Sam sat on the bed holding the framed picture of his son and stared at it until his vision began the blur. He wiped away the tears and got up and put the photograph back in its place of honour on his dresser. He touched it one more time and then forced himself to leave the room.
There were still a couple of more things he needed to do before he could take the steps he needed to take to make everything right. He did the breakfast dishes that he’d left to soak and watched the neighbour’s children playing in the yard.
So young and innocent they looked. They couldn’t know the pain they would face as they travelled down life’s path. He hoped they would never know the pain of losing one’s only child. It was something no one should have to face.
When he’d finished he poured himself a cup on coffee and sat down at the kitchen table and looked around the room. He had done nothing with the house since his wife had left him. It still bore all of her personal touches. He told himself for the umpteenth time that he should redecorate. Get rid of her presence. He didn’t want to have to think about her anymore. Then again it wouldn’t matter for much longer.
She didn’t understand, that was the truth. Get help she’d nagged. Over and over until he had exploded on her one day. Then he’d come home a week later to find her gone. He still had the note telling him how she just couldn’t live with it all anymore. She needed to move one she’d said. Move on. What a horrible thing to say. How do you move on from something so terrible as what had happened to their wonderful Johnny? She was no damn good.
Soon it wouldn’t matter any more. He knew what he had to do. It was all so clear in his mind. Just another day or so of preparation and balance would be restored. Johnny would be able to rest at last.
He moved to his laptop and took up his research where he had left off. It was such technical stuff, what he needed to do, but he was equal to the task. He could bring it all together.
He gazed at the list of names on the table next to the computer. He had been keeping track. He had memorized schedules. Soon it would be time. He needed to be sure he would be ready. He went back to studying the screen and making notes.
Later in the day he made a trip to the hardware store and then the electronics store. He needed to be careful not to buy everything at once. He had read that they were required to report anyone they thought might be suspicious. But he was careful and he was clever. Nothing was going to stand in his way.
That night he micro waved a frozen dinner and ate it as he watched the evening news. The images flickered on the screen and the words kept him company but they might as well have been white noise for all he comprehended. He was only killing time now and going through the motions. He sat there and watched a couple of sitcoms, never once smiling, no flicker of understanding crossing his face. At last he got up and threw away the remains of his meal.
He went in the bedroom and changed into his pyjamas. Teeth brushed and flossed, bladder relieved, he climbed into bed and turned out the light. Sleep was a long time coming.
Part 2 Tomorrow