Thirty-one years, one day, twenty hours and forty minutes my husband and I have been married.
Not starting from when we exchanged ceremonious “I Do’s” at the altar on a heady summer day in 1980; no, starting from midnight that night, sipping cheap white wine in a cheap beige dress,
the first day of my new life, the beginning of three long decades that would result in me waiting in the cold outside our favourite restaurant, a day after our anniversary,
ten minutes late for the reservation.
The sun was still lingering around the clouds on the horizon. It was the latest I had seen it all summer; especially in London.
Not a single car passed and only the occasional pedestrian stepped on the other side of the street, but I still didn’t notice Joseph until he was standing by my side.
It was something you got used to, depending on your relationship with him of course. I stubbed my cigarette into the ground and turned to him, staring with quiet but clear indignation.
From the look of Joe you wouldn’t place him in his profession, let alone think he was one of the best. He was skinny, but not tall, content to wearing pullover hoodies and expensive trainers.
Hardly appropriate wear. Apart from his wrinkled face and white hair, you’d think him juvenile if his stern eyes didn’t demand respect.
He spoke with a deep rumble, betraying his age with a rasping echo, making everything sound intensely morbid. It was depressing for a moment that this man was almost ten years younger than me.
“Your husband’s debts have been settled, Mrs McMahon.” It was a cold way to tell me Felix had just been murdered, even for him. “Perhaps we should go inside.”
“You’re late, our table’s probably gone by now.”
“My apologies, Mrs McMahon.”