Sandra had showered, pulled on some elasticated black leggings and her favourite striped jumper which had become shiny in some parts from the repeated ironing. She was drying her hair in the hallway when her mobile phone started to vibrate on the shelf in front of her. It was Tony.
She turned off the hairdryer and put it down at the bottom of the stairs before answering her phone.
“Sandra, I’ve just heard the news. Are you okay?”
The question had caught Tony off guard somewhat.
“How did you find out?”
“I, um, well I am a councillor, you know. I heard it from the Superintendent.”
“Ah, I suppose the Superintendent knows all about us then, does he?”
Tony opened his mouth but decided it would be for the best if he just went ahead and shut it again.
“Had a right good chat about me at the pub with him no doubt? I see how it is, Tony. Well, why don’t you just pi—“
“Sandra!” he interjected, “Sandra, I’m sorry. I just wanted to check on you. I’m coming over.”
Sandra started to weep into her handset.
“I j-just can’t believe he went on holiday without me!”
If Ernie had been there, he would probably have tried to grab one of the pillows again.
She hung up the phone and shuffled her feet up the hallway, turning into Ernie’s study. She dropped heavily into his computer chair and sighed, her cheeks blotchy and red, but she rested only for a moment as something odd caught her eye.
On a shelf above the computer monitor, sticking out ever so slightly from between a PC magazine and an unread volume of ‘Fight Club’ was a small maroon booklet. She pulled it out and looked down at it for a moment. Then she pulled it open to the laminated page.
“How the bloody hell did he get to Morocco without a passport?” she asked herself as she looked down at the straight faced headshot of her dead husband.