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A Last Goodbye

Maxwell turned up the collar of his winter coat as he made his way down the damp street. Raindrops shimmered in the glare of the street lamps as they fell to the pavement. A tall man in his late twenties, Maxwell always took care of his appearance while stopping short of vanity. He turned down a side street, a short cut to his parents’ house. He had an hour, the man in the sharp suit had said. An hour to say goodbye.

This route took him past his office building. He could see it on the other side of the street, an investment banking firm. He was working there in Accounts when he had first noticed the discrepancy. A small error (or so he thought) which had led him to one of the biggest embezzlement scams in recent history.

He couldn’t keep quiet, could he? He had to call the authorities. He’d have to go into protective custody, they said. He wouldn’t be able to tell anyone where he was. Chances were he’d never again have any contact with his friends, his family. These were nasty people, he’d been told. People with “connections”.

The doors opened and he felt a pang of regret as he saw his office mates come out. A flash of gold caught his eye. Maria. Maria with the golden hair, the big blue eyes, the heart of an angel. He’d spent the last eight months plucking up the courage to ask her out. Ever since she’d stumbled over to him at the Christmas party and kissed him under the mistletoe. He watched as Simon put his arm around her. Simon the snake! They were laughing. Too late now. He walked on towards his home.

He could see his parents through the kitchen window. They were preparing dinner. His Dad had his arm around his Mum. Twenty-eight years of marriage and still so close. He watched as his Mum chopped vegetables while his Dad walked to the table and began setting out plates and cutlery. Three places – Mum, Dad, and… him. But he couldn’t even go in to say goodbye. A tear in his eye, he turned and walked back the way he had come.

Forty minutes had passed by the time he returned to the alley, nestled between Sonny’s Bar and Mario’s Pizza. “The best pizza in town!” Mario proclaimed to anyone who would listen. Maybe not the best, in Maxwell’s opinion, but admittedly, pretty good.

The alley was awash with activity. He could see the man in the sharp suit, waiting for him. He picked his way past the police and the crime scene techs and lingered a moment to look down at the body. It was strange, surreal, to see himself lying on the street, the small hole just above the bridge of his nose, his eyes staring sightless at the stormy sky, congealed blood forming a halo about his head.

The man in the sharp suit took his hand and he looked around, bidding a last goodbye as they slowly faded away to nothing.

Categories: Fiction
  1. May 6, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Such a wonderful read on a Monday morning!

    I hope Maxwell got some of that Pizza.. won’t make things right.. but will do good 😉

    Och.. yep… I think I am having pizza for lunch!


    • May 6, 2013 at 9:52 am

      Thanks! Mmmmm, pizza. My Saturday treat (so I’ve got a few days to go before my next pizza fix)!


  2. Gilraen
    May 6, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    NIce one yet again!


  3. May 6, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Yay for more Drali fiction!


    • May 6, 2013 at 7:14 pm

      Tell you what though, this fiction-writing business is a lot harder than I remember it being at school!


      • May 6, 2013 at 7:14 pm

        It is, but it’s worth it. 🙂


        • May 6, 2013 at 7:17 pm

          Thanks, that’s really lovely to hear.
          Give me some time to recover (and get another idea) and I’ll attempt another!


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