[If you have not already done so, you must
read the Introduction
For §§ 1-110 (Chapters 1-18), see here.
Revenge Should Have No Bounds 133
Chapter 21 (2 of 2): Recovering
I could feel the fury start rising like a sour, thickening bolus of vomitus in my gorge, a powerful emetic of disgust at everything I’d been put through.
After a week of solitude to contemplate the entire scenario that had almost robbed me of my life and certainly stolen a considerable chunk of my financial assets to prove my innocence, my rage began to kick into high gear. It had been building during the trial, but it now had a more focused object on which to unleash its hitherto dormant energy. No longer distracted by the extraneous considerations of my juridical ordeal, it was not the kind of non-reasoning, pre-mental rage that chokes your reason and wraps your faculties of thought in a benighting smoke of irrationality. But it had been gestating a long time and now parturition was imminent, the birth of a living thing I had to tend and feed and see to maturity.
I wanted revenge.
I had hinted at this in the numerous telephone conversations I’d had with my parents, with Craig, with Valerie, with Michelle. They all advised me against taking any kind of action: “Put it behind you, honey, and get on with your life.” I think Natalie Siu sensed something of what was going through my heart and mind – after all, she had been litigating murder defenses for fifteen years, and I knew I was not the only innocent defendant she had ever dealt with – and one of the last things she reminded me of was, as she put it, ‘a wise proverb supposedly invented by my ancestors’: Before you launch a journey of revenge, dig two graves.
What did they know?
I examined what I knew. As the trial had worn on and I tried to put things together in my own mind I had become increasingly suspicious of Yukiko. I knew from sad experience with her that there was an element of craziness about her, a kind of schizoid quality, something she cunningly disguised during her testimony. And I knew about Su Lien Rahman, of course. Had there been other Su Liens and other Mazarines in Yukiko’s life? I’d never get anything from her personally, but there was one person who did know her well: Fabian Darling. Maybe I would have to swallow some pride and look him up.
At my request Natalie had gotten me a full transcript, along with all memoranda, affidavits, reports, evidence and blah and blah and blah, of the entire proceedings, starting with the police reports and interviews. It had cost me a pretty penny, but next to one point three mill, what was another couple thousand? I’d started to study this massive material the past couple of days, and I knew about Fabian’s foot operation the weekend Trinh was killed. I really did not think he’d been involved anyway, because scattered observations offered up en passant by Trinh during the month or so the three of us ladies had been together made it clear she and Fabian were serious. This was a point Yukiko had been at pains to reiterate from time to time, not entirely without resentment.
They say the family is the first suspect in any murder investigation. I had met the Caos once, at that afternoon tea, and I had read the write-up of their police interview with those two detectives, Phoebe Light and Ulla Sundelius. With reference to both incidents, I could see no earthly motive the parents might have had for murdering their daughter. Parents and daughters were supposed to be genuinely loving towards each other. But this was the whole question in all of this, wasn’t it: was I in fact seeing with clarity? In any event, if not the parents and not the boyfriend, who?
What are the usual motives for murder, for the intentional taking of another person’s life? Money, revenge, love. The big ones. On the fringes – but for all that no less horrific — I suppose one could add such things as silencing a witness, the random act of a madman, perhaps even hate. Of these, only hate seemed a viable possibility. In today’s America I thought a lethal animosity towards race and sexual orientation was seldom a viable motive, though it sadly did happen; there was usually something more primary at work. Trinh may have associated with lesbians, but she certainly was not one, as I could vouch for from that last time she and I had gotten together with Yukiko and her outrageous suggestion of a threesome; and although she was Vietnamese, race hadn’t once come up in the course of our times together. And Trinh was not herself rich, nor was there any hint of anyone wanting to exact some kind of revenge from her. That left love.
Love and hate.
These are in effect but two sides of a single street, streaming in opposite directions but so proximate that they could easily run into each other. And if love or hate was involved, and Fabian was not a consideration, Yukiko made a not unattractive prospect.
But was she really that crazy? And how could she have brought it off?
I resolved on the first move of my own investigation.
TO BE CONTINUED