WATERLILIES OVER MY GRAVE Interview with Annabelle Lee O’Brien. (Annie to her friends)
This information about Annabelle O’Brien came from Annie’s lips. Annie was glad to share information from her life. We sat outside my virtual charming Writing Cottage that looks over virtual Lake Nager and the Catskill Mountains, and we talked.
Me: Annie, in any story, the characters have to have a goal, a motivation, and a conflict (the reason he or she can’t achieve that goal. May I ask yours?
Annie: Go for it.
Me: First off, before you left New York City, what was your goal?
Annie: That’s easy. I wanted to be the best psychologist I could be. I wanted a good family life, and I wanted children.
Me: Did you have any?
Annie: With Duncan, no. Please, I don’t want to talk about that. I nearly got pushed in front of a subway. I did get pushed down the basement stairs. I was in a coma for a week. Maybe more. No more of that, okay?
Me: Okay. I’m sorry this happened to you. What have your goals been since leaving New York City? I understand you took a job in Lake Nager.
Annie: Yes, at the medical center. My goal has been to establish a successful practice there. Most important, though is staying alive.
Me: That’s quite a goal.
Annie: I’ve gone through a lot in my life, but never knew I’d have to deal with that.
Me: How did you meet your husband, and didn’t you see any signs of his mental illness?
Annie: No. He was great at masking his anger. He was my psych professor at NYU. When my aunt died of cancer, he took me in– He married me. I idolized him. . . had no idea what his motivations were.
As for feelings or emotions, I doubt he had any. Most sociopaths and psychopaths don’t feel emotions. I noticed his becoming more and more controlling. He took my dissertation and used it for his own. More and more, he would disband my study groups. I felt trapped. Hemmed in. Claustrophobic. He separated me from my friends.
You asked me my goals. Mine was to leave him and go far away.
Why? After the divorce, I thought he might kill me.
Me: Conflict: What happened to prevent you from escaping?
Annie: Well, the administrator of the hospital who hired me called for a reference. Instead of Human Resources-Personnel Department, she Duncan. When their conversation ended, he knew everything, where I lived–the town of Lake Nager, where I worked–the Lake Nager Medical Center.
So, if that answers your question, he followed me to Lake Nager and stalked me. That’s about when the killings began. Ladies that looked like me died at his hands.
Me: This story is about how he got caught.
Annie: I’m going to read it to my kids someday. Maybe, when it won’t give them nightmares. Maybe, I’ll get over them, too.