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.
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