When he decided to follow Kate to the Park, Jack had no real idea of what to expect. The weather was pleasant enough, she probably just felt like a walk. Didn’t quite fit with what he remembered about her. She didn’t usually just go for a walk, there was generally more to it than that. She looked as though she had a purpose though, as he watched her striding along the main pathway. Was she going to meet someone?
As far as he knew, she had no friends these days. He found himself remembering the one she had when she was younger, an old school friend called Eileen Jenkins. He had never approved of their friendship, as Eileen was what he called a ‘good time girl’ who spent most of her time hunting for the perfect man. If they didn’t have plenty of money or the prospect of getting some, she moved on to the next one. It was Eileen who had introduced Mr Perfect to Kate, discarded by her as his prospects weren’t up to scratch.
It was a pity she hadn’t lived long enough to see how wrong she was about me, he thought. He had gone on to be very successful in the property market and made a lot of money in the process.
Jack’s involvement with Eileen was simple enough. He wanted her to stop seeing Kate, to stop filling her head with ideas of finding a better husband. She made the huge mistake of arguing with him and he soon lost his temper. She ended up being the first person to die in his quest to get Kate back. She wouldn’t be bothering Kate anymore and that was a fact.
He ducked behind a tree as she slowed down and looked around with what seemed like a disappointment as if whoever she was expecting hadn’t turned up.
When she eventually sat down on a bench facing the lake, she looked decidedly miserable. She barely glanced at people as they passed and he could tell she was deliberately not looking at the children, obviously remembering her son, David.
It gave him a small glow of pleasure to see the damage he had inflicted all those years ago still causing Kate pain. It was only a small glow, for he knew he had so much more to give.
For a long time, he thought his chances were over. When she first ran away from him all those years ago, he thought he might have to give up on her as it was not much as much fun if he wasn’t there to witness the effect first hand. But new opportunities had presented themselves and with a few adjustments here and there, he was having as much fun as before.
It was interesting that she immediately thought it was Danny who had been stealing from her. The lock on the door wasn’t broken, so how did she think he had managed it? He was also unexpectedly annoyed that she didn’t automatically think of him, and made a mental note to rectify that mistake, sooner than later.
After a while, it seemed she wasn’t meeting anyone after all. He had fully expected the love of her life to turn up, even though there had been no sign of him in years.
The thought of Mr Perfect, all curly hair and blue eyes still made his blood boil. He had turned out to be a bit of a bastard after all. He suspected the real reason Kate ran away from him was down to the fact she still loved Michael and no one else would do. He would never understand the ways of women in a million years and Kate was no exception.
He often wondered why the thought of her still filled his every waking moment; especially when she so obviously didn’t care or notice all of the annoyances he had subjected her to. It was something of a miracle she had discovered the cigarettes were missing in the first place and then insisted on blaming her brother for their disappearance. It was as if she never thought of him at all. Could she have forgotten him so completely?
That was all down to her friend, the art dealer. She had somehow managed to remove all traces of Kate’s anger towards him and nearly created another unpleasant circumstance if his memory served him correctly.
Kate had seemed to forget all about that too. What was the matter with the woman?
He would have to think of something dramatic to shake her up a bit. More than a bit, if he could manage it.
He watched Kate leave the park and declined to follow her, his mind full of nasty possibilities. Thinking that way always made him feel so much better and he had enjoyed his visit to this park, full of an interesting mix of the human race. Watching them gave him all kinds of ideas.
His gaze didn’t linger on all the courting couples, their open displays of affection irritated him and shouldn’t be allowed in a public place. If he had a silent weapon, he would kill them all where they stood, ridding the world of all the sentimental slush that usually ended up meaning nothing to any of them. There were some tired looking mums with toddlers, doing their best not to be envious of the single people with dogs. What did they envy the most, he thought. The state of being single, or owning a dog? People did love their animals, didn’t they? A smile slowly spread across his face like the dawn breaking, as an idea arrived and took hold.
Here and there were older couples, touchingly holding hands or helping each other to sit down on the benches. He found himself watching an old man, sitting on a bench overlooking the lake. At first, he thought he was already dead, as he had been sitting in the same position for quite a while. The man was staring at the water, obviously lost in his memories. He had a sad air about him as if he had lost someone? Or was he hoping to die as he sat there as if wishing could make it so? What kind of bargain was he prepared to strike to make it a possibility?
He knew all about the bargains people try to make, had made more than a few himself over the years only to realise there was nothing to bargain with. If you wanted something to happen, you had to do it all by yourself.
And that, he had discovered was the fun part. If he had a mind to, he could have helped him out, but he wasn’t feeling generous today.
When the day began to end and the sun started to slide down the sky into a sea of tangerine streaked clouds, he made his way home, his mind full of interesting and malevolent thoughts…