Saturday 27th December
The air is cold again and I have to defrost the car. As I scrape the sheet of frost from the windscreen I look up and see Bret and Alan heading my way.
‘Merry Christmas,’ I say to them begrudgingly.
They say it in return, nicely.
The next thing I say probably comes off as a little accusingly. ‘Nasty business at the flats.’
Bret doesn’t notice. ‘Such a shame. She was a weirdo. But that doesn’t mean deserved to die.’
I have to admit that I do feel a little less paranoid now she’s gone.
They continue their walk and I head out to take Mei to work. Perhaps she’s getting work sick because she once again offered to work on a Saturday.
I say to her as we drive past Bret and Alan, ‘I think those two had something to do with Jason’s murder. Maybe even Emma’s death.’
‘You’ve been watching Hot Fuzz again, haven’t you?’
‘I’m serious. They don’t have a nice thing to say about Jason or Emma.’
She’s got me there.
She says, playfully, ‘Almost everything you say is bad.’
I ignore her. I know she’s right.
‘I thought you were having a week’s paid holiday anyway.’
‘Shit, you’re right. I forgot about that with everything else going on. My boss didn’t remind me.’
‘I’m not surprised.’
She looks at me thoughtfully. ‘I’ll mention it today and see what he says.’
As we pass near the university and head towards the old Blockbuster carpark, Mei asks me, ‘How’s Amy?’
I seize up. My eyes go wide and unblinking and I can feel the coldness touching them. ‘What about her?’
She laughs. ‘What are you so worried about? It’s not like I’m accusing you of sleeping with her.’
I relax. She doesn’t know about the pictures.
I go on and quickly tell her about Mrs Mellor’s funeral tomorrow. In my astonishment yesterday I didn’t get the chance to properly. She never asked me what the tie was for. Is pregnancy brain affecting her already?
‘You should go to it,’ she says.
‘I am going to it. I think I’ll go for the office job, too.’
‘Won’t you be working with Agatha?’
I nod. ‘Yeah. But she’ll also be working with me.’
I don’t have much choice now. Amy is standing against her car in her short skirt, leggings and boots again. Her breath is turning into vapour in the cold air. Either that or she’s smoking. Smoking hot.
She smiles when I pull up in front of her. I can’t smile. This could go very badly. I feel like I need a human resources rep with me.
‘Merry Christmas,’ she says as I climb out.
I don’t say it back. Instead, I get right down to it. ‘Did you send me some nude pictures of yourself?’
I can see the cogs of her mind turning. She says, ‘Shit. Those weren’t meant for you.’
I relax. Thank God.
‘I’m so sorry about that.’
If I don’t know better I’m sure I can see a subtle smile creeping up on those luscious lips of hers.
We head inside and collect our boxes. I don’t even acknowledge the witch again.
I thought Amy would be more bothered about the pictures than what she is. If I’d done something like that I couldn’t show my face in public again.
As she’s putting the meals into her boot, she asks as I pass: ‘So?’
‘Did you like them?’
I don’t say anything. She sure isn’t shy about her body.
She gets into her car and doesn’t close the door. She keeps one leg out and one leg in and the skirt rides up over her thighs. She says with a large smile: ‘There’s plenty more where they came from.’
I stand there gobsmacked. It would be nice to see more, I won’t lie. But what else could there be to see? I’m not certain I believe her when she says it was accidental. I’ll keep my distance in future.