Cassie opens the door and looks shocked to see the state Rob is in. He’s still covered in mud and leaves from the wood.
”I didn’t know where else to go,” he chokes out. Cassie stands aside wordlessly to let him in.
They sit on her sofa, Cassie not commenting on the dirt being trailed into her nice flat.
”I remembered something that happened in the woods. Years ago.”
She nods and he can see her going into interview mode. No pressure, no leading questions. “Go on.”
He tells her what he, Peter and Jamie witnessed, that he had forgotten or blanked out until now.
”I watched a teenage girl get gang raped and did nothing to stop it,” he finishes.
”You were just a child, Rob.”
”I didn’t even remember until now.” He bows his head in shame.
Cassie hesitates. “Did you remember anything else, about Peter and Jamie?”
He shakes his head. “That’s still a blank.” She tentatively reaches out to touch his hand, reminding him of their fingers entwining when they were in bed.
”I did something really fucking stupid, Cassie,” he blurts out.
“I told O'Kelly that I traced Adam, that he’s dead. I said he wrapped his car around a tree in New Zealand.”
”I know.” He’s never actively lied to his superiors about his identity before. He applied for the job under his real name. It’s not his fault he has a common Irish surname, and they only checked to see if he had any past convictions.
”Sometimes I think it was me,” he says abruptly. “That maybe Jamie’s mother is right. How did I get out of the wood without a scratch on me? Why can’t I remember anything? Maybe it’s because I don’t want to.”
He expects her to either look scared of him or to reassure him, saying of course it wasn’t him. Instead she just says, “Oh, Rob,” and pulls him into her arms. He sobs against her shoulder as she runs her fingers through his hair. “Shh, shh.”
”I’m so sorry,” he says finally, pulling back from her. “Those things I said to you...”
”Hey, it’s okay.” She strokes tears from his mud-streaked face. “It doesn’t matter.”
He leans in for a kiss but she gently puts a hand on his shoulder to stop him. She’s not going there again.
”I should go.” He stands up.
She stands too. “Will you be alright?”
”Yeah. Yes. Thank you. I’ll see you... when?”
She shrugs. “When I’ve finished being Lexie, I suppose.”
She shows him to the door and he turns to hug her at the last second. They hold each other for a moment, then he drops a kiss on her forehead before departing.
Rob sits on Cassie’s bed, holding his phone in one hand and Cassie’s in the other. These fantasies are getting him nowhere. The truth is he would never have the courage to tell Cassie any of that. She was right, he is a coward.
He guesses the password to Cassie’s phone after a couple of attempts and goes to her voicemail. He listens to his own message and then deletes it.