XIII

That image of Caroline, haunting, remained in my mind all through the evening and dinner, where, although it faded in and out of clarity, losing itself amongst the archives of the proceedings- the karaoke in the city restaurant that my family and I settled into, where the riotous dancing across the street gained decibels each hour- Carrie’s pained expression resonated throughout. The influx of winter night unsettled my emotions again and again, as if I had been counting my unconscious waking hours and had been chilled by an unexpected appearance. Murder did that. Murder threw people into confusion and some disillusioned patterns that their life had never trundled through before. I just hadn’t begun to expect myself to go through such shreds of emotion.

My vision had been lacking the iconic Moscow sunset, and I could only imagine that the light had been switched for the darkness on the hinge of Ivor’s fate. Instead, I was watching the dinnertime of normality feast onwards.

I lay my notebook over the table and observed the scribblings that I had previously decorated the page with.

At first, my eyes widened over the chaos of curves and lines that spanned the wings of the book, some diagonal even, and all unordered. I had simply split open my mind and poured the contents on to the physicality of paper. Here and there, my handwriting ceased being illegible, words such as ‘cyanide’ and ‘deceit’ mingled with ‘household’ and ‘lovers’. I took note of a couple of scrawled questions dotted along the pages’ edges: ‘is Mrs. Karkroff having an affair?’ ‘Who would want to poison Ivor?’ We had a table-full of subjects for both queries.

After scanning the page again, I gathered up my well-clutched pen, writing beside the latter question one more: ‘why?’.

This notebook gave the entirety of my mind. The mess, synapses, flooded into clean gaps around the lines, bright white in its clarity. For a minute, I was having trouble segregating my notes and my own internalised thoughts.

Somehow, after my disaster of yesterday, I had managed to win around my mother, and although I was not content to sit in ignorance, our evening slid along without further aggravation. My mother’s moods settled into the mundane and now she could cope with me- and I with her, too.

***

The End

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