So there it was. Once I had made my decision I was surprised at how relaxed I was about it. I’m not a cold-blooded guy at heart. It was just practicality really. He was making bad business decisions and he had conned me into a bet I wouldn’t have made under any other circumstances and that was that.
The harder part was deciding how to do it. It’s one thing to decide to kill someone, quite another to carry out the deed. I found myself thinking night and day about all the various ways it could happen. My first thought was hiring someone to do it, but I’d read too many news stories about people contracting a killing only to find they were dealing with an undercover cop. So that was out. There had to be a better way. I decided if it came down to doing it myself there were two choices. I could arrange an “accident” or I could simply get him alone somewhere and kill him.
I decided I wasn’t big on the accident idea. If things didn’t go to plan and he lived, well, it could get messy. The way things were going between us he’d suspect me right away, and that was a change I wasn’t prepared to face. That left killing him outright. So that left two questions that needed answering: how to do it and how to dispose of the body in such a way that it would never be found. Oh yes, and an alibi. When your business partner disappears, the suspicion is always going to fall on you first.
I despaired at first, but then I realized it was silly to think a thing like this could ever be easy. Besides, I’ve always been a can-do guy. When the going gets tough and all that. I had breathing room; Anne and I hadn’t set a date or anything. I hadn’t even bought her an engagement ring. So it was time to make a plan that would cover all the bases. I admit I was distracted after that. Both at the office and at home with Anne. The office part didn’t matter so much, but Anne was one of those people with a strong sixth sense. She started asking me questions about what was on my mind, and when Anne wants answers she usually gets them.
I told her it was just work stuff, even told her things weren’t good between Mel and I, but she already knew about that, so that wasn’t going to fly. She kept after me so much I even began to resent her. I quickly decided that wasn’t good. I loved her with all my heart, and I’d always believed you shouldn’t keep secrets from the one you love. Only this was one hell of a secret. I agonized for days and then one night after we’d gone out to dinner and I’d had a couple too many glasses of wine I told her the truth.
The whole truth. I told her about the bet, and yes, how it had happened right before I met her, and I swore if only we had met an hour earlier it would never have happened. I told her I thought Mel had conned me, and then, taking a deep breath, I told her what I had decided to do. I couldn’t believe I was saying it even as it came out of my mouth, but more than that I couldn’t believe what happened next.
She put down her glass and looked me in the eye and told me I had made the right decision.