All Is Not As It Seems

©Rejoice Denhere 2014

Heather fingered the soft fur coat as memories flooded her mind. It had been her husband’s last gift to her. Today would have been their 25th wedding anniversary. But he was gone now and life must go on. She put the coat away and made her way across town to visit her wealthy friend Rebecca.

“Heather, which part of no do you not understand? I’ve told you countless times that I don’t go on blind dates.”

“It’s not really a blind date. A wealthy client needs a partner to attend a dinner with some foreign executives on Friday evening. All the girls are booked. Please do it just this once as a favour,” Heather pleaded. “You know I get paid on commission.”

Heather must have been desperate to make such a plea. Rebecca felt guilty. She was a widow and although only 48 she didn’t have to work because her husband and left her comfortably wealthy. Heather and her husband seemed to struggle financially and could probably use the extra income. With a little more persuasion Rebecca finally relented.

Arriving at the dinner Rebecca was pleasantly surprised. Her date was not only a good looking, high-flying executive but was single and had a good sense of humour. She had a lovely time. As they left the restaurant he asked if they could meet again, informally this time. This had been a one off favour for her friend so, much as she was tempted, she declined his offer. He asked if he could at least take her home. She refused. What if he was a stalker? He kissed her good night and hailed a cab for her.

***

Saturday dawned bright and sunny. Rebecca was in the kitchen having her morning coffee when the door bell rang. It was Heather. A bit early for a visit but she was probably keen to hear how things had gone the night before.

“He liked me a lot actually. If it hadn’t been that I’ve vowed never to date again I really would have loved to see him again.” A beaming Rebecca announced.

Heather didn’t smile but produced a copy of the morning paper. A man had been murdered close to the restaurant she had visited. A picture of Rebecca (possible suspect) was splashed across the front page. How could this be? Her questioning eyes met with Heather’s cold stare.

“You killed him,” Heather screamed as she slapped Rebecca across the face.

“No, I didn’t!”

“There’s the evidence right there!”

Rebecca grabbed the hot cup of coffee and threw it at Heather. It missed her by an inch as she made a dash for the front door with Rebecca in hot pursuit.

“Police, freeze!”

Rebecca stopped dead in her tracks.

“Rebecca Holderston you are under arrest for the murder of…” She didn’t hear the rest of the words as confusion filled her mind. They clasped the handcuffs on her hands and led her away.

***

The prison doors clanged open. A gaunt woman with sad eyes walked out. Doing time had taken its toll on Rebecca. She had lost her former dignity. Memories of the day she had been found guilty of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment still haunted her. At least she was now free because the real killer had been found.

***

Heather held the wine glass in her hand and took small sips. For a decade she had relished the thought that Rebecca, the woman who had run off with her first husband and inherited his wealth, was now languishing in jail. When her second husband had started cheating on her she decided to take action. Rebecca was the perfect bait and her plan had worked perfectly. Life as a wealthy widow was certainly good until the day she received the news.

Now, as she sat in her living room, tears streamed down her face. She made up her mind to do the honourable thing. Getting into her car she made the long drive to the police station where she confessed killing her second husband and giving false evidence. If the cancer was as advanced as the doctor had said it was, she’d be dead in six months. At least she’d die with a clear conscience.

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