I felt suddenly, that the centre of this man’s attention was a very bad place to be.
The usually flowing conversation stopped dead. The silence that fell was intense. Feeling awkward and intimidated I shuffled in my seat; my heart felt cold and heavy as he directed his gaze at me. I held eye contact for a split second before deciding that looking at the road ahead would be much better. He continued to stare until the lights turned back to green.
In my mind I searched my memories, looking for any hint within our previous encounters that could suggest that the man who kindly drove me home from work every night was actually dangerous. Did I miss any clue?
We’d become friends surely? Across countless car journeys we had developed knowledge of each other, had built what I thought was a close friendship – had I been wrong all this time?
The phrase “a false sense of security” flashed through my mind.
My heartbeat quickened as he drove me towards home; my breath heavy and fists clenched at my seat. We were approaching the shops by my house where he usually dropped me off. I just wanted to be out of the car. This man had changed, or shown his true colours, I don’t know, but I just wanted to get away from him.
He didn’t stop.
He tried to make conversation but there was a sinister element to his talk. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t react; questions overtook my thoughts;
Could this man really hurt me?
Why did he offer to drive me home in the first place?
Had he planned this all along?
The questions I didn’t really want to find out the answers to.
I thought he liked me?
All of my thoughts and opinions about this man constellated at the forefront of my mind… Was he going to hurt me?
Could he really kill me?
I think it is safe to say that I got away with that. No one even suspected a thing.
I had a little bit of guilt, I admit, as I watched her husband of three months on TV making an appeal to anyone who may have any information in regards to her disappearance and whereabouts. He was a nice guy.
And it’s because of him that I had the perfect hiding place for her. Of course the first person they go to in these kind of cases is always the husband, so I had to hold off for a little while, until I was sure the police were satisfied that it wasn’t him. And like I said, he was a good guy, so that didn’t take long.
He wouldn’t even know that lying right there, in the ground beneath his feet, as he worked on re-modelling his rusty red MG Midget, would be his wife. Not even her – the lifeless decaying shell that once housed the spirit and soul of her.
He would never know how close he actually was to her, feeling like she was millions of miles away.
He’d invite me round sometimes, let me do some work on the Harley. I don’t think he noticed my smugness, my satisfaction in knowing the secret I held, the crime I had done. Purposefully dropping my tools on the spot where she lay beneath our feet.
I was so good, almost too good, at playing the sympathy card for him. Reassuring him that she will be found, that whoever did this to her would pay for his crimes; even questioning if she hadn’t just simply ran away.
He’d always ask “are you sure she was ok that night you dropped her off?”
I’d respond with my well-rehearsed lines of “yes, I dropped her by the shops at the top of your road, as always, and continued my journey home. Nothing seemed wrong or weird”
And why would he suspect me? I’d been driving his wife to and from work for longer than they were married. I was the all-round good guy who would never do such a thing as choke the life out of the very person I would call a friend!