. “Who speak?” came the eventual response, in what was not-quite-English. “Adam Blake. I called yesterday.” “I put through.” There was a short pause, after which a muffled clearing of the throat was followed by the dulcet tones of the finest accent Oxbridge had ever produced. Her Majesty’s Consul General to Southern China was finally on the line. “Mr. Blake. Good morning. Terence Williams speaking. I’ve heard the news already. I’m… er… so terribly, terribly sorry to hear about what’s happened. Very upsetting, of course. But I understand that everything humanly possible is being done in order to locate your daughter. Now if there is anything else–” “What are you doing about it?” Blake cut in, angrily. “What resources have you allocated to help? Who is the Consulate going to send here to help me find my little girl?” At the mention of Sophie, Blake felt his eyes welling again. “Well, I’m afraid resources are somewhat thin here, Mr. Blake. It’s not Peking you know. And, frankly speaking, it’s not within the realms of the Consulate to involve itself directly in matters such as–” “Fuck you!” screamed Blake, suddenly. Hurling the handset at the wall, he slid off the bed on to the floor, his head lolling around, the sobs convulsing his body. Blake had never been so desperate in his life. He needed help, and fast, before he completely imploded. “Somebody fucking help me…” he moaned, to no-one in particular, as a strand of drool began to drip from his nose.

Moments later, he slowly became aware of a familiar sensation. A vibration, coming from a pocket of his trousers. Someone was trying to reach him on his cell-phone. Wiping his nose on a sleeve, he took it out and flipped it open, before pressing it against his ear. “Adam. Adam. It’s me,” the soft, feminine tones blew across him. “Elle.” Thank God! “Elle… Oh Elle, my love. Oh God, how I need you,” he sobbed. “You sound upset, Adam. Has there been… any news?” “Nothing. I’m devastated, Elle. I feel… So… Helpless.” Blake was crying freely now. His whole body seemed to shake with every sob. To Elle, it sounded as if he had completely broken down. “Adam, listen. I’m back,” she said, encouragingly. “Back in Hong Kong. I cut my trip short.” Blake held his breath. “I’m booked on a flight to Guilin at one fifteen. Where d’you want to meet…? Adam…?

Elle emerged from Liangjiang airport’s Customs hall a little after three-thirty, rushing directly over to the barrier, to embrace Blake. He kissed her mouth passionately, the pair ignoring each other’s jaded looks, the result of her constant travel and his spell of despairing self-neglect. “Take us to the Sheraton,” he spat gruffly at the dishevelled cab driver, as minutes later they slid into a filthy, clapped out taxi. Taking his hand in hers, Elle repeated his request in Mandarin, her gentler tones eliciting an unexpected grunt of approval from the driver. They spent the entire thirty-minute journey in relative silence, each preferring to wait for the privacy of Blake’s new hotel room to express their inner feelings.

Once inside, Elle studied the deflated figure of the man she now knew she loved. The guy who had captivated her, who one day appeared from nowhere, and then swept her off her feet. Painfully aware of his melancholy, she laid her hands on his shoulders, squeezing them in a gentle massage. “It’s going to be all right, Adam. You’ll see,” she whispered softly, as he lay down on the bed. “You need to get some rest. First thing tomorrow morning, we’ll set out. Retrace her steps. Start in the market. We’ll find her, don’t you worry.” By now, she had already removed her make-up and much of her clothing. The light was dim and the room silent, and in normal circumstances there would be only one outcome of events. She looks as gorgeous as ever, thought Blake, as she wrapped a leg across his, while stroking his chest through his shirt. “I’m sorry, babe,” Blake began, “but I don’t think I ca–” “It’s OK. I understand,” Elle cut in. “I just want you to know that I’m behind you, all the way. Whatever it is you need from me, whenever, just say.” “Thanks, Elle. You’re amazing, you know. It can’t have been easy for you to put everything to one side, just to come here and help me.” “It was a pretty straightforward decision, actually,” she replied. “I just thought about what was more important. Once I did that, there was no contest. Nothing was going to stop me from coming here to be with you.” “That’s a hell of a lot of trust to invest in a jobless alcoholic,” Blake responded. “And a married one, at that.” “It’s called faith, Adam. And something else, too.” “Love?” he asked. “Yeah.”

posted by Kirk at 8:03 pm  

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