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The Woman

The woman returned home after the ordeal, closed the front door to the street noise and took her thoughts with her into the quiet house, the little boy sent for his nap. She sat.

‘Why was he here?’

The police mentioned he had two tickets in his pocket, both for travelling to the coast from the centre of town, that’s where they’d found his suitcase. They said he’d probably arrived by train the morning before he was found.

‘Why was he here?’

They found him not two hundred yards away from where she sat. The police said her telephone number was written on the back of a book proved to have been his. A Rubaiyat. Of course she remembered Alfred, he too had an interest in the quatrains but it wasn’t him. It was him.

‘Why didn’t he use the phone?’


It wasn’t long before one of the newspapers published a picture of the code he’d written. It looked scrawled, uneven, hurried. The police told her the Rubaiyat was found near the body and the newspapers were now saying he may have committed suicide. Suicide.

‘Is that why was he here?’

The woman was unable to convince herself he hadn’t left something.. Anything. But something. He’d come so far. She bent back to the newspaper and began transcribing the code onto a sheet of paper.

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