Meanwhile in the video, Susan clears her throat.
“I have little time and a whole lot to share with you,” she says. “First and foremost, this is between us. You may suspect that I’m jealous of you. And maybe part of me is, the part that has been in love with him, ever since we met, ten years ago, in Varanasi, India. But now, this love is dying. So, it is with regret that I must reach out to you—whoever you are—and beg you to beware of who he is.”
Susan lays a limp hand over her heart. “In part, my regret is for myself, because without question, I will be at least overdosed, if not dead, if this video has found its way, as I hope, into your hands. I can’t help but grieve for myself, knowing I’m about to lose it, lose my life.”
“But even more than that,” she says, “my regret is for you, my successor, my supposed enemy, my never-to-see friend. Yes, my regret is for you, because by listening to me, you’re putting yourself squarely in my place, which is to say, in harm’s way.”
“Perhaps you have the urge to shut me off, or at least to ignore what I’m about to say. But listen you must, because even if you don’t believe it, you’re already much too close to danger.”
Susan gathers herself up with a little jolt. Clearly, she is startled by the ding-dong of a doorbell somewhere in the background. “Oh no, I have no more time,” she whispers. “Consider yourself warned.”
Her fingers, coming in to grip the cellphone, obscure part of the view, but in the space between them I catch sight of her footfalls, going somewhat unsteadily out of the den and along the corridor. She must be heading towards the entrance.
Here, at last, is the threshold. Sunlight starts slanting over it as the door sways open. It is then that Susan draws a quick breath and just before handing the cellphone over into someone’s hand, just before the eye of its camera is swallowed into darkness, she utters her last sentence.
“Neil is my undoing. Make sure he isn’t yours.”
★ Love Suspense? Prepare to be thrilled ★