killer and victimI didn’t mean to kill my wife, you know.

A playful tiff in the restaurant. That’s all. One minute she is complaining about the poor quality of the main course – and call me sensitive, but I think we both know what that was supposed to mean – and the next thing I remember, my hands are round her throat. Playfully.

You remember that, don’t you?

But some people have no sense of proportion, do they? The meal was ruined, of course. Tears were shed, and words were spoken – rather too loudly for my liking. Yours too, I imagine. Don’t you just hate the way that some women call attention to themselves in public? So, of course, I paid the bill, and we left, or rather, she left and…

Anyway, by the time I arrived, she was already packing things haphazardly into an old suitcase – well, throwing things into it, all the time cursing and swearing at me, charging furiously, and as far as I could see, pointlessly, from room to room. You know how it went. I can’t stand hearing well-educated women spout obscenities, as if they were common prostitutes. Can you? If I wanted that kind of thing, I’d pay for it.

And then… well, here I am, standing in the silence, with an onyx sculpture in my right hand and Mrs high-and-bloody-mighty sprawled lifeless on the carpet. Just me. Alone. Apart from you, of course. I really should have thought this through. It’s not like me to act on impulse. But I guess it could have been worse. At least there’s no blood anywhere.

I could phone the police and turn myself in, I suppose, but we both know what would happen. The police don’t have the imagination required to understand that this was her fault rather than mine: taunting me about sex, over-reacting to things, making a scene, threatening to leave me and ruin everything. And prison is no place for a man like me, is it? I’m too old. Have you ever visited a prison? I have. Terrifying. So, I have to think about covering my tracks and disposing of the body. Of course I do. You understand these things. You’re smart. Sensitive. You can empathise. I know you can.

We’ve both read plenty of detective stories, so we know the score, don’t we? There’s all the circumstantial stuff to consider – the scene at the restaurant, the separate taxis home – and there’s bound to be CCTV footage of almost everything. It’s like a bloody police-state these days. But it’s not uncommon for couples to have a blazing row now and again, I suppose, and I shouldn’t complicate matters by lying about anything that was played out in public, should I? We had a tiff. She lost the plot. She packed, and now she’s gone. Who knows where?

Then there’s all the forensic material – hairs on the statue, probably; marks on her face from the way she hit the carpet, maybe – but at least it’s her flat. Ours. Well, mine now. You’d expect her DNA to be all over the flat in any event, wouldn’t you? And there’s no blood. Nothing. That’s good. It may not be too difficult to clean things up after all, as it turns out.

Hey – we’re on a roll, here, you and me. I think we might get away with it!

So we just have to work out what to do with the body, and then hold our nerve during all the questioning they’re bound to subject us to – good cop, bad cop routines, capturing it all on film, trawling through our computers and mobile phone records looking for God-only-knows what. You’re not worried about what they might find, are you? And, of course, if they’re stuck, they will probably suggest we make an appeal to the public. Just say no. It always ends badly.

I’m sorry you had to get dragged into this, but I feel I can trust you on this. That’s my instinct. I can, can’t I?

What do you suggest we do about the body, then? How on earth can we get rid of this thing? It all ¬†seems to have been tried before, doesn’t it? Unmarked graves; bodies dumped in lakes, or even better out at sea, weighted down, perhaps in pieces; encased in concrete, if you know anyone in the mafia; crushed inside an old car; dissolved in a bath of acid, but who the hell has that much acid in the house? Cremated in place of someone else. That’s almost foolproof, but you have to have access to a crematorium, which is practically impossible. In any event, we’ll have to get her out of the flat somehow without being seen, and we can’t afford to put her body in the boot of the car because that’s the first thing the forensic people will check.

Do we have any latex gloves? They’d be useful. Come on. Help me out here. You’re not pulling your weight. Think for Christ’s sake! Don’t just sit ¬†there. Say something.

You know, I’m starting to worry about you, my friend.

It’s as if you think you can just walk away from all this, and forget about it. But really, you can’t, can you? Not in all conscience you can’t. After all, you’ve been with me the whole way – smirking quietly in the restaurant, mumbling to yourself about the way I treated her and the horrible things I said. But you urged me on anyway, didn’t you? You followed me to the flat, and you didn’t stop when she went crashing to the floor, either. In fact, you were quite enjoying the idea of finding a way out of this mess, weren’t you? It was just a bit of fun for you, I suppose – misogyny, violence, deception.

We wouldn’t have reached this point if it wasn’t for you, would we? What the hell were you thinking?

Yes, you – who else could I be talking to?

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