He sits on the bench, his eyes screwed against the fierce afternoon sun as he watches the waves tumble across the shingle beach. They would have got the message now, officers clambering into their squad cars, adrenaline in full flow as they speed out of the station yard onto the highway, blue lights and sirens disturbing the peace of the languid afternoon.
She had meant everything to him, been his whole life. He couldn`t let it pass, could he? ignore what was blatantly staring at him from their nuptial bed? He bends and picks up a pebble, rubbing its smooth surface slowly between his fingers before tossing it angrily into the turgid waves. Soon they would be at the flat, an Officer with the battering ram waiting patiently as someone knocks loudly on the door. There would be no reply of course, the policeman smashing the ram into the door, splintered shards of wood littering the scruffy back yard as other officers pour into the flat.
Surely she had been happy? He`d given her everything, pandered to her every wish. Was that why she had done it, thought he was a soft touch, a patsy, a meal ticket until someone with more get up and go, came along. Well, he`d shown her he was no pushover, that he wouldn`t just lie down and roll over like some pet lap dog.
They wouldn`t like what they saw, what with the blood and guts splattered over the bedroom walls. Some of them would probably need counselling, spend time off sick no doubt, the images indelibly printed on their brains like a 3d picture. Still, what was it they say, `If you can`t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.` Not that Bev spent much time in the kitchen, cooking not being one of her strong points.
No, takeaways were more her style, Chinese or an Indian mainly. No wonder he`d put so much weight on lately. Still, that didn`t really matter any more, did it?
He tosses another pebble into the sea before rising from the bench. Black clouds are now scudding across the once-clear blue sky, the waves whipped up into white horses as the calm day gives way to a squally wind. He slips off his shoes and socks and walks to the water`s edge, feeling the stinging spray against his skin. As a kid he`d never really liked paddling in the sea, preferring the comfort of a bucket and spade and the construction of elaborate sand castles and moats, whilst his parents slumbered peacefully in their deckchairs. He feels the cold water lap around his feet, then his legs, shivering slightly as the water tugs at his thighs. He turns and looks along the beach, sees a seagull swooping low over the water, its harsh call echoing along the shoreline. The water is up to his chest now, the waves pushing the water up to his chin. With one last smile he takes a deep breath before finally dipping his head beneath the waves, feeling the roar of water in his ears as the blackness descends like a heavy curtain over him.
© Roger Woodcock