It was time to die. I have done everything I could have done,
and now other people are dying. I have killed enough. It seems like it was me who was doing the killing. Each death has agonized
me to the core of my heart. When I die, the rest, or what is left of the rest, will be able to go on living.
Seven deaths in as many as seven weeks
Each week he has seen me handle far more than I can handle.
I walk out to the edge of the balcony and peer down. The glass
doors slide open, and I have to push at the clasp, which has started to lock into place with salt and air. I wonder why as
the windows are never opened because of the air-conditioning, and no outside air would ever get inside to tarnish anything.
With Marilyn gone it was different. Maybe some defiant breeze
seeing her lying there dead, would have crept indoors to gloat.
Concentrating hard, I opened the windows, and let them slide
to the end.
I opened the screen doors and laughed.
What insects would be up this high. The only insects here would
be the men and women in their patently shining grey suits, walking with unpolished fake Armani, thinking the Administration
would see their cheap, upmarket elegance. I was always intrigued by the fresh faced arrogance of those on the upward mobility
track, with their attitude to what they felt were their lesser peers.
Owning the business meant that I was expected to appreciate
their subsequent back scratching.
It had become more and more repellent since I had lost both
Gretchen and Marilyn who had kept the vultures from my presence.
I opened the doors to feel the slight wind on my face, and
took one step forward onto the ledge.
I remembered that Thursday...
That was the day she'd first spotted
them, or to be exact, thought she recognized his distinctive brown head bobbing in the mill of the crowd. She had glanced
at her costly jewelled watch just to assure herself of the time and like an amateur pick-pocket or thief- followed him.
direction was straight forward and he seemed oblivious of her shadowing his steps. But, to insure her invisibility, she had
stopped and made a show of studying several of the shop windows, while still keeping him in her rear vision. It was a trick
she'd learned from watching those grainy black and white detective videos he was so fond of. Who would think they would come
Several times she almost came close to calling his name, just to see his look of surprise. But, for some
unknown reason, she hadn't. Now, looking back, she knew why. Back then, she'd convinced herself it was just a silly and harmless
game. Sure, with herself the loser...
Finally, he arrived, entered and took a seat, sliding into the far booth of
a favourite restaurant they had eaten at several occasions. She ducked her head as the owner approached in her direction but
he ignored her, turned and walked toward the back. He stopped at Tom's table.
She stood on the busy sidewalk and peered
into the darkened eatery. Tom had nodded a reply. His mouth formed some words, but from her location outside, she couldn't
understand their meaning. But, the owner comprehended and much to her amazement made motions to the waiters to set another
place setting. Who, she wondered was Tom meeting for lunch?
And why the clandestine location
Suddenly, to Marilee's surprise,
her view to Tom was suddenly blocked. Crowds of people gathered to surround the spot where Tom was. In the huddle of the masses
she'd lost sight of Tom.
She dared not move towards the crowd, after all she'd shadowed him, and did not yet want
to give herself away. She saw a messenger push herself through and rode off on a bike. It struck Marilee funny that someone
was leaving when the crowd itself all rushed in.
While this happened, Marilee leaned back with the sudden thought,
that something was not OK. Instinctively she knew something was wrong and something life shattering was about to happen.
tried to gather these strange feelings that were suddenly coming over her, as a wail of sirens slowly sounded in her mind.
As the sirens grew louder,
Merilee watched for the emergency vehicles to appear. Judging by the amount of wailing, there must be several approaching.
She soon saw them in the twilight, their flashing beacons casting a blue hue across the scene below. They were police cars,
several of them, and they were moving fast, in pursuit of something. At first she could see nothing of their quarry but as
they came closer, she could make out a speeding black Porsche.
To her left she
could see the chase unfolding, five police cars and one insanely driven Porsche, rocketing towards the square. To her right,
around the corner of the building, she could see the Pop Star Norman, surrounded by his fans, casually signing autographs
for his adoring fans, and Gretchen close by like she always was, and her lover, Tom still in the restaurant sitting by the