“Sometimes it’s best to just leave things alone Nicole, you won’t like what you find out,” her mother says as she slams her mug of coffee on the bench, a crack rips through the cup like a bolt of lightning rips into the ground and it shatters into pieces, coffee explodes out of the cup and across the bench and splashes over both of them. “Look what you made me do!” She yells as she throws her hands up in the air.
“I didn’t do anything, I just asked why dad left so early this morning is all, geeze mum anyone would think your trying to hide something?”
“It’s just been a long morning, I’m sorry I didn’t mean to snap honey,” she says as she grabs a towel from the rack and starts soaking up the coffee. “Your father said that work called and he needed to go in early to let someone in, painters, or something like that, as I said he was very choppy on the details, anyway, you need to get going or you’ll be late for school.”
“Are you sure it was just work, nothing happened?”
“No honey, everything is good, get your stuff and get out the door before you miss the bus,” she says with a smile. Nicole leans over and kisses her mum on the cheek, “You better get a clean shirt on as well,” her mother says, she looks at her shirt and laughs.
“Nah, I’ve got art first up, so it’s only going to get dirtier anyway, love you,” she says as she heads out the door, she stands there for a few moments, staring at the coffee as it soaks into the towel and it’s a phone call that snaps her back to reality.
“Hello Jackie, is Bill there?”
“No, he left to take Nicole to school, why, is there a problem?”
“Yeah, we were supposed to meet up twenty minutes ago and go over some plans for the new store, I guess he forgot, I’ll just meet him at the office when he gets there.”
“If he calls I’ll let him know, he’s a little distracted with everything going on with his mum so I’d say it must have slipped his mind.”
“What’s going on with Patty?”
“Oh, hasn’t Bill told you?”
“Told me what?”
“It’s not really my place, so please don’t tell him you know, but she’s been diagnosed with stage four lymphoma.”
“Oh shit, I didn’t know, fuck, I won’t say a thing, damn, I-I-I’m so sorry, how’s she doing?”
“She’s trying to stay strong, like we all are, but if I hear from Bill, I’ll let him know you called,” she says as she hangs up the phone and stares once again at the coffee. She wipes her sweaty hands down the side of her dress as she slowly walks around the house in a daze, eventually finding herself back in the master bedroom, where she gently sits on the bed and begins to cry into her hands, slowly she pulls her face from her hands and looks across to the other side of the bedroom, where his cold, dead body sits, his dead eyes stare forward, his mouth hanging open, his blue tongue hangs open, and a knife sits firmly planted in his chest.