I woke up
and it was all a dream, I thought. Something is not right.
I look at my watch and its four in the morning. Im lying
on the living room couch and I feel terrible. I try to get up and this
block at the top of my torso is upset. My head hurts like hell. Why
should I be like this, I had a good day. A really good day as a matter
I finally staggered to the window. The curtains were still drawn. I
was wet from some sort of a cold sweat. I was reeking of alcohol. A
half empty bottle of scotch was on the small table. But why? Im
not a heavy drinker. Our drinks cupboard is mainly for friends and they
only come occasionally. I then saw that my car was still in the driveway.
The front door of the house was open. Now I knew something was terribly
It was Friday. Jane and the kids had gone to Baltimore to spend the
weekend with her parents. I would follow later as I had this deal to
close. My company had been working on it for months and we were into
the final stages of negotiation. Hopefully it would be over by the end
of the week.
I went to the office early that morning. I had spent most of the week
revising the small print of the contract and was satisfied that we had
completed a good proposal. Only the legal sector was giving us a headache.
Im still not convinced that these multiple warranties are
safe under your blanket liability cover. How do you feel about them
Bob? Jake addressed his legal beagle. Im still not
too convinced either, Jake. My client then looked back at me with
a dejected expression on his face which I knew too well. I had to act
Lets go to my office. Ive got something to show you.
Against all ethics, I laid out some previous work we had done for other,
albeit, smaller customers. Take a look at these, every one a satisfied
customer. I know this sounds odd in this day and age, Jake, but I give
you my honest to God word that well do a good job. I cant
guarantee any more than that, and you know it!
Jake was looking out of my office window. Not uttering a word. I was
sweating blood. He turned around and said: You got any scotch
around? It was one thirty in the morning.
I was driving back thinking about Jane and the kids. Shall I call and
give them the good news? My mind swung round to my golf the next day.
Must try and improve my swing. As I drove into Apple Grove road, just
off the I 95 and a couple of miles from our cul-de-sac, I hit something
hard! I jammed on the brakes and got out of the car. There she
was. Lying across the road.
Her head was facing towards my car. The headlights were focused on those
cold dead eyes, staring, crying blooded tears that flowed onto the pavement.
I recognised her at once. What the hell was she doing out at this time
of the night anyway. Or is it morning?
By this time my mind was spinning. Do I call the cops? How can I, I
was drinking with Jake only an hour ago. I can see their reaction. Blow
into this tube, sir. Humn! Well over the limit. Mister, youre
in deep trouble. I could just picture the accusations. What about
if I called an ambulance or fire brigade, report an accident and then
disappear. And the Hamiltons? Oh God!
I picked Rosie up an carried her into the woods just off the road. I
found a large bush and spread it out to make room for the body. It was
out of sight. I drove back home. I didnt even bother to open the
garage. I just ran up the driveway, opened the front door and dropped
on the couch. My mind had gone blank.
Im now piecing it all together. My numb state of shock made me
go for the drinks cabinet. Might as well calm these nerves with more
alcohol. Couldnt believe it. My inner sense stopped me from mixing
my drinks! I pulled out the scotch. I suppose I eventually flaked out.
Jesus Christ! What have I done. Am I nuts or something? A perfectly
respectable citizen with a decent business and a loving family suddenly
turned into a hit and run drunken bastard. Think, man think. Youre
in a mess but is it worth digging deeper into this shit hole that youre
now in? And what about the Hamiltons?
I staggered outside and peered down the sidewalk towards no. 2295. The
estate was asleep. No sign of movement anywhere. I walked towards the
house. It was a cool clear September night. I was shivering and shaking
like the Virginia autumn leaves. I stood at the door. I knocked.
I knocked again and again until finally a light appeared in the kitchen.
Two long minutes that seemed like hours went by. John Hamilton opened
the door. Who's there? Still freezing, not knowing whether
it was the cold, the scotch or my inner nervous system gone into overdrive.
Ive just run over Rosie. I dont know what to say.
We were sitting round the kitchen table. John had made some coffee.
I told him the whole story. He was sympathetic. Bessie is going
to be very upset but its little Bobby who will take it the hardest.
Most important though. She must have a decent burial ceremony. Im
sure Ill be able to soothe the pain. Leave it to me. You go back
and rest. Well talk tomorrow morning.
I was glad I had spoken directly with John. I dont think I could
have faced an instant inquisition by the whole Hamilton family. Not
at that moment. I went home and switched off. But again I was jolted
by a sudden thought.
How deep a hole do you need to bury a four year old red setter in?