This is the thirty-fourth part of a fiction serial, in 697 words.
Of course, I wasn’t the next of kin, so had to ring Livvy’s mum soon after getting the news. I had declined to see her, laid out with her head in bandages.
“Dead? What do you mean, dead? Does this mean I have to go to Nottingham? I can tell you now that’s not going to happen, Danny. Get off the phone, and let me ring my husband”.
They gave me her personal possessions. As she had been in bed at the time it happened, that amounted to a gold chain, small gold earrings, and a cheap ring she used to wear on her right hand second finger.
I ordered a taxi from reception to take me home. They queried the distance, and asked if I knew how much it would cost. I just nodded at the woman on reception.
Livvy’s dad must have come home and sorted things, because a week later her mum rang me and gave me the details of the funeral the following week. “She would have wanted you to come, I expect”. That was all she had to say to me.
They cried crocodile tears at the crematorium, for a daughter they never really gave a shit about. After the service, her dad just nodded at me, and I didn’t get invited back to the house for buffet and drinks.
Not that I would have gone anyway.
They became next on my list. Not real parents at all, as far as I could tell. In truth, I think they were relieved that she was dead, and that her death removed all future responsibility from them. Maybe Livvy was unplanned, an accident? Whatever the reason, she deserved better, so those bastards had to die for their negligence.
That began a period of frustration for me. Her mum phoned me just the once, to tell me to give all her clothes to charity shops, or just throw them out in the rubbish. That was all they thought of Olivia, their only child? I was beginning to wonder if she had been adopted.
A house fire was my first choice. Late at night, a firece blaze. No survivors.
The problem was, they had state of the art CCTV. Cameras everywhere, and in colour, when nobody had colour CCTV. They also had a bank of fire alarms, Livvy had mentioned that. Then there was the killer reason not to do it.
My personal connection, and the obvious animosity between us.
There was no other option but to let it go. I satisfied myself that I would get them another time. Maybe at the holiday home in Suffolk, or when their guard was down in a year or so. But that wasn’t to be.
The only way I could kill that heartless pair was to implicate myself in some way. And I couldn’t afford to do that.
So I walked away from them, and my enjoyable life with Livvy.
Reluctantly, but it had to be done to stay safe.
For a good few years, I did my job, moved up the pecking order, and was well thought of. I got rid of Brian’s Fiesta, and bought myself something younger and trendier.
But not too flash.
There were no girlfriends either. I had cried over the loss of one, and that was never going to happen again. Better no girlfriend, than one who actually got to me.
My boss was in clover. I had become indispensable, and could easily have run the whole company if he wasn’t there. I had interest from women of course. I had spent my life attracting interest from women, and men. The boss gave me a pay rise, and moved me up the chain of command. It wasn’t too long before he relied on me completely, even paying me extra not to take all my leave entitlement.
A few years went by, and they were all defined by working hard, earning more money, and living for the job.
Then we had a company night out at a disco bar in town. I had a few too many drinks, and my eyes started to wander around the nightclub.
That’s when I spotted Eve.