“So, you and your husband had gone for a walk?”
“Yes,” I confirmed, repressing a sigh. The glaring lights were giving me a headache. “Do we have to go over all this again? You have my original statement.”
“Indeed. In it you say that your husband slipped and fell into the river.”
“Yes.” I stared at the table. The laminate was cracked and I tried peeling a piece off. It needed a good clean. “I tried to help him, but the current was too strong.”
The detective nodded. “However, there was a large injury on the back of his head.”
“Not surprising when he’d been bashed about in the water!”
“No.” He was circling round something, but I wasn’t sure what. “The surprise is, though, that the blow on his head was what killed him. He didn’t drown.”
There was a pause. I didn’t know what I was expected to answer. I noticed in a detached way that my manicure was chipped and scratched from scrabbling around at the edge of the river, trying to reach him and knowing I couldn’t, calling for help and knowing there was none.
“There was almost no water in his lungs. He was dead before he went into the water.” He paused and leaned forward, lowering his voice. “You know what I think?”
I shook my head, feeling an absurd desire to giggle. The same sort of feeling I had at funerals or when my passport was being checked at an airport. Surely he didn’t believe I’d done anything?
“I think you hit him harder than you intended.”
I thought back to that sickening moment when my husband fell and forced myself to breathe normally. “No.”
“He’d betrayed you,” he continued. “You were angry and you didn’t hold back enough.”
“I keep telling you, I didn’t know about his gambling addiction.”
“That’s what you say. But you found out, didn’t you? And so you suggested a walk and murdered him.”
“A bit melodramatic. Divorce might have been a better option.”
“Perhaps. Only you’d have got no money that way. He’d gambled everything away, even remortgaged your house.”
“Killing him wouldn’t get my home back,” I answered, closing my eyes on the word ‘home’. Twenty years I’d spent, getting it just right, and now…
“The life insurance should help.”
“I sure hope so.”
He shuffled his papers, then looked back up, saying, “you know, if you’d just stunned him, it would have been the perfect crime.”
I licked my lips, tasting blood red lipstick. “You can’t prove it.”
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