The Widow (Kate Waters, #1) by Fiona Barton Read Online (FREE)
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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 9, 2010
I can hear the sound of her crunching up the path. Heavy-footed in high heels. She’s almost at the door, hesitating and smoothing her hair out of her face. Nice outfit: jacket with big buttons, decent dress underneath, and glasses perched on her head. Not a Jehovah’s Witness or from the Labour party. Must be a reporter, but not the usual. She’s my second one today—fourth this week, and it’s only Wednesday. I bet she says, “I’m sorry to bother you at such a difficult time.” They all say that and put on that stupid face. Like they care.
I’m going to wait to see if she rings twice. The man this morning didn’t. Some are obviously bored to death with trying. They leave as soon as they take their finger off the bell, marching back down the path as fast as they can, into their cars and away. They can tell their bosses they knocked on the door but I wasn’t there. Pathetic.
She rings twice. Then knocks loudly in that rap-rap-rappity-rap way. Like a policeman. She sees me looking through the gap at the side of my sheer curtains and smiles this big smile. A Hollywood smile, my mum used to say. Then she knocks again.
When I open the door, she hands me the bottle of milk from the doorstep and says, “You don’t want to leave that out. It’ll spoil. Shall I come in? Have you got the kettle on?”
I can’t breathe, let alone speak. She smiles again, head on one side. “I’m Kate,” she says. “Kate Waters, a reporter from the Daily Post.”
“I’m,” I start, suddenly realizing she hasn’t asked.
“I know who you are, Mrs. Taylor,” she says. Unspoken are the words: “You are the story.”
“Let’s not stand out here,” she says. And as she talks, somehow, she’s come in.
I feel too stunned by the turn of events to speak, and she takes my silence as permission to go into the kitchen with the bottle of milk and make me a cup of tea. I follow her in—it’s not a big kitchen and we’re in a bit of a squeeze as she bustles about filling the kettle and opening all my cupboards, looking for cups and sugar. I just stand there, letting it all happen.
She’s chatting about the kitchen. “What a lovely fresh-looking room—I wish mine looked like this. Did you put a new kitchen in?”
It feels like I’m talking to a friend. It isn’t how I thought it would be, talking to a reporter. I thought it would be like being questioned by the police. Thought it would be an ordeal, an interrogation. That’s what my husband, Glen, said. But it isn’t, somehow.
I say, “Yes. We chose white doors and red handles because it looked so clean.” I’m standing in my house discussing kitchens with a reporter. Glen would’ve had a fit.