The sheet was lifted off, white as white, and there was no denying that the corpse underneath it was that of my husband’s. His hair had curled down over his eyes, like some clownish wig and there was dried blood horribly collected at the sides of his pallid lips.
But, apart from that, he looked exactly the same as any time over the last twenty years.
There was no sign of a struggle; in fact, I couldn’t even see the wound that had caused his death.
Good, as if anybody would want to see that.
In a way the body of Peter looked tranquil, peace had descended on my late husband in some bizarre form, but it was peace none the less.
Trudging home in the bright sunlight (because of the sudden nice weather I had opted out of driving), picking my leather boots out of the thick mud that covered the earthen ground from last night’s rainfall, one and only one thought ran through my head, over and over again like a stuck record.
How the Hell am I going to tell our son?
Steven was born in the midst of the beautiful spring of 1989. I had so wanted for a baby girl, but I cherished the little boy just as much. So much so, I think, that he broke away because he felt as though I was smothering him, clutching him to my bosom for too long into his adulthood.
I remember the first time I was called into school to take Steven home. He was seven and I’d thought nothing of it. He’d pushed a boy over in the playground, so what? I probably had too, when I was his age, along with many other parents of my generation. Of course, I didn’t see past the ‘golden boy’ exterior until my son became a teenager.
The next time I was asked to come into school, it was a much more serious affair. Steven had been caught smoking, and, according to the bespectacled headmistress who sat behind the desk in front of me, this wasn’t the first time he had done something against the rules. Beating people up was overlooked the first, and second, times, but Steven’s repeated bullying of other students was, apparently, not uncommon for him. The smoking was just the final straw.