Read an Excerpt
‘I’d kill the bastard if he was my husband.’
‘Yeah, so would I –’ Roisin leant over and sloshed another generous measure of Toby’s best scotch into Sam’s glass ‘– if he wasn’t already dead.’
‘Sorry? He’s what? For a moment there you said …’ For the first time since they’d sat down she actually had Sam’s attention. All of it. ‘Jesus, you did, didn’t you?’ There was silence for a moment, while Sam peered into her glass as if for inspiration, which, when it came, just had to have been alcohol-induced. ‘Shit, he didn’t – you know, die in the middle of …?’
‘Sorry, it’s just I once saw this film where the guy had a heart attack while he was …’
‘Sam, will you shut up? I’m so glad my mind doesn’t work like yours, it must be scary.’
‘You don’t mean someone …?’
‘I wish.’ Roisin grimaced and took a good gulp from her own glass, which did more than hit the spot, it almost annihilated it. ‘Well, no, I don’t even wish, though it would make it easier.’ She spluttered as the scotch burnt its way down her throat, leaving it dry. No, she couldn’t wish him actually dead, even if she was drunk, which was a bit of a bummer. ‘No, it was just a heart attack, probably too much excitement.’ She swirled the remaining liquid, watching it crawl up the edge of the glass.
‘Wow.’ Sam gaped at her for a moment. ‘You don’t mean …? There wasn’t more than one, was there?’ Her gaze had switched back to the laptop, which was doing its best to illuminate the whole room.
‘Oh yeah, there was more than one.’ She almost laughed; almost. Even when she was well on the way to drunk it wasn’t funny, though, not yet. Maybe in another zillion years or so. And nor had it been the slightest bit funny finding the home movie when she’d been sorting out his office; or, rather, the collection of home movies. Toby, it seemed, was quite a collector.
‘So I was almost right first time. But –’ Sam’s silences said as much as her words ‘– it’s just I wouldn’t have thought that he …’
‘Had it in him?’
‘Well, erm, you know he isn’t – he wasn’t exactly …’ Sam’s voice tailed off and she downed her drink in a kind of awed silence, still staring at the frozen image on the laptop.
Roisin had to admit it was kind of mesmerising, seeing him in glorious Technicolor with a look of uninhibited pleasure on his face. Mesmerising and weird because it just wasn’t – well, it wasn’t Toby. The Toby she knew hadn’t exactly been stud material; he wasn’t hot, or even lukewarm, not even by her standards, which Sam assured her were pretty low. Toby had just been Toby: normal, slightly boring, slightly pompous Toby. Her husband.
And she’d already spent far too many hours staring at him humping away on the screen; she’d only shared the movie because it was easier than trying to explain. She jabbed at the eject button and the DVD jumped out, clattering with finality onto the table.
Sam gave a guilty start. ‘Sorry, I just don’t know what to say.’
Ah, those words you just never think you’ll hear, and voilà, there they are. In a “you couldn’t make it up” type of situation. This was the point when she should be able to press the rewind button and relive this part of her life.
Damn. She took a more cautious sip of whisky. ‘Don’t worry, nor do I.’ It had been one thing to find out that her shit of a husband had been having an affair, or more likely several consecutive affairs, since the day they had taken that long walk up the aisle. Bad enough to see that lousy DVD of the clammy-handed idiot having his silly little cock sucked by some platinum blonde with bare boobs that looked like they were about to explode from implant overload. Faintly nauseating to see those long, red talons rake over his puny, pale body. But it was quite another thing, and so, so much worse, that the bastard had had the temerity to drop down dead before she could tell him she knew. That was the bit that really wound her up. That, and the look of pure satisfaction that had been shining on his sweaty face as he’d shot his load all over the poor girl’s triple-Ds. She gave a shudder; what a bloody mess. In more ways than one; which should be funny except that right now it was just adding insult to injury.