An unexpected buzz from the alarm clock awakened the Whistle’s, leaving both Leonard and Marianna in a bad mood because it was the weekend. Leonard blamed Marianna because the alarm came from her phone and Marianna blamed Leonard because this was his “working day” so he had been the one to set a Saturday alarm in the first place. They ate their breakfast in a turgid silence, before eventually warming to each other as the sun rose and the remnants of their unrequited sleep left their bodies.
Leonard received a message from Marta with a peculiar request; she wanted to visit Morgan Ayodele’s grave. This excited Leonard because it meant that Marta might be willing to discuss her relationship with his former teacher. He was surprised to find Morgan buried so nearby, in a cemetery less than two miles away, and it made Leonard wonder about how many other acquaintances might be scattered beneath the countless headstones. If this pseudo investigation had made him aware of anything, it was how true the saying ‘out of sight, out of mind’ was. He parked a little way from the entrance and walked in, the central pathway was cobbled and dusted with pebbles and other shingle. The groundskeeper’s shed was tucked in on the inside right just beyond a World War 2 memorial, and it was there that Marta had suggested they would meet. He walked over to it to find someone other than Marta; the groundskeeper himself.
The weekend had finally arrived, although Leonard wouldn’t have noticed it if it wasn’t for Marley’s busy excitement and general exuberance. He found that weekends had long since lost their lustre as he could effectively choose whenever he wanted his weekend to be; in recent weeks his ‘weekend’ had been on a Tuesday and a Wednesday and it would be no surprise were this to change in the future. Marianna was already awake, and he smelled the sizzling bacon and heard the hissing pops as it presumably cooked in the pan. He slovenly rose to his feet and had a quick shower before settling down in the main living area for their breakfast. On his plate sat three strips of bacon, a colony of scrambled eggs and two slices of brown bread, and he played with his bread with a puerile melancholy.
A number of days had passed since Leonard had finished his first draft of the manslaughter commission, and had submitted it to Alby for an appraisal. However, since he had made the decision to re-examine the case for his own personal reasons, he was yet to have any significant findings. The most Leonard had achieved was to put together a, not entirely helpful or productive, table on his computer which listed the reasons that implicated him in Paulie’s crime and those which absolved him. The list was as follows:
“What’s wrong?” Leonard heard Marianna say, and her voice was coarse and suffocated by the pillows she spoke into. He rolled around and looked at his half-sleeping wife fondly, watching anxiously because he wanted to talk but he didn’t want to actively wake her up. Perhaps she sensed his nervous energy, because she shortly raised her head from the pillow and winced at him with heavy lidded eyes.
I shouldn’t take this job, it’s, it wouldn’t be right Leonard thought to himself as he gingerly rubbed his bristly chin, and wrapped his fingers around his few tufts of coarse cocoa coloured hair. He slapped his laptop screen down and pushed away from the table, as his hands gripped the armrests indecisively before he belatedly stood up. He left the bedroom and walked down the empty hallway to the bathroom, and once inside he started running the bath. Leonard rubbed his chin once more and considered shaving. He turned on his shaver, but shortly afterwards turned it off without shedding a single strip of hair. The bath filled with an arrhythmic gurgle and the room gradually became uncomfortably hot, and so he left it and returned to his bedroom to pick up his phone; he nimbly went to the messages screen and sent his wife a quick text.