Mrs Anna Smith sat at the kitchen table, sipping her coffee. Her cheeks were speckled with fresh tears. She drew a steadying breath, wiping her eyes with the back of her free hand. It had been more than a week but she couldn’t stem the flow of tears. Robert is a wonderful man, loving father and husband. Was. Anna corrected herself, her eyes focused on the window overlooking the sunlit driveway. It had been more than a week, but everyday was difficult. She struggled to keep the fragments of her life intact. But she could not succumb to her grief. She needed to be strong, if not for herself, then for the sake of her children.
She had loved him. He was a caring man. Yet she had always had an inkling that there was something else lurking beneath the warm exterior demeanour to which she was accustomed. A glint of sadness in his eyes. On occasion she had asked him about it, however, he had always pivoted and altered the direction of the conversation with a quip. She had always been left wondering.
Now it seemed that those secrets would be unearthed. She had found the notes in his desk drawer. She could not discern their meaning. However the Police were investigating Robert’s death as murder. Undoubtedly, the notes would prove to be central evidence in their investigation.
The sound of the engine echoed through the air as the police car pulled up in the driveway. Anna made her way to the door. She opened it and welcomed in Officer Harry Goldfield.
After the exchange of pleasantries, Anna said, ‘the notes are in Robert’s desk drawer. He always kept his drawers locked. I found the key in a bookshelf. I’ll show you.’
She climbed the winding staircase followed by the officer. They reached the top of the flight of stairs and walked along the corridor, the wooden floorboards creaking under their feet. On reaching Robert’s study, Anna pushed open the door. She walked briskly to the large desk stood near a bookshelf teeming with legal literature, never to be read from again.
‘I couldn’t make any sense of the notes. But perhaps they’ll help you,’ Anna said, summoning the residue of her strength to keep an even tone. She unlocked the drawer and pulled out the crumpled notes, handing them to officer Harry. Unlike the one found at Robert Smith’s office, these were handwritten. He inspected the top-most note. It read:
At the instigation of Williams,
Yet all complicit,
At the instigation of Williams,
Yet All complicit,
No secret remains buried forever,
Not all choices irreversible.’
Officer Harry folded the ruffled sheets of paper and placed them in a plastic wallet. Promptly, he zipped up the wallet. Then he turned his gaze to Anna. ‘Yeah I think this could help us, we’ll have a look through these notes and keep you updated as to the progress made in the investigation,’ he informed her.
With that, Anna accompanied Officer Harry back to the door. She bid him farewell and thanked him for his time.
Fred sat in his car, across the street, his infuriated eyes fixed on the police car as it reversed out of the driveway. His features contorted into a scowl. They were too late.
‘What now?’ Jerome queried from the passenger seat, his voice uneven in dismay. Fred gritted his teeth, his eyes intently following the police car as it drove away. ‘Nothing,’ he said, his voice unwavering, ‘now we wait and watch for what they do next.’
Fred’s foot pushed down on the accelerator. The tyres skid against the tarmac, the car racing away in the opposite direction.