Bruno had not come to any conclusions as to why so many people were coming and going from Katherine’s building, but he did consider it highly unusual. The sight of women dabbing their eyes as they departed also intrigued him. As nondescript as he could be he sat on the steps of an apartment building diagonally opposite, but he was prepared to cross the street when the opportunity arose. Curiosity had the better of him. I wonder what’s goin’ on. I’ll ask the next person who comes out.
The well-attired man descending the steps was his cue. He sprang upright and ran to the other side of the street. “Excuse me!” he called aloud. “I live across the street, and I’ve been watchin’ people comin’ and goin’. Are the Harris family okay?”
Conrad thought it strange for someone living so near not to know of JM’s death.
It was on television, and in newspapers, he thought. “He died,” Conrad, said bluntly.
“What?” Bruno was stunned. “I only saw him a few of days ago. What did he die of?”
“He was killed in a car accident.” Conrad felt uneasy by the man’s presence. “I’m sorry, but I have to go.”
As Conrad walked one way, Bruno walked slowly in the opposite direction, towards his apartment. The unexpected news had stunned him, but as he ambled close to the building he now called home, it suddenly occurred to him his plan had just become easier. His main opponent was no more, with no input from him. He did not know whether to celebrate, or feel sorry for Katherine.
Immediately upon opening his door, he dropped his large body onto the worn green-fabric armchair to contemplate his next visit.
In an action worthy of an athlete, he sprang from the armchair, opened the fridge, and grabbed a cold beer. I’ll buy a paper. I need to know when the funeral’s on, and where it’ll be. Bein’ a patient, I can show my respects. He made an impromptu laugh at the last thought. If I go, I can be close to Katherine. And the cops can’t interfere.”
An elated sense of accomplishment gave him reason to put the cold beer to his lips. “You never know what’s comin’ ’round the corner.” He chuckled, then raised the can in a victory salute. “There’ll be a wake and I’ll go to that, too.”
He took another beer from the fridge, popped it, and announced with a smile while doing a jiggle of a dance, “If the dentist had to die, so be it. Katherine’s all I worry about. This is goin’ to be a good fuckin’ week.”
He turned on the television to watch some sport.