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3 / To Dream a Dream

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My dreams were dark. I was not one to usually remember dreams, or even fragments, and I didn't, afterwards, actually know what story my subconscious was showing me. But it was dark.

I slept deeply though, the shadows of my dreams failing to rouse me. I woke, sort of, when Amanda came home and climbed into bed next to me, sliding her freezing feet between my calves to warm them, but then I was back in the land of darkness and threat.

When I awoke, I expected to be still tired, but I wasn't. I was refreshed, as if I'd slept the perfect number of hours between not enough and too much so you remained doe eyed for the rest of the day.

Amanda was still asleep and I let her rest. I could recall her cold feet, but I had no idea of what time it had been. She'd be allowed to go in later after a night call. Let her sleep. Maybe I'd make breakfast in bed and a cappuccino in an hour or so.

I didn't get the chance. She was up and dressed and downstairs with me within fifteen minutes. It always took her, no matter how long it took me, half the time for her to get ready. If we were going out, a shower, hair and clothes would take me roughly half an hour. I had to be dry, hating to put anything on over damp skin. She would happily get out of the bath, air dry on the bed for ten minutes and then put her pyjamas on, ignoring the fact they still stuck to her in the places she wasn't quite dry. I couldn't do that, so it took me a little longer. I couldn't just scoop my hair up into a bobble or dab a quick bit of lipstick and mascara on and be stunning. I took time. She, I think, pressed a button and everything came out on robotic arms, allowing her to simply stand and then walk.

"I was going to bring you breakfast in bed, baby," I said, kissing her forehead.

"Gotta go, sorry sweetie. I need to stop putting my phone on 'Do Not Disturb.' I woke to half a dozen calls and as many texts."

"Oh? What's up?"

"They've found a body." She was matter of fact about it. They could have discovered a discarded loaf of bread. It was her coping mechanism. Death was death. Just a word.

"Oh?" I felt a little more emotion. "Where?"

"By the train lines. Maybe a suicide. Someone walking in front of the train or something."

"She's been hit?"

"A right mess, it seems."

I shook my head. I hadn't thought of that. I killed her and let her fall, but the fact that a train might come didn't occur to me. I left her where she fell, across the tracks. I felt violated somehow. How dare the train do that to her? Hadn't she suffered enough? Hadn't I done enough to her? Why did the train have to come and potentially erase the evidence of my ministrations?

Of course, it might have meant that I wouldn't be found out. My part in her death could be lost in the shattered bones and pulped guts and obliterated organs that were sprayed across the train.

But, maybe not. She was laid down. She would have been run over, not exactly hit. A flash of excitement ran through me, chased by the chill of fear. The fact that her throat had been cut could still be blatantly evident, the gaping slash calling out to the police, and my wife, to ensure it was discovered.

"Can we go out tonight? Date night?"

"Sounds good," I said, thinking just the opposite. "I'll call your mum."

I left it a little while to call my mother in law. It was always something I tried to put off until I absolutely couldn't any longer. She was pleasant enough, in an ever-pessimistic sort of way, but I always felt uncomfortable in her presence. I wasn't being judged, probably, though there was an underlying current of distrust or dislike that really got on my nerves. I'd gone through much with her daughter and proved my love and dedication many times over. She had no reason to doubt me, yet I always felt that she did. I knew she wasn't homophobic, but everything she said was iced with a thin layer of nose in the air derision.

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