Pacing the small spare room Miranda pounded her fist on the wall. “Let me out. Please let me out,” she shouted as loud as she could. No one came to her screams for help. She knew they heard her. Someone came everyday to give her food. No one spoke to her. She felt like a fly under a microscope, being observed and helpless to do anything about it. Growing tired and straining her voice to be heard Miranda sank to the floor sobbing “why are you doing this?”
She put her head in her hands crying “where am I? Where’s Robbie? Where’s my baby?” she spoke her questions out loud needing to hear a voice even if it were her own. She jumped to her feet as the door to her room opened. It wasn’t feeding time she thought as a man entered. Taking a chance she bombarded him with questions. “Where am I? Why are you keeping me hear against my will? Where’s Robbie? Where’s my baby?” She opened her mouth to continue the barrage the silent man with more questions when he held up a hand saying “you are at the Riverview Mental Heath Hospital.”
“Riverview?” she asked stunned expecting to be anywhere bu there “why? I’m not crazy.”
“Opinions differ,” he shrugged “you’re mother admitted you over concerns of your mental state. You were having delusions and fantasies after you broke up with your boyfriend.” Chuckling a little he added “at one point you claimed you were in love with an alien.”
“I am. He’s an alien/human hybrid. His name is Robbie” she protested in response to his insinuations. “He lives in Riverview. Please call him. He’ll back me up.”
Shaking his head the man looked at her with compassion “we went to that address Miss Diamond when you first arrived here two years ago and no one has lived there since it burned down. This Robbie you speak of doesn’t exist.”
Mouth dropping in open despair she backed away from the man until her back hit the wall behind her. “No you’re wrong. Robbie and I were going to be married after the baby came.”
“What baby?” the man asked observing how she put a hand on her stomach “as you can see you’re not pregnant nor have you ever been.”
“That’s a lie,” she shouted at him sitting staring at her. She took a deep breath willing her panic to subside. She would not fall apart. She would not be brainwashed into believing Robbie and her baby didn’t exist. They were not figments of her imagination. They were real.
“Sir” the officer interrupted his thoughts “do you have any idea where your wife might have take your daughter?”
“I…I don’t know” he sank into his chair rubbing his face trying to push past the shock. The haze that threatened to engulf and reduce him a puddle of mush. Closing his eyes he tried to think of every conversation he ever had with his wife. Groaning he sat forward “she kept saying Miranda was crazy and needed help.”
“Do you think she might have had her committed for psychiatric observation?” the officer asked watching him closely.
“I..I don’t know. Maybe,” he looked up “it would be the kind of thing Naomi would do. She’s convinced that our daughter is out of her mind. What respectable doctor would commit someone just on the word of someone else. Don’t they need to talk to the patient?” The more he thought about it the more Grey was sure there had been money exchanged. He made a mental note to check into the background of all the doctors at the mental hospital in Riverview. It was a long shot considering Miranda could be anywhere by now but he had to start somewhere. He looked up at the officer when his radio went off.
“I’m sorry sir. I’ve got to go,” the young officer stood up “they’ve found your wife.”
“Miranda is she with her?” he asked hoping this nightmare was coming to an end.
“No I’m sorry,” he shook his head before walking away.
Robbie lay in the dark listening. Listening to the hushed voices, the intermitten beeps. Occassionally to the sound of someone telling him to wake up, to open his eyes, to squeeze their hand if he could hear them. It was comforting to now he wasn’t alone but it was becoming increasingly frustrating that he could respond back. Couldn’t move. Couldn’t speak. A familiar voice saying his name almost brought him to consciousness. He was hoping, waiting to hear her voice but she wasn’t there. She never came.
“What’s wrong with him doctor?” Greg asked sitting beside his soon to be son-in-law.
Shaking his head the doctor looked down at the file he was holding. “I don’t know. Medically he should have woken up by now.”
“It’s been four days” Greggory protested “there has be a reason…”
The doctor stared at the man who had been haunting the corridors of the hospital moving from one room to another. “We won’t know for sure until he wakes up. The longer he remains comatose the more likely he is to have suffered permanent brain damage from the lack of oxygen.”
“What if he never wakes up?” Greggory asked his voice flat devoid of all emotions. He had hoped Robbie would wake up before he would have to make the call every parent dreads receiving. He couldn’t put it off any longer. Standing he felt how weary he had grown from the tension in his muscles and how stiff he moved. Looking down at Rob’s still form on the bed before turning from the room.
Staring out the window in the waiting room. Greg waited for someone to answer his call. A voice warm, soft and happy said hello in his ear.
