Shattered (verb): to break something into pieces, to damage as by breaking or crushing to impair or destroy, to be broken into fragments.
Hollie loved words, she had ever since she could remember. It was something many found irritating. Until she met Jack.

Jack’s world suddenly comes crashing down with a knock at the door and a ghost from the past he tried to keep hidden returns to haunt him.
Hollie doesn’t know what to believe and where to turn. Will the ghosts shatter their perfect life or will it make them stronger?


2. Two

    “What was that letter that was left for you like yesterday?” I ask. He doesn’t answer, or look like he’s been listening at all as I sit down next to him on the sofa.

    “Jack?” I say, pushing his shoulder. He jumps and looks around for a minute. His eyes finally settle on mine in confusion. “Hello? Are you there?”

    “Yeah, yeah, what?”

    “I said what was that letter you got yesterday? And another question, why are you suddenly acting funny and out of it? Was it something I said?” I ask. He doesn’t even crack a smile in response to the joke. I sigh. “What’s up?”

    “Nothing, nothing, don’t worry,” Jack says, shrugging it off. “Just… work stuff. Tired.”

    “Well I’m not convinced, but if you don’t want to talk about it, that’s fine too,” I say with a hefty sigh. He gives me a sideways glance and then gets back to watching the TV. I know something isn’t right, because he isn’t speaking much, he doesn’t even look at me much, and it’s been since yesterday when he came home. I notice that he has actually opened that letter because it went missing from the side and that’s when he started acting like this. I know it’s something to do with that.

    “Just… tell me you haven’t been kicked out of uni or anything like that, because…”

    “No, I haven’t,” he says quickly. I feel like there’s a ‘but’ in there, but he doesn’t say anything more. I sigh and turn my attention to the TV, hoping that my entire two days with him will not be like this now because I know for a fact I wouldn’t be able to handle him like this all the damn time.

    “Good,” I say eventually and carry on winding myself up with it.


    “Hey, Hollie?” Jack suddenly comes in the kitchen to look at me with worried eyes.

    “What’s up?” I ask. I watch him glance at me with unease.

    “I…we…” he stops speaking and I carry on stirring the gravy in the pot.

    “What is it, Jack?” I ask with a small laugh.

    “If I told you… if I said to you that…” he stops when the doorbell rings. I sigh and look at him. “I…Hollie… don’t…”

     “Hang on, Jack, stir that will you?” I ask him and run to the door. I open the door to see a man and a woman standing there looking serious.

     “Hello?” I ask.

     “Hello there, is Mr Jack Davis in?” the woman asks. She slips out a card holder and presents it in front of me. Her…police ID. I stammer a moment taking that in. What could the police want with Jack? Did someone die today? But surely that would…

     “Um… yes he’s in, come in,” I say, trying not to think too much. I let them past and the guy shows me his ID, the same as the other, a police ID. “Jack?”

     He looks up, turning the hob off and his mouth gapes open, but not in surprise. He was expecting this.

     “Mr Davis, I presume?” the woman asks. Jack nods and ushers them to the lounge for a seat. “I am Detective Smith. This is Detective Lance.”

     “Hi,” Jack says quietly. I watch him closely. He was expecting this, he knows what this is about, and he hasn’t told me anything about this. This must be why he’s been off with me, not telling me what that damned… that’s what this letter was about. Damn, why didn’t I open it?

    “Mr Jack Davis, I’m arresting you on suspicion of rape. You do not have to say anything,”

    “Arresting him?” I demand.

    “But it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you late rely on in court.”

    “Rape?” I demand. What the hell? Who could even think up of accusing him of that kind of thing? It definitely wasn’t me, so who the hell?

    “Jack?” I ask as the police officer grabs his arms and begins leading him out of the flat. “Jack! What the hell?”

    “We’ll be taking him down to the station, but it could be a long wait,” the other officer says to me on his way out. I don’t even get time to respond when all trace of the three of them is gone.


    I sit at the kitchen table, my shaking hands holding a mug of steaming tea, trying to get my head around this: my fiancé has been arrested for rape. The man I’ve known for three years, who barely does anything but go to university, to work and comes home again to spend time with me, the man I said yes to marrying, has been arrested for rape. Well, suspicious of anyway. That’s the part I can’t get my head around: who could have said that he did this? Who exactly could’ve said something like that about Jack? The man who has pledged four years of his life to saving lives and making the world better? The man who is literally weeks away from finishing his final year of medicine school? This could get him a permanent ban from working as a doctor and everything he’s worked for just thrown down the drain because of one allegation…

    That’s the thing: do I believe it? Do I believe Jack could do something like that to someone?

