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CHAPTER TWENTY FOUR

IT WAS TEN thirty in the morning and Hill decided to pay a visit to Tiffany, David Mosher’s widow. He decided that a phone call was best, on the off chance that she was not in. He rang her up and it was answered immediately. “Tiffany, this is Sergeant Hill. I hope I haven’t called too early or at a bad time. Would it be possible to come by?”

“Of course you may…would you like me to put the tea on?” she asked, looking around the disaster of a room. The window was open and a breeze blew various things around the room: dust balls, hair and bits of paper. She did not have the ambition or interest in cleaning the house since David’s death, and she knew that she could serve tea on the front porch thus avoiding having Hill come into the house.

“That would be splendid. Say in ten?”

 

It was obvious that she had recently been crying for her eyes were still red and swollen when he arrived. “If I’ve come at a bad time…?” he said, prepared to leave.

“No it’s fine really. Sometimes it just feels like I’m on a rollercoaster ride. One moment it’s like I’m living a bad dream, then the next it feels like the world is actually coming to an end. It’s tough. I’m glad that I had vacation time coming or I don’t know what I’d do,” she said, sadly.

“I wish that there was something more I could do.”

“You’re doing it. Just catch the person who did this to us,” she said, wiping her brow. “Oh no, please excuse me,” she dashed to the bathroom. He could hear her retching. After a moment she came back out to the porch. “I’m so sorry, but without David here I’m just so sick.”

“It might be worth your while to visit the doc.”

“I’ve seen him, and he’s prescribed me sleeping pills but I won’t take them…. But Sergeant, I’m sure you didn’t stop by to talk about me. How can I help you?”

“I’m not really sure. I know that this is hard to do but could you tell me how things were with you and David before that night,” he said, compassionately.

“Well we’d both been working really hard and of course we were tired and stuff. David with his regular job over at the hardware store and doing rehearsals at night. He was cranky, super cranky and we were fighting a lot which was so out of the ordinary for us. Only two weeks before that awful night he had gone out and bought me a car. He said that I needed something reliable and he used all our savings. We fought about that too. I just put it down to the fact that he was doing too much and wasn’t thinking logically. He was putting his heart and soul into that play. He seemed obsessed with it, almost as if he knew it was his last performance…and then it was,” she said so softly as if Hill was not sitting there. It seemed that she was realizing the truth of it for the first time. She added, “He must have lost twenty pounds in the past few weeks. I tried to get him to eat but he said he wasn’t hungry.”

“Really?” Hill asked, knowing that he would need to speak with Doc Lewis. “The way I hear it, every actor who gets a gig thinks it’s his last time on stage.”

“Yes, I know what you mean, but this time it was different.”

“How different?”

“I don’t know really. Even when he was home he took on the character he was playing. He expected me to call him Simeon when we were at home. He’s never done that before. It was weird. I heard that Johnny Depp did stuff like that.”

Hill thought about that for a moment. He had also heard the Depp thing. He wondered how happily married they had been. “Had he been having any problems at work?” he asked her.

“Hah, funny that you should ask that. You probably know that they hired that new guy? I thought David should have got that promotion. He’d been there for more than five years and knows that place inside and out. Then, bam, out of the blue they hire that guy from away. Those from away whine about not having any hope of getting work around here. Truth be known, those from away always get the best jobs. Lord knows we could have used the money,” she said in frustration.

He placed his empty tea cup back on the tray and got up to leave just as Tiffany rushed into the bathroom again. He could hear her vomiting and in the back of his mind he wondered if she was pregnant. Though he would never say it.

He hoped, for Tiffany’s and David’s sake, that if she was pregnant that she would have a St. Valentine’s Day baby. It would make for a great symbol of their love.

END OF CHAPTER TWENTY FOUR 

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“Linda has published fifteen books. She blogs about the publishing world, posts useful tips on the challenges a writer faces, including marketing and promoting your work, how to build your online platform, how to get reviews and how to self-publish.”