Final Buyer’s Advocate

Final Buyer’s Advocate

I sprinted around the corner of the alleyway, shoulder bouncing off the rain-slick brick as I pinballed past the dumpster. My feet flew underneath me, pounding the puddles.

Just a few more metres, I thought to myself, out of breath even in my own mind. Nearly there.

‘Stop!’ a voice echoed behind me. I didn’t waste time turning to look – I knew exactly who it was. My nemesis. The man who had been chasing me the majority of my adult life.

He’d never been this close though. For over a decade, I’d been a week ahead of him, cackling over a newspaper in a different time zone as he sifted through the rubble of my crimes.

Sandringham had been my downfall, I recalled. If only I’d never gone to Sandringham.

         It had been sentiment, pure and stupid. My mother had been evicted from her apartment and I wanted to buy her a house. The buyer’s advocate near Sandringham had been helpful, but contracts needed signing and palms needed greasing.

I’d come straight from the airport. In and out. She hadn’t wanted to see me anyway – I’d lied and told her I was a representative from a long-forgotten great-uncle’s estate, and he had left her money for a property.

It had fooled her, maybe. But not him.

‘It’s over!’ came the cool voice from behind me, as I hurtled through the alleyways. ‘You know I have you!’

I still didn’t know how he’d found me, I pondered as I hurtled through the streets of Melbourne. Buyer’s advocates are bound by confidentiality, so I knew I could trust them.

The taxi driver? I wondered. A flight attendant?

         It could have been anyone; why waste the energy?

I skidded around yet another corner – right into a dead end.

‘Damn!’ I hissed, spinning around to go back the way I came.

Too late. He was already there. Silhouetted by an orange streetlight, face obscured in shadow, he slowly crossed his arms.

‘Got you,’ he whispered.

I couldn’t disagree.