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 wimp’s 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, it’s Jo, he’s 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 lunch?


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 Kat’s 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. Lindsey’s haul-out should be enough. No problem there.

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. I’m sure in time, they’ll accept the change... Kat?” Jo was still rolling out the words. He’d been wheedling and pleading all the way from the hotel. “You’re not listening, are you?”

“Yes, I am and no, I’m 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 don’t 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.