Kathy thought she was hearing things. Her first reaction was to laugh. Mark gave her a funny
“What’s so funny?”
Kathy managed to calm herself enough to speak. This was too ludicrous.
“I’m sorry, that just sounded strange. For a minute I thought you just said your name was Lockleer.”
“It is.” Mark looked confused. “What’s wrong with that?”
Then Kathy realised she hadn’t misheard him. The laughter died away as shock laced with
fear settled in her stomach. She let go of Mark’s hand and stepped back.
“Your name is really Mark Lockleer? Your father was Vincent?”
“Actually, it was.” Mark blinked. “How do you know that?”
Kathy felt sick. How could she have been so foolish? Lisa had told her to be careful and
Kathy should have done a better check. She should have asked Mark what his name was
before they met; then it wouldn’t have come to this. She swallowed.
“Do you know what your father did?”
“Unfortunately, I do. He kidnapped a mother and daughter, raped the mother and was
planning to rape the kid. He slashed his wrists while in protective custody on my eleventh
birthday.” Then realisation dawned and Mark’s eyes narrowed. “Hang on, you’re freaking out
because my father is a rapist? He’s made my life hell for the last thirty years. I don’t want
anything to do with him.”
“How do you think I feel?” Kathy shrieked back.
“What are you talking about?”
Kathy knew she was shaking. She had the worst rotten luck imaginable.
“Do you know the identity of the woman and child he kidnapped?”
“No. Mom told me not to read on it but I found out the mother’s name. The kid was a minor
so her name was never mentioned.”
Kathy knew when it had sunk in. Mark’s face paled as he stared at her.
“You? You were the girl dad kidnapped?”
“I was the one who had to sit there and watch him rape my mother.” Kathy felt like her heart
was about to go into overdrive. “I was the one that ended up in therapy for what happened. I
had to watch my parents’ marriage break down after everything he did.”
“I’m sorry, Kathy. I didn’t know.”
Mark reached out for her but Kathy backed off, his hands meeting air. Mark lowered his
hands and frowned.
“You’re not seriously going to stick me in the same category as him?” He sounded outraged. “Lump me in with that man because I’m his son? How childish is that?”
“It doesn’t sound childish at all.” Kathy kept backing away. “I’m sorry but this isn’t going to
“I don’t want to see you again.”
It pained her to say that. For the first time in a long time she had found a man who was what
she had been looking for. And he turned out to be the son of her would-be rapist. She had to
be crazy to even consider another moment in his presence.
“This shouldn’t have happened. I should’ve been more careful.”
Tears pricking her eyes, Kathy turned and ran.
But Kathy kept running. She didn’t stop until she got to her car. Turning on the engine, she
high-tailed it out of the parking lot.
She waited until she turned into the street before she burst into tears.
(A work of fiction)