    There is never smoke without fire so they say. But who is ‘they’ and why do they say that kinda crap? There are some false allegations in the world, aren’t there? Made by women to get some attention or some revenge for saying no to going out with them or having sex with them. But then, what about all the women who have been… violated and never go to the police, or who are too frightened for years on end and it doesn’t go to court because there’s no more physical evidence?

    But… could Jack do something like this? When is this meant to have happened anyway? When he’s not been doing university or shifts, he’s been here with me, which at the moment is rare anyway, let alone when he would have the time to go and do something like that.

     Why am I at home and not waiting for him? That’s the other thing my mind cannot seem to grasp. My fiancé is being held in police custody for a violent sexual crime as a suspect, and I’m sitting here harbouring a well, now cold cup of tea like it doesn’t matter. And I don’t know what to think. Is he guilty? Is he not? He knew this was coming, something about that letter, which I can’t now find – conveniently enough – led him to believe something was going to happen, and he was trying to find something to tell me before the even knocked on the door. Something has happened, I am sure of that. But what was it? Is it a relationship gone wrong in his past that he’s trying to forget and she’s come out with this? Is it something to do with a patient? Is it real? Did he do it? Is it just a massive misunderstanding?

    Who am I kidding? He knows something has happened, whether that be rape or not, and now he’s being questioned by the police and I’m the one who has to deal with the fallout. His studies are going to be suspended when they find out about this. He won’t be allowed to finish his placement. He’ll be put back at least a year for this. Meaning I’ll have to bring in the money somehow, because he won’t get his student loans and bursaries. The entire university will hear about it soon. The general hospital won’t touch him with a barge pole even if he is innocent. I have no idea of the legal ins and outs. But why I can’t get up from the chair to get down the station is still playing on my mind. Do I even want to know? What the hell is this even... I don’t know.


    I sit down in the waiting area with a sigh. I look at my feet, shoved in my winter boots, even though it’s April. I don’t even know what I’m doing here, he’s been in custody for twelve hours already, I could be waiting here another twelve. I’m not even allowed to talk to him, not allowed to see him. I just have to sit here and wait. But at seven in the evening when you have nothing else to do but sit there and stew over what could be the truth, I’d rather be here in the midst and thick of it all than anywhere else.

    Will they want to talk to me, even though I don’t know anything? I don’t know much about his life before we met, it’s something he’s never really spoken about, and not something I ever pushed to know. Will they want to search our flat for anything? Will they pry into our sexual history? Our relationship? The fact of the matter in my head is that something happened at some point and in my head I keep coming back to “there is no smoke without fire”, but at the same time this is Jack they have in there, the same Jack who couldn’t even harm a fly. The same Jack who is training to be a doctor. I don’t understand it.


    I slam the front door without even waiting for him to walk through the door. He’s allowed out “on bail” apparently as he is not deemed in danger to society or whatever. He also has to attend university tomorrow for some crisis meeting or whatever he called it. And the police say they want to interview me tomorrow.

    “Hollie, let’s…” Jack closes the door behind him and I get out the wine from the fridge and pour myself a large glass. I wish I had something stronger.

    “No,” I shake my head.

    “I think this is a rather massive thing,” he says.

    I scoff and put my glass to my lips. “A massive thing? Understatement of the century, Jack. You have been released on bail. For rape. Do you know how… more than massive that is? When do they say you did it? Who said you did it? Is it true? I can’t believe… you’re a medical student you imbecile. This could ruin your career before you’ve even started!” I take a long sip of drink and savour the bitter taste of alcohol on my tongue. The bitterness swirls around, trying to take away the raw and disgusting words that have just come out of my mouth. Just the word… the violent, disgusting term I have never thought I’d have to say, the one crime I’d always thought of as worse than murder… the one thing I never thought I’d have to worry about is now my reality. My fiancé has been accused of it. Oh god, what if they actually charge him? What if it goes to court? What if he’s sent down for it?

    But what if he didn’t do it? I’m treating and questioning him myself as if he’s actually done it. What if he hasn’t?

     “What happened, Jack?” I ask.

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