Clearing his throat he asked “may I speak to Mr. Olivia?”.
“I’m sorry he’s not available at the moment. Can I help you? I’m his wife Evelyn.”
“Err,” he groped for something to say ill prepared to speak to her knowing the devastating news he had tell them. “I’m Greggory Diamond…”
“Oh you must be Miranda’s dad. She’s such a sweet girl…” her voice drifted away. He could almost hear the gears churning in her head as she must be wondering why he was calling. “What happened?”
“I’m sorry but I ….” he took a deep breath stealing himself to say what would no doubt ruin her day “Robbie is in the Riverview Hospital….”
“Oh no. What happened? Is he alright?” her voice sounded on the verge of hysteria to Greg’s ears.
“I’ll explain everything once you get here,” he told her not wanting to worry them anymore then necessary. The condition of their grandchild could wait until they arrived.
They watched the agitated woman pace back and forth behind the window. She’d stop and pull on her hair or twist the snake around her arm. She muttered a string of nonsensical words that only made sense to her.
“Has anyone spoken to her yet?” the Police Chief asked.
The other three officers looked at each shaking their heads. The younger officer who had interviewed Greggory Diamond cleared his throat before speaking. “Her estranged husband believes she may have had her daughter committed to the mental hospital.”
Rubbing his chin the Chief nodded as he contemplated the woman pacing on the other side of the glass. “Chris have a go at her. See if you get a reaction from her when you mention the hospital.” Turning to the other officers “you two go over to the hospital and see if you can dig anything up. I want that girl found.”
Several hours later Shon nodded towards the door for Greg to follow him. He looked over his shoulder to see Evelyn take their son’s hand in hers. His heart hurt to see his son in that helpless condition. He couldn’t. He just couldn’t lose another child. Despite the trouble Dana hand caused the family she was still his daughter. His little girl. She didn’t deserve what happened. If only he had been able to get through to her. He looked around when he felt someone’s hand on his shoulder.
“I’m sorry” Greg apologized dropping his hand from Shon’s shoulder “I should have been able to stop her. I never thought Naomi would do something like this. Didn’t know she was capable of something so monstrous.
Shon nodded feeling somewhat sorry for the man standing beside him. The lines in the man’s face deepened with worry “this isn’t your fault. There’s nothing you could have done to stop the hatred from growing inside your wife.” He ran a shaky hand through his dark hair that was beginning to show some gray. “I’ve experienced this kind of hatred in the past from my own father. I don’t understand it but I do know it can’t be stopped anymore you can stop an avalanche.”
“Robbie had mentioned how your father had tried to kill his family. I thought he was over reacting when he said he was afraid history was repeating itself.” Shaking his head as he walked a few steps away “I should have listened. Should have taken more precautions. Maybe all of this could have been avoided.”
Grabbing the man’s arm Shon shook him “stop thinking about what you could have done. Start thinking about what you can do now.” Shon released his grip when the other man winced.
“Naomi may have bribed a mental health worker to hide Miranda,” Greg supplied groping for the threads of logic he had while being interviewed by the officer.
“What makes you think that?” Shon asked his mind working over time. The way it would when he was working on a case. Guilt stabbed him as he thought about his nephew and the promise he made to help him. Jeff had been understanding when they received the call. At least he had the DNA results but he was working alone again with no back up. What cosmic injustice kept him from being able to live up to his promise to help Robert’s kids? Somehow Robert knew he wouldn’t be able to raise six extra children. Shon realized now that Robert’s decision to make Gene their guardian was the best decision he could have made. It didn’t lesson the guilt he felt that he left his nephew on his own even though there was nothing he could do.
Sitting in a nearby chair Greg leaned back, closed his eyes. “Naomi was always on about Miranda losing her mind for wanting to marry Robbie. Insisted I get a court order mandating she get a psyche evaluation. It was ridiculous. The only person who had lost their mind was Naomi.”
“What makes you think she would have bribed someone?” Shon asked taking notes.
“Nothing really other than a gut feeling. Along with the belief that no self respecting doctor would admit a young girl into a mental hospital without first talking to the person.”
“It’s something to look into,” Shon tapped the pen on his notebook “could you check to see if your wife has transferred a large some of money to another account?”
“If you think it will help I can.” Greg agreed absently as he watched a familiar nurse charging down the hall towards them.
“Mr Diamond you’re needed in the neo natal unit,” she gasped breathing hard.
Standing Greg steadied the girl “is something wrong with the baby?” Unable to speak she nodded. Panic gripped him as he raced down the hall Shon hot on his heels.