She wanted to push himover the cliff. Right now. And it was not
petulance. Not an explosive reaction to the long fuse of stupid
remarks. Nor a wimps Freudian joke. She wanted to see the
soles of his shoes as he headed for the rocks and the clear greeen
water fifty metres down.
The sun was high, the sky clear. If she did it, how would the
next scenes play? Her agile mind screened the pictures, script
change, rewind, replay. Running back to Lindsey, to the hotel
room, oh my god, Lin, its Jo, hes fallen off the cliff.
Or run to the phone box, 999, police, coastguard, man fallen off
cliff, help, oh please help.
Or walk back unaffected. Jo not back yet? He walked on further.
Things to think through, he said. Work, probably. A drink before
She had reeled through this scenario before, of ways to solve
the problem. It could not be planned, though, what came after,
could it? Too many unknowns. External pressure from police, friends
and enemies, internal pressure and reaction that might not be
predictable, freezing and thawing, eroding her nerve in the hours
and days beyond that step over the line. And years afterward.
How could that act be carried, forever? And how would Lindsey
cope with the death of her husband?
Brief grief, house move, new life, was Kats guess.
A sensible career physicist, Jo appeared to carve a mathematically
inspired logging road through the tax/PEP/pension/stock forest.
Add a graceful portfolio of antiques, several good artworks and
the house. Lindseys haul-out should be enough. No problem
She had motive and now opportunity. What else was required?
Oh shit. Was killing him just fantasy? But she really wanted
to do it. The alternative had always seemed worse.
She was winding up inside, tightening, beginning to quiver. Unbearably,
the sitting on the cliff-top continued, external appearance entirely
disconnected from the internal furore. The whole situation was
grinding on like a glacier, on and millimetrically on.
...the children. Im sure in time, theyll accept
the change... Kat? Jo was still rolling out the words. Hed
been wheedling and pleading all the way from the hotel. Youre
not listening, are you?
Yes, I am and no, Im not, she hissed.
If she did it, did she need hm to know why? Or could she simply
push him over?
No, no, no. It must end now, this long game of his. But not by
taking on responsibility for his death. That way, he would be
with her forever.
She got up, briskly walked away. She would tell Lin. For three
years your husband has been trying to seduce me. He wants to leave
you and transfer himself to me and I dont want him, never
have wanted or encouraged him, the odious little shit. Do with
him what you will. My dear daughter, I love you more than anyone
else alive, but I can protect you from this no longer.
©STEVE ACTON 2000