A link to the first page of my novel can be found below. In it we meet Jack for the first time and learn of his tragic death. This post focuses on his girlfriend, Emily, and takes place the next day…
24th June 2002
In the years that followed Emily would say that something inside her knew that Jack was dead before the Police came knocking to deliver the devastating news. If pressed she would also reflect that she’d always had a sense that he wouldn’t be with her for long. A sense that was never confronted whilst he was alive but one she was sure had been there once he was gone. She’d been at home with her parents when they came. The garden path at her family home was quite long. Certainly long enough for her mind to settle on the reason for their visit long before they reached the front door. The actual words they used were never fully processed. She knew they were telling that her boyfriend was dead, that he’d been in an accident but that the cause was not yet fully established. They weren’t explicit about the possibility that he’d taken his own life but they didn’t really need to be. She knew already, she’d almost expected it.
Later that day she took a walk to his flat. A walk she’d made many times and one she enjoyed as much for the journey as for the feeling she got when she thought about who was waiting for her. She had insisted that she go alone despite her parents understandable concerns. The route took her a very short distance along the canal and then up towards the edges of the town centre , where Jack’s flat was located. A little way before she arrived at her destination she passed the White Bear public house that she and Jack had regularly frequented. There were a number of people on the benches outside enjoying the summers evening which seemed strange to Emily. It was almost as though the world hadn’t changed forever with the death of her boyfriend. That the people there were unaware that her life would never be the same again. She had to fight the urge to stop and ask one of them to explain to her why they didn’t appear to be acting any differently to how they had been the previous evening when she’d made the same trip. Obviously she knew why, it still felt strange. It would for a very long time.
When Emily arrived at the entrance to the flat she quickly established that it was unlocked and let herself in. It didn’t really occur to her then but there had been no visit yet from the Police as part of their investigation into his death, an oversight that would contribute to delays in answers to the many questions that would arise in the coming weeks. It was a little less than forty eight hours since she’d been here with Jack, sharing a simple stir fry meal and making a fuss about his birthday the next day. Already though, the flat felt uninhabited and devoid of the kind of energy people provide even when they’re not there. Her eyes were naturally drawn to her unopened present lying on the kitchen table, it was then that the tears came. It was also then that the pain of her loss became tinged with anger for the way she knew he’d died. She had loved him deeply and yet he had chosen to leave her. She desperately wanted to ask him why? Unlike many in her unenviable position, one day she would have her answer. Like his death it would change everything and she would have to rethink all she thought she knew about Jack Davidson.