I wandered back to the house. I still didn’t believe that it was murder, despite what the constable had said. I had many doubts that it was; it could so easily have been an accident. Shots to the heart did happen in some scenarios.
I wondered to myself about what Pete had been doing with a gun anyway; he wasn’t the type to just carry a pistol round, and he was not a fanatic of the instrument of death either.
Suddenly my curiosity was piqued. Not at Peter and his activities, but at the type of friends he must have been hanging out with to ‘play’ with guns.
In school, Peter never really had many friends. There was me, of course, but I didn’t count, being the girlfriend, and then there were a couple of other studious pupils. Ones who had been on the student council, or in his further Maths set. He’d befriended the Head Girl for a while, I think: a big-boned girl called Mary, but we had lost touch with her once school was over. In fact, nobody knew where she had gone.
It was in university where Pete had met them. Mike, Jon and Jack. My ‘eternal tormentors’.
They were all tough guys, interesting in biking, with a few tattoos and pit-bull terriers. They were that sort of bloke. The real blokey type.
But they had been really friendly to me when Pete tied the knot. They had happily given their friend over to love; Mike had even been the best man.
But once we admitted to them that the marriage wasn’t going to work out anymore, they became an angry storm. They became the fires of Hell.
They would come round to ‘see how the boy was doing without his dad’ (which was perfectly fine, in my opinion), but really, it would be to tell me how terrible I had made Pete’s life and to threaten me with more than just an emotional wound.
The thing that probably hurt me the most, though, was the fact that Peter knew what they were doing and he wouldn’t call them off. He let them beat me, he let them torment me…and he let them sabotage every date that I’ve ever been on since.
They were part of me, a side-dish. If you bought me, you also got the free gift. So no-one bought me. Life left me sitting on the shelf, a dowdy price-tag hanging as a burden on my shoulders.