She rolled over. His space was empty. He was always there. ‘Where is he?’ He wasn’t in the kitchen either.
‘Early to work?’ ‘Hardly – he hates it’
She hadn’t even heard him budge. Later with the police quizzing her she strained to recall traces of heat in the bed beside her when she woke. But the warm space where he had always been – the kind of warm you could just sink into – was, she thought, cold. But she couldn’t be sure.
‘How long had he been gone?’
‘Gone?’ She had no idea. He was always there.
‘What did they mean by gone? Gone where?’ They were always together. There was no accounting for him being anywhere without him. She couldn’t tell how long he had been gone. The very concept was unfathomable. She simply couldn’t reconcile their life together with what gone meant . Their life – always together.
She stared at the Detective. She was speaking to her again.
‘Do you understand Mrs Mahon? This is serious.’
‘Mrs Mahon, Mrs Mahon’
‘Mrs Mahon, we need your help’
‘I’m not Mrs Mahon – we are not married – we never married. You know we just decided one night in the concert hall that we would never marry. I’m not Mrs Mahon.’
‘Mrs Mahon do you remember anything else about that night?’
‘Of course – I remember everything. Sparkling chandeliers, violins. The night we decided not to marry. I remember everything. It was more important than deciding to marry.’
‘Not that night Mrs Mahon – Tuesday night, just past. Do you remember anything about Tuesday night?’
‘What kind of a detective are you? I’m not Mrs Mahon!’
‘Sorry. I’m sorry Mrs… Finola. May I call you Finola?’
‘Tuesday Finola. Can you remember anything about it?’
‘Yes, Tuesday. It was every night. We went to bed. We left the radio on. We always leave the radio on until we go asleep.’
‘Was it on when you woke up Finola?’
‘Of course not. We don’t leave it on all night. We are pensioners. Jim works part time still but we are pensioners. Do you know how much electricity costs? Or could you even find out …. Detective’
‘So the radio – the radio was off when you woke up. Who turned it off?
‘Not me. I never turn it off. It must have been Jim. Probably after the concert broadcast from Vienna finished. Yes, Jim turned it off. It couldn’t have been anyone else. There is no one else. There is just Jim.’
‘Where is he?’
‘He’s dead Mrs Mahon. He’s dead. He is at the mortuary. I’m sorry Mrs Mahon but we need your help to find out what happened. If we could just piece Tuesday night together we might be able to figure it out.’
‘I told you, I’m not Mrs Mahon. For god’s sake. I’m not Mrs Mahon.’