This is the thirty-fifth part of a fiction serial, in 735 words.
Well, if you have read this from the beginning, you already know what eventually happened to Eve.
By now, you might also be wondering why this was all written down. A lifetime of confessions, my dark past exposed for all to see. I got away with murdering Eve, after all.
Sadly, not quite. My desire for revenge was my downfall you see. It happened something like this.
Eve’s boss, Julian Tolliver. They had almost certainly been having an affair. No doubt he thought he was going to escape my wrath for his infidelity, but he was wrong. I let the dust settle a bit, then started to work on my plan. It had to be completely accidental. His connection with me through my dead wife was too strong for me to take any chances. So to be able to guarantee a flawless plan, I had to make myself aware of his routine.
That involved some following.
At first, I did it very casually. Walking past his office to get to a shop. Waiting close to the car park at the back to see if he still drove the same car when he left. Then following his car at a reasonable distance to find out where he lived with his wife. I took my time, and remained patient. Over a three-week period, I began to plot out his regular movements, including his numerous trips to the small flat of his new girlfriend. She was probably Eve’s replacement at the office. He would have had no idea I was tailing him.
Or so I thought.
I hadn’t counted on him noticing me. I had also not counted on him being so afraid that he went to the police. He told them I was following him, then confessed to the affair with Eve, and said he thought I had found out about that, and killed her. Now he thought I was going to kill him too.
His desire to survive was stronger than his fear of ruining his marrige, it turned out.
During his trip to the police station, Julian struck lucky. Frances Ross was an unpopular detective who had recently been promoted to sergeant on the major crime squad. When Julian’s statement was shown to her, she took it seriously. Then she showed it to her Inspector, and asked for permission to investigate me. He didn’t like her, so was happy to assign her a junior colleague and tell her to get on with it.
And get on with it she did. Her brightest idea was to visit Eve’s granny in the care home. That old lady put me well and truly in the shit.
“Well, Eve wasn’t happy you see. He was a strange man, very different after they got married. He didn’t like her going out, and between you and me, she was seeing someone. Her boss, I think. She told me she told Daniel she was coming to see me on Sundays, and that’s when she met the man. I was so shocked when she died, I think I told him she never came to see me on Sundays. I reckon he must have already worked out that she had another man and probably killed her”.
Granny got that bit wrong of course.
Now a lesser detective might have called me in, and confronted me with the old woman’s statement, tacking it onto Julian’s allegation that I was following him. But Frances Ross was not a lesser cop. She was at the top of her game. I only found out later that she liked to be called Fran.
Naturally, I identified with that.
She went over my life with a fine-tooth comb, biding her time until she had worked out a time-line of potentially connected events that had some aspect of me possibly being involved, however tenuous. The file must have been huge by the time she decided to make her move.
Her and her colleague came to see me at work. To Tony’s surprise they said I had to go in with them to help them with enquiries. If I refused, I would be arrested there and then. I rang the solicitor who dealt with the Will, and the house sale. He said he would send someone he knew who was a good criminal lawyer.
In the back of the car on the way to the Police Station, nobody spoke a word.