The details

Did you forget something?” said Wim.

I don’t think so. I think it went well.”

If you’re sure. But think about it. Hard.”

That’s all I do, Wim. I think about it. Hard. It’s mostly relief. Unbelievable relief. Not regret. And certainly not fear.”

Then that’s what you’re forgetting. The fear. You should be afraid. There may be things you’re overlooking. Small things. Things you were seeing and not seeing. Details. Like footprints. Did you leave footprints? Did you clean the gun? Did you wash your hands? Did you touch him after you put him down? Details, Charlotte, not just the overview. Tell me how it happened. The details. Talk slow. Close your eyes and remember each step.”

I live the details, Wim. I dream them. Everything is a moment. I shot him, watched him fall, and then shot up the truck. He looked at me, and it was… I don’t know how to describe it. Time stopped. He just looked at me. Surprise? I don’t think so? Anger? Maybe. Just emptiness, I suppose. This wasn’t supposed to happen, that was in his eyes. I should have known. That was there, too. But mostly just… a blankness. A big, fat what?”

I don’t care how he died, Charlotte. Tell me the before and after. But mostly the after. Step-by-step, honey. And it might stop the dreams. Go through it once more and maybe you won’t have to remember anymore. Start from the beginning.”

There might be someone else on the line, Wim. I can’t go through over the phone. I wish you were here.”

But I’m not. And if anyone is listening, they’re not going to judge you. Am I right, ladies? Yoo-hoo. Anyone listening? Any clucking hens on the line? If you’re offended, hang up now. If you want to bring Charlotte a cherry pie for what she did, please do. Yoo-hoo. Anyone?”

Jesus, Wim.”

Tell me, hon. Clear your mind. Okay. So. That morning you…?”

That morning. Before the sun rose. I could smell the dust. I could hear it. And the smoke coming from Gunth’s old place. I knew Jeremiah would want to go there. Anything to avoid the morning chores. Anything to get away. And I thought, all right, today’s the day….”

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