Lilah had gotten the OK from Doug to start reaching out to some of the women who had commented on her latest article to say they had had similar experiences. She was researching a select few to see if she could find their email addresses when Doug called her into her office. When she got there, he asked her to close the door behind her, which was never a good sign.
“We’ve gotten some offers for you to appear on some of the talk shows.”
Lilah waited for the bad news, but Doug just sat there looking at her. “OK…” she said, hoping to prompt him to get to the point.
“Is it what?”
“Is it OK? For you to do the talk show run? You made it sound like you had some reservations the last time we talked about it, so I just want to make sure you are completely comfortable with this before I say yes to anybody.”
Lilah looked at the floor and put her hands on her hips: her thinking posture. She had actually completely forgotten how scared she had been. She was still receiving threats, and she knew she shouldn’t take them as lightly as the police had. But she had since had a shiny new security system installed on her house, bought guns and learned how to use them, and now she was taking kickboxing classes and felt more self-confident with every class – even if they did consist largely of her instructor yelling at her.
Finally, there were the conversations she had started having with the women who responded to her articles. Many had gone through the same thing, and even those who didn’t had demonstrated outrage and offered to help in any way they could. They were all just grateful someone had finally spoken up about the issue.
“I want to do it.”
Lilah nodded. “They just want to intimidate me into shutting up. That means they’re afraid of what I have to say, which means it’s important that I say it. That, and I refuse to live my life in fear.”
Doug smiled. “I should have known. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from our long years of working together, it’s that the best way to get you to do something is to tell you not to do it.”
“Imagine what you could have gotten me to do here if you had threatened my life?”
Doug’s smile vanished. “That’s not funny.”
“Sure, it is. You just need to have a morbid sense of humor in order to get it.”
“I guess I just didn’t realize that your sense of humor was so morbid.”
“It can be – certainly after an experience like this. Come on, you know if we ever manage to actually catch these guys they would just say it was all a big joke and I just needed to get a sense of humor.”
Doug didn’t have a response to that so Lilah excused herself to go get ready for her TV interviews.
To be continued…