"And the consultant also says we shouldn’t pay through the hospital, we should pay him directly. Is it possible that you kindly transfer the money directly to my account? I can text you the number and bank branch right now.”
“Well, ok, I underst-,” I start to say. And then suddenly, I remember who I am dealing with. “Wait, no,” I tell him.
“It would be easier if you just send me the details of all the people you owe so I can pay them directly. It’ll reduce the bank transaction fees, you know?” I am grasping for an excuse not to give him the money directly.
“Oh my God,” he gasps, sounding as if I have said something mortally wounding. “You don’t trust me, Liz.”
He starts sobbing again, and now I am a conflicted mess. “I know Fatma has probably spoken to you. I have heard the things she’s been saying. You know that jealous bi-,”
“Hey!” I cut him off. “She’s still my friend and if you want this conversation to proceed you will not call her any ugly names.”
He pauses, takes a deep breath. “She’s jealous, Liz. She knows how I feel about you. She’s been wanting me all this time, giving me money and her car so I can stay with her and not talk to you.
"But it’s you my heart beats for, Liz. It’s you I want, Liz. In fact, she’s been bad-mouthing me to everyone she thinks is in competition with her. I can get a few other girls at her office to tell you what she said.
"Liz, please don’t believe her. She’s lying, malicious. I had to block her; she wouldn’t leave me alone.”
“Oh…” my hand flies to the place on my chest where my heart is situated. “This is a bit much for me to deal with,” I murmur.
“Please, Liz, please don’t let Fatma’s ugly rumours get in the way of helping me, Liz. My father is dying unless I find a way to help him!” And now he’s full-on sobbing. Oh heavens, what do I do?!
“Okay,” I say. “Send me your bank details. I’ll wire the money right away.” And then I hang up. If he’s lying, then the burden will be on his soul instead of mine if he just happens to be telling the truth.
And then, while I am waiting for his text with the details, something strikes me…
The pictures! There’s something off about the pictures he has sent! Oh no… He’s lying! And I have the proof!