Mélanie Mercier, née Markowitz (17)
The end of the nightmare?
Jean Michel Jakobowicz, UNOG
The children of Mélanie Mercier,
née Markowitz, were abducted
by a stranger. One of her friends was
killed. On the other side of the world,
a man who was nearly ruined by
Mélanie’s study has decided to take
his revenge. (You can find the
previous episodes of Mélanie on the
UN Special Web site,
But no, you will see that everything will be fine,
Jérôme, Mélanies ex-husband, was sitting on
her hospital bed. Mélanie, her face very pale, with dark circles
around her eyes that seemed on the edge of tears. In a corner of the
room, Madame Markowitz, Mélanies mother, sat in silence.
How can you say that? Mélanie responded with sobs in her voice, The message is quite clear, sending a lock of their hair, that can only mean .
But no, Jérôme said to her, while running his hand across his ex-wifes face, I assure you everything is going to be fine, my friends are on the trail, do not fear!
I cant believe you! responded Mélanie. I dont understand how you can be so optimistic when.
I am going to have to leave for a few days, Jérôme proceeded. You have my cell phone number, you can call me any time of the day or night.
Mélanie took his hand and looked at him distraught:
You cant leave me alone, she said to him totally
panicked, This is really not a good time to leave.
Dont be like that, said her mother, Im here to take care of you!
Mélanie could only shrug her shoulders.
None of that! said Jérôme, I am leaving because I think I know who has the kids. I want to clear my heart. Mélanie watched him with the look of an interrogator. He smiled at her. I cannot tell you anything for now, take care of yourself and trust me for once. I have the situation well in hand.
Mélanie forced a smile.
Be careful, she said when Jérôme had
left the room. Seeing them leave each other like that, an outside observer
would have had trouble imagining that this couple had been divorced
for two years.
There is something hidden away in this whole story, Mélanies mother said as she approached the bed.
I know you never loved Jérôme, Mélanie said, and in some ways you were right, but now he is in the middle of saving our children when the police were able to do nothing at all. Mélanies mother did not say a word and sat down peacefully next to her daughters bed.
Why arent you saying anything? asked Mélanie after several minutes.
You scold me all the time for saying too much, and now all of a sudden said Madame Markowitz.
I prefer that you empty your sack rather than trying to guess whats going through your head.
Like I told you, nothing is going on there, said Mélanies mother. I am just thinking.
Thinking of what? Asked Mélanie.
Just thinking some thoughts, her mother responded enigmatically.
Sainte-Lucie, 3: 30 a.m.
John Gardiner had gotten in the habit of sleeping with his window open. He detested air conditioning. The light breeze from the shore was coming in through the window, giving him the feeling of being on a sailboat. He had fallen deep asleep after drinking some punch to help his slumber.
This waiting was beginning to weigh on him. He was not used to inaction. But he still had to be patient. According to certain indicators that he had in Washington, his return risked raising some problems.
In a little while, when the bankruptcy affair would be forgotten, he could move on and go rejoin certain friends that he had scattered throughout the world. With the money he had put aside, he had no worries.
A gust of wind a little stronger than the others rustled the drapes over the French doors that gave way to the balcony. The moon was full and lit up the room. A shadow profiled in the doorway, then slid across the room without making a sound. But even so, John Gardiner turned over in his bed. When the shadow was only a yard from the bed, John Gar- diner opened his eyes. With a groping move he fumbled under his pillow, searching for the gun he had hidden there.
Geneva, 2: 30 p.m.
A small woman with grey hair trotted up the Rue de la Coraterie. She towed behind her an old man who was following her and grumbling.
It is quite ridiculous, repeated Monsieur Markowitz.
It is your imagination that is still playing tricks on you. We
would do better to keep Mélanie company instead of going God
Be quiet, said the old woman, Otherwise I am going by myself.
Arriving at the Place Neuve the old couple entered the Parc des Bastions.
And first off, said Monsieur Markowitz, How
are we going to recognize her?
Thats easy, said the old woman, She is a redhead.