The phone rang as I laid sweaty on top of the dean’s daughter, trying to catch my breath.
Fuck off! Now is not the time.
I rested my weight on top of her as I heard the beep, signalling my phone had a message.
I didn’t move.
The shrill ring exploded into action again.
For fuck sake!
I pushed myself up, rolled off and picked up my phone from the sideboard. I glanced at the bright screen, it was my mother.
“Hiya mum, this is not a good time,” I said as I answered, “Is this going to be quick?”
“I have some bad news about your father,” she said between tears, “Can you come home right away?”
I shot upright, “What’s happened?”
“Please, just come home now?”
It was a brisk ten minute walk from the dorm to the station. To my luck the next train home left in five minutes.
I took my place, next to the window, in an empty carriage. I stared out as the vehicle began to depart.
I watched the scenary change from urban, to country and back to urban again as the locomotive thundered along the tracks, as if the driver knew of my plight.
My mother stood on the platform wearing a long brown coat, hands tucked into a furry hand warmer, staring at the train approaching her. When I met her gaze, I saw her reddened eyes follow me as we came to a stop.
As I exited down the worn metal steps she ran over and locked me in a powerful embrace.
“I’m sorry, Dan, I’m really sorry,” she cried.
She didn’t say another word on the way to the car.
Her keys clattered into the barrel of the car’s lock, nerves very apparent.
“Look, let me drive,” I offered, perturbed by my mother’s lack of composure, she was in no state to drive.
“No!” she demanded, “I can do it, let me do it.”
The car started and left the short stay parking space with a snarling screech.
My mother would not tell me what had happened, other than I’d find out when I got home. I was confused and annoyed by the lack of information.
I was greeted at the house by yards of yellow police tape around my childhood home’s front garden. A uniformed officer guarded the gate to the house. A couple of vulturous paparazzi flanked the street, biding their time for some priceless snap that’ll earn them blood money.
We got out of the car in unison and walked modestly past the policeman and into the house.
The low murmurs of people talking became evident as I opened the front door, they soon silenced when they saw the visitor.
The living room was full of a selection of my family, young and old. The older members had identical red puffy eyes to my mother.
“Dad’s been arrested,” were the words that fell out of my younger brother’s mouth as he recognised my face.
“Shaun!” my mother scolded him.
“Is this true?” I said, slightly releaved he was not dead.
She just nodded and a fresh stream of tears tumbled down her cheeks.
“The plumber told on him!” Shaun blurted out.
My mother’s shoulders deflated as if someone had cut the strings holding her upright, “It’s true, they found bodies in the basement.”
She fell into a chair and sobbed so quietly, her chest heaving with every sniff, grieving for her dead-to-her husband.
I raced out of the room, heading for the basement.
“Dan?” my mother lamely shouted in vain.
I was surprised by the lack of uniforms inside the house. The door to the basement was plastered with more of that arrogant yellow tape. I ripped it free, opened the door, flicked on the single 60 watt incandescent bulb that lit the stairs and descended them.
The basement was a building site, large piles of dirt and trenches from where the earth had come from. As well as the water damaged flooring the plumber removed and allowed him to discover them.
I fell to my knees, I did not know what this meant or what would happen next.
My dad was being kept in a local police station. He was in the middle of another round of intense questioning. I did not understand why they were grilling him so much after he already confessed on arrival.
It was an hour before we got to see him. He asked to see me on my own, father and son. My mother sat back down, not sure if she was happy that she did not have to speak to that monster again, the husk of the man she married.
He hugged me as we were left alone in an interview room, he slapped me on the back and said, “Everything’s going to be okay.”
We sat down at the table and I asked, “Why did you confess to the murders, dad? You can’t of killed them.”
“Of course I did, son. They’ve found them.” he said resigned.
I tapped my fingers on the table and took a deep breath, “Dad, I…”
He closed his eyes and put up his hand, “I know, son, I know.”
The train was packed, full of commuters making their way back to the city to start their work weeks and to live in the temporary hotel homes until the weekend came and they could go back to their families.
My mind was buzzing, trying to figure out how I was going to dispose of the Dean’s daughter.