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The next time Mum met Al — over dinner in Brighton — he told us a long, convoluted story about the crash that killed his parents.
Mum — who’s a trained psychologist — knew instantly that he was lying, though she didn’t tell me this till later.
Al had badgered me into getting him invited to the wedding, and the day passed in a happy blur.
Afterwards, my family’s verdict was that he was charming, ‘if a little intense’.
I still thought that Al would never lift a finger against me. The consultant led me in silence into the office of a senior manager.
Finally I started sorting out a mound of paperwork — and that’s when I discovered that Al had taken my passport, driving licence and birth certificate. ‘We’ve received a letter and we’re concerned about it,’ she said.
Mum and David wanted to call the police, but this seemed too extreme.Deliberately placing my phone on the table, I left the room — and came back a few seconds later. I resolved to tell Al one last time that it was over.I was now doing a psychiatry placement, and it was sinking in that he might have a serious personality disorder.If Al proved to be OK, she reasoned, I need never know anything about what she had done. I quickly rang everyone to tell them it was a mistake.Soon afterwards, Mum told me what the private investigator had found out.