Fiction – Will and testament

No, I never met Julie. I heard about her, but that was before my time. He was always so friendly when I saw him in the street. A lovely man, you couldn’t possibly hope to have a nicer neighbour.

There was a girlfriend, yes. Katie? Kitty? Something like that. I didn’t know her.

No, he never said anything that made me think anything was wrong. He was always nice to everyone.

Kitty, Katie, whoever she was didn’t last for long. I don’t know what happened, I just stopped seeing her around. I don’t like to pry. I don’t think she’d been very good for him, to be honest. I think once she’d gone, he realised that.

Lisa moved in last summer. I would guess she was around for a while before that, months, certainly. It wasn’t too hasty. They seemed perfectly happy at first.

No, I didn’t see or hear anything untoward. It was fine. Perfectly normal. She wasn’t… how do I put it? She wasn’t really in his league. Nothing like as clever as him, not very successful, a little too loud of voice and dress style, if you take my meaning. I expect he got tired of her, realised she wasn’t quite for him.

 

No, I never asked him why his first marriage broke up. As I said we were just neighbours, we were hardly close. No, I never asked him about the others, either. I don’t know what happened. Why are you asking me all these questions? What do you imagine I could tell you?

I do not think those women are dead. I think it’s all nasty lies, cooked up by people with nothing better to do. You go ahead and dig up his garden. You won’t find anything there.

Of course I don’t know where they are!

Is that why you’re asking me all these horrible questions? You really think I know something, don’t you? I barely knew the man. I had very little to do with him.

I wasn’t jealous. Why would I be? It’s not like I have an unrequited attraction to Evan. He’s just a pleasant neighbour.

I moved here after Julie left.

Why? Because I liked the house. I wanted a change of scenery and this is a nice, quiet, upmarket road. No immigrants.  There’s nothing wrong with that, is there? I like to hear a language I speak when I walk down the road of a morning. That’s not a crime. Moving here was not a crime. I was perfectly entitled to do it for my own reasons, and they were exactly as I have already said. I didn’t know Evan before I moved here. I never met him before. I never met Julie. I swear it. Or any of the others, Katie, or Lisa. I didn’t know anyone here.

Yes, I worked at the mail depot for, what was it? Three years, give or take. I left a while back because I’d found something with better pay, and I wanted a new challenge. Still Human Resources, of course.

No, I had no idea Evan also worked for the depot at that time. It was a big place. Lots of people worked there, I don’t know who half of them were. I never saw him.

I wasn’t helping him. Well, there was one time when I helped him pick up litter after a fox had torn the bins open. Was that what you meant? No?

No, I wasn’t stalking him. It’s just coincidences, none of it means anything. This isn’t a big town. I’m sure I have all sorts of things in common with all sorts of people without my ever knowing at all.

I have never been inside his house.

That was a long time ago. That was years ago. I was a kid. You can’t bring that into this. It’s not the same at all. It was an accident. They said so at the time. Everybody said so. It was a terrible, awful accident that she died, and it wasn’t my fault. That’s got nothing to do with any of this.

That’s not fair. I wouldn’t say there have been more accidents in my life than anyone else gets. People die. They do it all the time. People have car accidents and they kill themselves, and they get food poisoning and I don’t know what. I expect if you pick over anybody’s life you can find lots of times they were close to someone who died. That’s what life is! People dying. None of it’s my fault.

I never did anything with Evan beyond talking to him in the street. If he’s told you something different, then I don’t know why, but it isn’t true. I never slept with him. I never asked him to sleep with me. I was not interested in having sex with him.

No, I’m not seeing anyone at the moment, for what that’s worth. I don’t see what that has to do with anything.

Alright, yes, a couple of years ago I found a suicide in my workplace. He’d hung himself from the rafters. It was a traumatic experience for me.

His name was Greg, I’m not sure exactly what he did. I’m sorry. It’s years ago and it isn’t something I like to dwell on.

No, I didn’t know him very well. I talked to him in passing, but that’s true of a lot of other people too.

Yes, that was the mail depot.

No, I had no idea Evan was working there at the same time.

No, I have no idea whether they knew each other. How could I possibly know something like that? Maybe they did know each other. It’s a small enough town, we aren’t all total strangers here.

No, I did not date Greg. Nor did I particularly want to.

No, he did not turn down any advances from me, because there were no advances.

I didn’t resent Greg! He was nothing to me, just another employee in a dead-end place I was working. I work because I need the money, but it’s not a big part of my life. Very little of it interests me.

Literature. That’s interests me. I like nineteenth century novels, and Russian literature especially. I like gardening.

Yes, I own gardening equipment.

Yes, I have several very good spades, thank you. And a saw, for small tree branches.

No power tools. I do not believe it is a crime to own gardening equipment, or to take interest in looking after the soil.

Yes, there is evidence of digging in my garden. I recently dug a trench to bury last year’s compost. I’d rather you didn’t dig it up, I have already redistributed my rhubarb there. You won’t find any bodies there.

Well, you clearly think all manner of things are possible, so why shouldn’t someone have buried a body in my garden without my knowing it? It’s no more ludicrous than suggesting that Greg and Evan were gay lovers and that I killed Greg in a fit of envy. That’s quite remarkably far-fetched.

I didn’t say they were gay lovers! I said you were suggesting they were gay lovers, that’s an entirely different thing.

You’re confusing me. You’re doing it on purpose and making me think I’ve said things I haven’t said.

Alright, yes, ten years ago I reported that someone was stalking me. I was very afraid, and I felt threatened. It’s not easy, being a woman alone. You’ve obviously read the file, you don’t need me to tell you. They never found anyone. Eventually the window banging and the strange things being pushed through my letterbox, stopped. I was very glad. What else is there to say? How is that relevant to any of this? I was a victim of an unsolved crime.

Yes, I’m sure lots of people went missing all over the place during those same weeks. That kind of thing makes me nervous. I’m allowed to be nervous.

And then you found the body. I still don’t see what that has to do with my stalker, other than that it all happened in the same time frame.

No, I did not know the young man, so far as I am aware. It is entirely possible that we once sat in the same cafe or had a hairdresser in common, but honestly, you could say that of anyone.

Oh, we had a bus route in common, did we? Well, I wonder how long it took you to make that tenuous connection.

No, I’m not being flippant, I’m unhappy and frustrated and I think this must be very close to harassment. You have no evidence of anything and you’re just making wild accusations. Aren’t you? I haven’t done anything wrong. I don’t know any of these people you’re talking about. They are nothing to do with me. It’s just coincidences and plain bad luck. I didn’t kill any of them.

And you can’t prove otherwise.

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About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

3 responses to “Fiction – Will and testament

  • Amreen Bashir Shaikh

    Brilliant! You nailed it with this lovely write. Keep writing 🙂

    Do read my blog too and share your views here >> http://bit.ly/1QXkeGU

  • Pauline

    Gripping! Will there be another instalment? Will you be answering those unresolved questions??

  • Christopher Blackwell

    Nice lady. She can’t help if a number of people die around her. Well some people are just unfortunate. It has nothing to do with them knowing this lady. Who knows what their lives were like. There are a lot of losers in life, poor sods.

    I just thought the lady needed a friend. The coppers just seemed to me to go heavy on her. I am sure that she is perfectly nice. [Grin]

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