After I'd done what I had to do and said what I had to say I decided to go back home. My wife had just got away from the office so I swooped into the house and then swept her off her feet. 'Get your best clobber on, my darling wife,' I said, 'we're going out to dinner.'
So we went. I decided not to go to Gino's for obvious reasons, although Michelle wanted to go. I suggested the Goat's Head, which has started doing meals now. I hadn't been there since the funeral, not that much had changed. They boarded up the window that vandals broke about a week ago. We got ourselves a nice quiet table in the corner, near enough the toilets so Shell could get up and go when she needed, but not so near that we were going to be bothered all evening by pub-goers bustling past our table.
We had a few drinks before we ordered. A quick scan of the menu and I decided on the barbecue chicken with blue cheese and crispy bacon. I knew immediately what my wife was going to have. Whenever we go out for a meal she always chooses fish and chips. 'It's just what I like,' she tells me.
Our food didn't arrive immediately because it was a busy evening at the Goat's Head. They're a popular establishment, even if they are frequently the target of the town's youths. It's a shame really - I mean who wants to shut oneself in a toilet cubicle and be greeted with the word 'arse' in indelible marker on the back of the door?
I decided to excuse myself anyway and locked myself in. I got to thinking about what I had done to Kimbo. She wouldn't go to the police, I knew that. She's hinted at bad experiences with them in the past. I can imagine what sort of crimes she'd be mixed up in - theft, disorderly conduct, perhaps indecent exposure, wouldn't be surprised.. Nothing big. So Kimbo wouldn't go to the police and she wouldn't try and blackmail me again. Now we both had information we could use against the other.
Still, I felt bad for forcing her like that. I'm a decent man and I believe in redeeming one's actions. When Dylan, God rest his soul, took that money from the till for whatever reason, I stepped up to take the blame. It's the honourable thing to do. I'm an honourable man, and in my view deliberate cruelty is not forgivable. And now the least I could do was apologise to Kimberley.
She wouldn't be in the house probably. She could have gone to the off-license, but where after that? I decided that after dinner with Michelle I'd put her to sleep, and then try to find out where Kimbo was and go over to apologise somehow. If I tried to call her mobile she wouldn't answer, but if another friend of hers did... perhaps she'd let them know where she was.
Luckily I remembered Greg's number so I asked him to phone. Members of the crisis team will betray anyone if they think they need medical assistance.