Hampton Stoke, near Bath, England - Tuesday, July 2006
If the events of these two midsummer days were transposed, I have questioned whether the outcome would have been different. Would I still be sat here, drinking coffee and contemplating death or, more correctly, murder? The truth is, it does not matter. Because the events did unfold in the order in which they did and I am here. And I am contemplating death. And, more importantly, I am contemplating murder.
For almost 24 hours now, I have felt sick. Not the kind of sickness that would be accompanied by actual vomiting. More the sickly feeling I used to get when the boys were out late on their motorbikes. When they promised to be home before 11 o'clock and I would lie in bed and hear the green painted longcase clock in the hall strike midnight. The sort of sickness I experienced when I first learned about Peter's court case. A hungerless, empty feeling accompanied by a lightness of the body and an invisible tremor. Yet, over the years, I thought I had learned to dismiss mindless worry. Well, almost. I had learned that the things you need to worry about find you. You have no need to go chasing.
Seeing Marilyn's car draw onto the patchy, weed-strewn gravel to the side of the cottage, I slid the appointment letter into my tan leather handbag, switched on the answering machine and went to pull the heavy double oak doors shut behind me.

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