Chapter Forty Seven

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Dear Diary,

We’ve been home for about a week now. If I close my eyes I can see, smell and hear New York as if I were still there, amongst the chaos, the cars, the people, the movement. Ellwood seems like a still pond compared to the raging sea of New York. Although the mayhem, in its own way, was incredible I can’t say I’d rather be anywhere else but home right now.

I’m sat in the living room curled up in a rug on my sofa. The logs in the fire are burning and the mantelpiece is glistening with candles all along the edge. Leo is here, opposite me on his sofa working away on a new song. For the first time ever he doesn’t seem to mind me being here whilst he composes it – usually he would hide alone in his room. I love to to hear each new line of the song being born, each part of the melody coming out as he plays the guitar.

My own guitar is propped up next to my sofa. Next to the coffee table there’s a huge box so full of fan mail it’s overflowing. Tony brought it round the other day – he said it just keeps coming. We’ve only had time to read about a quarter of it so far.

The photo of Mum on the mantelpiece smiles down on us and I can’t help wondering what she would make of it all. I feel differently about what happened to Mum now. Its like I’m free from it all. That gnawing feeling of having to know, having to know, always searching, always wondering – it’s gone. I know now. And it’s nothing more than sad. Just plain sad.

Leo sorted it all out for us. That day in the hospital, when we went back to see Farley after he woke up, Leo asked him what had happened. Farley, so sweet in that hospital bed, smiling despite everything – even after we had confessed what happened – told us that the day after we left for New York he couldn’t help but carry on with our investigation. He said he did it because he knew how much it meant to me.

He told us that all the roads began to lead to the Crombies. Everyone he spoke to mentioned Uncle Luke. He just knew there was something there to find out. And find out he did.

He went right to their house – he must’ve got lucky – if you can call it that. Marilyn was away with us in New York. Obviously. Where else would she be apart from following Leo across the world? Anyway. Uncle Luke was out working too. Usually either Marilyn or Luke are in the house looking after her. Its clear now they were more like hiding her.

Farley told us how it took ages for anyone to answer the door, how he stood outside anyway, waiting. When she finally let him in she was nice to him, in a deranged sort of way. He said she didn’t always make sense and that she couldn’t even make them a cup of tea.

He questioned her anyway and apparently it didn’t take long for her to tell him the whole tale. How it was her that had slipped in some sort of weird poison into Mum’s food at the party they were at. How she kept saying again and again that she didn’t really mean to do it. Farley swore she looked relieved to have someone to spit it out to.

She told him that she thought her husband, Uncle Luke, was having an affair. That she was convinced he didn’t love her, that he loved our Mum instead. Whether that is true or not I don’t know and I don’t care. I doubt it’s true. Whatever happened all I know is my Mum didn’t deserve to die and Aggie sure as hell didn’t win out of the whole thing. Nobody did.

Farley said she was so upset she sat on the sofa rocking back and forth for ages. Eventually he had to leave her there like that because she just wouldn’t move no matter what he said.

Leo took care of everything. He spent the last few days dedicating himself to getting it all done. He reported it all to the police, meaning they had to question her. She eventually confessed to them as well once they got her alone, despite Marilyn apparently running over to the police station screaming and trying to stop them from talking to her.

As far as I know they’re gathering further evidence and she has been charged with murder. I don’t care if she goes to prison or not, which she almost definitely will. She’s already in a prison of her own making. I know now what it’s like to hurt someone else. It’s much worse than hurting yourself.

That was the phone just ringing there. It was Farley – he’s coming round in a few hours – for the first time to our house. I just told Leo he was coming. He nodded his head and smiled. He even offered to save Farley some of the stew he’s making us for tea.

I saw Farley yesterday; I took a bunch of flowers I had picked from along the canal to his barge. Alvin the dog was there, scrappy little thing. He went almost completely bonkers when he saw me.

Farley returned from New York just a few days after we did – he had to make sure he was recovered enough to get on the plane. His right arm is in a bandage and there’s still the gash along his face, aside from that he looks as gorgeous as he always did. His loveliness cannot be destroyed that easily. Neither can our love.

I can’t wait to see him tonight. I think until he comes I’m going to have a go on my guitar. I love the sound of the song Leo is writing. I think I’ll sing along for a while.

                                                 - THE END -

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